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Blog Entry

Is Tebow guaranteed to be Broncos starter in '12?

Posted on: January 14, 2012 11:35 pm
Edited on: January 15, 2012 12:55 am
 
Tebow's season ends ingloriously in New England. (AP)

By Ryan Wilson

We joked last week, days after Tim Tebow threw for 316 yards (including an 80-yard pitch-and-catch to Demaryius Thomas on the first play of overtime to beat the Steelers in the wild-card matchup), that the big losers coming out of that game were John Fox and John Elway. Because given the way Tebow threw the ball, there was no way either could go back on their earlier promise that he would be the team's starter in 2012.

New England throttles Denver
And while neither Fox nor Elway has explicitly said that they'd prefer a conventional quarterback running a convention offense, neither has come out and fully supported the guy Josh McDaniels selected in the first round of the 2010 draft, some seven months before he was fired.

Complicating matters, at least in terms of Tebow's tenuous hold of the starting gig: the option isn't quite the novelty of the wildcat, but it's also taken less time to crack. Whereas the wildcat required an offseason of film study before defenses were keen to what was going on, the read-option's run has been much briefer.

Denver decided to abandon their original playbook in favor of the offense that made Tebow a high school phenom and a Heisman Trophy winner. The results: a six-game winning streak to get the Broncos to 8-5. And then they ran into the Patriots before the Bills and Chiefs had seen enough film of the option to properly defend it. Denver scored 17 points in the final two weeks of the regular season and even the hardcore Tebow supporters were having doubts.

But then Pittsburgh happened; the Broncos' offense manhandled the NFL's top-rated defense and Tebow looked like a real live passing quarterback. His performance solidified his spot on the depth chart heading into 2012, especially since a) Denver had a playoff win for the first time since 2005, and b) Tebow would have the entire offseason to work with coaches on everything from reading defense to improving his footwork and accuracy.


Tom Brady threw six touchdowns passes, five in the first half, and put the New England Patriots into the AFC championship game after roughing up Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos 45-10. CBS Sports' Jim Nantz and Phil Simms have the recap.

Then Tebow reverted to his old form, throwing late and wildly in a lopsided loss in the divisional playoffs against the Patriots. By the time it was over, Tebow was 9 for 26 and suffered five sacks. And while he wasn't solely responsible for another sputtering offensive performance, he is the quarterback; if the running game isn't working, he has to make something happen through the air … except that if the Broncos aren't facing the Steelers, that's a problematic proposition.

Which leads us to this: will Elway and Fox reconsider their quarterback situation this offseason? We're guessing they have to. In fact, we've previously speculated that the next few months will go something like this: Tebow will be promised "a chance to win the job," the front office will sign a veteran quarterback to compete for the starting gig, and come training camp, there's a decent chance that said veteran will be given every opportunity to start.

We've seen this movie before -- last August. Tebow thought he'd enter 2011 as the starter -- the Broncos seemed to confirm as much -- right up until training camp when Kyle Orton was again atop the depth chart. Tebow didn't help himself with abysmal preseason efforts, but that's not his forte. He's at his best when he can improvise, something that doesn't translate well during meaningless preseason snaps against third- and fourth-teamers.

So, who are some early QB candidates? Here's the list of soon-to-be free agents:

* Matt Flynn. We've called him the next Kevin Kolb, which is wholly unfair because Flynn has actually played well as a backup. We can't imagine the Broncos go after him although if they do it's a clear indication that Tebow Time was a one-year deal.

* Alex Smith. Dude's benefitted from Jim Harbaugh's presence and the 49ers head coach says he wants Smith back in San Francisco. Smith will probably get some interest in free agency should he hit the market but his best chance at success is if he stays put.

* Jason Campbell. This seems reasonable. So much so that Campbell could return to Oakland and supplant Carson Palmer as the starter there.

* Kyle Orton. Stranger things have not happened.

* Drew Brees. If he doesn't get a new deal he's getting franchised, but we wonder if Tebow's most ardent supporters would concede that Brees would be a better choice.

Other names (courtesy of Footballsfuture.com):

Chris Redman (ATL)

Derek Anderson (CAR)

Shaun Hill (DET)

Drew Stanton (DET)

Brady Quinn (DEN)

Luke McCown (JAC)

Chad Henne (MIA)

Sage Rosenfels (MIA)

David Carr (NYG)

Mark Brunell (NYJ)

Kevin O'Connell (NYJ)

Kyle Boller (OAK)

Vince Young (PHI)

Charlie Batch (PIT)

Dennis Dixon (PIT)

Byron Leftwich (PIT)

Charlie Whitehurst (SEA)

A.J. Feeley (STL)

Josh Johnson (TB)

Rex Grossman (WAS)

The Broncos' offseason begins now and how things unfold in the next eight months are anyone's guess. But whatever fate awaits Tebow, it's worth remembering that he helped lead this team to the division title and a playoff win. That doesn't guarantee him the starting job, but despite his unconventional style, he's done something right.

"I was really proud with where (Tebow) started and where he brought this team," Fox said after the Patriots game. "You know, we're a work in progress -- we've got a lot of work to do, that hasn't changed for some time. And as I mentioned earlier, the two matchups we had against the New England Patriots it's evident we have work to do."

Fox was then asked if he'd bring back the read-option in 2012. 

"I think every year has its own personality," he said. "We're officially starting our offseason now and we'll do whatever it takes to get better."

And we believe Fox when he says this.

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Comments

Since: Jul 23, 2007
Posted on: January 19, 2012 12:46 pm
 

Is Tebow guaranteed to be Broncos starter in '12?

I think one quarterback missing off this list is David Garrard.  He's a veteran with some success, runs the ball well (was the leading rusher among QB's before Tebow came along) and is available.  He might be able to run many of Denver's Tebow plays and can pass from the pocket while giving Tebow a chance to learn, improve and acclimate to being the full time starter without sending the Bronco faithful into a tizzy by being positioned as the long term option.



Since: Jan 17, 2012
Posted on: January 19, 2012 11:10 am
 

Is Tebow guaranteed to be Broncos starter in '12?

I think the main comparison one should make in support of Tebow vs. Vick is that Tebow will dedicate himself to getting better, and Vick thought so highly of himself prior to his prison term that he spent his offseason doing things other than improving his game.  The improvement that we see or don't see next season is what's going to separate (hopefully) the two.



Since: Aug 16, 2006
Posted on: January 17, 2012 12:20 pm
 

Is Tebow guaranteed to be Broncos starter in '12?

So Vick had the edge in completion %, passing and rushing yards. Tebow had the edge in both passing and rushing TDs as well as a playoff win.
Uh, no he doesn't.  Tebow is 1-1 in the playoffs, Vick is 2-2.  Both are .500.  If you want to break it down even further.  In Vick's second season, he also led the Falcons to the playoffs and went 1-1 that season.  Tebow does not have the edge on Vick when it comes to playoff wins and losses.



Since: Sep 15, 2009
Posted on: January 16, 2012 9:02 pm
 

Is Tebow guaranteed to be Broncos starter in '12?

I would also point out that Tebow had 1 more TD passing on 134 less attempts than Vick...despite the completion percentage.



Since: Sep 15, 2009
Posted on: January 16, 2012 8:55 pm
 

Is Tebow guaranteed to be Broncos starter in '12?

See it is stupid posts like this that make Tebow's supports look like fools with know knowledge of football. Vick looke superior to Tebow his first year starting in every aspect of the game. Why don't you actually check out the stats before spouting off:

Vick had 55% completion percentage, Tebow had 47%.  
Vick had 24 total TD, Tebow had 18,  
Vick average 6.9 yards per rush,. Tebow averaged 5.4. 
Vick average 7 yards per attempt, Tebow 6.4.  
Vick had an 81.6 QB rating, Tebow had a 72.9 rating.

Just gonna point out that Vicks stats were in 15 starts there and Tebow's quoted was in 11 and a half game. Not shocking he'd have more total TDs in more games played right?? 

A more accurate comparison of the 2 would be their first 2 years' stats altogether. About the same amount of starts and games played. With Tebow's 2 playoff starts, they had the same amount of starts after 2 years.

Here's the stats after 2 years

Vick
281-534 (52.6%), 3721 yards, 18 TDs passing, 11 INTs
144 rush attemps for 1068 yards, 9 rushing TDs
27 total TDs
9-7-1 record in 17 starts plus PT in other games


Tebow
186-400 (46.5%), 2835 yards, 19 TDs passing, 9 INTs
180 rush attemps for 950 yards, 13 rushing TDs
32 total TDs
Tebow 16 starts, record 9-7 (1-1 in PO's)

So Vick had the edge in completion %, passing and rushing yards. Tebow had the edge in both passing and rushing TDs as well as a playoff win. 



Since: Aug 16, 2006
Posted on: January 16, 2012 7:40 pm
 

Is Tebow guaranteed to be Broncos starter in '12?

Go look at some of Michael Vicks early games and how many passes he completed.  While you are there see what his record was and how he did in the playoffs.  Vick couldn't beat the Steelers or the Patriots with a shotgun and a pack of pitbulls today.  CBS are a bunch of idiots.  I could put them all out of a job because I do know more than tose twits and nitwits.
I don't get it.  Are you defending or flaming Tebow with your comparison to Vick?  Because if you look at Vick's record with the Falcons it's

1-1
8-6-1
3-1
11-4
8-7
7-9

There's one record there that doesn't fit with the others.  So, subtracting out the one outlier, Vick's record with the Falcons was 24-23-1.  Hmmm.  That's a sweet .500 record he's sporting there.  How about his playoff record.  2-2.  Seems very similar to that regular season record.  So....once again.  Are you touting Vick up as mediocre or lambasting him for his mediocrity?



Since: Dec 22, 2011
Posted on: January 16, 2012 7:24 pm
 

Is Tebow guaranteed to be Broncos starter in '12?

Go look at some of Michael Vicks early games and how many passes he completed.  While you are there see what his record was and how he did in the playoffs.  Vick couldn't beat the Steelers or the Patriots with a shotgun and a pack of pitbulls today.  CBS are a bunch of idiots.  I could put them all out of a job because I do know more than tose twits and nitwits.
See it is stupid posts like this that make Tebow's supports look like fools with know knowledge of football. Vick looke superior to Tebow his first year starting in every aspect of the game. Why don't you actually check out the stats before spouting off:

Vick had 55% completion percentage, Tebow had 47%.  
Vick had 24 total TD, Tebow had 18,  
Vick average 6.9 yards per rush,. Tebow averaged 5.4. 
Vick average 7 yards per attempt, Tebow 6.4.  
Vick had an 81.6 QB rating, Tebow had a 72.9 rating.



Since: Jan 9, 2009
Posted on: January 16, 2012 12:11 am
 

Is Tebow guaranteed to be Broncos starter in '12?

Tebow would make a great change-of-pace backup QB. But as MY team's starter? Uh--no.



Since: Dec 6, 2010
Posted on: January 15, 2012 8:37 pm
 

Is Tebow guaranteed to be Broncos starter in '12?

Go look at some of Michael Vicks early games and how many passes he completed.  While you are there see what his record was and how he did in the playoffs.  Vick couldn't beat the Steelers or the Patriots with a shotgun and a pack of pitbulls today.  CBS are a bunch of idiots.  I could put them all out of a job because I do know more than tose twits and nitwits.



Since: Dec 6, 2010
Posted on: January 15, 2012 8:29 pm
 

Is Tebow guaranteed to be Broncos starter in '12?

You know based on the commentary from the NFL talking heads and writers ANYBODY with a 4th grade education can do their job.  Seems like no one watched the same game I watched nor were they able to break it down effectively before or after it was over.  I saw a total collapse of a Denver defense and ZERO pass protection for the Denver franchise player.  The only one with any drive, fire in his belly or desire to compete was one guy TIM TEBOW.  He did not quit everyone else did.  The Offensive Line Coach for Denver I hope is looking for a job today as well as the Defensive Line Coach.  A gimpy legged aging QB with no pressure at all on him.  Wait till Brady sees some guys that can rush him.  I really thought Denver could bring some pressure.  The coaching staff and the Great GM Elway prepared Denver poorly for this game.  Forget Josh McDaniel...the only thing he ever did right was draft Tebow.  No one expected the Broncos to go to or win the SB...too many holes to fill on that team and a lack of depth.  But there is no lack of hardnosed, gut it out smashmouth attitude at their QB position.  Tim Tebow will get better as soon as Denver can get WR's and RB's that can catch the ball when it hits them in the hands...pathetic support he has.    Yes Tebow is the starter next year.  If he's not trade him somewhere...he does have plenty of value and plenty of teams would have loved to have gone 7 and 4 down the stretch.  Are you listening Jets, Tampa, Buffalo, Miami, Oakland, etc., etc., and etc.  Bad throws ... the guy hardly had a second before the Patriots pathetic 2nd to last in the WHOLE NFL was on him.  Shameful how Tebows team quit on him and what a bunch of buffoons the Denver coaching staff is.


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