Monday, October 10, 2011

My now annual Tim Tebow post

Yes, this is a baseball blog... 99.7% of the time. It's also just my blog, so every now and then I like posting about something else. You'll surely understand.

Before I get into Tim Tebow, I think it's always important I point out that I'm in no way a Denver Broncos fan despite my love for the Colorado Rockies. I'm not from Denver myself, I have no emotional connection to other Colorado sports teams, I just had an uncle in the Denver area at the time the Rockies were born that thought it would be cool to send me Rockies gear for my 10th birthday. I thought it was awesome. I loved baseball, but had no loyalty to the Cubs, White Sox, whoever. So I adopted them in 1991, two years before they ever stepped on a big league field.

Anyway, there's that. Now on to this Tebow character.

You think you can get a word in edge wise on Twitter when the Denver Broncos are playing?

Hell no!

Wait, sorry Tim.

Heck no!

My timeline just explodes with positive and negative thoughts on Tebow's performance and his future in the NFL. And that's before he takes the field. When he's actually out there running around, tossing a football, the Tebow spin becomes so relentlessly over-the-top in both directions that I don't think it leaves room for an unbiased opinion.

It just engulfs you. I mean, the same throw will result in everything from "terrible throw" to "he put that ball right where it needed to be". The same throw. It doesn't matter if it's really right on the numbers, overthrown, underthrown, a screen pass, people just have their predetermined response. And my predetermined reaction is to roll my eyes, because it always seems like people are seeing what they want to see, and not trying to absorb what's actually taking place.

Let me tell you what I'm absorbing.

My unbiased opinion on what I've seen is that Tebow is intelligent, tough, and a dynamic athlete with game-changing abilities when put in the right position. He's not a very accurate passer. His mechanics as a QB are lousy, which should surprise no one. That's what scouts have been saying for years.

But the bottom line is, Tebow has had a lot of success in the games he's appeared as a QB. There's no denying that. But there's also no denying a lot of that success has come at the tail end of games when it's desperation mode offensively, and the defense is on their heels a bit. That's not to take away from what he's done. It's a helluva lot more than Kyle Orton can or has done in those spots, so naturally the optimism and excitement is born from that.

I just need to see him make more throws before I'd get overly excited about his prospects as a QB. I need to see him play more in controlled situations, where the pace isn't frenetic. You can't always play that way, because that style doesn't lead to consistent success from the QB position.

I think he's definitely good for a spark. He's a great change of pace to take a defense away from it's game plan. But I'm nowhere near ready to say he's going to be a great QB, or even a decent longterm solution behind center. To some it's a crime to have that viewpoint, much like it's a crime to others to give him any degree of credit. But whatever.

He should be playing QB for Denver right now. Makes no sense for him not to be. And regardless, he's going to be around the NFL for a long time in one role or another. Guys with his talent and overall skill set belong in the NFL because they undoubtedly make football teams better. It's just a matter of how he develops as a passer, and/or how creative an offensive coordinator can be.

All this said, it's entirely possible the work Tebow puts in makes him a good or great QB. I'm not at all saying it can't happen, but I find it foolish when people think he's already proven he is or will be. Just slow down folks. Watch. Enjoy. Let it happen.

It's also possible defensive coordinators find a way to expose his weaknesses and take him out of games entirely. For the people who want to see that. Watch. Squirm. And be prepared to shut up.

To the people who can maintain an unbiased opinion through all this: Good for you! But probably keep it to yourself unless you're prepared to fend off insults from meatball fans on both sides of the argument.