Tim Tebow Must Embrace Non-QB Role to Stay Relevant in 2013

Tyler BrookeSenior Analyst IIApril 23, 2013

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 23: Tim Tebow #15 of the New York Jets leaves the field after loss to San Diego Chargers at MetLife Stadium on December 23, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky /Getty Images)
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

Tim Tebow was unable to make an impact as a quarterback for the New York Jets in 2012.  If he hopes to stay relevant and find ways to help this team win, Tebow must embrace his other talents and assume a role other than playing quarterback in 2013.

Tebow never got to start at quarterback last season, likely due to the stubbornness of Rex Ryan to keep Mark Sanchez in as the starter.  In fact, Tebow only threw eight passes all of last season.  With both Ryan and Sanchez still with the team, it would seem likely that the same scenario would play out again in 2013 if the team struggles.

The odds of Tebow playing quarterback could fall even more this weekend if the Jets decide to draft a quarterback, which is certainly a possibility.

One prospect that could be a possibility is Ryan Nassib out of Syracuse.  Nassib has a strong arm and a quick release and can usually make the big throws that are needed in the NFL.  There is certainly some downside to Nassib, but the Jets have apparently shown interest in Nassib, according to Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com.

With so much controversy surrounding the Jets quarterback position, Tebow needs to make himself useful in other ways.

Tebow may have been able to win games with the Broncos, but he hasn’t been a strong passer.  He has only completed 47.9 percent of his passes over his career, which is simply not acceptable for an NFL quarterback in today’s league.  With a lack of plays under center in 2012, Tebow’s passing numbers likely won't be much better if he manages to get some snaps as a quarterback.

During his first three seasons in the NFL, however, Tebow has been quite effective in the running game.  In 197 rushing attempts, he has run for 989 yards, which is 5.0 yards per carry.  That number may have gone down to 3.2 yards per carry in 2012, but he also ran 90 fewer times from 2011 with the Broncos.

By working more as a runner, Tebow could potentially play as an H-back or tight end in 2013 and would find his way onto the field more often.  It may not be what Tebow wants, but it’s really the only way he would be able to see significant playing time with the Jets this season, especially if Ryan remains as stubborn as he was in 2012.

Improving as a runner this offseason would also make him a bigger threat on special teams.  There were a few times that Tebow was able to make plays on fake punts, and they were able to keep drives going.  While the element of surprise is important as well, a stronger and faster Tebow would help on plays like these.

The future of Tebow’s NFL career is still uncertain, but he needs to find ways to get on the field and make plays.  With all of the talk surrounding Sanchez and potentially drafting another quarterback, Tebow needs to stop focusing on being a passer and start focusing more on contributing in other ways.