by Kent Sterling
When you stir a nest of easily agitated hornets, they attack without thought or logic.
Immediately following the Jets decision to release Tim Tebow, I wrote about how it was the correct decision and how it validated ESPN’s Merrl Hoge’s appraisal of Tebow’s ability to play quarterback in the NFL. What I found is that Tebow has passionate defenders.
But instead of extolling Tebow’s virtues, their only defense of their guy is to bludgeon his chief attacker. “Merril Hoge made it personal.” “Merril Hoge is an ass!” Merril Hoge said Tebow is as phony as a three-dollar bill, and that’s not nice!”
Finally, the more generic defense of Tebow, “Stats can say anything you want them to.”
Nowhere in any of the comments did anyone offer a defense of Tebow’s ability to deliver the football with accuracy, and answer why all 32 NFL GMs have taken a pass on the Heisman Trophy winner.
The truth is that Tebow does not throw the ball accurately enough to warrant a job as QB in the NFL. Assuming he is a wonderful, God loving human being, being one is not part of the equation in evaluating a quarterback.
Statistics don’t worship Jesus, Allah, Mohammad, Moses, Yahweh, Buddha, Confucius, or any other deity. Here are relevant numbers for Tebow:
- Completed 47.9% of his passes – worst for a QB with 16 or more starts since 2010.
- After winning eight of his first 11 starts, Tebow lost four of his last five once coordinators found a scheme to attack him.
- In a league where turnovers kill, Tebow led the NFL with 14 fumbles in just 11 starts in 2011.
- Minus TD% Index and Sack% Index, Tebow’s advanced stats are either below average, or far below average.
- In 2011, Tebow engineered six game winning drives.
- The team for whom Tebow led six game winning drives let Tebow go.
- The Jets chose to start Greg McElroy over Tebow when Mark Sanchez was benched late in the 2012 season.
- The 30 other teams have all rejected overtures to deal any draft choice for Tebow.
But people, including Tebow, continue to believe that Tebow can play QB in the NFL.
Chase Stuart of footballperspective.com posted a piece this morning showing all quarterbacks ranked by the adjusted yards per attempted in their final home start. Not surprisingly, Tebow is on top with an incredible 16.95. Glad Stuart used that seemingly randomly chosen game, rather than his last regular season game, where he would rank last with 0.68 AY/A.
The 16.95 AY/A is the highest of his career in a start. The numbers in the last five starts other than that one – 5.44, 8.82, 6.38, 0.68, and 5.23. The Broncos averaged 10 points scored in those games in which the Broncos went 1-4; six of those points per game of were accounted for by Tebow (two passing TDs/3 rushing TDs).
This is not a debate about the quality of Tebow’s character. He was a remarkable leader at Florida, and will be revered there forever, and who could blame Gator fans for loving the guy. He won a Heisman, and played for two national championship teams. The ways in which he was statistically superb can’t be listed.
Winning a Heisman does not correlate to enjoying a productive professional career. Other examples of pro busts with a Heisman on their mantle – Matt Leinart, Jason White, Chris Weinke, Danny Wuerffel, Gino Torretta, and Ty Detmer.
Saying that Tebow can’t play quarterback in the NFL isn’t an indictment of the human being. It’s about an arm ungifted with the ability to deliver the ball accurately.
Angry hornets buzz in circles without any notion of why they are furious, and without any regard for where they are going. Yep, that’s about right.