Tim Tebow: Is the NFL Ready for Tebow?

Jon LioncourtContributor ISeptember 29, 2010

Against KY - Gators Stompt at the Swamp
Against KY - Gators Stompt at the Swamp

As a Jacksonville resident myself, I have a firm grasp on our economy and the sensation of football both relating to the Jacksonville Jaguars and that which extends to the University of Florida Gators to Florida State. Tebow has nothing to do with the Jaguars, although he could have, except that he also lives here (or at least did). Economy and football have a lot to do with each other in this town as in many others. I need not discuss the Jaguars drafts.

The debate on whether Tim Tebow is ready for the NFL is a question left to the experts (who really aren’t); I, not being one of them. I had not watched a football game in my life until a buddy dragged me to the Swamp for my first game ever last year in 2009 between the Gators and KY, a lame game so I was told. So, my expertise is limited, however my opinion of what this game has done to a novice is rather incredible. In particular, Tim Tebow and Riley Cooper are those who instilled a love for this game to me, because they know how to play, and to play as a team.

From the perspective of a “newbe” Tebow has exhibited incredible star power, but that’s not how I saw him at first. I see him as a great player; not a celebrity although I know he is. My buddy showed me his photo on “Sports Illustrated” prior to any game and I was not particularly impressed. Nice looking, but so what? I did not know who he was. So I went into this with a fresh mind; I had not been jaded by any press, any “expert” opinions or any knowledge of the sport of football. I did not know that a “snap” didn’t go with a “crackle and pop”.

There I was in the stadium at the University of Florida watching a game I knew nothing about; not knowing how important this all was. I had seen Gator stickers and license plates and now I was where all that started. After the kick off, everyone was standing and I didn’t know why, but soon I did. As the game progressed I saw some great plays. I then began to study what these guys were doing. I looked at the strategy and somehow understood it. I began to stand when the Gators would pull off a good pass or a touchdown. I appreciated this from the opposing team also. A good play is a good play, isn’t it?

There were many games to follow but against LSU, Tebow delivered a pass that I could have never expected to happen. I was still new to this but had seen a few games. LSU’s defense was about to tackle him after the snap and he started to throw to the left. He cocked his arm twice for the pass and then twisted himself at the last second and threw to the right before he went down. Cooper caught it in the end zone for the touchdown. No one in that stadium knew he was going to change the direction of that pass. It was brilliant.

In a recent article here on Bleacher Report, I stated:

“As a newbe to football (2009 was first season), my opinion might not count for much. But I can say no matter what the sport, if a player doesn’t play he cannot improve. Practice fields won’t cut it for an entire year. Tebow has just come from an all but perfect season, losing only one game albeit college, but, that’s where they all come from. That to me is quite impressive. I’ve seen Tebow’s throws. I’ve seen impossible passes that even faked me out; and I was there at the Swamp. I wasn’t limited to camera angles; I saw the entire field."

Tebow is not a national celebrity because he is handsome (although he is); it’s because, by some measure, he is the best QB to come out of college in recent history. I’m sure I need not cite his accomplishments here. It bothers me that some say, “He’s not ready”. Really? How do you know that? Ready for what? Maybe the NFL is the one who’s not ready for Tebow. I don’t compare him to Orton or any other player. He has his own style which is true, and that is an asset.

So, this back and forth argument is really moot until he plays. Then the ones who say he can’t play will know and the ones who say he can will also know. I have no reservations about a guy that left his last college year at 14-1. That was not an accident and to me shows great talent. That talent should not go to waste. Someone’s going to be eating their words here. I’d rather be on the positive side of this coin. I say Tebow is ready for whatever the naysayer’s claim he isn’t.

Tim Tebow loves the game; something which seems to be missing in my short tenure in this whole thing when it comes to the NFL. Will he play? Can he play? What will he do? I have your answer and I know less that you do. Tebow needs to play before any of us can speculate on his abilities.