MORRISSEY: Tim Tebow was everything to everybody — except an NFL quarterback
BY RICK MORRISSEY Twitter: @Morrissey_CST April 29, 2013 11:00AM
Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow (15) prays in the end zone before the start of an NFL football game against the Chicago Bears, Sunday, Dec. 11, 2011, in Denver. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
Updated: April 29, 2013 10:43PM
I feel bad for Tim Tebow. I mean that. By virtue of his strong religious beliefs, his squeaky clean lifestyle and his good looks, he found himself held up as something more than he was.
He was everything except an NFL quarterback.
Now he’s ruined as a football player. The Jets waived him Monday. No matter how good he might possibly be as a fullback or a special teams player, no team in its right mind would want the drama and nonsense that follows him wherever he goes.
I feel bad for him because much of what happened was beyond his control. Oh, I suppose he could have made a plea to his legions of followers, the people who projected their hopes and dreams onto him, to please stop with the idolatry. But I don’t think it would have made a bit of difference. To many Tebow fans, he stood for more than football. He stood for the ideal of Christianity. And that’s fine, in theory. It wasn’t so fine when he was relegated to the sidelines. Then his followers were angry and insistent. Every Mark Sanchez interception launched a crusade for change.
Tebow is done as a quarterback. If a team is dumb enough to sign him to play any other position, it can count on those same fans starting the drumbeat for him to replace the quarterback. Remember the comebacks he led in Denver, they’ll say. Remember how he set hearts on fire by Tebowing?
What his supporters choose to ignore is that Tebow cannot throw a football with accuracy, and unless some team decides to run the triple option, there is no place for him as a quarterback. Please don’t bring up Colin Kaepernick’s success as a 49er. Besides his running ability, he has a gun for an arm. He also completed 62.4 percent of his passes last season. In 2011, Tebow’s lone season as a full-time starter, his completion percentage was 46.5.
The rabid faith in Tebow, the idea that he can do no wrong, the belief that anyone who doesn’t think he’s an NFL quarterback is working for the devil– those are among the things that have made him toxic around the league. If you’re a general manager, why would you want to deal with the pressure to play him when there are many, many players who can play special teams or tight end? You wouldn’t.
I have no doubt that Tebow will have a very successful and fulfilling life. People will fill stadiums just to hear him speak. His message obviously resonates. He just can’t play quarterback.
If his NFL career is over, his fans should understand that part of the blame falls on them. Something tells me they won’t see it.