Tim Tebow’s NFL career hasn’t mirrored the success he experienced in his college career at Florida. While the polarizing quarterback has shown the ability to win on football’s biggest stage, he hasn’t been given the chance to put it all together.
Tebow joined the New York Jets last season on the heels of a mixed performance with the Denver Broncos in the playoffs. He led his team to an 8-8 regular season record and a wild card win over the Pittsburgh Steelers, but he wasn’t enough to upset the New England Patriots the following week, sealing Tebow’s fate in the process.
With the Jets last season, Tebow was relegated to an inconsequential role, attempting just eight passes on the year in relief of an ineffective Mark Sanchez. Even with New York’s season crumbling—and an offense that ranked 30th in the league—Tebow wasn’t given an opportunity to take the reins.
While many feel Tebow is capable of winning at the NFL level (as he did in Denver), there is a reason teams haven’t been willing to shell out a draft pick to acquire him. Despite New York’s best efforts, Tebow remains under contract. He’s a man without a position.
The merits of changing positions have been hotly debated, but the fact remains: Tebow won’t get another shot under center without showing marked improvement as a passer.
According to James Walker of ESPN, Tebow is attempting to make that improvement this offseason, beginning with the issue that has teams doubting his ability to be a successful NFL signal-caller.
The lefty has worked this offseason with former Carolina Panthers quarterback Chris Weinke at his IMG Academy on fixing his elongated throwing motion:
I was just working with Tim Tebow a couple of weeks ago for the first time. I was quite impressed with his ability to make adjustments. I know he's worked with a lot of different quarterback coaches. I had him for two days and I was impressed with his approach.
Tebow has never been one to shy away from anything that will improve his quarterbacking ability, and working on his throwing motion this offseason will undoubtedly increase his chances of finding success in the NFL.
Tebow’s mechanical flaws aren’t all that debatable; he doesn’t have a traditional throwing motion in any sense. With an elongated over-the-top motion and slow release, teams have shied away from the former star, despite his history of winning.
Like Weinke, former college and Arena League quarterback George Whitfield, Jr. works with current NFL quarterbacks and quarterback prospects on improving their skills. According to Jim Corbett of USA Today, Whitfield believes Tebow’s mechanics can be fixed:
It's doable. And I absolutely believe it can be done, and I would absolutely go in with him on it. He is going to have to make the decision to morph to the position -- to re-engineer himself skill-set-wise to quarterback. Footwork-wise, hip-generated throws, throwing up over defenders, it can be engineered. Wherever Tim goes next year, he's going to have buckle in and dedicate himself in what is going to be a very interesting off-season for him.
It seems Tebow is doing just that, “buckling in” to offseason training that will certainly improve his chances of finding a home under center in the NFL. His work with Weinke may not make him an All-Pro signal-caller, but teams will take notice of improved mechanics if given the chance to see Tebow in action.
No one will argue Tebow’s work ethic and desire to succeed. If he intends to improve his throwing motion, there’s little that will stop him from doing just that.
The results of Tebow’s offseason work remain to be seen. A lot of question marks remain, but improving on his biggest flaw as an NFL quarterback should at least be enough to create more opportunities for success going forward.