Blog Entry

Ryan on Tebow: It's not pretty but he's a winner

Posted on: November 15, 2011 12:30 pm
Edited on: November 17, 2011 4:39 pm
Ryan's Tebow fandom extends back to Tebow's Heisman Trophy-winning college days. (Getty Images)

Posted by Ryan Wilson

The Patriots made easy work of the Jets on Sunday night, which must make an already short week seem even shorter for New York. The Jets are 5-4 and currently one game out of the wild-card race. New England's remaining seven games redefine "cake schedule," which means that the Jets have virtually no room for mistakes the rest of the way.

On Thursday, they'll face Tim Tebow and the Broncos in Denver. On paper, it's a mismatch; the Jets defense is known for blitzing quarterbacks silly, particularly ones short on experience. And cornerback Darrelle Revis has been up to the weekly task of shutting down the opponent's best receiver, though he may be hard-pressed to identify who that is in the Broncos new (old)-fangled read-option offense.

Recapping Week 10

Head coach Rex Ryan, who got the league's attention Monday after a video surfaced of his halftime suggestion to one Belichick-loving heckler, spoke about his admiration for Tebow's game going back to college.

“I thought he was a great competitor and he is a winner, and that’s what he’s showing right now,” Ryan said, in comments distributed by the Jets’ PR staff (via PFT). “Are there prettier passers than him? Yeah, absolutely. But again, [we] just [have to] try to find a way to beat him.”

In fact, the Broncos have given new meaning to "ground and pound."

“It was amazing, I mean, you talk about a team committed to running the football," Ryan said during an appearance on ESPN Radio New York. "They’re running all kind of different options — they’re running speed options, load options, read options. You know, Tebow had more rushing attempts than he had passing attempts, so it’s a total different challenge that’s for sure.”

Ryan won't have to look far for an answer.

Twelve years ago, Ryan wrote “Coaching Football’s 46 Defense," and it includes 20 pages on how to stop the option, now the centerpiece of the Broncos' offense. Ryan's dad, Buddy, created the 46 Defense. It came to prominence a quarter-century ago when the 1985 Bears' defense, one of the best in NFL history, featured the 46 all the way to a Super Bowl title.

Can Tim Tebow and the Broncos read-option the Jets on Thursday? Is Mark Sanchez better than Tebow? Can the Packers go 16-0? Chat live with our NFL experts now!

Tebow is one of the NFL's worst passers (it's a race to the bottom with Blaine Gabbert), but he's turned what should be a debilitating disadvantage into an asset. Against lesser teams the strategy -- run till the wheels fall off (and that's sorta what happened against the Chiefs) -- works. If Denver can have success in their one-dimensional offense against the Jets then we'll probably have to have the "The Broncos are a playoff team, right?" conversation at some point soon. Not so much because Tebow has magically transformed Denver into an offensive juggernaut, but because the AFC West is still up for grabs.

“With Tim Tebow at quarterback, it’s almost a throwback to the college game,” NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock said after Tebow didn’t complete his first pass against the Chiefs until late in the third quarter.

Mayock's NFL Network colleague Deion Sanders added: “You can’t measure Tim Tebow by statistics because he has that ‘it’ factor. The only thing I know is that they’re starting to believe and winning games.”

It sounds corny but it's true. The Broncos are 3-1 with Tebow under center. Maybe it's coincidence or maybe it's a higher power. Either way, Denver was losing with Kyle Orton and now they're not. For the time being, it doesn't really matter why.

By the way, you can buy Ryan's book here (we're guessing John Fox is furiously flipping through it as we write this). And if you're looking for a gag gift this holiday season, might we suggest the ironic comedy stylings of Brian Billick (The only thing missing is a foreward by Kyle Boller).

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're at it, add our RSS Feed.

Since: Mar 3, 2008
Posted on: November 16, 2011 9:23 am

Ryan on Tebow: It's not pretty but he's a winner

To everyone calling Tebow the worst QB drafted.  Ryan Leaf, Akili Smith, JeMarcus Russell, Joey Harrington, David Carr, Brady Quinn, Danny Wuerffel, and Heath Shuler would have something to say about that. 

Since: Aug 16, 2006
Posted on: November 16, 2011 9:00 am

Ryan on Tebow: It's not pretty but he's a winner

And Leaf was a better QB. Worse human being and player, but a better QB.  Have you thought possibly that maybe Denver beat those bottom rung teams in spite of Tebow, not because of? 

Worst comment of the century.  I don't think Leaf could be better than to many QB's and Tebow isn't one of them.
While Tebow has a ton of work left to do before he is a great QB, if at all, he isn't to shabby neither.  He has comparable stats to many QBs through this portion of their career.  Elway, Vick, Eli just to name a few.
His last game was actually pretty good, even for only attempting 8 passes.  He was off the mark with two of them but his receivers dropped about 4 of them.  Really, he should of finished 6 of 8 passing.  His long TD to Decker shows that he is coming around as a passer.
I won't proclaim him to be great or even good yet, but he certainly isn't worse than Leaf. Only time will tell about Tebow and he should be afforded the same amount of time as any other young QB like Sanchez, Elway, Flacco, Alex Smith etcetc

Also, what does that say about Orton if you think Tebow is worse than Leaf and the Broncos are winning in spite of Tebow?  They couldn't win in spite of Orton so by your standard, Orton is worse than Leaf.

Since: Aug 31, 2006
Posted on: November 16, 2011 2:10 am

Ryan on Tebow: It's not pretty but he's a winner

The competetion for Leaf was no where near as good in the Pac-10 as it was for Tebow in the SEC.

The SEC defenses are about as NFL like as you are ever going to find in college football and Tebow found a way to utilize the team talent around him in order to produce wins.

It is surprising that Tebow is managing to win games here and there despite such a poor completion percentage but it is not surprising that the old NFL cliche holds true.

If you control the clock by running the ball, dont turn it over, and play good defense then you are going to win more often than not.

Producing a big play here and there is necessary too and there is one thing Michael Irvin brought up in a game recently between the Skins/Dolphins and that is about not just about making plays but when you make plays matters.

Since: Aug 31, 2006
Posted on: November 16, 2011 1:52 am

Ryan on Tebow: It's not pretty but he's a winner

They not only played the night game but they had to make what is basically a west coast trip for a Thursday night game (nearly a 5 hour flight to Denver from NYC).

In comparison, the Dolphins are facing the Bills this weekend early in the day (1pm) and then traveling to Dallas (3hr flight time) to play on Thanksgiving day in an afternoon game.

The Chargers played the Packers on Sunday then played the Raiders on a thursday night but both of those were home games for the Chargers.

Since: Aug 3, 2009
Posted on: November 16, 2011 12:53 am

Ryan on Tebow: It's not pretty but he's a winner

Great post...Thanks.

Since: Aug 3, 2011
Posted on: November 16, 2011 12:22 am
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Jan 9, 2007
Posted on: November 16, 2011 12:09 am

Ryan on Tebow: It's not pretty but he's a winner

On a side note...Who is in charge of scheduling? Jets got screwed pulling a Thursday night game after a Sunday night divisional game. Denver might be able to take advantage. Here's hoping the Jets still have a hangover from Sundays beating.

Since: Aug 25, 2006
Posted on: November 15, 2011 11:53 pm

Ryan on Tebow: It's not pretty but he's a winner

Debuccu - I am not a Tebow fan or hater, but you need something to back up general statements like "Leaf was a better QB than Tebow".  A quick check of stats tells you that's not true.  Granted Leaf had more games under his belt than Tebow does (16 for Tebow, 25 for Leaf - and this is games, not starts), but Tebow already has 12 TDs to Leaf's 14, he has 19 less fumbles (5 to 24) and already has as many wins as a starter (4) as Leaf did his entire career.  Their completion percentage is close - but both are under 50% (47.1% for Tebow, 48.4% for Leaf), and Tebow has 4 INTs to Leaf's 36.  You can say the Broncos haven't played anyone worth their salt with Tebow as a starter, and you can say he throws less passes so he should have better numbers, but Leaf was an abomination.  He was beyond horrible as an NFL QB.  He was also a #2 pick in the draft, Tebow was 25th.  Sorry - as a number 2 pick, you have to be better numbers than these.  And, if stats don't mean anything to you, then look at it this way - the Chargers never got behind Leaf and he couldn't win.  Tebow already has Denver believing they can make the playoffs.  He has a leadership quality that's crucial at the QB position in the NFL.  I couldn't disagree more with what you said - Leaf is a worse pick, a worse QB - and he may not be a worse person.  Just because Tebow espouses his religious views and Leaf didn't, doesn't make him a bad person.  He does lots of charity work and works with guys to become better people, so who is anyone else to say he isn't a good person or as good as someone else?

Since: Dec 3, 2007
Posted on: November 15, 2011 11:37 pm

Ryan on Tebow: It's not pretty but he's a winner

Debeuccu:  The ridicule is that he's a terrible quarterback.

Don't believe that for a second.  

He was judged before he took a snap.  What QB is deemed a failure after only a handful or so games... especially ones where he is

So, he was drafted too early.  Why hold that against him?  That's the Broncos' management's mistake.  Don't take it out on the player!

If you believe what you said then you are not being truthful with yourself.

Since: Sep 2, 2010
Posted on: November 15, 2011 11:25 pm

Ryan on Tebow: It's not pretty but he's a winner

I hope Denver humiliates the Jets!!!

Go Patriots!!! 

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