The Strange NFL Ride of Tim Tebow

25 Apr

He’s back. But if you’re a Tim Tebow fan you’d better hold off for awhile on forking out $395 smackers for that official NFL-NFLPA approved Philadelphia Eagles Nike® game jersey.

Timbo signed a 1-year contract with Jeffrey Lurie’s club on Sunday, reportedly containing no guaranteed money.

In other words, Eagles head coach Chip Kelly and GM Howie Roseman didn’t exactly make a substantial commitment to Tebow. The legal documant surely has all the necessary boilerplate but sounds about as one-sided as a landlord’s lease.

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Personally, I like seeing Tim Tebow back in the NFL, for however brief, getting what’s likely to be his last shot at earning an NFL pension (6+ years?).

Not because I’m a Florida Gators’ fan, an Eagles watcher, espouse a conservative Christian faith or get some kind of strange pleasure from seeing the rich get richer. Uh-uh.

It’s because I like Tim’s sporting spirit. He, like alot of those guys who have to fight their way onto an NFL roster, seems to respect his co-workers and the game. And then Tebowmania was a trip, if a bit oversold (See; Disney).

It’s also because I’m a sports fan and there is a tenet, one of the few that remain, that we like to see the leaders of our games give due accord. It rewards a player who‘s proven himself by finding that man a roster spot.

A favored idiom amongst athletes and brass: talk the talk, walk the walk.

Tim didn’t do much talking. What he did do in 2011 when he captivated the nation in coming off the bench to lead Denver on a 6-win run (7-4) and a playoff road win at Pittsburgh, was walk with head high and back up most his words.

But he’s got two problems:

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1) He’s been essentially inactive from football play for three years, when you consider Rex Ryan had him riding the pine in Jersey (Jets) for 2012 when he started just two games (FB-TE) and largely in a running capacity (32a / 102y); and

2) Timbo’s not a starting NFL quarterback.

He’s a run-QB by trial & trade and pocket presence is a style that the rabbit-habit (Kaep, Vick, Cam, Jon, MM) will never fully acquire. It’s an old dogs, new tricks kinda’ thing. And when you’re a 27-yr old QB in football, that’s about 175 in dog years, I think.

That, in and of itself, should not be an NFL career-ender. What might is what appears to be an ego that will not permit Tebow to switch positions, i.e., tight-end, a job to which Tim’s muscular frame, skill-set (hands & run) and past life seem a perfect fit. Not the reincarnation kind but his initial high school position in the Sunshine State (FL).

Just imagine if Tim had opened to TE in Foxborough with Gronk rehabbing and Hernandez in the clink. Not a guarantee of roster spot but an enhancer, for sure.

I don’t see Tim starting under center, nor a safety-net #2 who can see action early & long, but a clipboard 3 is a possibility. And what an energized entrance that would be, eh (See: Tebowmania)?

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Why his celebrity hasn’t given him a roster spot the past two seasons is a bit baffling, considering the NFL is, first & foremost, a business for players & owners alike.

‘My team can’t afford to give up a roster spot for celebrity,’ you say? Poppycock.

If you follow the NFL action you’d know full well that Tim’s presence on numerous rosters could not have hurt the quality of competition one iota (See; Jags, Bucs, Raiders, etcetera).

And when you consider how high up is rated Seahawks star pass-defender Dick Sherman on most fantasy lists, even as he seems to make tackles with the frequency of a noon whistle (hyperbole), Tim’s downside doesn’t seem so dour.

They used to call it accentuating the positive.

The recent word is that Tebow looks new & improved as a pro. Whatever.

The chance he breaks into the top three of a five-deep quarterback pool currently in Eagles’ spring camp, including vets Mark Sanchez, Sam Bradford, Matt Barkley and invitee G.J. Kinne, is not optimal. To crack the glass ceiling Tim seems under he’ll need to make himself valuable, i.e., multi-tasker. That means an openness to tight-end and special-teams which could make his QB3 tag a practical placement.

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As for the jersey, better go with a Tebow t-shirt for now. That could be Walmart or the Mall.

Steven Keys
NFL HunchLine
Photo credits: Tebow, E.Clemed, 1.1.12, wc; Tebow.Starlito.L.Garrett, wc, 11.1.12; Tebow, E.Clemente, 1.1.12, wc; Lincoln.Financial, wc, 9.15.11, G.Canam; NFL-Wikiproject.
Posted: 4.25.15 @ 12:31am EST

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