Tag:Tim Tebow
Posted on: November 27, 2011 8:07 pm

Rinse, repeat: Tebow, Broncos win again

TebowPosted by Josh Katzowitz

It’s on the verge of getting ridiculous.

Tim Tebow won another game. With mediocre stats. With mediocre play. He won again, and that means he’s 5-1 as a starter as the Broncos kept themselves a game out of first place in the AFC West and in the thick of the wildcard race.

Even with John Elway saying this week that he’s still not sure if Tim Tebow is his man, Tebow, once again, led his team to victory. He did it in overtime when he led the Broncos on a six-play, 38-yard drive that resulted in a game-tying 24-yard field goal by Matt Prater, and he did it again in the final 2 minutes of overtime when Prater kicked a 37-yarder to win it 16-13.

OK, so the final overtime drive was helped immensely by Willis McGahee’s 24-yard run, and in overtime, Tebow was more spectator than savior. And yeah, Denver's defense has been pretty damn impressive. But Tebow -- who was 9 of 18 for 143 yards and a touchdown while rushing for 53 yards on 19 carries -- still gained 16 yards of his own on two carries in overtime to set up Novak’s kick.

And in reality, Tebow was a little lucky to have the opportunity. The Chargers could have won it on the possession before, but San Diego kicker Nick Novak missed the 53-yard field goal. That gave the Broncos possession on the Denver 43-yard line, and after an incomplete pass, the Chargers ran the ball three-straight times to set up Prater.

And after it was over, the CBS cameras cut to the sideline and focused on Elway. Who had a wide smile on his face.

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Posted on: November 27, 2011 1:01 pm
Edited on: November 27, 2011 1:02 pm

Video: Tim Tebow talks to CBS Sports about season

"Can I say something, honestly? I think this offense is stunting your growth," Sharpe said. "Don't you think at some point and time you're going to have to be able to develop and throw the football fundamentally?"

Posted by Ryan Wilson

The Broncos face the Chargers Sunday in a very important AFC West matchup. Denver, at 5-5, is just one game back of Oakland in the division, and a game up on San Diego. One of the reasons the Broncos are back in the playoff-race conversation: Tim Tebow, who took over a 1-4 team from Kyle Orton and promptly went 4-1 as a starter. (Orton, meanwhile, is the newest member of the Kansas City Chiefs.) 

Ahead of Sunday's matchup, CBS Sports' Shannon Sharpe sat down with Tebow to talk about his style of quarterback play, his future with the Broncos, why he's such a polarizing figure.

One of the best exchanges from the interview:

Sharpe: Do you believe this organization is 100 percent behind you?
Tebow: I believed that I am very blessed to play for this organization.
Sharpe: That wasn't the question I asked you -- whether or not you were blessed. I asked do you believe John Fox and John Elway 100 percent believe Tim Tebow is the guy that's going to get them back to winning championships?

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Posted on: November 26, 2011 10:25 pm

Tebow's read-option draws comparisons to wildcat

Is Tebow bringing the option back to NFL offenses or is he a gimmick? (Getty Images)

Posted by Ryan Wilson

As if Norv Turner, Philip Rivers and the San Diego Chargers didn't have enough to worry about -- what with being 4-6, tied for last in the AFC West, and playing some incredibly awful football -- now there's this: local scribe Nick Canepa isn't yet a believer in Tim Tebow, who comes to San Diego Sunday in a pretty important division matchup.

Most of the skeptics and critics have abandoned their anti-Tebow talking points because, well, Tebow does find a way to win games. No, it's not entirely his doing, and yes, he has looked absolutely dreadful for long stretches. But he's also 4-1 after Kyle Orton "led" the Broncos to a 1-4 start. Tebow, despite virtually no support from his coaches or the front office early in the season is now the team's unquestioned starter (though that could change, apparently). Orton, meanwhile, is the newest member of the Chiefs.

But Canepa isn't yet sold on Tebow's ability to will his team to victories. The details:
"So, what has Tebow done to deserve all this, one way or the other? Absolutely nothing. In his own unorthodox way, he has won three straight games for the Broncos, who meet the Chargers here Sunday. Off the field, he hasn’t been arrested, busted for dope or tweeted nasty things to his opposition. …

In the case of Tim, people are thinking with their glands. Tebowmania is not going to last. A quarterback who can run but can’t throw the ball across a pantry isn’t going to continue winning in the NFL.

They’re going to figure him out. They always do. Remember the wildcat? It lasted about as long as the poodle skirt. Sooner or later, they’re going to get to him. Steve Young at least was a threat with his arm, as are Michael Vick and Cam Newton. A fearless quarterback (which Tebow is) who runs the option in the NFL is fair game. I can’t see him having a long shelf life.
Comparing the read-option to the wildcat has been a popular meme in recent weeks and there's something to it. The Dolphins began the 2008 season 0-2, busted out the wildcat in Week 3 against the Patriots, and blew them out of the water, 38-13. Miami finished the regular season 11-5 and made the playoffs. The following year, after teams around the league had an offseason to figure out the wildcat, it was obsolete.

The Dolphins, who overestimated its shelf life, used a 2009 second-round pick on QB/wildcat specialist Pat White, who ended up retiring from football a year later. Miami went 7-9 in 2009 and 2010, and are currently 3-8.

Based on Broncos executive John Elway's recent comments, not only is the read-option a short-term solution to a problem he inherited from the unspectacular Josh McDaniels era, it's one that probably won't last behind this season. Which means that the rest of the NFL has six weeks or so to figure out a way to slow it down.

The Jets did it for 55 minutes, but Tebow was able to drive 95 yards for the decisive score. The bigger story from that game: New York's inept offense, which included a national coming out part for Broncos rookie linebacker Von Miller, and more questions about Mark Sanchez's abilities as an NFL quarterback.

So, no, Tebow isn't the long-term answer in Denver. But he's not supposed to be. The thing is, nobody thought he was the short-term answer, either. As it stands, he's winning 80 percent of his starts. And if the Chargers play Sunday like they have in the previous five games, Tebow's winning percentage will rise to 83.

After a win over the Jets last week, the Denver Broncos hope to keep their streak alive as they take on the San Diego Chargers on Sunday. NFL.com's Pat Kirwan and Jason Horowitz preview this game. Watch the game at 4:15 PM ET on CBS.

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Posted on: November 23, 2011 11:07 pm

Film Room: Steelers vs. Chiefs preview

Posted by Eye on Football Analyst Andy Benoit

Let’s be honest: Chiefs-Steelers is not a great matchup. It’s the Sunday night game because this week’s great matchups all fall on Turkey Day. A straight-up breakdown of this game would yield predictable analysis, with a “take your pick” list of reasons why the Steelers can be expected to cruise to victory (the most obvious being, Tyler Palko’s tendency to pat the ball and re-hitch in the pocket; if the Patriots D generated sacks and interceptions off that weakness, what will the Steelers D do?).

But this matchup is certainly not worthless. Analyzing its contrasts and comparisons gives us a chance to examine some of the broader pictures of today’s NFL. Here are five of them.

1. Valuing an offensive line
As passing games have evolved rapidly in recent years, we’ve started to change our outlook on offensive lines. These days every lineman weighs north of 300, and a lot of them move pretty well. What separates good and bad lines is the mental approach. The aggressiveness and versatility of blitzing defenses has put a premium on blockers’ intelligence.

It doesn’t matter how well a lineman moves his feet if those feet are taking him to the wrong assignment. With the league-wide increase in Byzantine defenses and quick, timing-based passes, for an offensive lineman, recognizing an assignment is often more challenging and important than executing an assignment.

The Steelers offensive line, battling countless injuries and personnel changeability the past few seasons, has struggled mightily at times in recognizing pass-blocking assignments. This is a window into another revelation. The idea that you need a great offensive line to protect your quarterback is becoming less and less valid. The reality is you need a great quarterback to protect your offensive line.

Now, don’t take this too far. Of course you need to protect your quarterback. But in today’s pass-oriented league, one superstar quarterback can compensate for five “not-so-superstar” offensive linemen. Most superstar quarterbacks do it through presnap reads (see Brees, Drew or Manning, Peyton -- two guys who have played behind arguably the worst offensive tackle combinations of their respective conferences the past few years). Ben Roethlisberger does it through incredible postsnap improvisational abilities.

No one can argue that the Steelers have had anything more than an average offensive line the past five seasons. But no one can argue that the Steelers offense has not been still been successful. It’s when your quarterback is, say a 28-year-old left-handed fringe backup, that your offensive line woes become problematic.

2. 3-4 defensive ends
A leading ingredient to the Steelers’ defensive success has been the outstanding play of their ends. This ingredient was secret until just recently, when Brett Keisel finally went to the Pro Bowl and casual observers finally appreciated Aaron Smith after injuries took him out of the lineup. The value of great 3-4 ends is that they can attract forms of double teams.

(We say forms of double-teams because there’s a misguided belief that a double-team is one player needing to be blocked by two blockers for an entire play; in reality, for an end, attracting a double-team simply means forcing a guard or tight end to make some sort of contact with you in a manner that prevents them from being able to get out in front and block an inside linebacker. Making that contact last the first 1.5 to 2 seconds of a play is all it takes. For many intents and purposes, a 3-4 end is actually more of a blocker than a pulling guard.)

The Steelers scheme calls for the ends to disrupt through motion more than power. Lateral mobility is a key trait. If both ends are destructive along the line of scrimmage, Pittsburgh’s three defensive linemen will stalemate the opposing team’s five offensive linemen, leaving room for the four linebackers to make plays. Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert recognizes the value of this; he invested his ‘09 first-round pick on Ziggy Hood and his ’11 first-rounder on Cameron Heyward.

Scott Pioli also recognized this value when he became the Chiefs general manager in 2009. He converted defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey, the No. 5 overall pick in ’08, to end and spent his No. 3 overall pick in ’09 on LSU’s Tyson Jackson. The results, however, have been disappointing. Dorsey and Jackson are both movement-oriented players. Problem is, Kansas City’s scheme is more like New England’s old 3-4, where the ends cause disruption not through motion but through sheer power.

Consequently, neither Dorsey nor Jackson have been worthy of consistent double teams. That was painfully apparent watching the Broncos-Chiefs film from Week 10. The Broncos didn’t win that game because Tim Tebow mastered the read option -- they won because their tackles manhandled the Chiefs ends one-on-one, allowing the guards to easily get a body on inside linebackers Derrick Johnson and Javon Belcher.

3. Chiefs Injuries impact -- tight end versatility
You could argue that Kansas City’s season ended when tight end Tony Moeaki tore his ACL in August. Moeaki was not just a flexible receiver who could work off the line of scrimmage or out of the slot -- he was also a versatile run-blocker. His ability to operate out of shifts and motions brought potency to the play-action game and allowed the Chiefs to disguise a lot of their run concepts.

In this sense, Moeaki was very similar to Heath Miller, Pittsburgh’s steady, soft-handed, fundamentally fine-tuned X-factor. In today’s NFL, where every play is preceded by a chess match at the line of scrimmage, a tight end who is versatile in the run AND pass game is invaluable.

4. Chiefs injury impact -- safety versatility
Same concept as tight end, just different side of the ball. The loss of Eric Berry (ACL Week 1) not only took away Kansas City’s rangiest pass defender, it also took away Romeo Crennel’s third-level blitzes, which previously had given opponents fits. Berry’s speed and open-field hitting made him an easily disguisable weapon. With him out, the Chiefs don’t just lose his big plays, they also lose the indecisiveness that his presence naturally instills in opponents.

As far as a parallel to this in the Steelers defense ... you can probably figure it out on your own

5. Understanding the value of a playmaker
On a similar note, let’s take this opportunity to grasp the full value of a playmaker like Jamaal Charles (lost for the season with an ACL in Week 2). As with Berry, when a weapon like Charles goes out, you don’t just lose explosive plays, you lose the threat of explosive plays. Charles was Kansas City’s only true playmaker (that is, a guy who can regularly create his own opportunities with the ball in his hands; the Steelers have two players like this: Roethlisberger and Mike Wallace).

It would take 10,000 words to explain, but in short, in watching film, it’s apparent that the difference between the way defenses attack an offense that has a truly explosive weapon versus the way a defense attacks an offense that don’t have one is staggering.

That likely stems from the difference in preparation during the week. Think about it. How much practice time does a defense devote specifically to “not getting killed” by Charles? With him gone, that’s how much practice time the defense now has to devote towards creating unique ways to attack.

A business analogy: as a defense, prepping for Charles is like sitting around the boardroom talking about covering your bases so you don’t get sued; prepping for “no Charles” is like sitting around the boardroom brainstorming the next big idea. Which meeting will ultimately lead to more sales?

What’s more, for an offense, when it becomes apparent that your gameplan is not working, a true playmaker still offers the hope and possibility of success. (And all the players know this.) Without a true playmaker, a staggering offense often hopes to simply control the damage by waiting for a lucky break. When that’s reflected in the play-calling, the entire team becomes reactionary.

So who will win? Check our NFL expert picks for all Week 12 games

Follow @Andy_Benoit on Twitter or contact him at Andy.Benoit-at-NFLTouchdown.com.
Posted on: November 23, 2011 4:17 pm
Edited on: November 23, 2011 5:22 pm

Chiefs claim Kyle Orton off waivers

Orton, Tebow

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Kyle Orton and the Bears won’t be reunited after all. Rapid Reporter Bob Gretz has confirmed an ESPN report that the Chiefs have claimed him off waivers from the Broncos.

Which makes perfect sense for Kansas City. Considering Matt Cassel is out for the season and Tyler Palko wasn’t great (but not completely terrible) last Monday against the Patriots -- he went 24 for 37 for 230 yards, three interceptions and a 48.3 rating in a 34-3 loss -- the Chiefs obviously feel like Orton gives them a chance to compete for the AFC West title.

Where they’re competing against (surprise!) the Broncos for a potential division championship. The two squads will face each other Jan. 1 in Kansas City in a contest that could have major playoff implications, especially if Tim Tebow continues to lead Denver to wins and Orton can reinvigorate the Chiefs. Entering this week, the Raiders are 6-4 to lead the AFC West, but the Broncos are 5-5 and are followed by the 4-6 Chiefs and Chargers.

The Tebow, Orton eras begin ...
So, basically, the entire division is up for grabs.

For those who wonder if Orton would decline to travel to Kansas City to fulfill his obligations, I think you can safely close the door on those thoughts. Don’t you think he would vastly enjoy ruining the Broncos season for his new team’s own benefit?

Yet, that’s also what makes this transaction strange. The Broncos must have known there was an awfully good chance the Chiefs would claim Orton -- I mean, John Elway probably watched that Monday night game and saw what Palko means to that team , right? -- if they waived him. Since Orton will be a free agent after this season, there’s a decent chance he’ll sign elsewhere in the offseason, and that means the Chiefs could win a compensatory draft pick* if they lose him.

*Can you imagine if the Chiefs beat the Broncos, expose Tim Tebow, win the AFC West and THEN get a mid-round draft pick for him?

On the Denver side, Tebow, who knocked Orton out of the starting quarterback role, seemed happy for his former colleague.

"Congratulations to him,” Tebow said, via the Denver Post. “That’ll be fun to play him the last game of the year."

But won’t Orton have a big advantage in knowing what kind of offense the Broncos run and the signals they use? After all, Orton ran that offense for the first five games of the season.

"Obviously he knows it pretty well, so he could probably give away a few things,” Tebow said. “But I think we’ll be OK.”

The Bears and Cowboys also made waiver claims on Orton, meaning that even if the Chiefs didn’t win him, Orton would be traveling to Dallas now based on the waiver order. What’s interesting about the claim made by the Cowboys -- who obviously have a starting quarterback named Tony Romo but have a backup in Jon Kitna who has a balky back -- is that it smells like Dallas claimed him simply to block Chicago from getting him.

That’s because the two teams will battle for one of the NFC wild card spots, and the Cowboys know as well as anybody that Chicago would have a better chance of accomplishing that if it played Orton instead of Caleb Hanie.

Meanwhile, the Bears announced that Jay Cutler underwent thumb surgery Wednesday and should begin rehab “within the next few days.” Chicago will still have Hanie starting this week and the forseeable future, though the team also announced that it’s signed Josh McCown to a one-year deal Wednesday. Not quite as exciting as landing Orton. But it’s something, I suppose.

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Posted on: November 22, 2011 4:17 pm
Edited on: November 22, 2011 5:13 pm

Broncos release QB Kyle Orton

Tebow may not be the future in Denver, but he's definitely the present. (US PRESSWIRE)

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Kyle Orton lost the Broncos starting job after a 1-4 start. Now, he's out of work altogether. The team released Orton executive vice president John Elway announced Tuesday, according to the Denver Post.

The Tebow era officially begins...

Orton arrived in Denver prior to the 2009 season as part of the trade that sent Jay Cutler to Chicago. In his first two years, he threw for almost 7,500 yards and had 41 touchdowns against 21 interceptions. And even though then-coach Josh McDaniels used a first-round pick on Tim Tebow in 2010, Orton entered the 2011 season as the unquestioned starter.

Five weeks later, that all changed after Orton played himself out of the job. Enter Tim Tebow who, based on his preseason performance, was fully expected to fail. Instead, head coach John Fox refashioned the offense to highlight Tebow's strengths -- namely, running -- and now the Broncos are a read-option dynamo and just one game back of the Raiders in the AFC West.

Tebow's surprising success also made Orton, who is in the last year of his contract, expendable. According to Broncos executive John Elway, there's no guarantee that the long-term gig is Tebow's, but it wasn't going to be Orton's either.

Here's what John Fox and Elway had to say about Orton in statements released by the team.

Fox: "I spoke with Kyle earlier today and thanked him for everything he did for the Broncos. He was a true professional throughout this season. I’ve got a great deal of respect for him as both a player and as a person.       

"This was the right decision for our football team. We feel good about our quarterback group, and this gives Kyle an opportunity to help another team and showcase his talents.      

“I wish Kyle and his family all the best going forward.”

Elway: “I would like to thank Kyle for all his work with the Denver Broncos. In the three years that he’s been here, he’s been an absolute pro. We thought it was best for the Broncos at this time as well as for Kyle to catch on with a different team.        

“Kyle is going to have more options in the NFL. He’ll get an opportunity to play somewhere else, and we wish him the best of luck.”

So now what? Well, Denver will ride the running game as far as it takes them. And Orton's services, no doubt, will be in high demand.

Chicago, the team that drafted him in 2005, just lost Jay Cutler, possibly for the rest of the regular season.

The Post reports that Orton and his agent David Dunn began talking with the Broncos about his release when it was learned that Cutler suffered a broken thumb and might miss 6-8 weeks. Orton declined comment.

Other possibilities: the Chiefs, which have to be in the market after watching Tyler Palko throw three interceptions against the Patriots Monday night (Kansas City placed Matt Cassel on injured reserve earlier this week). And depending on what happens with Matt Leinart and the Texans, Houston could be looking for a quarterback, too.

For now, Tebow is the man in Denver. And it's only a matter of time before Orton is the man … somewhere else.

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Posted on: November 22, 2011 1:52 pm
Edited on: November 22, 2011 2:51 pm

Tebow responds to Plummer, will keep praising God

Despite appearances, Plummer isn't Tebowing. We think. (US PRESSWIRE/Getty Images)

Posted by Ryan Wilson

It wasn't that long ago that Jake Plummer was Denver's winning quarterback. From 2003-2006, the Broncos never won fewer than 10 games, and made it to the AFC Championship game in 2005.

Plummer retired after the 2006 season, when then-head coach Mike Shanahan handed the offense over to Jay Cutler. They haven't been to the playoffs since.

Now the honor of "Denver's winning quarterback" falls to Tim Tebow, who is 4-1 as a starter this season. He's also very vocal about his religious beliefs, something Plummer could do with less of.

During a recent radio interview (via Sports Radio Interviews), Plummer said this: “I think he’s a winner and I respect that about him. I think that when he accepts the fact that we know that he loves Jesus Christ then I think I’ll like him a little better. I don’t hate him because of that, I just would rather not have to hear that every single time he takes a good snap or makes a good handoff … like you know, I understand dude where you’re coming from … but he is a baller."

On Tuesday, Tebow, appearing on ESPN's First Take, responded to Plummer's remarks (transcription courtesy of ProFootballTalk.com):

“If you’re married, and you have a wife, and you really love your wife, is it good enough to only say to your wife, I love her, the day you get married? Or should you tell her every single day when you wake up and have the opportunity? And that’s how I feel about my relationship with Jesus Christ,” Tebow said. “It is the most important thing in my life, so every opportunity I have to tell him I love him, or I’m given an opportunity to shout him out on national TV, I’m going to take that opportunity.”

One distinction might be that, in general, men don't proclaim their love for their wives during the course of their workday. To put this in football terms, we've never heard a player preface every media interview or press conference by stating that he loves his spouse. Same with after a big play or a touchdown.

As PFT.com's Michael David Smith points out, Plummer has nothing against Tebow's religious beliefs, just that he doesn’t think Tebow should inject said beliefs into a football discussion.

Tebow continued:
Jesus? Nope, that's Plummer. Ironical, we know.

“I look at it as a relationship I have with Him, I want to give Him the honor and glory every time I get the opportunity. And then after I give him the honor and glory I always try to give my teammates the honor and glory, and that’s how it works. Because Christ comes first in my life, and then my family, and then my teammates.

"I respect Jake’s opinion, and I really appreciate his compliment of calling me a winner, but I feel like every time I get the opportunity to give the Lord some praise he is due for it because what he did for me, and what he did on the cross for all of us," said Tebow. "I really appreciate his opinion and I respect him, but I still will give all the honor and glory to the Lord because he deserves it.”

Put differently: Plummer may like Tebow the football player, but could do without the constant reminders of his faith. And Tebow has no plans to do anything but pronounce his love for Jesus every chance he gets.

Whatever you think of Tebow, there's no denying that divine intervention has a lot to do with his success. Because there's no way a guy completing 44.8 percent of his throws, and who completed just two passes against the Chiefs in Week 10 would be on an NFL roster, much less a starting quarterback with a 4-1 record.

So, yeah, he has good reason to be thankful.

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Posted on: November 21, 2011 11:17 pm
Edited on: November 21, 2011 11:28 pm

Elway says Broncos QB of future not on team yet

Posted by Will Brinson

Tim Tebow's a shocking 4-1 as a starter this year and, as such, surely John Elway is getting warmed up to the idea of Tebow as his franchise quarterback, right?

Wrong. Elway, speaking to Gary Miller on his weekly radio show on 102.3 FM in Denver, was asked if he was "any closer to feeling if you have your quarterback on this team."

"No," Elway said after a pause, per The Denver Post. "I think obviously he's making progress week in and week out. When you look at our third down numbers, those have to improve.

"I mean, that's the bottom line. We can't go 3-for-13 and win a world championship. Those are the type of things we have to keep improving."

All of those things are correct, so it's hard to fault Elway for making those points. (Although is he just not reading Ryan Wilson's "Tracking Tebow" posts? Because Wilson's work proves Tebow is a winner.) And it's also hard to fault him for being honest.

But considering how much attention was paid to his excitement in the owners' box as Tebow marched down the field to beat the Jets on Thursday, well, shouldn't he figure out a way to either get behind Tebow or not?

Maybe he will -- Elway might be saying that the quarterback of the future in Denver isn't on the roster. Or maybe he's just implying he's not sure whether the quarterback of the future is on the roster yet. Which means Tim Tebow could be the quarterback of hte future, but Elway just hasn't decided yet.

Regardless, he's clearly not throwing his full managerial weight behind Tebow as the starter, despite Tebow continuing to find ways to win.

Depending on how the Broncos finish out, it should make for an entertaining (or is it exhausting?) offseason in Denver.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com