Know Your Role: Tim Tebow's Likely Contribution To the 2010 Broncos

Eric GalkoFeatured ColumnistJune 16, 2010

ENGLEWOOD, CO - APRIL 23:  Tim Tebow is introduced by the Denver Broncos at a press conference at the Broncos Headquarters in Dove Valley on April 23, 2010 in Englewood, Colorado. The Broncos picked Tebow in the first round of the 2010 NFL draft.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

When Tim Tebow first appeared on the football scene, he was a super-hyped freshman with one of the most unique skill sets for a quarterback the football world had ever seen.

In Tim Tebow's first college season he had only two games with more than three pass attempts, and a total of five touchdowns and one interception. With Chris Leak at the helm, his passing skills weren't necessary for the BCS champion Gators.

But Tebow still found a way to impact the game at quarterback without even throwing the ball.

Tebow averaged just over six rushes a game as a freshman, and scored a rushing touchdown in his first career rush attempt and six more over the course of the season, including one in the BCS title game against Ohio State.

Why are his freshman stats relevant to his present stance on the Denver Broncos depth chart?

Just like when he came into college, he's not ready to be effective as a passer . It seems rare that a quarterback will sit for a majority of the season anymore; in the past ten years only Aaron Rodgers and Carson Palmer didn't register a start as a QB drafted in the first round in their first season.

But that is the assumed case for Tebow, as his throwing motion, footwork, release, and a host of other quarterback intricacies need drastic improvement before he can be a dropback, 15-20 attempts type of a quarterback.

Like his freshman season at Florida, Tebow's stat columns are likely going to be filled with more rush attempts than passing opportunities. While the Broncos won't use their first round pick as a battering ram on every "3rd and 2" or "4th and inches", Tebow's versatility could provide them with a solid red zone option at the very least by adding a weapon of a running back who can throw.

The Broncos ranked 25th last season in Red Zone scoring percentage, settling for field goals more than 50 percent of the time. They had only eight rushing touchdowns last season as a team. Tebow won't make this team one of the best in the league in those two categories, but Tebow's strength, intensity, and a need for teams to prepare for him in the red zone adds a greater chance for both of those figures to go up.

Kyle Orton is likely much more concerned with Brady Quinn taking his job if he should struggle than Tim Tebow. Tebow is the future star of this team and it wouldn't surprise me to hear Tebow chants in the stands if the Broncos have a rough start.

But with the Jaguars first on the docket for the Broncos in Jacksonville, there could be a huge cry for Tebow to be in the game from his Gator supporters. Tebow won't start opening day, and most likely won't get close to a start in his first season. But he'll be a contributor all season and will continue to be Josh McDaniels pet project for at least a year.


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