Tim Tebow probably never wanted to see the day when he’d be lumped in with such damaged goods as LeGarrette Blount, Michael Vick, and - ugh - Jeff Fisher. But here it is and here we are, Tebow: Tony Dungy has come rushing to your aid. Yes, the St. Jude of sports, the patron saint of lost causes and dog killers. Dungy. Accept it.
Dungy’s latest comments came to Dan Patrick this morning when talking about drafting a quarterback for a team with a Top 10 pick. Patrick threw out alternative choices like Sam Bradford, Jimmy Clausen, Colt McCoy, and Jake Locker. Nnnnnope. Because Tebow’s a winner, you see. Winners win games. Oh yeah.
Appearing Friday morning on The Dan Patrick Show, Dungy said he believes the combination of leadership and athletic ability that Tebow has will make him an elite NFL quarterback — and more than make up for any questions about his throwing motion.
“As a coach, I always like winners,” Dungy said. “Tim Tebow doesn’t have the classic throwing motion, he doesn’t have the accuracy, maybe, right now that some people are looking for, but I think when he gets into a pro system that really stresses throwing the ball accurately, the big thing is he makes the people around him better. And he’s won. … I think he’s going to be a great player in the NFL.”
“Is it ever going to be Peyton Manning-ish? Maybe not,” Dungy said of Tebow’s throwing motion. “But I just think what you can do with him, the problems he creates for a defense, the combination of leadership and what he’s shown, if I have him, defenses have to prepare for a totally different offense. … He’s going to give teams the most headaches getting ready for him.”
The one flaw in Dungy’s reasoning is that he says “a good coach can take advantage of Tebow’s strengths.” That’s true, but are there really that many coaches on teams with a Top 10 pick? Usually, these teams are chock-full of the type of middling coaches who get a dynamic, dual-threat quarterback and make him stand still 80-90% of the team. That kind of thinking has grounded the careers of special, highly-paid talents like Vick, Vince Young, and Terrelle Pryor (because OSU is full of cheaters you see buhhhh-zing).
Tim Tebow could and should be a successful NFL quarterback. Don’t be fooled by the small sample size of his SEC performance this season. Yes, it’s bad to have thrown more interceptions than passing TDs in conference play, but this is the same Tebow that was completing over 65% of his passes the last two seasons with exceptional yards per completion and TD/INT ratio. That doesn’t just disappear. He’ll be fine.
But he’ll most likely be fine on a good team, and not with some sad-sack franchise who wants him to do a Dan Fouts impression and put up giant nunbers while never moving out of the pocket. Don’t laugh - noted dual-threatener Alex Smith laughed, and his career was derailed for years.
On the other hand, though, seeing Al Davis put Tebow in charge of the Raiders’ offense would be the highest of high comedy. Is it bad that we want to see that instead of Tebow lighting up the league?