Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Don't Be Hatin': Tebow Will Play in the NFL in 2013

"Cheer up Tim, somebody will sign you..."

By Joe Parello  @HerewegoJoe

I must be the only Tebow moderate in America.

He's as polarizing an athlete as I've ever seen, with half the country throwing blind faith at a clearly flawed player, and the other half hoping he crashes and burns, despite the fact that he has the skills to succeed at this level in some capacity.

Oh yeah, and he's actually pretty fun to watch too.

So, when Tebow was cut by the Jets Monday and I began to hear the "Will any NFL team pick him up?" talk, I was a little disappointed. No, I'm not the biggest Tebow fan, but if you don't think plenty of teams could use a guy like him, you're being very short-sighted.

First, let me start by saying that I don't think any team could handle him worse than the Jets did last season. Only allowing Tebow to carry the ball 32 times and playing him as a punt protector was borderline insulting to a guy that won a playoff game the year before.

The other reason the Jets situation was so toxic was that Mark Sanchez is anything but a top-flight quarterback. Here is where you can't be a moderate, you need to determine whether Tebow is your starter, or a wrinkle in the offense. You can't have him hovering over you starting quarterback's shoulders and creating tension and division in your locker room. Make a decision, we're at war!!

So, if I were the Miami Dolphins, would I pick him up? Probably not. He would sure sell tickets, but my hopeful franchise quarterback Ryan Tannehill just isn't established enough to shake all the Tebow talk, and I'm certainly not looking for a new starter.

But, if I were a team like New England, Pittsburgh, Green Bay, New Orleans or (gasp) Denver, I would welcome Tebow as a situational player. Do you think Brady, Roethlisberger, Rodgers, Brees or Manning would be shaking in their boots with Tebow waiting in the wings? Absolutely not, but it would fill a major need for several of those teams in the short-yardage running department.

Then there's the thought that, if you don't have a franchise quarterback, you could just say f*** it, put Tebow in a zone read or pistol offense, and sell some damn jerseys.

If you're the Jacksonville Jaguars, this makes perfect sense. No offense to Blaine Gabbert and the incomparable Chad Henne, but the Jaguars aren't sniffing the playoffs with either of those guys running a traditional offense. If you're Jacksonville, why wouldn't you bring in Tebow, a home town hero that starred down the road at University of Florida, and allow him to play a much more entertaining brand of football?

Seriously, there is no way you wouldn't rather watch 2011 Tebow than either of those guys. Also, how much running room would this open for Maurice Jones-Drew? If Tebow can revitalize Willis McGahee's career, I would love to see him and MJD sharing the same backfield.

As for the media circus that would come to town, two responses:

1. If you're a bad team like Jacksonville, you're probably just happy somebody is finally talking about you.
2. If you're a contender and the addition of Tim Tebow blows up your locker room due to enhanced media scrutiny... You were never actually a contender.

So, while many haters would love to see him in the CFL, the USFL or the LFL (Ooohh la la) I just don't see a way Tebow doesn't land somewhere in the NFL. I mean, come on, this is a league where Christian Ponder can lead a team to the playoffs. Surely there is room for one of the league's best short yardage runners and most unique personalities.