The NFL season begins in just one month. So, plenty of stories will be generated from how well (or how poorly) Tim Tebow plays. Getting a jump on the competition, President Barack Obama told a radio audience yesterday that he thought the Tebow trade was a mistake (See President Obama Weighs in on Tebow, Sanchez).
I have re-posted an article below in which I explain why Tim Tebow is a high caliber NFL quarterback (despite his shortcomings). I have made a few corrections and updates because the original article was written while Tebow was a Bronco. The data still holds true, and I still believe the Jets will be glad to have Tim Tebow. –I offer one piece of evidence in MY favor at the end of the post.
TEBOW NOT THE BEST, BUT NOT BAD AT ALL
Tim Tebow is not the best quarterback in the NFL. He isn’t even in the top 5 of NFL quarterbacks. –And I am not a hater! I love Tim Tebow. I have enjoyed following him since he entered the Swamp as a freshman at Florida. Tebow supporters have an obligation to be honest about his abilities and his limitations. So, here is my attempt to assess the value of Tim Tebow to the
Denver Broncos New York Jets and to the NFL. Tim Tebow is the 6th best quarterback in the NFL..
You read me rightly. Tim Tebow is the 6th best quarterback in the NFL right now. You may wonder about the basis of such a statement. My assessment is not the result of some strange, sports calculus. Unlike both the BCS ranking formula and the ESPN QB Ranking conundrum, my assessment is simple and straightforward. My assessment of a quarterback is related directly to how effectively the quarterback scores touchdowns.
There is no need to lock this secret formula into a vault somewhere; it is both simple and transparent, something that cannot be said of typical QB rankings and passer ratings. Here is a very simple way to assess an NFL quarterback. How often does he score a touchdown? On average, on plays in which he is handling the ball, how often does he get the ball in the end zone?
A long, long time ago (it seems now), before Tim Tebow replaced Kyle Orton as the Broncos signal caller, I made the assertion that Tim Tebow gave the Broncos the best chance to win games—much better than Kyle Orton or Brady Quinn or the guy throwing mile-high peanuts in Denver’s stadium. Tebow was reportedly demoted to 14th string quarterback or something like that before last season. Yet, I made the assertion then that Tebow had something invaluable for an NFL quarterback: Tebow had a nose for the end zone.
He proved (in only 3 starts the prior season) to be willing and able to find pay-dirt. The classic picture of him in the end zone against his college nemesis Florida State with blood-red paint from his face to his feet was no fluke. He burrowed his way into end zone after end zone in college, and he proved early to be able to do the same thing in the NFL.
TEBOW’S NOSE FOR THE GOAL
In fact, Tim Tebow is the 6th best quarterback in the NFL at finding the end zone. That is one of the main reasons he and the Broncos were 6-1 over his starting stretch. Tim Tebow scores a touchdown—on average—for every 18.5 plays for which he is responsible (updated after 2011 Season, Tebow scored a TD for every 17.9 plays on the field).
In other words, when he runs or throws the ball, there will end up being a touchdown (not a field goal) by the 18th play. There are only 5 quarterbacks in the NFL with better numbers than Tim Tebow. In order, these 5 are (not surprisingly) as follows: Aaron Rodgers; Tom Brady; Drew Brees; Matthew Stafford; and Matt Schaub.
Before his injury, Matt Schaub was getting 6 points for every 18.06 plays in which he was a primary player. Peyton Manning’s lifetime number is 18.16. So, the Broncos did not win in spite of Tim Tebow. They won largely because of the contributions of Tim Tebow (whose TD numbers equal Manning).
The supposedly inept, unorthodox Tebow is scoring more efficiently than Eli Manning, Tony Romo, Matt Ryan, and Ben Roethlisberger. His efficiency is neither a freak show nor a prep school fad, as some have suggested. It is, instead, basic football well played. “Hey, quarterback, get the ball in the end zone.” The NFL is not so far removed from the prep school game if one remembers the basic goal of the game—which, for a quarterback, is to get the ball over the goal line. Tim Tebow reaches paydirt better than most quarterbacks in the NFL.
So, in favor of my position, I offer the following evidence from the Jets Training Camp:
Rich Cimini of ESPN, “Team insiders say the plan is to use Tebow in the red zone, where they can replace Sanchez with another player/blocker to bolster the running game. “
See Also, Tim Tebow Dominates at Goal Line.
Who is right, me or President Obama?