by Matt Bowen
April 08, 02010
Can anyone figure out Tim Tebow right now?
That has been my question for most of the week. I’ve heard all the analysis and talked to plenty of league sources and there is no solid answer whatsoever when it comes to trying to determine where Tebow fits in the NFL.
In yesterday’s Mock Draft, NFP scout Wes Bunting has Tebow going to the Bills at No. 9. That high? Hey, why not? Chan Gailey is an offensive head coach, the organization as a whole is impressed with Tebow, and looking at the current crop of QBs in western New York, it isn’t too far-fetched to see Buffalo make a big play here for the biggest name in the draft. Because, right now anything goes when trying to slot Tebow.
I agree as much with the next guy that former Gator is the farthest thing from NFL-ready when it comes to the QB position. But, name a rookie QB who is NFL ready. Or a lineman, a safety, a corner, etc. None of these guys are. They all take time to develop.
Is it crazy to think that he can have somewhat of an impact on Sundays in a situational role? Think of Pat White in Miami or even Michael Vick in Philly last year. These guys could be considered coach’s toys or players you use in exotic packages. But, they still can have a minimal impact in certain situations, inside the 20-yard line and when an offense is in scoring position and needs a play.
From a defensive player’s perspective, these packages are tough to prepare for. They take up practice time and they require you to read your keys and play smart football.
But, what kind of value can we put on that when it comes to slotting a guy for the draft?
I went a different route the last couple of days and strictly talked to defensive coaches in the league. To be honest, I wanted to hear from coaches who would have to game plan against him. Forget about the play callers who will find a way to get him on the field.
What did the coaches who will get paid to stop him think?
I talked to position coaches and defensive coordinators in the league, and most of them question Tebow’s ability to play under center. They talked about his athletic ability, how he would be a great fit in the locker room and what he can bring to a team in terms of leadership quality and ability. But, none of them are sold on Tebow producing at the quarterback position in the NFL.
There is no doubting his character or his ability as a unique athlete at this stage of the game.
The wildcat? That is always brought up. Defensive coaches already view this thing as a gadget. Two coaches even brought up Pat White and how it never materialized in Miami when he was in the shotgun over Ronnie Brown. The same can be said of Vick. A couple of plays here and there, but overall, not a huge impact.
Tebow could have a role here, but it just sounds too easy to place him in the shotgun in some odd looking personnel package — because it is not guaranteed to produce results against NFL defenses.
And, that is the major concern. Where does he fit? A player like Sam Bradford can go to any team who needs a QB. But with Tebow, the situation does have to be unique and almost a rare opportunity for a team looking for his traits both on and off the field.
Who is going to make this play — and when? Because I am still trying to figure it out.
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