With all of the buzz surrounding Super Bowl XLVIII, all of the focus should be on players that are currently on the field, right? Apparently not.
Before the Denver Broncos take on the Seattle Seahawks in the 2014 Super Bowl, talks about a former quarterback for the Broncos have started heating up again. No, not John Elway. Discussions about whether or not Tim Tebow could have lead a team to this game have actually been taking place.
In fact, a man even showed up to the Super Bowl Media Day with a Tebow jersey on from his days with the New York Jets, according to Jesse Spector of Sporting News:
Here's a fella in a Tim Tebow jersey. pic.twitter.com/6CDGwMJOsz— Jesse Spector (@jessespector) January 28, 2014
Matt Miller of Bleacher Report provides a screen shot of a debate on First Take about—prepare yourselves—whether or not Tebow could lead the San Francisco 49ers to the Super Bowl over Colin Kaepernick:
OK, now with that out of the way, let's discuss the path that Tebow should follow rather than pursuing Skip Bayless' idea of finding a spread option offense to lead to the Super Bowl.
The first part of the Tebow equation is looking at him as an actual quarterback in the NFL. Tebow won quite a few games and did so in the fourth quarter, which was phrased as "Tebow Time," but his numbers simply weren't of the same caliber of several franchise quarterbacks.
One quarterback that was questioned constantly this past season was Robert Griffin III. The same quarterback who was seen as a savior for the Washington Redskins back in 2012 was benched after 14 games for his poor play in 2013.
But a look at a comparison of Griffin III in 2013 and Tebow in 2011—the year he led the Broncos to the playoffs—shows that even in a system like the spread option of the Redskins wouldn't improve the team and get them to the postseason. Just for fun, let's throw in Kaepernick's numbers from this season as well.
|Name||Pass Yds||Comp %||TD||INT||Rush Yds||Rush TD|
|Griffin III '13||3,197||58.4||21||8||524||4|
Perhaps the numbers in the running game for Tebow were much better and the amount of interceptions thrown were down from both other players, but the completion percentage from his inaccuracy is what really jumps out.
Ironically enough, the numbers of Kaepernick and Griffin III led to people wondering if they were having down years. So it's no wonder more teams won't take a chance on him, especially after Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum ridiculed his own decision to bring in Tebow, according to John Breech of CBS Sports:
Obviously we made a couple mistakes -- trading for Tim Tebow most notably. But I would say beyond that, but we [could have done a better job with the bottom of our roster], especially toward the end.
Tim obviously didn't play well in the preseason with New England, but he's a guy (who's) incredibly passionate about his career. I would never bet against Tim. We used to have an expression that Tim's the type of guy who's either going to be successful or die trying. His relentlessness and passion—I would think he'll get another opportunity.
Notice that Tannenbaum stayed away from any sort of praise in the second comments, but rather said that he's very passionate and he wants to be successful. None of this has ever been questioned about Tebow, but his actual success simply hasn't translated to the NFL game.
Should Tebow get another shot in the NFL as a quaterback?
While Tebow was able to lead the Broncos to a playoff win back in 2011, it was more due to the defense. In the seven wins that Tebow earned to close out the regular season, the Broncos defense allowed an average of only 16.7 points, while the offense struggled to get on track until the fourth quarter.
What we do know about Tebow is that he has excelled thus far as an analyst for ESPN and will do so for the SEC Network when it kicks off in August. Tebow was a great college quarterback and he thoroughly understands the game at the college level.
His breakdown of the BCS National Championship Game shows that he has a career as an analyst and should continue to pursue that endeavor. Just as Tannenbaum said previously, he is very passionate about the game.
Tebow just needs to focus solely on showing that passion in the booth, rather than on the field.