After four years of almost nothing but praise in Gainesville, Tim Tebow’s playing style has been brought into question more and more when discussing the 2010 draft in terms of his game translating into the NFL.
At the college level a physically impressive athlete does not need to develop all the traditional skills of the quarterback position. We have witnessed it before, and will again, when the QB can carry a team with his legs, there is really no reason not to.
There is no questioning Tebow’s work ethic. Over his college career we have witnessed him drag his team to victory. He has done everything the coaches have asked him to improve. Reports of his dedication to working out and film study are well known.
No one is questioning Tebow on if he is a winner, either. There is no doubt about this. There is no question he was surrounded by some of the best athletes in the NCAA during his career, but he was who the Gators looked upon when they needed a play.
What we saw from his college career is a natural born leader who is willing to work to get where he needs to be. The thing with college football is the fact that it is a big business. Coaches can’t afford the time to develop a well rounded skill set for each player, if they can simply take advantage of the players strengths and how they fit into the offense.
This isn’t really a bad thing. It is a cutthroat world in college just like the pros. It is hard to fault the Florida staff for using Tebow’s physical running style, and relying on short passes to his athletic wide receivers to move the ball. This was effective enough for two national championships and Heisman trophy. Who is to say that was the wrong thing to do?
What Tebow is now showing us is his ability to adapt to teaching. It isn’t so much that he has been unable to ever tweak his footwork and throwing motion, rather it has never been the main focus. He has been able to find great success with a looping throwing motion and average footwork. That works just fine when you are a better athlete than most on the field.
The NFL offers a bit more parity in the level of athlete playing so unless you have amazing speed like Michael Vick, you are going to have to adjust your game. Tebow has shown a willingness to do not only this, but show remarkable progress in the process.
For the first time Tebow is being asked to tighten up his throwing motion and improve his footwork. It may just be the beginning, but the changes already are very impressive. Watching the video it was hard to believe it was the same guy throwing the ball.
Tebow has always had the physical tools, intelligence, and work ethic to succeed as a NFL Quarterback. The question has been how well he would be able to adapt to a different offensive system, could he really change his throwing motion, or has it been tried before and scrapped because he was unable to do it? With the progress we have witnessed already, it is hard to bet against Tebow.
Tebow might not be the top QB on the boards, and he might not be a first rounder, but this is an athlete with a very high ceiling. The team that takes a chance on Tebow in the later rounds might just find themselves with a potential franchise quarterback-for a bargain price.
If nothing else, for a quarterback who at one point was considered an 'athlete' prospect, Tebow is now watching his stock at his natural position rise. Nothing like someone telling Tebow he can't do something to guarantee he is going to prove you wrong. You can check out a YouTube clip of ESPN showing and discussing the changes to his throwing motion here.