I've been here before, and that brings me comfort. Because I was right the last time, too.
|It's not Tim Tebow's fault he won't be a pro QB. (AP)|
So here I am again. Same story, different quarterback. Only this quarterback's name is Tim Tebow, and that ups the ante, because there hasn't been a player in recent college football history, maybe ever, who can match the mania. Tebow runs for 20 touchdowns! Tebow circumcises foreign kids! Tebow passes for 20 touchdowns! Tebow wears the weight of the Christian world!
Tebow is a junior at Florida who does almost everything. What he won't do, however, is play quarterback in the NFL. Not at a high level.
And it won't be Florida coach Urban Meyer's fault.
It won't be Tim Tebow's fault, either. Falling short of NFL quarterback standards isn't an insult. You sitting there reading this story -- you're not going to play quarterback in the NFL, either. Do you feel insulted? No? Good. I'm sure you're good at ... something. The same goes for Tebow. He has an NFL body, he has NFL athletic ability, and he has an NFL head and heart. He just doesn't have an NFL arm. Nothing wrong with that. Very few college quarterbacks -- very few Heisman Trophy winners -- have an NFL arm.
Not counting Tebow, nine of the previous 11 Heisman winners who played quarterback weren't able to play it in the NFL. That doesn't even include deposed Arizona starter Matt Leinart. Nor does it include Vince Young, who somehow didn't win the Heisman in 2005, somehow did make the Pro Bowl in 2006, but has since played his way to the precipice of a benching. An injury took care of that, but the Titans have been much better with Kerry Collins, and Young won't regain his starting position simply by being healthy. Not with these career numbers: 22 touchdowns, 32 interceptions and a 68.3 passer rating.
Not good. But it's a lesson: Superman in college can become Danny Wuerffel in the pros.
Tim Tebow's 2007 Heisman doesn't prove anything. Neither do his PlayStation numbers. Both are a function of Urban Meyer's offense, the talent around Tebow, and of course Tebow's ability to run that offense and mesh with that talent. This column is not a slam of Tebow, so if you think it is, kindly pull your head out of your rear end.
But over on the other page, Mike Freeman is slamming Urban Meyer. Probably calling him Urban Liar or writing a bunch of other one-liners. Freeman's good at that. Now that Rick Reilly is unreadable, Freeman has the best one-liners in sports writing.
But being funny and being right are two different things.
And Freeman's wrong about Meyer. Couldn't be wronger. Too bad we don't have a third writer weighing in on this topic, because that would make Freeman the wrongest.
Meyer isn't screwing up Tim Tebow. While it's true that Meyer's spread offense isn't conducive to producing an NFL quarterback -- how has 2005 No. 1 pick Alex Smith panned out? -- it's also true that Tebow doesn't have what it takes to play that position in the NFL. Not if his coach was Urban Meyer. Not if his coach was Pete Carroll. Not if his coach was David Cutcliffe, Norm Chow or Grantland Freaking Rice.
I'll take this one step farther and connect some dots. Remember the Jevan Snead controversy? Snead, now at Ole Miss, accused Meyer of lying to him, of saying Snead was the only quarterback Meyer was recruiting. Snead said he asked Meyer why he was recruiting Tim Tebow -- and that Meyer told him Tebow was a linebacker.
Makes sense to me. Even as he was compiling crazy numbers as a high school quarterback, Tebow probably looked to Meyer like a perfect linebacker. But Meyer left him at quarterback, and Tebow won the national title as a freshman and the Heisman as a sophomore. Turns out he's a great college quarterback, but that's his ceiling.
DiabetcRockstar As an English Major/Grad, Dodd's writing absolutely unfuriates me. I would love to know the history behind his employment; IE, what school did he go to? What other columns/websites has he written for. I don't disagree with many of his points, but once again his childish and immature diction has spoiled what could have been a well presented article and opinion.|
It is a waste to have someone write articles with great potential points only to have it presented like a fifth grader taunting a girl he has a crush on. I get it, Dodd. You are funny. I get it Dodd, you are brazen. Now do everyone a favor and become a writer, and earn that paycheck.
Gregg Doyel: For an English major/grad, you don't read that well. The writer is DOYEL, not Dodd. And you're also a walking example of why education doesn't work. Wronger and wrongest were devices, not literal words. I know they don't exist. You know they don't exist. Do you feel smarter now that you've let everyone know that you know they don't exist?
Get out of school and get a job.
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Now then, a slight digression. If the NFL continues its meandering toward the single wing, with direct snaps to versatile backs, Tebow could have a future. So could Vince Young, for that matter. Because Tebow can take a shotgun snap and make a decision and then run or pass or hand the ball to someone else. He can do that.
What he can't do is drop back five or seven steps and throw a 30-yard laser with pinpoint accuracy. He can't, and it's not because Urban Meyer won't let him do it. It's because his genetics won't.
Again, don't misunderstand this column. Larry Bird couldn't jump. Manny Ramirez can't catch. Deion Sanders couldn't tackle. Those are still great players, great talents.
Same with Tebow. Great player. Possibly even a great NFL player. I can see him at tight end or fullback. Maybe linebacker. And I can see him being some team's third-string quarterback, good enough to run the scout team and provide behind-the-scenes leadership and mentoring. But start at quarterback in the NFL? Sorry. I can't see that.
What I see is a great college quarterback who can complete a high percentage of the (mostly easy) passes Meyer asks him to throw. I see a quarterback who can run for tough yardage. I see an inspirational leader whose quotes after the loss to Ole Miss had me fired up to hit somebody.
But I don't see an NFL quarterback. Never have, never will, and it has nothing to do with Urban Meyer and everything to do with the fabulous athlete with the average arm named
Vince Young Tim Tebow.