June Jones was right.
I didn't think so at the time he said it. But, the more I think about it. The more I see Tim Tebow and the things he does.
The more I hear the word "legend" thrown around when describing Tebow's athletic feats or even his inhuman training regimen or his unmatched competitiveness. The more I realize that June Jones was right.
Although, I don't know if Jones even realizes he was right, considering he himself didn't believe what he was saying when he said it!
The reality is Tebow is the only true "system" quarterback to ever play the game. You see, Tebow is in fact a system unto himself.
Every other QB in the past relied on a system to allow them to function. Pocket passers rely on a pocket passing system.
We don't even realize what a contrived system it is because it's been in vogue for so long. Pocket passers rely on great receivers and incredibly complex and contrived passing routes and cuts, misdirection and guile.
Pocket passers rely on their running backs to pound the ball up the middle to open the passing lanes and take pressure off their receivers.
Pocket passers rely on their linemen to create the pocket for them to operate in a sea of tranquility.
The reality is that all of this is a system. Pocket passers are system players.
This is where Tebow is different. He relies less on a system than any other QB before him. Tebow himself is the system. His linemen create no pocket. His line is like a sieve.
Defenders are pouring through, hitting Tebow or pressuring him on every play before he even has a chance to catch the ball, yet Tebow uses his running ability to elude these defenders and get a pass off with a 6-foot-7 defensive lineman in his face.
Tebow uses his Pro Bowl linebacker's body to absorb monster hits while he is getting his passes off under immense pressure or to throw off would-be tacklers.
He uses his running back's speed that is the equal of Dennis Dixon and Vince Young to run both inside and outside of the tackles. This in turn opens his receivers' passing game and opens up lanes for his running backs rather than the other way around.
He uses his elite arm to take pressure of his own running game and his running backs.
No QB in history has had as many options as Tebow. Critics said Tebow amassed 55 touchdowns last season because he was running them in from two to five yards out.
But they ignore the fact that Tebow's running was what got his team to within a couple yards of the end zone in the first place.
Tebow wasn't filling the role of a finesse runner last season like other running QBs. He was the one pounding the ball up the middle, opening the perimeter for his receivers.
People don't realize it, but last season Tebow was filling the two toughest positions in football by himself: that of the prime running back, running the ball between the tackles; and the quarterback.
This is different than any other QB in the past. No other running QB has been as adept at both running and passing as Tebow, nor as durable on top of it.
Tebow is able to pound out the tough yards up the middle, as well as the finesse yards outside the tackles. Though people haven't seen his finesse running game enough, because he hasn't had a between-the-tackles running back to complement him. And he doesn't need them to function either.
Tebow is the low post player of running QB's. He is the Tim Duncan or Shaq of running QBs, where Mike Vick and Vince Young were the Kobe's and AI's of running QBs. Volume shooters. Perimeter players.
It's the low post players who win championships. Although Tebow can pass the ball like a true pocket passer, too, making him a Tim Duncan who can hit his free throws and three pointers as well.
Tebow doesn't run because he can't pass. He runs because if Tom Brady or Peyton Manning could run like Tebow they would do it, too. And they would be far better for it.
Defenses are too fast nowadays. Peyton Manning is as good a pure passer as we have ever seen, yet he only has one championship. Why is that?
The league has a dirty secret. One they don't even realize they have. One that is smacking them in the face, yet they refuse to accept it.
The pure pocket passer is dead. And he's been dead for awhile.
But the NFL is too slow to adapt, too uncreative to build the right kinds of systems around the more athletic QBs that could be cultivated.
The college game is like a looking glass to the NFL future. They can experiment like the NFL can't.. they don't have to worry about 10-year veterans being unable to fit into their system if traded for or signed.
This is why the spread is propagating so rapidly in the college game. There is too much athletic parity in college. In the pros, offenses don't have the advantage they did in recent years. Defenses are too big, fast and strong across the board.
Pocket passers can't be protected like they were in the past. Look at Brady in the Super Bowl. Even with his stellar offensive line, he was pounded savagely. Look at Peyton Manning: the best pocket passer of this era, yet he only has one championship.
In the 70s or 80s, he would probably have three or four championships, at least. Just the other day, Brady and the opposing QB both went down in the same game, Brady for the season. Both are pure pocket passers.
I saw the same thing in a game last season. Two NFL pocket passers went down in the same game with serious injuries.
Other offensive systems of the past relied on all different elements of the offense working together to allow the QB to be successful and all kinds of contrived offensive maneuvers to make them work or dominant players at other positions like Randy Moss or TO as a receiver or Brandon Jacobs as a running back.
Tebow is the prime mover of his offense unlike any QB before. The Tebow system relies on making the game as simple as imaginable, rather than as complex as imaginable. This illustrates why it in fact is a system devoid of a system.
This is what separates Tebow. This is why if Tebow is a system QB it is a system unlike any we have ever seen. It is the Tim Tebow system.
The only question is...will the NFL be smart enough to let him use it? I think they will.
I think Tebow will force the league to realize that running athletic QB's are superior if used properly. It took someone like Tebow, who is way ahead of his time, who spontaneously developed, to act as the impetus for change.