The “Tebow Thing”

By: Shawn Davis

Who do you want Denver? Choose wisely.

I don’t really get why there’s so much clamor for the Broncos to start Tim Tebow. No, I am not a “hater” of his by any means. Tell me why all the noise to replace Kyle Orton, who already is a proven starter in the NFL? That cannot be debated or undervalued, but in this case, it seems to be.

Media reports and other t.v. talking heads say Broncos fans are “smart” and “they know their football.” With those factors being considered, why in the world would they want to start a qb who is a project player at best – at least for now? It escapes my mind, totally. When it comes down to business – at it usually does in professional sports – it’s about numbers and Tebow does them. His jersey is top five in sales, top five! That type of action has the Broncos brass ready to pounce. Why? Jersey sales show fan interest and support, he’s a marketable face of the franchise and he just happens to be a lightning rod…which fosters interest, one way or the other. “Interest” at this level – more often than not – translates to dollars.

Over the past two years Kyle Orton averaged 3700 passing yards and 20 touchdowns while Tebow threw for 654 yards and 6 touchdowns last year. He was a rookie and played towards the end of the season after the team was eliminated from playoff contention. It’s not like Orton is the old guy holding the upstart back, he’s 28 while Tebow is 23. They are both young players in this league with long careers ahead of them – in a best case scenario.

Merill Hoge was criticized last week for his analysis, but his job is to analyze. People seem to forget this! He wasn’t attacking the guy; he gave a detailed look at how his game translates from the college level to the pros, nothing malicious.

Orton has amassed a 32-19 career record, which doesn’t WOW anyone, but it shows that as a player, he wins. Is that not important? Mind you, his team went 4-12 last year because their defense had some issues, so had they been average his winning percentage is a little higher.

In practice, Orton has been leaps and bounds better than his younger counterpart. Apologists defend Tebow by saying that practice doesn’t tell the whole story because he’s a “gamer.” So I guess Orton isn’t then?

Resurrected receiver Brandon Lloyd said that they have to deal with this “Tebow thing” one way or another and they do, I understand that. However, for fans to bang down the doors for a player that isn’t ready – at the most vital position – is misguided. If you’re trying to win football games, Orton is the guy. It’s all about winning, right?

I honestly feel that Tebow can be a productive quarterback but he’s going to need to sit for another year to learn and work on his fundamentals. Why must he be rushed? It’s because he was drafted about four rounds earlier than most experts predicted. With that said, Carson Palmer sat for a whole year and Aaron Rodgers sat for three but once those guys became starters they had a grasp for the game.

Tebow’s delivery is discredited; well Phillip Rivers was knocked for that as well and he’s fine. I like Tebow’s complete game and I think if he loses about 15-20 pounds, his delivery would be smoother and have fluidity to it. He’s built like a linebacker and maybe he should slim down a little. I’m a fan but Orton is the guy if it’s about winning. That is what it’s about, right?

I like that Orton stood up for himself after being politically correct throughout training camp by stating that he doesn’t care what the fans think or feel about him. Isn’t it great that, in spite of the support to unseat him, he tells the public how he feels? Even though it’s not popular? I think it shows someone who’s taking this subject seriously and he’ll show them the best leader for the team doesn’t have a top-selling jersey.

Photo: sportsillustrated.cnn.com

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2 thoughts on “The “Tebow Thing”

  1. AthenaVox August 13, 2011 / 6:32 pm

    You sure know your football! I used to know a lot before that fantasy football drafts of yesteryear, but no more…Great insight and strong piece!

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