Ok, so full disclosure - I have to start by saying I'm a UF grad student. I've been there the entire time Tim Tebow has. I've seen every game he's played, every snap, every TD, every game-winning celebration. I've watched "The Promise" speech probably 50 times. I might have even shed a tear at his final home game against FSU (or it could've been salt water from the boiled peanuts - I'm not totally sure). And I have to say, despite all the obvious bias I have towards him, I STILL think he's going to prove A LOT of people wrong about what he's capable of in the NFL.
Look, I can understand the arguments about having played in the spread offense - the NFL isn't exactly running that style of "O." But you can't tell me the only "NFL caliber skill he showed in college" was running between the tackles:
- 32 PASSING TD's to only 6 INTs during his Heisman season
- a career completion percentage of 67%
- 88 career PASSING TD's to only 15 picks - in other words a nearly 6:1 TD to INT ratio
And this was all done in the SEC. It's not like we're talking about the WAC or something. It's the SEC - the best college football conference in the country, with the best defenses. It's basically as close to the NFL as you can get on the college level (unless you consider USC since their players receive salaries), and he torched the conference. 55 TDs in a single season in the SEC during the Heisman year alone! Now, yes, the reads were a lot simpler in college. No one can debate that. And the physical advantages Tebow had over nearly every player in college won't be the same now in the NFL. No one's saying he's going to come in and turn into Drew Brees immediately (a player most scouts doubted due to his size and lack of arm strength - guess it turns out scouts and analysts aren't always correct). But how can people just completely brush aside what he showed in college? How can people totally dismiss his chances without ever giving him the chance to begin with?
So many people want to say, "Oh Tebow's mechanics are bad." Or, "He never took snaps under center." Well, what about the results on the field? When did those stop mattering? Remember how everyone was obsessed with JaMarcus Russell and his physical attributes? How'd that turn out? And Bills fans (sadly I'm one of them) will remember every analyst saying about J.P. Losman, "Oh he's got a cannon for an arm - he'll do well in the Buffalo weather." Really? Did his strong arm help that much? (The answer is, "NO." He absolutely sucked) And then, everyone said, "Yikes, not sure about Philip Rivers - he throws funny with that side-arm motion. He won't succeed in the NFL." Well, how many teams would LOVE to have him now? He's one of the best QBs in the league (which, I might add, I proudly predicted before he got drafted). And, coincidentally, he was sighted as being a great leader in college that could will his team to win. Sounds familiar...
If anyone watched the NFL Draft, they showed a quick segment of Steve Young, followed by Dan Marino, followed by Tim Tebow (if I remember that correctly - Montana might've been in there as well). And you know what appeared to be different about all their releases? Next to nothing! There was really no discernible difference between them. And if you don't believe me, Steve Young said it himself. Just because someone may be unconventional, doesn't mean they can't succeed. He AT LEAST should be a great Wildcat QB - it's very similar to the single-wing spread and he's actually a threat to throw (unlike a RB) or catch the ball (unlike any other QB that lines up wide in the Wildcat). The Wildcat could even be a legitimate audible for Denver because of Tebow's versatility.
Look, you can argue any point about any player. It's easy to find examples of unconventional players that worked out and those that haven't. The same goes for conventional players. All I'm saying is if ANY PLAYER IN THE NFL can make this work, it's Tebow. Name a player more driven than him (you can't). Name a player that cares more about improving (you can't). Name a player that wants to help his teammates succeed more than him (you can't). I'd bet on Tim Tebow moreso than any other football player, college or NFL. You just don't find players like him and you just don't find people like him.
And if you'd like to dismiss this whole argument from a biased, unknown UF student and Tim Tebow fan, that's fine. All I'm trying to do here is point out the flaws and inconsistencies in most other people's arguments. But think about what Jon Gruden says about Tebow. He believes. Think about what Steve Young, Jim Kelly, and John Elway say about Tebow. They believe too. Look, I've seen Tim Tebow promise to lift his team on his back and promise to be the hardest-working, best player in the country. I've seen him, in essence, promise a National Championship. And everytime he promises something, he seems to come through. So when he promises he's going to work hard and succeed in the NFL as a quarterback, I'm going to listen. It might not be a terrible idea for others to put their hands to their ears and start listening too.