Tim Tebow: Polarizing Jets QB Deserves Another Shot in NFL Under Center

Matt Fitzgerald@@MattFitz_geraldCorrespondent IIIApril 5, 2013

NASHVILLE, TN - DECEMBER 17:  Quarterback Tim Tebow #15 of the New York Jets warms up prior to the game against the Tennessee Titans at LP Field on December 17, 2012 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

It's been rehashed time and again: the argument that New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow can't pass and can't play quarterback in the National Football League.

However, recent trends in the sport—particularly at the very position Tebow apparently can't play—should result in at least one team taking a shot on the former first-round pick at his natural position.

That's right: Tebow's natural position is quarterback. It's all he's ever known. He has always been an outstanding, charismatic leader of men on the gridiron. Sure, his elongated throwing motion and perhaps lackluster grasp of reading an NFL defense count against him.

But the attributes that Tebow brings to the table more than overcome his shortcomings.

It seems outrageous to say that Tebow hasn't gotten a fair shake at a starting gig, especially since he was the No. 25 overall pick in the 2010 draft. Such is the case, though, for whatever reason.

Want to doubt the offensive genius of current New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels? Not a wise move. When he helped seal the decision to draft Tebow as head coach of the Denver Broncos, he clearly had a plan as to how he would utilize the uniquely gifted signal-caller.

In fact, Tebow's second start in the system McDaniels built for him resulted in a rousing comeback victory against the Houston Texans in which Tebow threw for over 300 yards. Yes, they were the worst pass defense in the league that year, but that is still no small-scale performance for a player who allegedly "can't pass."

Now back to the prior hinted trends in the NFL that should give Tebow this starting opportunity: the read-option. One could actually argue Tebow pioneered this movement. After he keyed the Broncos to be the league's top rushing attack due to the success of that play, many other teams began to use it.

Whether it was out of the shotgun or the pistol, it was extremely effective for athletic quarterbacks such as Robert Griffin III, Russell Wilson and Colin Kaepernick.

Check out this game-winning drive from 2011 against the Jets team that has ironically stymied his career by refusing to play him:

Tebow may skip some short passes in the dirt, but the much tighter throwing windows in the NFL explain his significant statistical dip in completion percentage.

Having said that, the effectiveness of the read-option can suck a defense in, and thus leave receivers with much more separation than they would normally have.

Plus, Tebow's accuracy improves the further he throws the ball down the field—when his throwing motion isn't as much of an issue. Ask the Pittsburgh Steelers, who were the No. 1 defense in the league before allowing Tebow to complete 10 passes for 316 yards in a playoff game.

Come on. Simple reads. Play-action off the zone-read option. Intangibles off the charts.

As unconventional as Tebow seems, his game is molded for the future of the quarterback position, with so much room for improvement and an undeniable, profound impact every time he takes the field.

Tebow is worth any minor risk, and he will be a bargain no matter what the asking price is. He has the ability to reinvigorate a struggling franchise as he did in Denver and the athleticism to be successful as part of the new brand of quarterback the NFL is experiencing moving forward.


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