Blog Entry

Tracking Tebow: And so it ends…until next season

Posted on: January 17, 2012 10:30 am
Edited on: January 17, 2012 10:31 am
We're Tracking Tebow … because it's impossible not to watch. 

By Ryan Wilson

The Broncos' run ended ingloriously Saturday night, 97 days after Tim Tebow replaced Kyle Orton at quarterback. Denver went 8-5 in those 13 weeks, a stretch that included six straight wins followed by three straight losses, which preceded a "didn't see that coming, did you?" offensive explosion against the Steelers in the wild-card round of the playoffs.

But the Tebow aerial assault was fleeting; New England wasn't going to let Tebow do to them what he did to an aggressive Pittsburgh defense. Instead, they mixed their coverages, generated pressure with four and five rushers, kept Tebow contained in the pocket and generally made his Saturday night a miserable experience.

But the setback is temporary; after the Broncos started the season 1-4 with Orton, no one expected them to make the playoffs much less win the AFC West. And yet they did, with an unconventional quarterback running a college offense. And guess what? Denver's ready to do it all again next season, too.

As soon as the Broncos' season was over the speculation began on Tebow's future as an NFL starter. On Monday, team vice president John Elway announced that Tebow had "earned the right" to be the team's quarterback heading into training camp and the hall of famer plans to play an active role in Tebow's development.

"There are things that I can add," Elway said. "Where I can help him ... I'm looking forward to it."

Elway's right -- Tebow has earned the job -- but if the organization is truly committed to him (and we're not convinced they are long term) then that means building the entire offense around one person, right down to a backup quarterback proficient at running Tebow's brand of option football.

If it seems extreme, think of it this way: what happens if Tebow goes down? Denver's offense suddenly reverts to its pre-Tebow playbook? And the remaining starters -- all of whom have spent months practicing the option offense, will suddenly be expected to run a conventional offense? In the middle of a game? That ain't happening.

The downside: if Tebow falters next season and the Broncos decide they'd prefer to run a more conventional system run by a more conventional quarterback, then for the second time in as many offseasons they'll be rebuilding the roster based on a new offensive philosophy.

So, yeah, it's a risk. But this is the same team that went with Orton out of training camp and won once in the first five weeks of the season. Tebow, even with all his flaws, fared much better.

And now with an offseason to work on, well, everything, it's reasonable to think that he'll be a lot better in August than he was in January.

                                                   Play by Play

(Note: Below are the plays -- both running and passing -- involving Tebow. You can view the entire play-by-play breakdown here)


"Kind of like our football team, I was really proud where he started and where he brought this team. We are a work in progress. We have got a lot of work to do and that hasn't changed, you know, for some time. And as I mentioned earlier, you know, the two matchups we had against the New England Patriots, I think it is evident that we have work to do."  - Head coach John Fox on Tebow's overall performance this season

"A lot of ups and downs. Overall it's been a very special opportunity for me, something I've very thankful for, very thankful I had the opportunity to build some of the great relationships with teammates and coaches. We've overcome a lot of different forms of adversity, to win some special games, to have great memories of last week and to be able to get into the playoffs. There's a lot of things we are proud of, even though it's hard to see that now.  " - Tebow, after the game Saturday night

"Tim has earned the right to be the starting quarterback going into training camp next year. He made some good strides." - John Elway, executive vice president of football operations


Instead of playing press coverage, the Patriots often disguised their looks. Whatever happened presnap, the outcome was usually the same: contain Tebow, make him hold the ball, and win your one-on-one matchups. Here Tebow is sacked for an 11-yard loss.

(Note: click to englarge photos.) One thing Tebow will have to get better at: reading defenses and going through his progressions. In this play that ultimately led to a sack, Tebow stares down his receiver to the right. By the time he finally looks for other options, it's too late, the pocket has collapsed, and he's taken down. The receiver to the left is open, Tebow just never looks his way.

                                                   Eye on Tebow

Jan 14, 2012; Foxborough, MA, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow (15) on the field after the game against the New England Patriots in the 2011 AFC divisional playoff game at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots defeated the Broncos 45- 10. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-US PRESSWIRE

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Since: Jul 9, 2009
Posted on: January 17, 2012 8:11 pm

Tracking Tebow: And so it ends…until next season

I’m a Raider Fan, so I hate Denver as much or more than anybody. This is all I have to say about Tebow. All I keep hearing is how he can’t do it but he is. Stop hating the Man. He is what he is, if the press makes a huge deal it’s not his fault. Is he a good QB? NO! Does he have a great winning record? YES!!! For all of you that say the option can’t work in the NFL, well we will just have to wait and see.

Since: Jan 9, 2012
Posted on: January 17, 2012 6:52 pm

Tracking Tebow: And so it ends…until next season

  • Another unproven entity (Cam Newton).  The Panthers made the playoffs right?  Im sure Payton and Big Ben will be running the option any day now.   Hey, was Denver running the option when Kyle Orton was QB or is that a new thing. . . Just for Tebow.

Since: Feb 26, 2007
Posted on: January 17, 2012 5:36 pm

Tracking Tebow: And so it ends…until next season

@Dan the Man   

You do realize the Carolina Panthers run an option offense right? 

Since: Jan 9, 2012
Posted on: January 17, 2012 3:45 pm

Tracking Tebow: And so it ends…until next season

I totally agree, Tebow would be nothing if Denver didnt change their offence for him.  What team in the NFL runs the option?  The answer is nobody who values their QB.  The reason NFL teams dont run the option is because they dont want their QB to get needlessly hurt running to defencive linemen or backs.  Lets face it Tebow was expendable; if he got hurt it was no great loss to the team.  It just suprised me at how few teams could figuer out how to defend against the option; did'nt all these coaches come up through the college ranks?  Thats where this offence is run; because once again most college QB's are a dime a dozen.

Since: Nov 16, 2008
Posted on: January 17, 2012 3:42 pm

Tracking Tebow: And so it ends…until next season

Ok then what upside does your boy fitz have? NONE ZIP ZERO NADA LOL .Goes to show how F$$$in Dumb your Organization is giving him a contract after winning a few games and then taking the rest of the year sittin on the S$$$er!

Since: Sep 28, 2007
Posted on: January 17, 2012 1:37 pm

Tracking Tebow: And so it ends…until next season

Mr. Wilson, please explore the difference between correlation and causality. As in, Tebow's starting correlated with the broncos--particularly the defense--winning games. It does not follow that tebow caused them to win those same games. Kyle orton may have won those same games as the defense was improving five wins into the season. Conversely, you cannot say that tebow would have gone 1-4 in the first five games just like orton if tebow had been starting then. This is precisely why the one supposed measure of tebows succes, the win loss record, is not necessarily a meaningful statistic especially given such a short time frame. And even if it is, a 1-4 record to end the season shouldn't earn anyone a starting spot.

Since: Oct 20, 2006
Posted on: January 17, 2012 1:32 pm

Tracking Tebow: And so it ends…until next season

This coming from a Bills fan. The Bills started the season 5-3 and somehow won 1 of their final 8 games, while the Broncos started the season 1-4 under Kyle Orton, and went 8-5 under Tebow, including a playoff win against a tough Steelers team. I am not saying Tim Tebow is a future Pro Bowl QB, but with some work on his mechanics and accuracy he will probably be better than Ryan Fitzpatrick, and the Broncos haven't invested a long-term contract in him like the Bills did with Fitzpatrick!

Since: Sep 16, 2010
Posted on: January 17, 2012 1:16 pm

Tracking Tebow: And so it ends…until next season

If this tracking tebow bull**** comes back next season I'll hang myself..

He sucks d***. He will never be in the playoffs again and will fade into obscurity in a couple of seasons.
The kid doesn't have it.

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