There was an NFL rookie Quarterback whose first year in the NFL produced the following stats: 259 attempts, 123 completions, 1663 yards, seven touchdowns and 14 interceptions. This quarterback also did a fairly decent job rushing the ball, with 146 yards and one touchdown.
Pretty modest stats, eh? I surely must be talking about a guy who was average at best. Perhaps this was Carson Palmer's first year, or Kyle Orton's or maybe even the first year of NFL bust Ryan Leaf, right?
Uhhh... no. This was the first year of Hall-of-Fame QB John Elway in 1983.
Think about that.
Interestingly enough, Elway did not even become known for his fourth-quarter heroics until later that same year.
Were there flashes of brilliance that first year when he threw for twice as many interceptions as he did for touchdowns? Sure they were. But at that early of a date, it could have gone either way. Elway could have been one of the premiere quarterbacks in the league---and as it turned out, he was---or, he could have ended up becoming a career backup.
Much like Tebow, he simply wasn't a known quantity just yet.
With those facts, consider the curious case that is Mr. Tim Tebow. He has played all of four, possibly five games, but according to many, he will never make it because he doesn't fit the typical NFL quarterback style.
Call me crazy, but I'm just not ready to give up on Tebow as of yet. Consider the following:
Joe Montana was 0-1 his first year as a starter. His second year he was a little better at 2-5, and then went 13-3 as a starter in his third. However, he slumped a bit in his fourth year, finishing with a record of 3-6.
Kurt Warner didn't get a chance to have a rookie season; he ended up bagging groceries to supplement his Arena Football salary. When he was finally signed by the Rams in 1999, he wasn't even supposed to start, much less even be a backup.
Fast-forward about 13 years, and there's talk of Warner possibly being a first-ballot Hall-of-Famer.
How about Brett Favre?
A little-known fact about Favre is that he was not drafted by the Packers, but by the Falcons. Jerry Glanville, the Falcons' coach at the time, reportedly said that it "would take a plane crash for me to put him in the game."
When he finally was put in the game, his first pass was intercepted and resulted in a touchdown for the other team. It was a pretty ominous start for him. Fast-forward two decades, and he is also considered by many to be a first-ballot Hall-of-Famer.
There are other quarterbacks in this league who have had less-than-perfect beginnings to their careers, as well. Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Steve Young and even Bart Starr all had ominous beginnings to their legendary careers.
What does this say about Tebow?
What this says is that the first four starts, sometimes even the first couple of seasons, do not necessarily mean someone is a bust. I'm not ready to give up on him yet.
If the Broncos finish 2-14 then yes, we probably should give up on him and pray that we can get Andrew Luck. But I'm simply not convinced yet that the fault rests entirely on Tebow.
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