Would you mind leading us all in a rendition of "Happy Trails" for Broncos coach Josh McDaniels after his idiotic 25th pick in this year's NFL draft of Tim Tebow? Does he really think Tebow is a franchise quarterback? I'd rather take my chances with Brady Quinn and draft a center or nose tackle with that pick. I'm not a general manager or a head coach, but I do know that if you're going to draft a QB in the first or second round, you had better expect him to be your franchise player. Tebow is not that.
— Robert, Atlanta
Robert: I bow to your expertise and welcome your opinion from Buckhead, except ... How in the name of God Shammgod (former NBA player) can you sit there staring at your computer screen in Atlanta and claim Tim Tebow won't be a franchise quarterback? Based on what? Your barber told you so?
I vividly remember writing in 1982, when the NFL strike was going on and I decided to travel around to see college players (Eric Dickerson, Herschel Walker and several others), and I wrote a column saying: "I have seen the future of pro football, and his name is John Elway."
I recommended that the Broncos find a way to get him. You know what people wrote, via snail mail: "Elway's a loser. He never got Stanford in a bowl. ... He's too cocky. ... He should play baseball, not football. He's not good enough to make it as a quarterback. ... Elway's a papa's boy. ... He can't throw short routes and doesn't read defenses. ... Elway won't be a franchise quarterback."
Five Super Bowls. Hall of Fame. (I gave his nominating speech: "Gentlemen, John Elway.")
Your reply is: "I've seen Elway, and Tebow is no Elway."
Tebow's assistant coach at the University of Florida in his senior season (and a main reason Tebow returned) was Scot Loeffler, a former NFL quarterbacks coach and one-time Michigan quarterback and Michigan assistant. He played with Tom Brady and was a graduate assistant helping Brady his senior year. Loeffler worked with Chad Henne, the Dolphins' starter. Loeffler has compared Tebow favorably to both guys.
Of course, Loeffler is biased. But he was brought in specifically to help Tebow get ready for the pros. Tebow did have a low start-up point on his throws in college, but he hired three former NFL coaches, and he has corrected the hitch.
Some claim he will go back to it. I don't believe so.
The young man has worked too hard over the years to correct flaws and get himself prepared to play high school, college and, now, pro football.
How many times have you talked to him, Robert? Let me guess.
How many times have you seen him play in person? How many of his coaches and opposing coaches and NFL coaches have your talked to?
I talked to Tebow twice in college, and I've spent some quality time with him in Denver the past week. He has that same aura Elway had as a rookie.
When he comes into a room, you can tell he's a quarterback. There's a je ne sais quoi. But there's a special quality.
John totally was a natural athlete, and maybe he didn't have to work so hard early on (although he did more as he got older and wanted so badly to win a Super Bowl).
Tebow always has worked harder than everyone around him and made himself into a quality player.
When he was in high school, Tebow attended a "Friday Night Lights" weekend at the University of Florida. After a meeting of young players and coaches, the Gators' strength and conditioning coach took Tebow downstairs to the weight room for a cheeseburger.
As the two sat there having lunch, Tebow asked what the Florida record was for most leg lifts. Mickey Marotti, the coach, replied: "Oh, 18, I think, by some lineman." After he finished his fries, Tebow walked over to the weights, did 19 lifts, and left.
He has a body that punishes defensive linemen. He can run better than Elway did. He can pass in this offense, just as Brady does at New England (under McDaniels for three years), and Brady can't run a lick.
I will tell you who to compare Tebow to: Steve Young. Out of high school, nobody wanted Young as a quarterback. Recruiters thought he was a running back or a safety.
He went to BYU because he was a great-great-great grandson of Brigham Young, and he was playing behind Jim McMahon when the Cougars played Colorado in Boulder in 1981. McMahon lit up CU early, then got hurt. Steve came in and ran and passed the Buffs silly, finishing off a 41-20 BYU victory. I wrote a column about this amazing kid. He was strictly a QB at BYU after that game.
But the NFL didn't think much of him, and people thought the left-hander would have to play another position in the pros. So Young went off to the USFL (signing with the Los Angeles team owned by Denver cable mogul Bill Daniels) and was great.
The Tampa Bay Bucs signed him. After a couple of years with that lousy team, Young went off to the 49ers and sat behind Joe Montana. When Montana was hurt, and later when he was traded, all Young — who didn't have a strong arm, but could throw hard and could run harder — did was become the most accurate passer in NFL history and win a Super Bowl (with Mike Shanahan as his offensive coordinator).
Shanahan loves Tebow. (You can add your own line here.) Tebow is Steve Young, who was a leader, a competitor, a football player, a quarterback, an intelligent young man who commanded respect from the other players.
When Young retired, I went to San Francisco, and in his hotel room he told me that he still had that column I wrote about him in college. "You were the first one to really praise me as a QB."
You can say I'm name-dropping, and that's fine, but I've been around Young and Elway, and I see a lot of the same characteristics in Tebow. All he does is win.
That must not be enough for you, Robert. You would prefer an inside linebacker. The Broncos just signed a veteran inside linebacker, and they still have Mario Haggan on the team, and they will be fine there.
Football and sports are entertainment. What's more entertaining in the NFL than the drafting of Tim Tebow? It will give us something to follow for years, just as Elway's acquisition gave us something to wonder about, then enjoy, in the 1980s and 1990s.
Did you think JaMarcus Russell was going to be a great quarterback? A lot of people were wrong about him. The Raiders are giving up on him.
Kyle "Pro Bowl" Orton is not the long-term solution here. We don't know, honestly, about Brady Quinn. The Broncos will use Tebow 10 to 12 plays a game his rookie season as a wildcat quarterback, a third-and-1 quarterback, a fourth-and-2 quarterback, a change of pace quarterback.
McDaniels will bust himself to make Tebow a better quarterback, and I know Tebow will bust everything he has to prove people wrong who are somewhere off in Atlanta.
Tebow is not that? You don't know. Maybe I don't know. But I do know you and I and everyone else reading this mailbag will pay attention to him, more than Sam Bradford or Colt McCoy or Rolando McClain, and there will be anti-Tebowers and pro-Timmys.
You'd rather take your chance with Brady Quinn and have a nose tackle. The Broncos have three nose tackles. How many do you want, and would you really care if they had drafted Dan Williams out of Tennessee? No.
It was worth the chance, because we're all going to have fun with this for years.
Besides, when I shook hands with Tebow the other day, I was stunned by the large size of his hands. He's not going to fumble.
Woody Paige thinks Tebow is going to be a franchise QB
Last edited by Von Dumbass; 04-29-2010 at 06:46 AM..