Column: Tim Tebow’s NFL magic is gone for now
Published: Thursday, September 5, 2013
Updated: Thursday, September 5, 2013 00:09
After Tim Tebow’s not so memorable season with the Jets, it was a surprise that Bill Belichick signed him to be the backup quarterback for New England in June. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy Tebowing as much as the next football fan, but ever since the 2012 game where Tebow threw that 80-yard pass in overtime to help the Broncos get past the Steelers in the first round of the playoffs, Tebow has lost his magic as a player.
The spiritual 26-year-old quarterback didn’t impress the almighty Pats enough to stay on the team for long. Tebow was released August 31, just a mere five days before the regular season began. During his short time in preseason, he completed 11 of 30 passes for 145 yards; he threw two touchdown passes but also had two interceptions in the three games he played. Tebow performed poorly in the first two games against the Eagles and Buccaneers and sat for the third game, but improved greatly in his performance against the New York Giants. This was easily his best game; he threw his second touchdown pass with six seconds left in the game and ran for 30 yards on six carries.
Despite stepping up to show his true potential in the last game, critics claim Tebow needs more work in key areas. Herm Edwards, the former New York Jets coach, claims the Heisman Trophy winner needs more work on playing inside the pocket, and most importantly, on accuracy.
“It always boils down to that,” Edwards said. “A quarterback has to be accurate with the football and Tim Tebow has not been that in his career thus far in National Football.”
Edwards argues that the quarterback must be in control and productive while on the field because that position – more than any other – dictates what happens throughout the game. However, the former Jets coach gives credit where credit is due.
“The one thing we do know about Tim Tebow is for some reason in the fourth quarter he seems to light it up,” Edwards stated. “No matter how he’s played in the first three quarters, if he could play like its the fourth quarter all the time we wouldn’t be having this discussion right now.”
Since Tebow was cut at the last second, it is unlikely he will sign with another team before this season starts. Rumors in the sports world have claimed that Tebow is considering playing for the Canadian Football League this season. They suggest with more practice in the CFL, he could improve enough to get back into the NFL next season. Steve Clarkson, who worked with Tebow in the offseason was said to have strongly pushed the CFL as an option for the young sports star.
“Sitting is not an option for Tim,” Clarkson said. “He’s ultra competitive. He needs to stick to his strength which is being in a competitive environment… clearly football is still in his blood.”
Now I pose this question: was it wise of the Patriots to cut Tebow? Granted his stats and performance haven’t been ideal, but its nothing that continuous practice can’t fix. Ultimately, the Pats may not have thought over the worst-case scenario before giving Tebow the axe. If Tom Brady gets hurt and is unable to play, who is going to take over? Ever heard of Ryan Mallett? Probably not, as Tom Brady’s ego is so big and Aaron Hernandez’s criminal accusations so ugly that few have had had time to learn about the other players on the team. So in case if you didn’t know, Ryan Mallett is the only backup quarterback on the roster with Tebow gone.
So is this Mallet guy any better than Tebow? Well, he is certainly unproven! In the 2012 season, Mallett played a total of four games, with four pass attempts and only one completed. In case you didn’t catch that, I’ll emphasize it again: Mallet has only completed a single pass in the National Football League. That’s who you want controlling the field if Tom Brady gets hurt? It gets worse. Mallett’s total rushing yards was -9 last season. His longest run was -1 yard and his one pass was 17 yards. I’m sure Mallett has plenty of potential considering he made it to the NFL, but he doesn’t have nearly as much experience as he should. Who knows how he would react in a high-pressure situation, and no team is going to give the Patriots any slack because this kid is new. Belichick is putting his team at potential risk for disaster this season.
But for now all we can do is say farewell, Tim Tebow, and maybe see you next year – unless fate calls you back again sometime sooner.