Despite having been a starting quarterback for less than a season Tim Tebow is still one of the most recognizable American sports figures around. The news that he had agreed to join the new college football SEC network as an analyst left me wondering whether this was the end for Tebow’s NFL career only 4 years after he was drafted 25th overall by the Denver Broncos. It’s amazing to look at what’s changed now in January 2014 as the Broncos prepare for a Superbowl 48 showdown with the Seattle Seahawks whereas Tebow appears to be still attempting to improve his mechanics hoping an NFL team will give him a another chance.
The thought of Tebow being out of the game less than 5 years after being drafted would have seemed alien to most college football analysts when he was leading the Florida Gators to National Championships and other high ranking bowl games. After winning the National Championship, the most prestigious trophy in college football, as a freshman and being the youngest ever winner of the Heisman Trophy, the most prestigious individual honour in college football he appeared to be a can’t miss prospect destined for stardom. The astonishing fact is that he beat out Cam Newton for the starting job to the point that Newton left Florida for Community college. This is significant because Newton subsequently led Auburn to a National Championship in 2010, became a Number 1 draft pick for the Carolina Panthers in 2011 and has now led them to the play-off’s as one of the most talented QB’s in the NFL.
The reasoning behind Tebow being out of the league appears to be the overwhelming majority of NFL personnel who do not believe simply that Tebow is a good enough Quarterback to deserve a starting role. From when he first started playing football he has faced increasing pressure to change position maybe to Tight End of Full Back. This was his undoing in the NFL as before he always used success to silence this claims through High school and College however it became evident as he hit the bright lights of the NFL that he needed to work hard on his mechanics.
Even for the fleeting season in 2011 where he led Denver to the Divisional round of the play-off’s doubts were still raised about his ability after he finished the season with the lowest passing completion rate of any starting QB. 2011 started the decline for Tebow as he was traded to warm the benches of the New York Jets who released him after one season. He briefly ended up in New England before being cut by the Patriots after the Pre-season. After rumors he may be brought in to help the St Louis Rams replace an injured Sam Bradford came to nothing his name is slipping from the NFL.
It remains clear his ambition is to prove he can play in the league as he now appears to be enlisting the help of Trent Dilfer, a former Superbowl winning QB to help improve his mechanics, which were so heavily criticized during his first stint in the league. Also an option in his new SEC network deal leaves him free to pursue any options in the NFL. He also turned down a lucrative Arena Football League offer from the L.A Kiss team which also shows where his current ambitions lie.
From here it will be very hard to convince an NFL team that Tim Tebow is worth even of a place on the 53 man roster after his first stint in the league exposed fundamental flaws in his game which need serious addressing. Even vastly improving his throwing mechanics may not be enough as many teams in the league are uneasy with the travelling media circus surrounding Tebow every step he takes. This is something that teams will consider before making an offer to Tebow, if they ever do .
One thing for sure is that there will be no other player working harder right now to earn their place again in the NFL than Tim Tebow with this latest broadcasting analyst deal simply providing a security blanket in case the NFL wishes to cast him aside for the next majorly hyped college football player on the conveyor belt.