In thirty minutes or less the NFL Network and its crack squad of former players and coaches presented their dissertation on how to stop Tim Tebow.
Beginning with the game versus the Miami Dolphins a montage of clips show Tebow marching from being down 15 nil to winning the game, onto the Oakland Raiders, Kansas City Chiefs, New York Jets and San Diego Chargers–all in rapid fire. “The Tebow train continues to pull off W’s!”
The show hosted by Joe Theismann along with Solomon Wilcots, Matt Millen, and Brian Baldinger is broken down into three sections:
- QB Roundtable: Does anyone compare to Tim Tebow
- Interview with Mike McCoy: Broncos offensive coordinator on changes to the Broncos playbook.
- Front Office View: Michael Lombardi: Is Tebow the Broncos QB of the future?
Yes, that should just about do it…
Credit is given by the hosts to the coaching decision to change the playbook and a viewer writes in regarding the “Tebow Option,” which he claims cannot be explained by anyone. Baldinger points out that, “Well, in college it is called the read option,” before sending high praise to the Denver Broncos and reassuring that he is a fan of the team.
The show leads to: Keys to success for the Broncos read option. Immediately it is pointed out that Denver leads the league in rushing through week twelve with 1,757 yards. Onto why the read option is working for the Broncos; Baldinger begins by stating what most fans will know already, the read option is geared towards running and takes away a defensive player because the quarterback is not a passing threat, he is a running threat. Using the second game against the Chargers as the demonstration they illustrate that there simply isn’t a whole lot that a defense can do to stop it. If the middles and outside linebackers commit to the run, the quarterback goes outside the outside option, if the outside contain stays home a hole in the middle of where the offensive line was just a second ago is forming very elaborately.
Random fact: It is difficult to tackle Tebow, he doesn’t look to go out of bounds, he looks to truck a motherfucker punish someone before he goes down.
Greg Cosel is brought on as Playbook attempts to compare Tebow to other mobile quarterbacks. Theisman begins, “He’s the only one that we’ve ever seen do the things the Tim Tebow is doing. Has there been anyone in your mind, Greg?”
“Well, I would answer that with a no,” Cosel goes on to point out that no quarterback in NFL history has run the read option as a base offense.
Enter Tebow comparisons to historical quarterbacks, Theisman compares Tebow to Chicago Bears lefty Bobby Douglass (which seems a pretty fair comparison), before the name Joe Kapp is brought into the comparison pile by Millen [Editors note: Kapp has recently been popularized for other reasons). Kapp’s passes weren’t the best, he would run defenders over and force his team to win sometimes on sheer will. Cosel compares Tebow to Donovan McNabb (at Syracuse).
“The Broncos have had 80 possessions under Tim Tebow, 56% of them have been punts. You cannot sustain long term offensive efficiency while punting 56% of the time.” – Greg Cosel.
Random fact: Both the offensive line and Willis McGahee benefit from Tebow’s presence (see how teamwork works?), as Tebow’s running ability forces defenses to stay home while the offensive line puts them exactly where they want the defense to be.
The third segment is the Mike McCoy interview.
McCoy basically has ‘much a-say about nothing,’ offering little insight into what the Broncos are actually doing. McCoy did single out Demaryius Thomas as one he and the coaches will run things by (option-wise) for thoughts asking things like, “How would you read this, what do you think about this,” offering even to change up the blocking scheme based on players like Thomas and Tebow’s thoughts.
In comes Michael Lombardi for The Days of Tebow Future (as I am calling it) who quickly points out that Josh McDaniels, not John Elway drafted Tebow, but basically ends up with the fact that if Tebow keeps winning what really can the Broncos do other than stick with him? Lombardi suggests building the team through the draft exactly the way the way the staff feels is necessary (around Tebow) before pointing out that hey if the quarterback Denver wants is available in the first round, draft him.
Random Fact: Tebow leads the NFL is rushing average with 5.8-yards per carry.
Finally, how to stop Tebow: Stay disciplined, take care of your read and force everything inside. It’s all about eyes and all about discipline. “Beat the living snot out of that guy every chance that you can. Every time he declares himself a runner,” suggests Millen.
“There’s a lot of young running quarterbacks, but there aren’t any old ones.” – Jim Plunkett
And that’s it from NFL Network’s studios in Los Angeles, not a terrible amount of insight, but the historical comparrisons to quarterbacks were interesting and I believe very much spot-on. The Plunkett quote is something very true and Tebow’s long term success does reside in the fact that he’ll have to start passing more often, but everyone knows that. For now fans can enjoy the ride and the reminder most Sundays that yes in fact you do have a heart and it will stop and then pound and then stop and then pound.