|It ain't textbook but it is Tebow. (AP)|
There probably isn't anything you could say to Tim Tebow that he hasn't heard before. So when CBS NFL analyst, radio host and former NFL quarterback Boomer Esiason says that the Jets should cut Tebow because "it's just not in any way, shape or form benefiting this team," you already know how Tebow is going to respond.
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"Kill them with kindness" is something your grandmother tells you when the middle school bullies keep stealing your lunch money, but Tebow applies that children's platitude in his adult life, too.
“I've heard nothing but great things about Mr. Esiason,” Tebow said in remarks distributed by the Jets (via PFT). “I know he was a great player here, and I just wish him nothing but the best in his announcing and God bless him."
Whatever your thoughts on Tebow, NFL quarterback, his response to Esiason was outstanding. It's the Tebow equivalent of giving you the finger. Intentional or otherwise, he comes off as agreeably vindictive, disregarding your original comments and instead throwing it back in your face. Plus, it's something he's heard before, countless times, from high school to college to the NFL.
“I've pretty much heard a lot of it,” Tebow said. “From when I was in high school, when they said I couldn't be a high school quarterback, when I was in college and my first year they told me ‘you'll never play quarterback,' and then, ‘you can never win a championship,' and ‘you'll never play in the NFL.' I've heard a lot of it and I just continue to use that as motivation and when I get my opportunities, try to make the most of them, just be the person that I am and not let that get me too excited or too down, but just be who I am and go out there and work as hard as I can every day and try and improve and be the best football player/quarterback that I can be.”
This isn't the first (or second) time Esiason has laid into Tebow. Nine months ago, he said this: “(Starting Tebow) is a bad move for two reasons: 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.”
It's worth noting that Boomer made these comments after Tebow was summarily dismantled by the Lions. But then Denver got hot, went on the most improbable of winning streaks and ending up winning the division and beating the Steelers in the playoffs. So, yeah. (It got to the point where even Merril Hoge, one of Tebow's biggest critics last season, had to admit he was wrong.)
Here's the thing -- and most of you know this already even if you're not willing to acknowledge it -- Tebow will be fine. He will be successful. Maybe not in the conventional sense of what we expect from quarterbacks or even football players, but in the Tebow sense. Which means that he'll do things we never expected, little things that make his team better, even if it's serving as punt protector. And while he's doing what he does, fans and media will be there questioning it all. That's how this is going to work, apparently: Tebow plays, we critique -- sometimes ridiculously -- and the process repeats itself ... forever.
We've all come to terms with that reality, as it seems has Tebow. And while Esiason thinks the Jets would be better off in a Tebow-less world, it ain't happening. In fact, there's a chance -- a much, much, much better chance -- that Tebow ends up with Mark Sanchez's job.
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