Saturday, January 2, 2010

Tim Tebow's College Career is Over, What Comes Next?

How else could you have expected former Florida Gator QB Tim Tebow to end his illustrious collegiate career other than going 31 for 35 for 482 yards, 3 passing touchdowns, 51 rushing yards, and a rushing touchdown.

That 31 for 35 number is ridiculous. And this wasn't a warm up game against Troy, this was in a BCS game against a team a lot of people were saying should have been in the National Championship Game; A Cincinnati team that went 12-0, including wins over seven teams that participated in bowl games this season.

The 533 all purpose yards that Tebow put up were more yards than the Big East Champions let up the first two and a half months of the season.

To put it plainly, Tim Tebow ended his collegiate career the same way he played the other four years; with excellence.

But that's the past. As I said in the opening paragraph, he is now the former University of Florida Gators quarterback. This April he's going to become the future of some NFL franchise. Based on his performance in the Sugar Bowl, and his perseverance throughout his collegiate career, chances are he's going to be taken pretty early too.

It's pretty much a guarantee that Tebow will not fall into the second round of the NFL draft, too many NFL head coaches and management personnel have confirmed that; names like Parcells, Dungy, and Gruden amongst others. If we narrow down the list of teams who are looking for quarterbacks we come up with St. Louis, Washington, Carolina, Buffalo, maybe Houston, and of course Jacksonville.

For too many reasons Jacksonville makes the most sense. Tebow is a Florida kid, who lead the Florida Gators to perhaps their greatest run ever, and is more of an icon in that state, particularly northern Florida, than almost any other athlete is in the country. As a Jaguar, not only could Tebow revitalize that franchise, but he can begin to create a culture, tradition, and legacy for a franchise that fifteen years into it's existance is still relatively identify-free.

Some critics of Tebow's game question his ability to make deep throws and his throwing motion. Though his motion is a little weird, does anyone question whether or not Tebow can be coached? Last I checked the most identifiable SEC Quarterback of the 1990's, also known as Peyton Manning, had his mechanics heavily questioned heading in to the 1998 NFL draft. He worked things out, and today is considered by many to be the single greatest player ever to play the game, let alone that position.

What Bill Parcells, Tony Dungy, and Jon Gruden see in Tim Tebow is his ability to win. Gruden and Parcells won Super Bowls with Quarterbacks like Phil Simms and Rob Johnson; not flashy, smart, with tons of heart. Neither Simms or Johnson had a cannon for an arm, but both were accurate, and good decision makers.

Not flashy, smart, tons of heart, accurate, good decision maker. Does that sound like the 2007 Heisman Trophy winner to you? Yeah, it does to me too.

The NFL is moving away from the era of over evaluating Quarterback talent. Such an era lead to players like Kyle Boeller, Jay Cutler, and JaMarcus Russell getting drafted because of their arm strength, neglecting their personal issues, and decision making skills.

Tim Tebow was a winner in college. When you took away his weapons, he was still a winner. In the past two seasons he only lost two games. Sure he had a great defense, but when the Gators needed a play, Tim Tebow always made it. That sort of ability doesn't come around often. It's not found in players like J.P Losman, Rex Grossman, Byron Leftwich, or Joey Harrington.

Will Tim Tebow ever be Eli Manning or Carson Palmer? No, he'll never have mechanics like those. Can Tim Tebow help a team win 8 to 12 games every season for the next ten years?

We have no reason to believe otherwise.

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