It's the biggest enigma of the 2010 NFL Draft: Where will Tim Tebow end up?
Face it: That will be debated right up until his name is called in New York this April. There are multiple teams with multiple reasons for drafting Tebow, but one team came up recently that absolutely boggled my mind.
The Green Bay Packers.
Upon first glance, the move makes no sense. Tebow has been touted as a project, and his throwing motion needs to change. The Packers have a likely franchise quarterback in Aaron Rodgers, so Tebow wouldn't be brought in as a potential starter.
Also, his struggles taking snaps from under center during the Senior Bowl are well- documented. As a rookie, it's highly likely Tebow would see most game action in some kind of Wildcat formation. Packers coach Mike McCarthy hasn't even sniffed around installing the Wildcat in Green Bay, so that's another strike against Tebow.
Some have suggested that Tebow could switch positions and play tight end. But the Packers already have their tight end of the future in Jermichael Finley and a solid No. 2 in Donald Lee.
Unless Tebow can play offensive line, it seems like he has no place in Green Bay.
So why is Tebow to Green Bay suddenly gaining momentum during this period of endless analysis that leads up to the NFL draft?
Here are three reasons:
1. The Packers Have No Confidence in Matt Flynn
It is common knowledge that if Rodgers goes down, so do the Packers playoff chances. Backup Matt Flynn only saw action in mop-up duty this season, so the Packers have no idea what they really have in him. He has shown flashes, but he has also shown struggles.
So why would Tebow be an upgrade to Flynn in the eyes of the Packers? For one, Tebow's leadership skills at Florida are the stuff of legend. The offense wouldn't lose any edge if Tebow went in to replace Rodgers.
Tebow's abilities would also give McCarthy a strategic advantage. When your starting quarterback goes down, coaches usually have to go to "Plan B." However, with Tebow, McCarthy's Plan B would look totally different from Plan A, throwing the opposition for a loop.
By forcing opponents to prepare for only a potential Tebow appearance would divert time from game planning for Rodgers—who is actually the more dangerous quarterback.
2. Mike McCarthy Is One of the Best QB Mentors in the League
Exhibit A for this claim: Rodgers. When McCarthy came to Green Bay, Rodgers was entering his second year and harboring a cold relationship with then-starter Brett Favre. Favre had done very little to take Rodgers under his wing, and Rodgers just sat there, wanting to be coached.
Before he was drafted, Rodgers' arm strength, mobility, and leadership were all drawn into question—and no doubt helped him fall from potential No. 1 pick to the tail end of the first round.
Fast forward to 2010. Rodgers led all NFL quarterbacks in rushing. He throws one of the best deep balls in the league, and there is no doubt whose team the Packers are. While Rodgers' physical skills were obviously underestimated, behind every good quarterback is a good coach.
Looking even farther back, if McCarthy could turn Aaron Brooks into a star, there's hope for Tebow.
3. Tebow Wears His Heart on His Sleeve—and Under His Eyes
While Tebow's outspokenness about his religion and beliefs has been well-touted, it isn't necessarily a negative. While the Bible verses on the eye black may rub people the wrong way, this wouldn't be anything new to the Packers.
They had a certain defensive end named Reggie White in the 1990s who was just as—or maybe even more—outspoken on social and religious issues as Tebow is. Is White vilified? Yeah, right. White is probably the second- or third-most beloved Packer ever.
Now take a look at the current Packers roster. Now name one prima donna on that team. Bet you can't. That's exactly why Tebow would fit in. The Packers have a solid group of men who respect one another and their beliefs. You can't say that about a lot of NFL teams.
Not to mention, he'd be a hit with the people of Green Bay. People up there are very religious, as well, and they hold Packers' players to higher standards than most other cities do with their NFL players. Just ask Mark Chmura.
This may all be for nothing. Tebow could end up anywhere in the league. All he needs is a team to take a chance on him. He could succeed, or he could flop. It's all part of the fun leading up to the NFL draft.
Oh, and memo to the NCAA: Hurry up with your tournaments. April can't get here soon enough.
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