In theory, Tim Tebow embodies what the stereotypical pro athlete/role model is supposed to be: hard-working, selfless, team-oriented and a proven winner. Nevertheless, this rare combination has earned Tebow nothing but disrespect and contempt from the majority of the NFL.
Terrell Suggs called him “terrible.” Kordell Stewart said Tebow playing QB is a “slap in the face” to other great quarterbacks. Most recently, Bill Belicheck said he “hates” Tebow as a player. Even his own teammates turned on him as anonymous Jets players completely ripped number 15.
The borderline hatred that this collection of high-profile NFL names have spewed generally reflects what the entire league thinks of Tebow. Players, coaches and the media despise the constant attention he receives and feel as if his mere presence on an NFL roster cheapens the profession. Furthermore, they can’t stand the media circus that accompanies Tebow wherever he goes.
So is all of the hate and disrespect warranted? The truth is that Tebow has never really done anything wrong from a moral standpoint. But his peers have tired of the clean-shaven, straight-laced, Captain America persona he emits. Furthermore, they can’t stand his cult-like following or how he practically rubs religion in the world’s face. But above all, it’s Tebow’s awkward, unconventional style and awful throwing mechanics that has the talking heads bashing his every move.
In the eyes of media members and coaches, there’s nothing more wrong than Tim Tebow throwing a football. His accuracy is bad, the delivery is off, and he can’t find anybody downfield. But through it all, Tebow has found success…when he’s actually seen the field.
After the Denver Broncos defied logic by taking Tebow in the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft, the devout Christian responded by throwing for 654 yards, 5 TD’s, 3 INT’s, and rushing for 227 yards and another 6 TD’s in three starts.
The following season was even better as he took over a 1-4 team and led them to the playoffs. During this dream run, Tebow passed for 1,729 yards, 12 TD’s, 6 INT’s, and ran for 660 yards and 6 TD’s. Perhaps more important than all of this is that he actually led Denver to a playoff victory – something which even Peyton Manning didn’t do.
The only time that Tebow didn’t manufacture wins was in New York, where he warmed the bench for Mark Sanchez. For all of the hype surrounding Tebow entering 2012, he produced a measly 75 passing yards, 102 rushing yards and zero touchdowns.
Many fans called for Tebow to see the field after Sanchez struggled mightily in a season that saw him produce 13 TD’s, 18 INT’s, 14 fumbles and a 54.3% completion rate. But when it came time to replace the inconsistent Sanchez, it was seventh round draft pick Greg McElroy calling the signals – not Tebow.
After the failed experiment in New York, Tim Tebow is a free agent looking for his next home. However, the question is, who will give him another shot?
Much of the league seems to be anti-Tebow, so his available choices are quite limited. With Belichick not a fan of his play, perhaps the San Francisco 49ers or Jacksonville Jaguars could be potential stops for Tebow. The Niners are a good option because they already have an unquestioned starter in Colin Kaepernick – unlike the Jets with Sanchez – and Tebow wouldn’t come in with any expectations.
In Jacksonville, Tebow could even see significant playing time because the Jags have no clear starting QB. Plus this is right in his backyard, near where he starred with the Florida Gators.
Whatever the case may be, it’ll be interesting to see what NFL team, if any, decides to take on the Tim Tebow experiment.