Thursday, December 13, 2007

Tim Tebow : The Legend Continues...

Davey O'Brien, Maxwell & Heisman trophy winner. All SEC First Team, SEC Offensive Player of the year, and number one choice of parents to marry their daughters. This is not a wish list folks; this is the life of Timothy Richard Tebow.

The miracle baby whose parents' chose to go forward with his birth after doctors advised them to have an abortion. Tebow is the All-American boy who wasn't even born in America. Tebow was actually born in the Philippines while his parents were serving as Christian Missionaries. He was heavily recruited out of High-School and didn't even really attend High School. Tebow was homeschooled by his mother Pam. The state of Florida allows homeschooled students to compete in athletic events as long as the school is in the county and district the student resides in.Tebow has even inspired the state of Alabama to allow home schooled athletes to participate in school athletics; "The Tim Tebow" bill is currently pending in Alabama legislature. Tim Tebow is a wonder on and off the field. The question is will his amazing story be one of just another great college player or will he be able to have the success on Sundays that he's currently having on Saturday.

Measuring the success of past Heisman trophy winners, Tebow's future is very hit or miss. The past four QBs who have won the Heisman are Carson Palmer, Jason White, Matt Leinart and Troy Smith. Only Palmer has established himself as a franchise QB. White never made it in the NFL, briefly signing with the Tennessee Titans before quitting due to "bad knees". Leinart has had an up and down career so far. In his 2 seasons he has shown flashes of greatness and flashes of not so greatness before injuring himself this season. Troy Smith started this season as the Ravens 3rd QB and saw some action during Week 14, but he's not considered their QB of the future.

When it comes to his on the field talents many experts and analysts are referring to Tebow as the prototype of "tomorrow's quarterback." He's a big kid,(6-3 235), who can run and throw the ball with equal skill. However, many question whether Tebow is a system quarterback or if his running/throwing style will translate in the NFL. Hawaii Head Coach June Jones even spoke out on ESPN recently that Colt Brennan is a better QB than Tebow because Tebow is more of a "system quarterback". I was recently given some quotes from Michael Tanier, an analyst at Pro Football Prospectus about Tebow. Tanier said "Tebow is the ultimate system quarterback. Unfortunately, the system has nothing to do with NFL football". "Tebow is rarely standing in the pocket, working through a progression of reads, and finding an open receiver, you don't have a lot to base an evaluation on, and we know almost nothing about his play recognition skills." Tanier added.

Tanier also made some interesting comparisons. Most notably to Ben Roethlisberger, who is of the same size(6-5 241) and mold of Tebow. Roethisberger is a linebacker under center who can run and throw very similar to Tebow. Also, coming out of college there were some questions about Roethisberger being a "system quarterback" because his Miami (OH) system was very shotgun friendly. However, Roethisberger's system was a little closer to an NFL system than that of Urban Meyer's spread misdirection based offense. Another name brought up was Alex Smith. I myself like this comparison because Smith played in the Urban Meyer system at Utah. Smith is roughly in the same mold (6-4 212), a little bit lighter than Tebow, but his abilities and playing style are very similar. They have both enjoyed great success in Meyer's offense at college. However, that great play has not translated over to the NFL for Smith. To his credit he has had three different offensive coordinators in three seasons and he's not surrounded by the best talent in San Francisco, but Smith himself has shown little of the potential the Niners thought he had when they selected him number one overall in the 2005 Draft.

Looking forward, the best thing Tebow has going for him is time. He's is heading into his junior season at Florida as a Heisman trophy winner with a national championship ring, something nobody before him has done. He has a least one more season to prove the critics wrong about his pocket passing ability. Conversely he also has at least another year of being exposed as a potential "system quarterback". I recently spoke to's Matt Mosley about Tebow's NFL prospects and he said "insert quote here". Will he be the next Big Ben or will he be Alex Smith? Nobody can say right now, but one thing is for sure, he's fun to watch and I can't wait to see how the rest of this story book career unfolds.

Plus Chuck Norris likes him

"Dear Tim,

I'm sure you are receiving thousands of congratulations, and I'd like to add mine to the list. You are not only an incredible athlete, but from what I have read about you, an incredible person as well. My wife and I want to wish you the very best in your football season next year, which we will be watching, and also in all of your other endeavors.

A friend,

Chuck Norris (signed)"

How can you not like this kid?