by Michael Lombardi
January 26, 02010
QUOTE: “If you don't have enemies, you don't have character.” -- Paul Newman
Can we let Tim Tebow practice before jumping to conclusions?
I know and understand that everyone would love to reach a quick conclusion on quarterback Tim Tebow. My first rule of scouting, however, is: “Never begin with the end in mind,” which means we should allow Tebow some time to grow and develop before any rush to judgment.
Tebow is no different than Hall of Famer Steve Young, who left BYU and went to the USFL. Young was known as a runner first; he couldn’t read coverages, and it was felt he would struggle in a pro system. He went to the Bucs and failed to become integrated into their offense. He was literally given to the 49ers in a trade. The Bucs were convinced, as all of America and most of the 49ers organization were, that Young was never going to be a pro-style passer.
When coach Bill Walsh asked his staff if they were in favor of making the trade for Young, there were no yes votes. I kid you not. Today, there will be revisionist history, but I was in the room, and Walsh had little support for making the trade other than his own instincts and vision for Young. This is what made Walsh brilliant. He was not hoping for Young to be a good player, he had a plan to make Young a good player. He saw the path and couldn’t have cared less if anyone else saw it. He was never afraid to stand alone in his opinions.
Tebow might not be as fast as Young, but he is more powerful, and although they had different styles, both were effective runners. The style of offense from BYU to Florida is vastly different, but both men were looking to run with the ball. Young was viewed as a runner, not a quarterback. He was a failure in Tampa because they tried to fit him into their offense, not develop an offense around him. Tebow will be a success if he goes to a team that has a head coach who has a vision for him and, most important, a plan for his success.
Jets and the disease of me…
The Jets had an amazing season, and their outlook is bright, especially considering the way quarterback Mark Sanchez played in the final game. He was poised, he was tough and he was confident. All those areas are what made him an attractive player in the draft, and for once, the Jets have a quarterback to around. But they must be proactive and not take the approach that since they were close, all they need is to get Kris Jenkins and Leon Washington back and they’ll be fine. They must look at the Colts game and understand that had the Colts starters played them for the entire game in Week 16, they wouldn’t have made the playoffs.
Their success was wonderful, and based on how they performed in the playoffs, they should realize that they’re close -- if they make the right moves and the team doesn’t want new contracts. Success is the hardest obstacle to overcome for any young team. Teams must learn how to win, and they must learn how to handle success. If the Jets aren’t careful, they’ll have a team filled with players who want new deals and want to be rewarded for their efforts.
The best approach for the Jets is to embrace the reality of their playoff run but remind everyone that it wouldn’t have happened if the Colts needed the Week 16 game. They need to use the Virgil “The Turk” Sollozzo theory from “The Godfather” when he tells Tom Hagen: “I'm the hunted one. I've missed my chance. You think too much of me, kid. I am not that clever. All I want is a truce.” The Jets are not that good, they are not that close. They need to go back and find the hunger, make the right changes and avoid the disease of me, or next year they’ll end up like Sollozzo.
Dean Pees off to Baltimore…so what happens in N.E.?
As we first reported Sunday, Dean Pees is heading off to the Ravens as a linebackers coach and to help defensive coordinator Greg Mattison with game planning duties. Pees had several teams interested in his services, but without being able to get a defensive coordinator job, his best landing place was with his friend, John Harbaugh. Pees, along with secondary coach Chuck Pagano, will help Mattison prepare game plans.
So with all these jobs being filled, what will happen in New England? The Patriots have always been a team that wants to use their farm system of coaches to keep their program moving along. This favors current linebackers coach Matt Patricia for the job. Since Bill Belichick is involved in every area, he wants someone who will be able to listen to what he wants and hear every detail. Working for Belichick can be rewarding since he increases your responsibility based on performance, so the more you can do, the more you get to do.
Follow me on Twitter: michaelombardi