Sunday night I got a firsthand look at the NFL debut of one Tim TebowT. I am not sure if you have heard of him, but according to everyone ever, he will become Johnny Unitas, Frank Tarkenton and Tom Brady rolled into one super-ultra-mega quarterback. Granted, Tim Tebow currently shares none of the characteristics of the three quarterbacks I just mentioned other than playing the same position.
We watched Tim Tebow for four years at Florida, whether we wanted to or not, inspire millions of people to do great things with their life, even if they were not football fans. You see, not only does Tim Tebow play football; he does church missions, speeches, auto repairs, plumbing and surgery. Some of those might be an exaggeration, but I am not sure which ones.
[adinserter block=”2″]If you watched the NFL Draft this past April, you saw how much attention was paid to both where and when Tebow was going to go. I found it fascinating that for someone as great as Tebow was, the experts agreed he had to go into the right situation to succeed. I always thought if you were great at something, you could do it anywhere, adapt to your surroundings and deal with adversity and still be great. Now, however, greatness only comes when all the stars are aligned. Luckily for Tebow, star alignment is also one of his skills. He got drafted by a coach in Josh McDaniel’s who is young and optimistic enough to believe everything that has ever been written, spoken or tweeted about Tebow the last four years. McDaniel traded back into the first round to draft Tebow. Now McDaniel’s’ career is in the hands of Tebow. I was on hand Sunday night for his professional debut and got an up close look, six rows away, from the phenomenon.
The first thing that I noticed was the size of Tebow. He did not look all that large. It made me realize how giant players are in the NFL, something Tebow would realize in the fourth quarter. I watched him during warm-ups throwing fifteen yard go routes to receivers. Tebow threw about twelve or so of these and I saw only two that were tight spirals. The rest were wobbly, fluttery passes. The kind I haven’t seen since a young Cade McNown graced Chicago Bears fans a decade ago. Still, it did not deter the plethora of Broncos fans that had gathered around to watch. There are always visiting fans at NFL stadiums, but tonight was different. Broncos’ fans had successfully penetrated Paul Brown Stadium; everywhere you looked, you saw Broncos’ gear. My favorite being a Bill Romanowski jersey!
Let me assure you, Kyle Orton will be the Broncos starting quarterback when the regular season starts. He played very well and is comfortable in the Broncos offense. Sunday, Brady Quinn was the backup and Tebow was third string. That will be changing, if it hasn’t already. Quinn was awful, which is no surprise to Browns fans. If I was Tebow watching Quinn play, I would be asking myself if this was some kind of joke being played on him. Almost like another form of rookie hazing. After Quinn was done embarrassing himself, it was finally Tim Tebow time.
[adinserter block=”1″]When bullets started flying, I could see Tebow revert back to his old throwing motion. He is definitely not comfortable with his new delivery and you could see that the second he was under any pressure and he saw his fair share of that. On one play, the Bengals blitzed off the corner and Tebow got blown up. It was at that point he realized that it was no longer Vanderbilt on the other side of the ball. It was not even the starting Bengal defense which served as a wake up call to not just Tebow but any NFL rookie. Even backups in the NFL are bigger, stronger and faster than starters at the college level.
Tim Tebow did have a touchdown run in which he chose not to dive or slide into the end zone but rather stand up and take on a defensive back. Tebow took a hard shot but scored and popped right up. He also made one pro-caliber pass that was dropped by a young receiver who will not make it onto the Broncos roster since that was not his only drop of the game.
The final verdict is Tebow did not appear to be a super-ultra-mega quarterback. The good news for Broncos fans is he did not appear to be Brady Quinn bad, Ryan Leaf awful or JaMarcus Russell squishy either. Tim Tebow could become the second coming before his career is over. We will just have to wait and see if it is of Steve Young or Scott Mitchell.
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