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| Friday, August 29, 2014



Making the case against Tim Tebow





Assuming you weren’t living in the library this past week, you probably know that a polarizing superstar athlete took his talents from Denver to New York.

As Peyton Manning was heading to the Mile High City, Broncos miracle-man quarterback Tim Tebow was on his way to Midtown.

The move has resulted in the many Tebow followers combining with Jets fans. That is a very dangerous combination. One fan base has not been happy with a quarterback since Joe Namath, while Tebow’s fans are totally blind to the quarterback’s obvious deficiencies.

I’m here to break the news early to both Tebow lovers and Mark Sanchez haters: Tebow is not a starting quarterback.

The Broncos wouldn’t have signed a 36-year-old quarterback coming off multiple neck surgeries unless their selection of quarterbacks was terrible.

While NFL teams may not specifically run Air Raid offenses, being able to throw the ball is the most important component of running an offense and winning in the NFL. That means all game, not just the fourth quarter.

Manning has shown he can do that, consistently, throughout his career. Even in college, Tebow proved to be an ineffective passer.

Look, there are good things about Tebow. He is competitive and commands respect from his teammates. Plus, there is all of his charity off the field. It’s easy to see why people like him.

However, being a quarterback in the NFL requires a lot more than intangibles. It requires attributes like accuracy and mental makeup, both of which Tebow significantly lacks.

Intangibles are an important part of the game, but they shouldn’t be overlooked for physical ability. Hines Ward brought plenty of intangibles to the Steelers, but the Steelers released him because, while he was healthy, he was not able to compete at a high level on the field.

You may think things have changed now that Tebow has to compete against Mark Sanchez and not Manning. I’d be lying if I said that Tebow has a zero percent chance of not seeing “real” quarterback time with the Jets because, let’s face it, Mark Sanchez isn’t Peyton Manning.

But, most likely, nothing will change. Why? Because NFL teams want the most reliable pass thrower on the team to start, not the one with the most intangibles. It’s the same reason why Tebow could never beat out Kyle Orton or Brady Quinn in training camp.

Tebow supporters will say, “All he does is win, isn’t that what a quarterback should do?”

Actually, he has a few fourth quarter comebacks. In Tebow’s second year, he had five fourth quarter comebacks. In Sanchez’s second year, he had four.

Being able to take over a game at any point, and not just the game’s final five minutes, is what’s most important.

If players who won a lot were so vital, then Kellen Moore, who has the most wins as a quarterback in college football history, wouldn’t be projected to go in the seventh round of the upcoming draft. By that same logic, Colt McCoy, who’s second behind Moore, wouldn’t be fighting for his job in Cleveland.

You can root for Tebow and all his Wildcat magic, but magic has never won a Super Bowl.

esaltzman@theeagleonline.com