Jon Gruden likes to rant.
Jon Gruden likes to rave.
Jon Gruden likes quarterbacks.
A lot of them, and as former Tampa Bay Buccaneer quarterback Jeff Garcia once said in so many words, Gruden likes to date quarterbacks, he just doesn't want to marry one.
Gruden loves Tim Tebow. So what else is new? Gruden gushes over just about every quarterback he meets. It's easy to gush when you're not coaching them.
By now you've probably heard about the latest gush from Chucky, Tampa Bay's affectionate nickname for its former coach who once had four quarterbacks on a roster.
It goes something like this:
Wow, can you believe that?
Thanks Chucky, we would have never figured out that guys in the NFL are hard-nosed and competitive. Wow!
Really now, is there no end to Gruden's gushing?
What really is amazing is the part where Gruden tells us that Tebow has convinced "a lot of people."
Evidently one of those was not Denver Bronco coach John Fox. It took a total failure by Kyle Orton to move Tebow from the bench to the starting lineup in Miami in two weeks.
Hard-nosed and competitive is one thing, but there are a lot of hard-nosed, competitive souls out there who simply can't cut it as starting quarterbacks in the National Football League.
If you want a room full of competitive, hard-nosed guys, you can take just about every starting quarterback in the NFL and throw them in there. Sorry, Jay Cutler, you'll have to wait outside.
The irony in all of this is that Gruden is probably the last guy on the planet who would play a rookie quarterback if he was a head coach somewhere.
When Tebow takes the field down in Miami next week, sure, the competitive part will show. Tebow's plenty tough—you can't take that away from him. But he still has to have the ability to read defenses, make the right decisions and complete the tough throws.
That's where competitiveness and being hard-nosed don't count. If you can't read defenses, check down to secondary receivers, audible out of calls when a big-time blitz is coming—if you can't thread the needle when the heat's on, well, being competitive and hard-nosed will simply get you a ticket to the bench.
When it comes to heart and desire, Tim Tebow has way more than his fair share.
When it comes to skills of a prototype NFL quarterback, well, that's when the confusion comes into play.
Tebow was the master of the spread offense at the University of Florida. There's no spread offense in Denver.
With that in mind, Tebow has a lot to prove in the performance department on Sundays.
He's shown flashes. Now he'll have a chance to show if he can be a starter in Denver.
Otherwise, he'll be just another competitive, hard-nosed guy who isn't a starting quarterback in the National Football League.