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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

TEBOW TO THE CFL?


NEW YORK - From nearly unstoppable to nearly invisible.

Tim Tebow was two wins from the Super Bowl a year ago. Now, he's pretty much a player without a team - likely to be released by the New York Jets after one frustrating season and his hometown team in Jacksonville already pulling in the welcome mat.

Even Tebow doesn't how this will unfold. A backup role on another NFL team? A position change? The Canadian Football League?

"I don't know what my future holds, but I know who holds my future,'' the devout Christian said in a recent interview with Fox Business Network, his only public comments since his strange Jets season ended.

"And, in that,'' he added, "there is a lot of peace and a lot of comfort.''

Tebow barely played for the Jets last season. "An absolute mess,'' is the way recently retired special teams co-ordinator Mike Westhoff described it. Tebow has two years left on his contract, but New York is expected to trade or release him in the next few weeks. So far, destination unknown.

"I can't imagine a scenario in which he'll be a Jacksonville Jaguar,'' new general manager David Caldwell declared last week. "Even if he's released.''

While there's an outside chance Tebow could remain a New Yorker, depending on the whims of the still -to-be-hired GM, it appears highly unlikely.

So, that's two NFL teams down - the only ones, at that, who showed any interest last off-season when Denver shopped him - and the 25-year-old Tebow's options appear to be dwindling.

"Tim Tebow is an extremely popular individual - or, he was,'' said former Cowboys executive Gil Brandt, now an analyst for NFL.com. "I think his popularity has waned significantly the last three or four months.''

The buzz these days belongs to young quarterbacks like Washington's Robert Griffin III, Seattle's Russell Wilson, Indianapolis' Andrew Luck and San Francisco's Colin Kaepernick. It seems so long ago now that Tebowing - his signature dropping to a knee for a prayerful pose - was all the rage.

But even Tebow never Tebowed during the regular season for the Jets. Not once. Quite a fall for a Heisman Trophy winner and two-time national champion with the University of Florida, and whose No. 15 Broncos jersey ranked second in national sales to Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers in 2011.

"I think it's fair to say,'' Tebow acknowledged last month, "that I'm a little disappointed.''

The Jets had every intention of trying to make things work with Tebow when general manager Mike Tannenbaum surprisingly acquired him from Denver last March - after Peyton Manning arrived - for a fourth-round draft pick. But once Tebow got on the field, something went woefully wrong.

Tebow went from being considered a key part of Rex Ryan's offence to almost non-existent. Offensive co-ordinator Tony Sparano didn't know how to use him effectively, and Tebow wasn't particularly productive when he got his few snaps in the wildcat-style formation. He made his biggest mark on special teams as the personal punt protector, and did all he could to hide his frustration at not playing. But the numbers said it all: a mere 102 yards rushing and 6-of-8 passing for 39 yards. And, the most damning stat of all: zero touchdowns.

"I would've liked to see him get a chance,'' defensive end Mike DeVito said.

It didn't even come when Mark Sanchez struggled so badly that he was benched for the first time in his career. Instead of going with Tebow, the No. 2 quarterback on the depth chart, Ryan went with third-stringer Greg McElroy. Tebow now had a bruised ego to go along with the two broken ribs that limited him earlier in the season.

"Every opportunity you get, you want to make the most of,'' Tebow said a few weeks before the season ended, "and I'd have loved to have more of an opportunity to just play quarterback.''

Acquiring Tebow ultimately led to Tannenbaum and Sparano losing their jobs. And, it clouded Tebow's prospects in the NFL. No matter what, though, he insists he's a quarterback.

Eric Crouch, a fellow former Heisman Trophy winner, knows what he's going through. Crouch was Tebow before Tebow, a tremendous athlete who played quarterback at the University of Nebraska but was told he'd have to switch positions to have a future in the NFL.

"I came out of a running attack at Nebraska where we didn't read a whole lot of passing defences,'' said Crouch, now a college analyst for Fox Sports. "So, I was probably a much bigger project than what Tebow is. Sometimes you get labeled a running quarterback, but what you want is to be labeled a dual threat or a passing quarterback who can run.''

Crouch was drafted in the third round in 2002 as a wide receiver by St. Louis, switched to safety and was in camp with Green Bay and Kansas City the next few years before playing in NFL Europe. In 2006, he played three games at quarterback for Toronto of the CFL. Crouch is done with football now after giving it one final shot with his hometown Omaha Nighthawks of the United Football League in 2011.

"Listen, I learned a long time ago that I should've just done what I felt was the right thing to do, which was hold out on people changing me to what they think was best for me,'' Crouch said. "I was playing quarterback since I was 9 years old. I think the most important thing I would tell Tim is, you've got to listen to yourself on this one.

"There are going to be a lot of people telling Tebow what he should or shouldn't do.''

Like the folks who insist a position switch is the only way Tebow will remain in the NFL - whether that's as a tight end, receiver, halfback, fullback or safety.

"I just don't think he will ever be a quarterback in the NFL,'' Brandt said. "I think he's really smart, but I don't think he has the mental quickness at the position. The second thing is, he just is not accurate.''

Tebow, reportedly working out in Arizona with a personal trainer, could still land somewhere in the league as a project for an offensive co-ordinator willing to learn from the Jets' mistakes.

"He's still worth a try and I think somebody will sign him, but it'll be under the condition that it will be as something other than as a quarterback,'' said Brandt, who thinks Tebow will stay on offence. "If Al Davis were still here, he'd take him in a second and try to turn him into a tight end for the Raiders.''

Or, Tebow could simply swallow his pride, head to Canada and become a huge star there with the CFL's wide-open fields. And then, who knows? Maybe he would come back to the United States - the same route Warren Moon, Doug Flutie and Jeff Garcia took to NFL stardom.

"There's no shame at all in going to the CFL,'' Crouch said. "They'd take him right now and he'd get a lot of tape, and if he's there two years, he'd have 50 games under his belt reading defences and coverages. Let the NFL scouts make their decisions then.

"And, hey, he might have so much fun there actually playing, he might not want to ever come back.''

Associated Press/Canadian Press

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

He's not good enough for the CFL, plain and simple.

Paco

Mr.Morin said...

His arm is nowhere close to strong enough to play in the CFL. Really easy to game plan for him; stack the box and make him beat you with his arm. I think Betty White has a better chance of making that wide side throw than this guy.

Anonymous said...

Paco: You are so right, he is so over rated. He has won a few games in Denver but....seriously, the guy has no arm.

Anonymous said...

who in the cfl has the rights to betty white

Anonymous said...

The Florida Gators recently won two consecutive Nat'l Championships 2007 and 2008. In 2008 it was Tim Tebow, in 2007 it was Chris Leak.

For anyone to suggest that Tebow can simply come up to Canada and get his 'starts' in, then to head back to the NFL, is very short sited thinking about not only the realities of how good the CFL is, but that it is a very narrow thinking as to the process of 'putting your time in' or earning a spot - first - prior to getting any starts.

Chris Leak hung around for a few years but he too (and with a better arm than Tebow), never got to be a starter in the CFL. The chances of Tebow coming up and becoming a starter or having any impact is slim to none. Tebow is interesting, he can be exciting, but he may not be cut out for the Canadian game.

Kel

Anonymous said...

Maybe Tebow can be the starter for the Red Blacks...

Anonymous said...

Hmmmmmmmmm. I wonder what obama's thoughts on this are?

Anonymous said...

My thoughts are Tim Tebow is a great young man, and he is going to make a much bigger impact in this world than just playing football. In fact you learn his story he's already done that, so the rest is now gravy.

I agree with Paco. He is not good enough to be a Quarterback in the CFL. He doesn't have the accuracy or the arm strength. Nothing to be ashamed of.

I have seen this unfold since Tony Rice was first here, then it was Major Harris, Eric Crouch, and Tee Martin. There is a long list of guys who thought they'd come to the CFL and get their starts, and just head on back to the 'ol NFL. That gets squashed quick. For the record I'm surprised they even asked for Eric Crouch's opinin because that guy was absolutely terrible.

So at the end of the day Tim Tebow is a great guy, with a wonderful outlook on life, and I am eager to watch the remainder of his story unfold.

On a separate note and I notified Rod about this today. I had a nice on air discussion with one John Gormley this morning. He changed his mind and saw my point of view on the particular topic of the day.

Just sayin'
Obama

Anonymous said...

Great! Now Obama really does think he's some sort of god.

Anonymous said...

Of course, you did, Obama!

Patrick

Anonymous said...

The one thing that gets lost in this Tim Tebow discussion is this. He is a dynamic personality, but when he was at Florida winning those championships look at the O-Line he played behind. That front was absolute monsters and they opened up so many holes for Tebow, the RB, and the gave him all the time in the world to get the ball to Receivers. Florida's defense was lights out too, and then you have maybe the best Head Coach in Urban Meyer running the entire operation.

Who is the Alabama Quarterback? I have no idea because he is not a personality. You look at Alabama's entire team and it's the same situation as what Florida had. Matt Leinert never lost a college game, and he's almost out of football yet nobody talks about him coming to the CFL.

Much of this entire thing is personality driven. Tebow has a personality, and where this discussion starts and ends. I will give him this though. IF he ever decided to change positions in the NFL he'd be a great Tight End. He has character, leadership, and he's a winner. The question is why would he be an annonymous Tight End when he can go on being Tim Tebow as a public figure. If he can't play QB in the CFL, why would he come here as a Fullback, and then have to work the off season at Home Depot.

This guy will be a big fish in the state of Florida, and that's where I see it heading.

Obama

Anonymous said...

The legend of Tebow the QB officially died the day he was traded to NY.

The CFL can’t save his career as a QB. Tim needs to do some serious Tebowing. I’m sure god will be honest with him and he’ll find his way to becoming a TE.

Anonymous said...

His arm was good enough to beat the Steelers in OT in a playoff game last year. Some NFL team will pick him up. Coordinators have to adapt their system to fit the style of players on the roster. Denver did exactly that last year and were successful.

Anonymous said...

We don't want this loser in the CFL either

Anonymous said...

Saskatchewan's greedy management salivating at their frothy mouths wanting to aquire Tim Tebow playing rights. Those "cash" registers will be ringing In merchandise sales of the hook. The fanbase will be crying for the coaching staff to give him deserved playing time as soon as the team loses a game or two, that's just just the way It go's In Sk. with their know It all armchair gm's.

Anonymous said...

Obama: The Tide QB's name is AJ McCarron, he's from Mobile Alabama.
If you knew anything about football...well. Just saying. Roll Tide!!!

cflsteve said...

For Tebow to even come to Canada would not make much sense on a lot of fronts after already being in the NFL and getting a fairly big Payday. What if he came here and he was cut which could be a big possibility if hie accuracy is really that bad. After last season and not following it up with any sort of success his popularity has also gone down and may no longer be the draw that he once was as there were 3 rookie and a second yr player who stole the NFL show 3 of which used unconvential NFL offenses.
A positions change and he could be an all pro in any league but he will have to live life after football with what he did as QB so ESPN college Gameday will be his future for football

Anonymous said...

To clarify I know who AJ McCarron is, but he is not in the realm of Tebow in terms of his personality.

You know when Alabama won a National title in 1992 - Jay Barker was the QB. He was another one that thought it's be that easy to play in the CFL.

Didn't happen.

Obama

Anonymous said...

Shut up Obama!!!!!!!!

Tim from Kansas said...

Nobody knows if Tebow would be successful in CFL or not. I have my doubts. The only way to know for sure is to put him out there, let a smart OC game plan to his strengths, and then we'll really know. You can't deny that he's a great athlese with intangibles.

It would take a bold GM to give it a try.

Mike from Vita, MB said...

Tebow will probably follow Trestman to the Bears

cflsteve said...

That is a Good Possibility if anyone can help Tebow it will be Trestman