Former New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow looks to pass during the first half of their game against the Houston Texans at MetLIfe Stadium. Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

Green and Gold Redemption: Tim Tebow to the Packers?


 

Tim Tebow.

For football purists, media talking heads, the devoutly religious, evangelists and atheists alike, it’s a name that incites either manic adulation or pure hatred. There is no middle ground when it comes to the enigmatic signal caller.

Tebow has seemingly inhabited one distant side or the other of the cavernous spectrum between Heaven and Hell. Football’s most famous backup recently cleared waivers and is a free agent, able to sign wherever he likes. All of this begs the question; would Tebow fit in Green Bay?

The answer may not be as unfathomable as you might think.

Former New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow (15) waves to fans before the game against the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

By now, we’re all intimately familiar with his story. Tebow was a highly-touted prep quarterback who ended up winning the Heisman Trophy while guiding the Florida Gators to a pair of National Championships. Tebow’s seemingly improbable rise from SEC wonder kid, to surprise first round draft pick by the Broncos, to surprise starter midway through the 2011 season captivated the sports world. It was Tebow who famously wore eye black inscribed with biblical verses. It was Tebow praising his Lord and Savior and then his offensive line after games, in that order. And it was Tebow who, following every touchdown or inexplicable set of late-game heroics, would hit the turf, crouched on one knee, head bowed low in deference, in a wildly popular cultural phenomenon that became known simply as “Tebowing.”

During the pre-draft process in 2010 literally every element of his game, from his throwing motion to his release, to his footwork, arm strength and vision came under intense scrutiny from scouts and coaches. His character, including his home-school upbringing, political views, religious beliefs and even his virginity became public spectacle. Given the amount of attention Tebow garnered before he ever played a down in the NFL you’d think he was the second coming.

Or at the very least the next Elway.

Tebowmania ensued as he led an unconventional offense – tripping, regaining his balance, spinning and then pump-faking defenders out of their shoes before tucking the football and racing downfield for a usually game-altering and often game-winning play that simply defied logic. Tebow frequently underperformed (usually in spectacular fashion during the first three and half quarters) during that miraculous run to the AFC West Title. He ultimately then willed the Broncos a playoff win, by throwing a laser that went for an 80-yard touchdown on the first play of overtime against the Steelers. A postseason win is something even current starter and future Hall of Famer Peyton Manning failed to do in his inaugural season in the Mile High City.

In 2012, Tebow was shipped off to quarterback purgatory to suit up for the New York Jets. Many pundits predicted he’d compete and eventually overtake ineffective starter Mark Sanchez. The pundits were half right, with Sanchez underperforming. But it was unknown quarterback Greg McElroy who ended up getting significant playing time, and not Tebow, to close the dismal season for New York.

Tebow was unceremoniously cut by the Jets following the NFL draft recently and he’s now free to pursue a job with any team in the league. Interest appears to be minimal at this early stage and almost guaranteed to be devoid of an opportunity to start. His football career is undeniably at a crossroads. To be sure, Tebow has the intangibles and leadership capability of an elite-level signal caller which masks his obvious mechanical shortcomings.

We know this: the NFL is a passing league. Super Bowls are won on the arms of the golden boy with the cannon arm and devastating good looks. Just ask Aaron Rodgers. And Tom Brady. And even Joe Flacco. Defenses simply don’t outright win championships these days.

So, barely a week after the NFL draft, we’re left to prognosticate about the goings-on back home at 1265 Lombardi Avenue, where Ted Thompson is surely doing his due diligence on the situation. And it could be ideal for both the Packers and the former Gator. Aaron Rodgers is the unquestioned starter in Titletown and with a new mega-contract he isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. So there’d be no quarterback controversy like Tebow faced in Denver and New York. A change of scenery would also likely quiet Tebowmania, like a Wisconsin winter snowstorm quells the last vestiges of fall.

Former New York Jets quarterbacks Tim Tebow (15) and Mark Sanchez (6) on the sidelines during the second half of the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Mandatory Credit: Rob Foldy-USA TODAY Sports

With only a handful of local media outlets covering the Packer news beat, Tebow would have a chance to settle in, collect himself and focus on learning how to really play quarterback in an environment where he watches and learns. Green Bay has long been a hotbed of signal caller development, producing NFL-capable players such as Mark Brunell, Ty Detmer, Matt Hasselbeck, Aaron Brooks and recently Matt Flynn.
The Packers also need depth behind Rodgers. Since the departure of Flynn, the backups have proven little. Current number two Graham Harrell fumbled in his only live regular season action a year ago and B.J. Coleman is gifted but extremely raw. Tebow could come in and quarterback through osmosis. Perhaps McCarthy even draws up a few gadget plays somewhere down the line. Financially, the risk would be minimal, with Tebow likely having to take a minimum salary that would include limited, if any, performance escalators given that he’d see little playing time barring a wave of injuries.

Finally, if the Packers were to groom Tebow and he succeeds, then Ted Thompson adeptly demonstrates yet again that he has the best evaluation skills in the game today. At best, the Packers could trade him down the line for a draft pick and at worst he gets cut – no questions asked. Tebow gets his shot to hone the craft he loves. And the Packers add necessary depth in their quest to compete for another Lombardi.

In a town built on championships, the penultimate goal is to bring as many of them home as possible in the coming seasons, during Aaron Rodgers’ prime. Two straight early playoff exits and a lack of proven depth behind our otherworldly superstar field general leads me to believe that bringing Tebow to Titletown makes a whole lot of sense.

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  • Matt Dragosh

    I agree, bring the kid in and let him learn and relax. They say he is a great guy and all that. Maybe he would be an occasional TE if needed?

  • So_silly

    NO

  • http://www.facebook.com/lou.buell Lou Buell

    His days as a QB in the NFL are over. His only option is to be a Paul Hornung type running back who is an option threat. He has the size, toughness, and good hands to be able to do it. All he needs is a chance and the ability to swallow some pride.

    • J.

      - did you just basically utter the words Tebow …in the same sentence as Hornung?!!! Uhh, are you kidding me?! (LOL..WOW!)

  • billy

    please no…no…no….just go to any forum where he has played and read what his fan base says…you want tebowmania in Green Bay!!!! It would make even the spring practices horrible to attend….no..no..a very dumb idea…

  • billy

    Hey skip, go back to ESPN, your not needed at Lombardiave….

  • DmN33

    Please, God, don’t let the Packers bring Tebow to Green Bay. Amen.

  • DmN33

    Also, ease up on Harrell. The guy hasn’t had a chance to prove he’s a capable back-up.

  • billy

    he’s not a TE, cant catch, he’s not a fullback, halfback, he’s a backup QB which the Packers dont need, especially one with his fanatics following him around screaming for him to start after the Packers lose a game…

  • J.

    ehhh…its Not like it really matters, if for some Strange reason it does happen, he’s not Ever going to play ..but he cld be an upgrade of sorts from G. Harrell, that guy is Terrible! ..he’s NOT a capable back-up…PERIOD, he SUCKS!

  • Iconoclast17

    Sorry, we don’t need the Tebow circus/traveling salvation show in GB. The team already has four QB’s in camp with football as there only agenda.

  • http://www.facebook.com/brian.ramsey.31 Brian Ramsey

    Travis Pipes,,,, I think your on the pipe. Even though te Packers turn playrs into champions, Tebow would just be a distraction. I live in Colorado and when Tebow was there,, He had Broco fans beleiveing he was gonna be big,, Tell me his stats again in the season he went to the playoffs with the Broncs. I do have faith in God but also have faith in the Packers,,, I keep those two seperate for a reason. We need people to attack the run, the pass and protect the quarterback. Tebow dont fit in. How about having faith that the management can help the QBs we already posess. Besides if we took Tebow, that would be like 5 QBs, wouldnt it? Isnt that what the Jets have? Hasnt that consumed their team? Just sayin,,, bad article. Jacksonville should take him because he can at least sell tickets, thats if they want him.

    • http://www.facebook.com/travis.pipes.77 Travis Pipes

      @Brian:

      Green Bay has Aaron Rodgers, Harrell, Coleman. In that order. OTA and camp arms don’t count. The Packers will carry three on the final 53-man roster. Harrell is turnover prone and lacks arm strength. Coleman is raw. I can assure you, I have faith in Packer management. Thompson will make a choice that will fit and benefit the roster in the long run. Tebow recently made comments that he’d like to go, sit and learn and there’s really only three, maybe four places in the league with elite-level starters (Rodgers in GB, Brady in NE, Brees in New Orleans and of course Manning in Denver, and we know that isn’t happening) that would be able to handle the circus that may come with a Tebow signing.

      Like it or not, if it makes sense (and I think it could) Thompson pulls the trigger. For the right money and possible future reward it’s not out of the realm of possibility.

      As far as your viewpoints, I respect them, but I can’t agree with you comparing the Packers bringing on Tebow and how that equates to the absolute chaos that engulfed the Jets. The Jets are mismanaged from the top down, Green Bay is a capable and solid organization that would more than handle any issues with Tebow and the media. Green Bay is the one place that Tebow may actually flourish away from constant national attention. Eventually, if he came to Green Bay the lights would fade and he’d be just another backup. Reality.

      Keep reading and Go Pack!

      • billy

        “the lights would fade??
        you obviously dont understand the fanaticism of the conservative right wing fan base that follows “Tim” around…they are basically drummiing him out of the NFL, no one else…

        • Dbom

          Or the fanatical hatred people have for one football player…sound familiar?

          • billy

            no way hate Tebow, enjoyed watching him in college, just get very annoyed with all the fan base, some of who have no clue about football at all, they just know that Timmy is getting screwed over by every team always because he is a christian…or at least thats what they think….nothing about being a mediocre football player and bad QB…i bet he wishes he didnt have this following so he could actually have some GM take a chance on him…..but no one wants the circus so he probably wont get it…too bad.

  • mark ingram

    THIS IS A NATURAL, HE COULD BE THE SECOND COMING OF PAUL HORNUNG! THIS FITS LIKE HAM AND EGGS!

  • Taryn Miller

    “Perhaps McCarthy even draws up a few gadget plays somewhere down the line.”

    Tebow is a gadget/gimmick play and once on the field and everyone knows it..it’s not like the fake FG with Crabtree or the 4th down fake punt with Kuhn…wash your mouth out with soap for you those curse words..yes curse words…Tebow a Packer.

    Besides,do you know how hard it will be for MM to take the ball out of Arods hands with the newly propped up run attack….must less a sideshow..c’mon.