Tag:Merril Hoge
Posted on: December 13, 2011 12:53 pm
Edited on: December 13, 2011 12:59 pm
 

Merril Hoge admits he was wrong on Tim Tebow

Tebow is converting non-believers with each come-from-behind win. (US PRESSWIRE)

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Way back in in August, a week after the lockout ended and just days into training camp, ESPN analyst Merril Hoge spoke frankly about Tim Tebow's prospects as an NFL quarterback. Via Twitter, Hoge said "It's embarrassing to think the Broncos could win with Tebow!!" Later he added, "College credentials do not transfer to NFL raw raw [sic] speeches do not work! You must poses [sic] a skill set to play! Tebow struggle [sic] with accuracy!"

Tebow's response (also via Twitter): "Hey Merril, 'ppreciate that."

Four months later and not only is Tebow the Broncos' starting quarterback, he's 7-1 in the role, the team is on a six-game winning streak, and they're atop the AFC West by one game over the Raiders.

Turns out, college "rah rah speeches" do work in the NFL. And even Hoge can admit that now. During a Monday appearance on ESPN's Mike & Mike radio show, he owned up to his mistake.

"The lessons that (the Broncos) are showing (are) what sports are about. ... I've been obviously very hard on Tim Tebow, very critical of him as a quarterback and his skill set," he said.

"... I've been wrong on a lot of levels with (Tebow). I've lost the ability, or the opportunity, I should say ... to shed light on what an amazing story (about) how he has worked, persevered, changed -- his diligence -- all those things that you try to teach young people ... (what) sports are really about."

Tebow, we'd imagine, has already forgiven him.

As an analyst, it's Hoge's job to weigh in on players -- good or bad. And it's not like he was the only guy beating the "Tebow is really, really bad" drum. Just about everybody thought he had no chance to succeed in today's NFL with a style that is better suited for the college game. The widespread belief that Tebow was overmatched extended into November, after he was summarily dismantled by the Lions in his worst game of the season. The aftermath was particularly brutal.

An anonymous Detroit player told Yahoo.com's Michael Silver that Tebow was "embarrassing" and "a joke."

The post-mortem also included this from Hoge: "Watching last week's tape, the thing that was most disturbing was his ability to not understand where the ball has to go. His [lack of] awareness is mind-boggling to me." And CBS Sports' Boomer Esiason said that what the Lions did to Tebow “…means that there’s no respect for Tim Tebow as the quarterback. And they want to make sure that when they play him, they want to show that to the world that Tim Tebow can not play in this league at this position.”

Such sentiments have changed in recent weeks, and those who continue to pan Tebow do so reflexively and irrationally because as CBSSports.com's Gregg Doyel wrote Monday, "…We can't [explain it]. Nor do we have to. Whatever Tebow is doing, and however he's doing it, it defies description. Beauty usually does."

Returning to Hoge's original tweets one more time, even Broncos executive vice president John Elway, also one-time skeptic, admits that Tebow has the uncanny ability to motivate his teammates to greatness.

During a recent appearance on 102.3 the Ticket in Denver, Elway was asked why he thinks the team rallies about Tebow (via SportsRadioInterviews.com):

“I think when you look at it I guess I just believe everyone believes that something good is going to happen," Elway said. "Tim’s been the guy that has led that thinking and he’s just such a strong believer. He’s got everyone else believing that if you stay strong, stay positive, that something good is going to happen. There’s no question that those things … that you really can’t explain that are happening are happening. It’s the power of the mind and the power of positive thinking."

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Posted on: November 1, 2011 10:29 am
Edited on: November 2, 2011 6:50 am
 

Esiason: there's 'no respect for Tebow as the QB'

Esiason: "I don’t believe that Tim Tebow knows what he’s doing on the football field." (AP)

Posted by Ryan Wilson

There is no middle ground with Tim Tebow. Everybody agrees that he's a great person with an impressive college resume, but with each start, it's also evident that he's not an NFL quarterback. Not yet and maybe never. After a dreadful effort against the Lions on Sunday, the media scrutiny has intensified (turns out, it's possible). The latest to weigh in: Former NFL quarterback Boomer Esiason, who works as an analyst for CBS' The NFL Today and also hosts a radio show on WFAN.

“(Starting Tebow) is a bad move for two reasons,” Esiason said Monday, via CBS New York (listen to the audio here). “One is, I don’t believe that Tim Tebow knows what he’s doing on the football field. … Number two, those hits that are coming his way are coming with authority. Meaning that players are out to get him.”

Esiason, who before the season was critical of Tebow's prospects as an NFL quarterback, said that Tebow Mania may have unwittingly made him a target.

Tebowing
“The mocking by the Detroit Lions and all the talk after the game and all that other stuff leads me to believe that people are after him,” he said.

“In all the years that I’ve covered and played in professional football, I have never seen a team like the Detroit Lions do what they did last week,” Esiason said. “It just means that there’s no respect for Tim Tebow as the quarterback. And they want to make sure that when they play him, they want to show that to the world that Tim Tebow can not play in this league at this position.”

Esiason's not wrong. After the game, an unnamed Lions player told Yahoo.com's Michael Silver that Tebow was a joke.

“Can you believe No. 15 [Tebow]? Come on – that’s embarrassing. I mean, it’s a joke. We knew all week that if we brought any kind of defensive pressure, he couldn’t do anything. In the second half it got boring out there. We were like, ‘Come on – that’s your quarterback? Seriously?’”

And ESPN analyst Merril Hoge, one of Tebow's biggest critics, echoed many of the sentiments Esiason brought up.

"And watching last week's tape, the thing that was most disturbing was his ability to not understand where the ball has to go. His [lack of] awareness is mind-boggling to me," Hoge said Monday.


Tebow gets Tebow'ned by Lions LB Stephen Tulloch.

Back in August, when John Fox named Kyle Orton the Broncos' starter and said that Tebow had a long way to go, Esiason told USA Today what many people were thinking.

"He can't play. He can't throw. … I'm not here to insult him. The reality is he was a great college football player, maybe the greatest college football player of his time. But he's not an NFL quarterback right now. Just because he's God-fearing, and a great person off the field, and was a winner with the team that had the best athletes in college football, doesn't mean his game is going to translate to the NFL."

Through two and a half games, Esiason's been proven right. Tebow is a great human being and a Heisman Trophy winner. But he's not a competent NFL quarterback. Maybe that changes, but for now, he looks lost. And things don't look to get any easier; the Broncos head to Oakland on Sunday and Fox said Tebow will be his starter. Beyond that? Who knows.


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Posted on: October 31, 2011 2:32 pm
Edited on: November 1, 2011 2:37 pm
 

Tracking Tebow, Week 8: The train has derailed



Posted by Ryan Wilson

When we started Tracking Tebow back in August, we'd figure it would be something to pass the time during the preseason, before Tim Tebow took his place on the bench next to BradyQuinn and behind Kyle Orton. We made this leap based on head coach John Fox saying that Orton was his starter and Tebow wasn't ready.

Five weeks later and everything changed. Actually, all that seemed to change is that Fox caved to public pressure to give Tebow a shot. Admittedly, Orton had been awful, and Denver had nothing to lose by throwing Tebow out there, but it still made Fox look indecisive and out of sorts, not exactly attributes you want in a coach, much less one in his first year in the job.

Tebowing

But there's also this: Fox inherited this roster from Josh McDaniels, who so mismanaged the Broncos' personnel situation that it could set them back for years. Of all McDaniels' decisions, the worst may have been shipping Jay Cutler to Chicago for Orton and picks, and then trading up in the 2010 draft to take Tebow (honorable mention: trading Peyton Hillis for Brady Quinn). Fox has three quarterbacks on the roster, none that he likes, and with the season already lost, he's going to see what he's got (though we suspect he already knows).

Clearly, Orton has shown that he can be a competent NFL quarterback, but his contract is up after season. After he stumbled through the first month of the season, Fox gave Tebow an opportunity on the off chance that Tebow might redefine what it means to win ugly. The finishes against the Chargers and the Dolphins only exacerbated Tebow Mania. But against the Lions Sunday, Tebow, as the Denver Post described him afterward, looked like "the worst quarterback" in the league. That may not be what you want to hear if you're the Broncos ... but it's not far from the truth, either.

Does Tebow deserve all the criticism coming his way? No, of course not. Just like he didn't deserve the over-the-top praise he got after the Dolphins' win. But here's the thing: like it or not, he's the face of the Broncos, at least for now. Part of the deal when you become an NFL starting quarterback is that the media scrutiny can be intense. The payoff: do well, lead your team to the playoffs, and everybody loves you. The downside: pretty much what Tebow is going through now.


We watched every snap Tebow took Sunday and while the opponents change, the results remain the same. Namely: Tebow continues to struggle with identifying coverages, going through his progressions, and getting the ball out of his hands on time. Couple that with average arm strength, poor mechanics and inaccuracy issues, and you get a lot of bad football. His line against Detroit: 18 of 39 for 172 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, and 10 rushes for 63 yards. Denver lost, 45-10, and it was somehow more of a blowout than the final indicates.

In a week, we've gone from "Tebow: the Winner!" to "Tebow: What the What?!" Who knows how this story ends, but there will be plenty of time for that. For now, here's a play-by-play look at Tebow's performance against the Lions.


                                                   Play by Play



(Note: You can view the play-by-play breakdown spreadsheet here)




                                                        Quotes



“Can you believe No. 15 (Tebow)? Come on – that’s embarrassing. I mean, it’s a joke. We knew all week that if we brought any kind of defensive pressure, he couldn’t do anything. In the second half it got boring out there. We were like, ‘Come on – that’s your quarterback? Seriously?’” - Anonymous Lions defender to Yahoo.com's Michael Silver

"It's too early to say. I haven't even had a shower yet, let alone looked at that tape. But we'll look at it and make changes where we see they are needed. We've definitely got to get better." - Coach John Fox when asked if Tebow would remain Denver's starting QB

"I think there are a few things (Tebow) can get better (at). The majority you can't correct. We've documented his accuracy, his elongated motion. … And watching last week's tape, the thing that was most disturbing was his ability to not understand where the ball has to go. His (lack of) awareness is mind-boggling to me. … The accuracy, that's not going to change. When you have the pocket, and you have the ability to get rid of the football, but you're unaware of where the ball's going to go, that disturbs me more (than the other issues)." - ESPN analyst and Tebow critic, Merril Hoge

"I like Tebow but that was pathetic. That wasn't a resemblance of an NFL quarterback. It's not all on him -- no running game, no blocking, no nothing (but) Detroit's defense isn't that darn good to put up numbers like that. That was crazy." - NFL Network analyst Deion Sanders.


                                                   Audio-Visual



Here's a sullen Tebow after the game:


The Detroit Lions (6-2) sacked Tim Tebow seven times and turned his two turnovers into touchdowns as they snapped a two-game skid with a 45-10 victory over the Denver Broncos.

A week ago Tebowing was cute (Tim was for it!). Now … not so much:


Tebow gets Tebow'ned by Lions LB Stephen Tulloch.


                                                   Action Shots



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Posted on: October 10, 2011 5:55 pm
 

Tracking Tebow: Week 5 vs. Chargers -- go time



Posted by Ryan Wilson

What started as a way to keep up with Tebow Mania through the preseason has now taken on a life of its own. That's right, Tim Tebow took the field in Week 5 against the Chargers, and not as an emergency wide receiver or wildcat specialist, but as a real live NFL quarterback. Broncos fans have been clamoring for this moment pretty much since the team drafted Tebow in April 2010 and now, thanks to hard work, perserverance, and some truly dreadful performances from incumbent Kyle Orton, the masses have gotten what they asked for. 

Stop...Tebow Time?

What happens next? Who knows. Head coach John Fox isn't yet naming a starter, and once you get past the "Tebow played?!" hysteria, there is no obvious choice for the job. Orton is, in general, a better player. But he's been uninspiring this season and he'll be a free agent in January. The same issues that plagued Tebow when he came into the league -- the long delivery, the inadequate arm strength, the inability to read defenses -- were still present and accounted for against the Chargers. 

But it's not like the Broncos' playoff hopes rest on this decision. Whoever ends up under center will be leading a team destined for another losing season. The only question is who would benefit most from the experience. Common sense says Tebow because he's younger, and the team's former top pick. The problem with that, though, is that Tebow has yet to prove he is, you know, a legit NFL quarterback. We suspect that, at this point, Broncos fans don't care. They just want change and Tebow is certainly that.

Whatever happens, we're just happy to reintroduce the Tebow Tracker, and idea originally born out of the football world's fascination with Tebow, even in games that didn't count. We figured that once the regular season began, the Tracker, like Tebow, would be shelved. Thankfully, Tebow is no quitter.

And neither are we. We'll chart every one of his regular-season snaps, the result, and what it all means going forward.  Let's get to it.

First up: a play-by-play breakdown of Tebow's Week 5 performance against the Chargers Sunday.

Week 5: San Diego Chargers
Situation Down/Distance Result
Comment
8:54 left in 3rd qtr     (Note: you can see the entire play-by-play log here.)
  1st & 10, DEN 31 Tebow handoff to McGahee left guard to DEN 36 for 5 yards  
  2nd & 5, DEN 36 Tebow handoff to McGahee right guard to DEN 33 for -3 yards  
  3rd & 8, DEN 28 (From the shotgun) Tebow pass short right to E.Decker to DEN 33 for no gain It's a short drop, Tebow looks left, his first option is covered, then looks right, throws the ball across the field for a play that had no chance of gaining two yards, much less eight. Upside: it was a completion. Downside: it went for no gain.
  4th & 8, DEN 28 PUNT  
3:56 left in 3rd qtr 1st & 10, DEN 7 Tebow handoff to McGahee right guard to DEN 10 for 3 yards  
  2nd & 7, DEN 10 (From the shotgun) Tebow pass incomplete deep left to B.Lloyd 3-step drop, Tebow eyes Lloyd running down the left sideline and throws to him in single-coverage. Lloyd almost comes down with the ball but was ruled out of bounds. Not a bad throw.
  3rd & 7, DEN 10 (From the shotgun) Tebow pass incomplete deep middle to E.Decker Short drop, can't find a receiver, scrambles left before launching a ball down the field just out of the reach of Decker near midfield. From the snap until the ball left his hand, seven seconds elapsed. In general, this is one of Tebow's problems. 
  4th & 7, DEN 10 PUNT  
13:35 left in 4th qtr 1st & 10, DEN 20 Tebow pass incomplete short left to D.Rosario Ugh. Play-action pass, Tebow short-hops Rosario on a sideline route that's 15 yards past the line of scrimmage. The ball travels 13 yards.
  2nd & 10, DEN 20 (From the shotgun) McGahee up the middle to DEN 32 for 12 yards  
  1st & 10, DEN 32 (From the shotgun) McGahee up the middle to DEN 33 for 1 yard
 
 
  2nd & 9, DEN 33 (From the shotgun)  Tebow scrambles up the middle to DEN 38 for 5 yards Another play-action pass, Tebow pulls the ball down early and runs. As was the case during preseason, he seems antsy in the pocket.
  3rd & 4, DEN 38 (From the shotgun)  Tebow pass incomplete short left to M.Willis Another example of Tebow holding the ball too long, disrupting the timing of the patterns, and eventually short-hopping his receiver.
  4th & 4, DEN 38 PUNT  
8:54 left in 4th qtr 1st & 10, DEN 49 McGahee left guard to SD 23 for 28 yards.  
  1st & 10, SD 23 Tebow scrambles left end pushed ob at SD 12 for 11 yards Play-action, Tebow takes off early up the middle, breaks two tackles before getting to the sidelines. Nice run. In what would become a recurring theme, Tebow struggled with the snap when under center.
  1st & 10, SD 12 Tebow up the middle to SD 12 for no gain  Another bobbled snap, Tebow was lucky to get back to the line of scrimmage.
  2nd & 10, DEN 12 (From the shotgun) Tebow left guard for 12 yards, TOUCHDOWN We've seen this play hundreds of times when Tebow was in college and yet the Chargers seemed completey surprised. 
4:38 left in the 4th qtr 1st & 10, SD 41 (From the shotgun) Tebow right tackle to SD 33 for 8 yards  Hey, if the Chargers couldn't stop it on the TD run, try it again, this time to the right. It workd. Again.
  2nd & 2, SD 33 Tebow handoff to McGahee up the middle to SD 28 for 5 yards  
  1st & 10, SD 28 (From the shotgun)  Tebow pass short right to K.Moreno for 28 yards, TOUCHDOWN Tebow takes a five-step drop, turns right and throws the ball five yards in the air. Moreno does the rest.
  2-pt. conversion (From the shotgun) Tebow pass to B.Lloyd is incomplete, conversion fails. SD finally plays the QB sneak, Tebow takes a few steps to his left and throws a nice pass to the back corner of the end zone but Lloyd is well-defended. 
 0:24 left in the 4th qtr 1st & 10, DEN 20 (From the shotgun) Tebow pass incomplete deep right to B.Lloyd. Play Challenged by Replay Assistant and REVERSED. (Shotgun) Tebow pass deep right to B.Lloyd ran ob at DEN 40 for 20 yards Easily Tebow's best completion of the day even if it required a great effort from Lloyd. Tebow stood tall in the pocket, delivered the ball between two defenders, and it ended up being a 20-yard gain.
  1st & 10, DEN 40 (From the shotgun) Tebow pass to D.Fells to SD 29 for 31 yards  With SD in their prevent, Tebow holds the ball for five seconds before finding Fells in the middle of the field with two seconds to go (after the Broncos rush to the line and Tebow spikes the ball for one more play...)
  2nd & 10, SD 29 (From the shotgun) Tebow pass incomplete deep right to M.Willis  Pretty sure this wasn't how the Broncos drew the play up. Tebow takes scrambling to a new level (see graphic below) before throwing the ball into the back of the end zone for an incompletion (though we wouldn't have been shocked if Willis came down with the ball).
    GAME OVER, SD 29 DEN 24  
       


                                                   Audio-Visual



Here's the route Tebow took on the last play of the game. It speaks for itself.


And for completeness, the moving-pictures proof of the same play.


Here's the CBS recap.


Philip Rivers overcame an interception and a fourth-quarter fumble to lead the San Diego Chargers to a 29-24 win over the Denver Broncos. CBS Sports' Marv Albert and Rich Gannon have the recap.


                                                   Action Shots



(click images to enlarge)


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Posted on: September 17, 2011 12:45 pm
Edited on: September 17, 2011 3:33 pm
 

It's not if but when for Tebow, NFL starting QB

It's only a matter of time for Tim Tebow(US PRESSWIRE/Getty Images)

Posted by Ryan Wilson


The Denver Post's Mike Kiszla nails it when he calls Tim Tebow "America's favorite third-string quarterback." He's also onto something when he suggests it's only a matter of time before public pressure thrusts Tebow into the Broncos' starting lineup, for better or worse.

Following Monday's home loss to the Raiders, a game that included plenty of awful football and "TEBOW! TEBOW!" chants from the crowd, head coach John Fox ignored questions about if he had thoughts of pulling Kyle Orton for America's favorite third-stringer. The media can wait Fox out, of course, because this isn't going away until, well, Tebow plays.

"I'm responsible to put the best football product on the field, in my estimation," Fox told Kiszla Thursday, after making it clear Kyle Orton, not Tebow, is his starting quarterback. "Am I perfect? No. But I don't think there are too many perfect people running around this planet. So you do what you think is best.

"You're not going to please everybody. I don't care if you're in politics, I don't care if you're in business or I don't care if you're in coaching. I heard (former Secretary of State) Condoleezza Rice say once, 'Don't let tomorrow's headlines influence today's decisions.' I've tried to live by that the best I can."

In Fox's case, he's in politics, business and coaching, and when you're losing, like it or not, tomorrow's headlines end up influencing today's decisions. Which means that if the Broncos don't get better, Tebow will be the starting quarterback.

There's still the little issue of Tebow not showing much promise as an NFL signal caller (see Hoge, Merril for details). And if he were a fifth-round afterthought instead of a first-round pick there probably wouldn't be quite the zealotry to get him on the field. So, yes, this is Josh McDaniels' fault.

Can Tebow make it as an NFL QB?

Whoever's to blame, fans are serious about the cause. At least one of them is, anyway. Earlier in the week we told you about Jesse Oaks, who's saving pennies to buy a pro-Tebow billboard.

"We believe in Coach Fox, we’re just tired of Kyle Orton," Oaks told the Denver Post. "We were sitting around after Fox said he didn’t hear the chants for Tebow, and we figured if he’s deaf, we hope he’s not blind. …

"I've always been so proud when somebody asked: 'Hey, what's your favorite football team?' " Oaks said. "But lately people seem so happy for the Broncos to be average. What do you mean you hope we get to 8-8 this year? I was hoping for the Super Bowl. I feel like if we keep believing in an average quarterback, we're going to be average."

(The Super Bowl, huh? Hey, set your sights high, even if unreasonably so.) 

Fox, as always, was measured in his response."In this job, you're going to be criticized, and that's why we're compensated like we are."

Well, that and, you know, winning football games.

And the Tebow countdown clock continues to tick…

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Posted on: September 4, 2011 4:50 pm
 

Tracking Tebow: Preseason, Week 4 -- Cardinals



Posted by Ryan Wilson

That's right, we're tracking Tebow's performance throughout the preseason because, well, like a slow-motion train wreck we can't look away. And who knows, maybe this experiment doesn't derail and it has a happy ending. Wait, what's that? You don't care about Tebow? Then what are you doing here?

It took four preseason games, but Tim Tebow finally resembled the player Josh McDaniels thought he might be when he selected him in the first round of the 2010 draft. By now, Tebow's recent travails are familiar to everybody, even those with just a passing interest in football. And while he's been out of the running for the Broncos' No. 1 job for weeks now, the backup gigs have yet to be decided by head coach John Fox. 

If we're working from the "what have you done for me lately?" premise, Tebow wins in a landslide. He completed 7 of 11 passes for 116 yards and a touchdown against the Cardinals, while starter Brady Quinn managed to go 4 of 12 for 26 yards, including an interception. Denver lost to Arizona, 26-7.

Tracking Tebow: A Retrospective

But as the Denver Post's Mike Klis notes, Quinn outpaced Tebow by a wide margin in the first two preseason games (proof here and here).

Tebow was asked about his place on the depth chart after the Cards game. "I don't know," he said, via Klis. "I've never gone through something like this before, so I'm not really sure." And Fox, as he's said before, "more than likely not name a 2 or 3, because I believe it's a competitive issue."

Yes, because the obfuscation would be too much for opponents. No way they could prepare for both Quinn and Tebow. Either way, Klis makes a good point: "Long term, it would make sense to push Tebow along because both Orton and Quinn are free agents after this season. Tebow will make $6.7 million this year (he has already collected $6.28 million in salary advance), and will then have three more years left on his contract."

For now, all we can do is analyze Tebow's last start. That's right, it's the final edition of the Tebow Tracker, where we chart every one of his preseason snaps, the result, and what it all means for him and the Broncos in 2011. This installment is the most laudatory yet. That's right, people, the power of positive thinking at work. Alright, let's get to it...


                                                   Play by Play



Preseason, Week 4: Arizona Cardinals
Situation Down/Distance Result
Comment
1st series, 9:55 left in 3rd qtr. 1st & 10, DEN 6 Tebow handoff to J.Johnson to DEN 8 for 2 yards. (Note: you can see the entire play-by-play log here.)
  2nd & 8, DEN 8 Tebow scrambles left end pushed ob at DEN 16 for 8 yards. Play-action, steps up into pocket, takes a hit but remains on his feet. Reminscent of his Florida days.
  1st & 10, DEN 16 Tebow handoff to J.Johnson up the middle to DEN 20 for 4 yards.  
  2nd & 6, DEN 20 Tebow handoff to J.Johnson up the middle to DEN 21 for 1 yard.  
  3rd & 5, DEN 21 (From the shotgun) Tebow sacked at DEN 19 for -2 yards.
Doesn't show patience in the pocket, steps up and is dropped. The lack of awareness is recurring theme throughout the preseason.
  4th & 7, DEN 19 PUNT  
 2nd series, 4:35 left in 3rd qtr. 1st & 10, DEN 20 Tebow handoff to B.Minor up the middle to DEN 28 for 8 yards.  
  2nd & 8, DEN 28 Tebow handoff to Minor left tackle to DEN 32 for 4 yards.  
  1st & 10, DEN 32 Tebow pass incomplete short middle to B.Minor. Play-action, stands tall in the pocket, gets the ball off just as blindside pressure arrives. May have affected the pass.
  2nd & 10, DEN 32 Tebow handoff to B.Minor up the middle to DEN 35 for 3 yards.  
  3rd & 7, DEN 35 (From the shotgun) Tebow pass short middle to D.Anderson to ARZ 48 for 17 yards. Three-step drop, flushed left, throws across his body to middle of the field, finds Anderson who gets absolutely annihilated by a Denver defender.
  1st & 10, ARZ 48 Tebow handoff to B.Minor up the middle to ARZ 47 for 1 yard.  
  2nd & 9, ARZ 47 Tebow pass incomplete deep left to G.Orton. Play-action, stands tall in the pocket, throws a rope (that came out of his hands looking like a kickoff instead of a spiral) to Orton that should've been caught.
  3rd & 9, ARZ 47 (From the shotgun) Tebow pass short right to D.Gronkowski to ARZ 42 for 5 yards. Three-step drop, he scrambles around the pocket before finding Gronkowski, who made a nice one-handed catch to save a possible pick-6. 
  4th & 4, ARZ 42  FIELD GOAL NO GOOD  
3rd series, 9:41 left in 4th qtr.  1st & 10, DEN 32 B.Minor up the middle to DEN 40 for 8 yards (B.Nnabuife). PENALTY on DEN-D.Rosario, Offensive Holding, 10 yards, enforced at DEN 33.
 
  1st & 19, DEN 23 Tebow sacked at DEN 16 for -7 yards. Play-action that never had a chance; LT was beat off the snap and Tebow eventually dropped.
  2nd & 26, DEN 16 (From the shotgun) Tebow pass incomplete short right to D.Goodwin. Tebow fumbles the snap and is lucky to avoid a turnover deep in his own end. 
  3rd & 26, DEN 16 (From the shotgun) B.Minor up the middle to DEN 31 for 15 yards  
  4th & 11, DEN 31 PUNT  
4th series, 4:33 left in 4th qtr. 1st & 10, DEN 6 Tebow pass short left to D.Goodwin to DEN 19 for 13 yards. Three-step drop, ball is out quickly, and 6-7 yards after the catch on a nice move by Goodwin.
  1st & 10, DEN 19 Tebow pass deep right to D.Goodwin pushed OB at DEN 45 for 26 yards. Great protection. Tebow stands in the pocket for at least five seconds before finding Goodwin.
  1st & 10, DEN 45 Tebow pass short middle to J.Johnson to DEN 45 for no gai Screen pass.
  2nd & 10, DEN 45 (From the shotgun) Tebow pass incomplete short middle to J.Johnson. Has plenty of time and good protection. Somehow misses a wide open Johnson running a crossing pattern 10 yards downfield.
  3rd & 10, DEN 45 (From the shotgun) Tebow pass short right to E.Riley pushed ob at ARZ 43 for 12 yards. Nice play -- stands tall in the pocket, steps into the throw and gets the first down.
  1st & 10, ARZ 43 (From the shotgun) Tebow pass deep right to E.Riley for 43 yards, TOUCHDOWN. Almost a replay of the previous play. Three-step drop, hangs in the pocket, and hits Riley in stride. 


                                     Quotes, Video Awesomeness



"What we all have to remember is that when Josh McDaniels traded up to get him in the first round, that was a minority opinion in a big way in NFL talent evaluation circles. Not to say there weren't other people who were high in Tim Tebow, but to go out and get him in the first round … Josh McDaniels was sort of out on an island there. However, it's not shocking to me that a new regime would not embrace him with nearly the same enthusiasm. So, I went to Denver expecting to write about Tebow, but I was just struck with how much things had changed." - Yahoo.com's Michael Silver 

"I just worry about what I can contro. I've gone out there every day with a great attitude, great effort and great work ethic. If I do that, I know I'll improve every day, and I'm not worried about what everybody else is saying." - Tim Tebow

"I just got done looking at the film (of the Cardinals game). And I've moved on." - Brady Quinn


GLENDALE, AZ - SEPTEMBER 01: Quarterback Tim Tebow #15 of the Denver Broncos warms up before the preseason NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium on September 1, 2011 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)


                                                   Action Shots



Hey, it's like he never left college! We admit to giving Tebow a hard time tha last six weeks or so, but let's be honest: the guy looked nothing like an NFL quarterback for most of that time. And while we're happy that he showed well in the preseason finale, Kyle Orton deserves to be the starter. After 2011, when Orton and Quinn are no longer under contract? That's a different story. But this much is certain: there's no need to rush Tebow on the field now.

Feel free to relive all the preseason magic that was "Tracking Tebow." You know you want to.

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Posted on: August 31, 2011 8:01 pm
 

Tracking Tebow: Preseason, Week 3 -- Seahawks



Posted by Ryan Wilson

That's right, we're tracking Tebow's performance throughout the preseason because, well, like a slow-motion train wreck we can't look away. And who knows, maybe this experiment doesn't derail and it has a happy ending. Wait, what's that? You don't care about Tebow? Then what are you doing here?

Tim Tebow's fate as an NFL quarterback changes weekly. In July, he was the Broncos' franchise QB only to see those plans scrapped when Kyle Orton wasn't traded to the Dolphins. Then Tebow went from the guy behind the guy, to the guy behind Brady Quinn, to the fourth-best quarterback on the roster. And a few days later, he returned to the No. 2 gig. More than that, the organization not only has no plans to trade or release Tebow, he appears to be in their long-term plans.

This all happened over a few weeks and we've still got another preseason game to play before we get to the regular season.

Anyway, we finally got a chance to watch Tebow's Week 3 preseason performance against the Seahawks. Head coach John Fox said going into the game that Tebow had only thrown nine preseason passes so he wanted to give the 2010 first-rounder more playing time. Which is exactly what he got versus Seattle. He completed 6 of 11 throws for 93 yards and rushed four times for 25 yards in just over a quarter of work. He was also under center for the final drive that led to a game-winning 51-yard field goal.

Yes, it's another edition of the Tebow Tracker, where we chart every one of his preseason snaps, the result, and what it all means for him and the Broncos in 2011. This installment is slightly more upbeat than the gloom and doom that followed his 1-of-2 for 10-yards effort against the Bills last week. 

If nothing else, it's a reminder that NFL fortunes can change in a flash, and when you're talking about Tebow, sometimes faster than that. Alright, let's get to it...


                                                   Play by Play



Preseason, Week 3: Seattle Seahawks
Situation Down/Distance Result
Comment
1st series, 5:40 left in 3rd qtr. 1st & 10, DEN 24 Tebow handoff to L. Ball to DEN 30 for 6 yards. (Note: you can see the entire play-by-play log here.)
  2nd & 4, DEN 30 Tebow pass short left to J.Thomas to 50 for 20 yards. Play-action pass where Tebow avoids a pass-rusher, rolls left and hits Thomas in the numbers with a strike. Solid throw.
  1st & 10, 50 Tebow handoff to Ball around the right end pushed OB at SEA 43 for 7 yards. There's something to be said for a good running game to help out a young QB.
  2nd & 3, SEA 43 (From the shotgun) Tebow pass incomplete short right to B.Davis. Another play-action, Tebow held the ball too long in the pocket and was leveled as he let the ball go. Possible PI, but the ball needs to get out quicker either way.
  3rd & 3, SEA 43 (From the shotgun) Tebow sacked at SEA 47 for -4 yards (M.Smith). FUMBLES (M.Smith), touched at SEA 47, recovered by DEN-D.Anderson at DEN 48. D.Anderson to DEN 48 for no gain. Jail-break blitz forced Tebow to tuck and run immediately. Not a problem except for the part where he fumbled trying to get yards that weren't there.
  4th & 12, DEN 48 PUNT  
 2nd series, 14:16 left in 4th qtr. 1st & 10, DEN 20 Tebow handoff to Ball left tackle to DEN 29 for 9 yards  
  2nd & 1, DEN 29 Tebow handoff to Ball up the middle to DEN 41 for 12 yards   
  1st & 10, DEN 41 Tebow handoff to J.Johnson left guard to DEN 45 for 4 yards. We'll say it again: running games are a young QB's best friend.
  2nd & 6, DEN 45 Tebow pass deep right to J.Johnson pushed OB at SEA 32 for 23 yards. Another play-action pass where Tebow shakes off a rusher, rolls left and shows nice touch on a pass to a wide open Johnson.
  1st & 10, SEA 32 Tebow scrambles left end ran OB at SEA 30 for 2 yards. Guh. Busted play in the backfield. Upside: he got 2 yards.
  2nd & 8, SEA 30 J.Johnson right end to SEA 25 for 5 yards (B.Maxwell). PENALTY on SEA-R.Sherman, Illegal Use of Hands, 5 yards, enforced at SEA 25.  
  1st & 10, SEA 20 (From the shotgun) Tebow pass incomplete short right to L.Ball. Unlucky. Three-step drop, unblocked rusher coming from the left and Tebow throws a strike to his right ... that is promptly dropped.
  2nd & 10, SEA 20 (From the shotgun) PENALTY on DEN-T.Tebow, Delay of Game, 5 yards, enforced at SEA 20 - No Play. Yeah, that can't happen.
  2nd & 15, SEA 25 Tebow sacked at SEA 28 for -3 yards. And neither can that. Not sure who's at fault but Tebow took a half-step drop, looked confused and then got dropped.
  3rd & 18, SEA 28 (From the shotgun) Tebow pass short left to M.Willis to SEA 22 for 6 yards. Tebow has a pocket but tucks and runs anyway (which is common with young QBs) and completes a pass well short of the sticks near the sidelines.
  4th & 12, SEA 22 FIELD GOAL GOOD   
 3rd series, 8:59 left in 4th qtr. 1st & 10, DEN 20 Tebow handoff to Ball around right end pushed OB at DEN 21 for 1 yard.   
  2nd & 9, DEN 21 Tebow pass incomplete short left to D.Rosario. The RB misses a block and Tebow is flushed left. He makes a poor throw to an open Rosario. These are the passes he has to complete.
  3rd & 9, DEN 21 (From the shotgun) Tebow pass short right to M.Willis pushed ob at DEN 31 for 10 yards. Great protection, he stands tall in the pocket and delivers a strike to the sidelines.
  1st & 10, DEN 31 Tebow handoff to Johnson left end to DEN 32 for 1 yard.   
  2nd & 9, DEN 32 Tebow pass incomplete deep right to B.Davis. Another play-action, pass slightly underthrown and a step out of bounds. If you're going to miss that's the place to do it.
  3rd & 9, DEN 32 (From the shotgun) Tebow pass short left to M.Willis to DEN 40 for 8 yards. Denver challenged the runner was down by contact ruling, and the play was Upheld. Three-step drop, ball is tipped at the line of scrimmage but still has enough on it to get to Willis who's just short of the sticks.
  4th & 1, DEN 40 PUNT   
 4th series, 5:15 left in 4th qtr. 1st & 10, DEN 22 Tebow handoff to Ball up the middle to DEN 24 for 2 yards.   
  2nd & 8, DEN 24 Tebow sacked at DEN 19 for -5 yards  Oh my. Good pocket, Tebow holds the ball too long, avoids the first wave of rushers before eventually going down. Has to get the ball out quicker.
  3rd & 13, DEN 19 (From the shotgun) Tebow pass incomplete short left to E.Riley. Tebow hit as he throws (off his back foot). A good throw would've been good for a first down.
  4th & 13, DEN 19 PUNT   
5th series, 1:12 left in 4th qtr.  1st & 10, DEN 23 (From the shotgun) Tebow scrambles left tackle ran OB at DEN 42 for 19 yards. Good protection but Tebow sees a running lane and takes off. 
  1st & 10, DEN 42 (From the shotgun) Tebow pass short left to L.Ball to SEA 32 for 26 yards. Nice play call: a screen pass that any QB should be able to complete every time its called.
  1st & 10, SEA 32 (From the shotgun) Tebow FUMBLES (Aborted) at SEA 37, and recovers at SEA 37. T.Tebow to SEA 37 for no gain. Absolutely can't happen given the circumstances. The snap hit Tebow right in the hands.
  2nd & 15, SEA 37 (From the shotgun) Tebow right end to SEA 33 for 4 yards. Designed draw play Tebow made popular at Florida.
  3rd & 11, SEA 33 FIELD GOAL GOOD AS TIME EXPIRES   


                                   Unintentionally Awkward Headlines



DENVER, CO - AUGUST 27: Tim Tebow #15 of the Denver Broncos runs with the ball during the pre season game against the Seattle Seahawks at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on August 27, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Garrett W. Ellwood/Getty Images)


                                                   Action Shots



After Tebow spent much of the Bills game standing around wondering what had become of his NFL career, we have some actual action shots this week.. Against the Seahawks it was another inconsistent performance, but that's what you expect from a second-year quarterback. We're not sure if he's showing progress or still trying to find his way in the NFL. Given that he'd only completed nine passes this preseason, we tend to think it's the latter. That said, the organization appears to have faith in Tebow, something that wasn't clear a week ago. 


Please join us next week for another installment of "Tracking Tebow." You know you want to.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: August 26, 2011 1:45 pm
 

So Tim Tebow really does have a future in Denver?

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Tim Tebow has hit a rough patch. After an offseason in which it seemed he would ascend to the starting job, he's plummeted down the Broncos' depth chart and currently finds himself behind Kyle Orton, Brady Quinn, and, impossibly, maybe even Adam Weber.

ESPN analyst Merril Hoge has been scathing in his criticism, and earlier in the week, CBS analyst Boomer Esiason spoke frankly about Tebow's prospects as an NFL quarterback. "He can't play. He can't throw," Esiason said, according to USAToday.com. "I'm not here to insult him. The reality is he was a great college football player, maybe the greatest college football player of his time. But he's not an NFL quarterback right now. Just because he's God-fearing, and a great person off the field, and was a winner with the team that had the best athletes in college football, doesn't mean his game is going to translate to the NFL."

An unofficial Broncos PR campaign on Tebow's behalf followed, and talk of the 2010 first-round pick getting cut or traded has since subsided.

Earlier this month, Broncos Executive VP of Football Operations John Elway told ESPN, "[Tebow's] a great young man who is really working hard. But he didn't get an offseason to work on [playing from the pocket]. He didn't get much of that in college. And it's a completely different thing than the shotgun. Plus, he's only had the one season. But he's an amazing football player. I'd never give up on Tim Tebow."

At the time it sounded like a pretty crappy consolation prize for Tebow, who weeks before figured to open the season under center. But there's a very real chance that 2012 could provide Tebow with an opportunity to win quarterback job.

The nuts and bolts: Tebow is the only Broncos' quarterback under contract beyond 2011. In fact, he just cashed a $6 million bonus check from the organization so it's unlikely he'll be anywhere but Denver for the foreseeable future. Also helping his case for the starting gig, as explained by the Denver Post's Jeff Legwold:

"Failing to convince Orton to redo his current deal was one of the reasons a trade with the Dolphins fell through. Quinn is in the last year of the contract he signed as a rookie with Cleveland, and with his improved play he is itching for a chance to be a starter.

"Orton and Quinn are relatively young, with a chance to go into the open market in 2012. They would need pretty compelling reasons to pass up that potential financial windfall, which means the Broncos would likely have to dangle more-than-market value to them before that. That doesn't seem likely given the team's controlled approach in free agency. … The Broncos appear to be positioning themselves to let him learn this season and see what they can do with him in an offseason that doesn't include a lockout."

This means that our Tebow Tracker wasn't in vain, and more generally, the Broncos have every intention of bringing him along slowly and giving him an opportunity to be Denver's franchise quarterback. It's just not happening this year, which is for the best. Orton is clearly the better quarterback, and Tebow doesn't appear ready for full-time duty. If Philip Rivers can sit on the bench for two years, so can Tim.

And who knows, maybe by then his critics will have come around on the idea.

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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