On Tebow, Cam and fallacy fueled by the media


My issue with Tebow is with the extremes in coverage of him. The fawning coverage of him is ridiculous. It was like the fawning coverage of Tony Romo when then Cowboys coach Bill Parcells warned the press and public not to pull out the annointing oils. It’s like the short lived turn around in opinion regarding journeyman Rex Grossman.

The Tebow mania does not upset me because of Tebow’s religion. I would bet almost Every Heismann winner thanks god “first and foremost”. There are prayer circles after every game involving both teams. QBs from Kurt Warner to Aaron Rodgers are actually, like Tebow, really religious christians. It’s definitely not important that Tebow has two good parents:

Tebow is the first super-athletic quarterback we’ve seen who also has the discipline to prepare as if he’s Peyton Manning.


You can’t build a revolutionary offense around a quarterback who lacks the discipline or maturity to prepare.


As it relates to Tebow’s on-field performance, we should quit focusing on his “Tebowing” and spend more time celebrating his two-parent upbringing. Bob and Pam Tebow are far more responsible for Denver’s winning streak than any higher power.

After reading Whitlock’s paean to two family homes as the NFL difference maker that should be exalted, let’s slap down some ridiculous claims:

1. I’ve never seen Tebow prepare. I don’t know if Whitlock has either. I just know what is said. Maybe Whitlock has inside sources, but saying he prepares like Peyton Manning when he is a sub-par passer (by any measure) is just ridiculous. In addition, what pundits say about QB habits can change from week to week. Take for instance Rex Grossman talk earlier after week one or two of this season. he was supposedly “Resurrected” and vindicated. Rex Grossman who has a long track record of having bright spots while being below average overall.

2. What revolution? Spread offense concepts have been integrated in the NFL widely prior to this season. Most notably the Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers have integrated these concepts with success into their offenses. If you want to see a spread option properly employed, look to Carolina’s Rookie QB Cam Newton.Vince Verhei at Football Outsiders runs the math on Newton’s season so far: In short, it’s fair to say that Cam Newton has played like a young Peyton Manning and a rookie Herschel Walker all rolled into one. Any questions about who the rookie of the year should be?

3. What about some other athletic QBs? Randall Cunningham and Donovan McNabb were “super-athletic quarterbacks” and did pretty damn well in the NFL. Cam Newton, the quarterback who broke Peyton Manning’s rookie passing record is also a “Super Athletic” quaterback. Rookie Anthony Dalton, could be considered pretty damn athletic as well. He ran a spread option sets at TCU. Dalton’s Bengals have 9 wins and 6 losses this season to the Denver Broncos 8-7. he has adapted to the pro game much better than 2nd year player Tebow as well. Why? He, like Newton, is a better passer than Tebow.

All of Whitlock’s points foolishly diminish the defense and kicking game of the Broncos which were solid during the Tebow win streak and focus on factors that may loosely correlate to Tebow’s success, but can’t be proven to be causal.

A few Sunday evenings ago, I watched Trent Dilfer and Tom Jackson say that they can’t explain what Tebow is doing. Dilfer is lying to himself. He did what Tebow did as good as anyone has. What do you get when you mix a cagey defense led by a future Hall of Famers Ray Lewis and Rod Woodson, a great rookie running back in Jamal Lewis, a HOF tight end Shannon Sharpe and a hell of kicker in Matt Stover and presto! You have the 2000 Baltimore Ravens who erased the hell of the Irsay’s moving the Colts to Indianapolis in the middle of the night by stomping the lights out of the New York Giants. It was a pious christian QB named Trent Dilfer that “led” that team to a Super Bowl victory while in this mindstate:

In an industry in which the very air one breathes is laden with self-importance, the 6’4″, 229-pound quarterback makes genuine humility one of his top spiritual quests.

“Thank you, God, that you are using football as the means to break me so that I may know you better,” Dilfer wrote in his prayer journal on September 29.

The 28-year-old native of Santa Cruz, California, with the close-cropped beard does not expect faith to necessarily produce success on the football field. “I tend to differ from some athletes in the NFL who have been very outspoken in their faith,” Dilfer says. “I don’t think that our success level dictates the amount we can glorify God.”

Dilfer is usually an excellent football and quarterback analyst but his greatest utility in the pantheon of Ravens history and marketing was that he could be used as the “i’m going to Disney Land” spokesperson rather than Ray Lewis who had been convicted of some obstruction charges related to an attempted murder.

The San Francisco 49ers are doing it right now with a guy no one has faith in: the oft maligned Alex Smith. Alex Smith is still generally reviled by his fan base for not being Aaron Rodgers. Smith gets to hand off to Frank Gore and rely on his defense which has only allowed a rushing TD this season. Alex Smith is not credited with the comeback wins (like the win against my Philadelphia Eagles). Nor should he be solely blamed for their 3 losses. The 49ers are 9-3 currently and have clinched the NFC west. Tim Tebow shouldn’t be credited with Ws either. Tebow time is a misnomer. Denver RB Willis Macgahee, the Denver Defense (the firm of Bailey, Miller, Dumervil and Dawkins), and kicker Matt Prater help drive that team to wins. And they were never infallible. In the middle of all these comeback wins was a beat down at the hands of the Detriot Lions.

Close games mean the last plays of the game are more exciting. They don’t mean that a QB contributed more to a teams chances to win than all the rest of teammates combined. (Yes, a QB can have a good game for a team that loses).

In the end, Tebow makes the most sense talking about “Tebow Time“:

“I don’t think it’s Tebow Time,” he said Sunday of the late game comebacks Denver keeps rattling off. “I think it’s the Broncos Time.”

The rest of the team has played good to exceptional football. This hysteria hopefully all ended this past weekend. Tebow was beaten by a sub par Patriots Defense two weekends ago and threw 4 INTs vs. a very mediocre Bills defense. Those two losses have the Broncos in a tie with the oft penalized Oakland Raiders. The Broncos can win the division, but as the trends are now they will have to do it in spite of Tebow’s performances, not because of it.