Tim Tebow: 10 Things We Learned from His First NFL Preseason Snaps
Tim Tebow made his long-awaited NFL debut last night. After all the news of his haircut, the Broncos depth chart, and everything else, we finally saw Tim Tebow on an NFL gridiron.
While we do not learn much from the NFL preseason, Tim Tebow's performances will be dissected and analyzed to seemingly no end. We aren't going to determine whether Tim Tebow will succeed in this league by how he plays against an opponent's third-team defense.
However, even in the first preseason game there are still things to know about the Broncos quarterback's performance.
He's Physical Enough
Tebow was praised for his toughness and relentless ability at the college level. We saw that last night when Tebow put his head down and run for a touchdown late in the fourth quarter. Tebow's big frame and linebacker-like build are going to survive in this league.
Good First Impression
As mentioned, Tebow faced the Bengals third team defense with players who may not even make the team. However, Tebow still went 8-for-13 with 105 yards.
Tebow demonstrated good vision for the field and felt pressure in the pocket.
Tebow is getting used to the NFL speed of the game but he executed and, at this point, the expectations shouldn't be much higher.
The Release Needs Work
The talk about Tim Tebow's pre-draft workouts focused on his throwing motion and mechanics. Tebow went to great lengths to show how his mechanics were improved but having scouts from all over the league travel to see just how he threw a ball.
In one preseason game, we've seen that his mechanics still need work. A number of times during his performance Tebow's elbow dropped and his release point lacked the more over-the-top style coaches want to see from him.
He Got His Welcoming
Defensive players always want to get the big shot on the rookie. Bengals safety Jeromy Miles got a crushing hit on Tebow which resulted in a fumble and a touchdown going the other way. Fortunately for Tebow, the play was overturned but he nevertheless picked himself up, dusted himself off, and kept going.
He Will Air It Out
Most of the plays called for Tebow were rather conservative: an outlet pass here, a simple out pattern there, and designed short-yardage plays.
However, Tebow nearly had his first big NFL highlight when he launched a 35-yard pass down field to Matt Willis. The ball was put right on the money, but Willis' tough drop made the receiver look bad and took a nice chunk out of Tebow's final stat line.
Vision Needs Work
Tebow finished without an interception on his stat line, but there were a couple times when a flustered Tebow hurled ill-advised passes into traffic which were nearly picked off. When pressure broke down around him, Tebow got happy feet and pulled the "eject cord" on his passes.
Tebow showed he can work with the speed of the game, but his decision making needs work.
He Can Be a Red Zone Threat
Tim Tebow began his college career as a red zone threat for the Florida Gators. It appears he can be that same kind of threat in the Broncos offense after he bullrushed through two players en route to his first touchdown.
With questions at running back for the Broncos in the short term, Tebow could be their oft-used battering ram inside the 10-yard line.
He Could Be No. 2 Very Soon
Tebow wasn't outstanding in his first preseason game, but Brady Quinn certainly didn't help his case to remain the No. 2 quarterback behind Kyle Orton.
Tebow's performace, though at times very vanilla, was nothing compared to the ugly showing by Quinn who went 6-for-16 with an interception returned for a touchdown. Quinn constantly looked rushed and locked onto his primary targets which made him very easy to read.
The backup job was not decided after the Broncos' first preseason game, but another combination of performances like this from Tebow and Quinn and Tebow may be first off the bench.
Ohioans Still Hate Tebow
Whether Ohio State fans still licking wounds from the 2007 BCS Championship Game or Cincinnati fans still reeling from Florida's destruction of the Bearcats in the 2010 Sugar Bowl, Ohioans have no love for Tebow.
Tebow was met with a resounding chorus of boos when he came off the bench in the third quarter and that is unlikely to change no matter when he next steps onto a field in Ohio.
We Still Don`t Know Anything
Everything about Tebow's first game will be broken down and dissected (including in this slideshow), but the fact remains that this was Tebow's first preseason game. He still has a long way to go just in this camp season before we get a chance to see him in regular season action against first team defenses.
Tebow will likely see more time as the team's No. 2 quarterback as the preseason schedule rolls along, but for now it is best not to make a mountain out of a mole hill regarding his successes and shortcomings.