Raiders vs. Broncos Monday Night: If Cam Newton Can Succeed, Why Not Tim Tebow?

Cian FaheyFeatured ColumnistSeptember 12, 2011

GAINESVILLE, FL - NOVEMBER 17:  Cameron Newton of the Florida Gators breaks a tackle during a  game against the FAU Owls at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on November 17, 2007 in Gainesville, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

Every NFL quarterback has an issue or two, and no quarterbacks are more scrutinized for those issues than young high draft picks who will apparently take a long time to adjust to the NFL.

Two quarterbacks who fall under that category are Tim Tebow and Cam Newton.

Newton was considered a risk by many when he was selected No. 1 overall in June by the Carolina Panthers. There were a lot of draft analysts that pointed to his accuracy and inability to read NFL defenses or even understand complex offenses to say he should be a top pick.

He wasn't even considered a top-10 pick by a lot of ESPN and NFL analysts before it became clear that the Panthers were going to select him first overall.

Newton went on to disprove his doubters from the onset with a record breaking performance against the Arizona Cardinals last night. His accuracy and ability to read defense wasn't an issue as he passed for 422 yards with only one interception.

His lone turnover wasn't a glaringly bad decision or incredibly poor pass. It was a slightly inaccurate ball that I've seen many veterans throw.

Yet very few people actually believed that Newton could even start in the NFL before a year or two of adjustments. The thing about Newton is that once he gets on the field he is going to just play football and do what made him a star at Auburn.

Often times, as analysts, we over-complicate things or read too much into the minor details of a player.

No player has suffered more because of this than Tim Tebow in Denver.

If the Denver Broncos had taken the same approach with Tim Tebow, he could definitely be the team's starting quarterback tonight. In fact the style of offense that John Fox normally runs is a very quarterback friendly one and should allow Tebow to perform even now without it being tailored to his strengths.

When you just look at Tebow on the field and ignore the mechanical issues—that are undoubtedly there—and the poor accuracy, he does still get the job done. In his three starts last season as a rookie, he put up at least 23 points in every game.

Throughout the whole season he scored 11 touchdowns to four turnovers with both his feet and his arm. He may not be Cam Newton but Tebow was the starter ahead of Newton during his one season at Florida.

In fact, that year Newton was the team's third choice quarterback and he had to transfer because he couldn't get on the field ahead of Tebow.

Newton had about as many question marks over his head as Tebow did coming into the NFL, but the Panthers have gotten an early reward from going all in with their youngster and allowing him every chance to develop and excel.

The Broncos haven't done that with Tebow. They have been cautious and held him out in favor of Kyle Orton who, while being impressive, hasn't allowed the team to contend. There is no point in playing a stop gap at quarterback if your team is not competing and you have a guy with potential behind him.

The Denver Broncos should learn from the Carolina Panthers and start Tim Tebow tonight and for the coming season. Judging him in practice will never be the same as judging him in the game as Cam Newton proved last night.