Can Tim Tebow Find a Home with the Montreal Alouettes?
Tim Tebow was released by the New York Jets following the NFL draft. As a result, he's a displaced player looking for a new place to call home.
Moon, a Hall of Fame quarterback in both the CFL and NFL, said (the NY Daily News):
“You have to be able to throw the ball up there if anything and they throw the ball a lot. There are only three downs so the passing game is much more important up there. You have got to be able to throw it and I think that’s his biggest problem, just being [able] to complete passes, be an accurate passer. I think he’s a really good athlete playing the position but I don’t think that’s enough sometimes.”
Statistically speaking, Moon might be right.
Last year in the CFL, quarterbacks averaged 33.2 pass attempts per game and 21 completions. Anthony Calvillo, Montreal's pivot since 2002 and the CFL's all-time leader in passing yards, pass completions and touchdown passes, threw 555 times last year.
By contrast, when Tebow was a starter for the Denver Broncos in 2011, he attempted just 271 passes in 14 games and completed only 46.5 percent of them. That's almost half of the CFL average for pass attempts per game and 17 percent lower than the normal success rate.
His college numbers at Florida paint a similar picture. His busiest passing season was his sophomore year in 2007 when he threw 317 passes, completing a very solid 68.5 percent of them and earning the Heisman Trophy. Still that was just 22.6 pass attempts per game, well short of the CFL average.
Calvillo is signed with the Alouettes for two more years and is showing few signs of slowing down. He was second in the CFL in attempts, yards and passing touchdowns last year, and fourth in QB rating. Were Tebow to sign with Montreal, he could reasonably expect to be playing second fiddle to Calvillo until 2015, which means taking on a similar role as he had in New York.
He could, however, be used more frequently in short-yardage situations and stunt plays, where the CFL game lends itself to more creative play-calling.
Picking up first downs in 3rd-and-inches scenarios could become a common role for him, and his size and running ability would also give him a significant advantage over Calvillo in quarterback keeper plays and give him a handful of opportunities each and every game, something he did not have with the Jets.
Likewise, dropping Tebow into a fullback role on a regular basis would give the Alouettes some interesting options-play possibilities, which could spread defenses paper thin and open up holes to exploit.
In the meantime, two years behind one of the all-time great quarterbacks in CFL history could pay significant dividends in terms of giving the kid a chance to develop his throwing abilities up to a CFL standard.
The CFL entry draft happens on Monday, May 6, with Montreal owning the third and fifth picks overall. Whether or not they opt to add more depth in the quarterback position will say a lot about whether they have an interest in signing Tebow to a contract.
If they don't select a quarterback with one of their eight picks, it could mean there is room for Tebow to sign with the Alouettes and try to earn a roster spot north of the border.
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