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26 December, 2010

Tebow 1st game reaction from 12/20

With a little time to breathe and having read some reviews, here are my Tebow thoughts.
For a first start he looked very composed. There was no indication of deer in the headlights. 
He got banged around pretty good on some plays but that didn't rattle him on ensuing plays. 
He has energy and enthusiasm that the players said they responded to.  Brandon Lloyd said
he thought Tebow played well.  The Raiders defenders were impressed and thought he could
be good some day.  The throw that he made to Lance Ball in the end zone, 
which Ball dropped, was excellent.  I think his running speed is average for a QB but
his running ability and instincts are above average.  On the TD run he set up blocks 
and made cuts that a majority of other QB's probably wouldn't. 
It appeared he was limited by the play-calling, but we don't know for sure that his presence 
wasn't the reason for that. I have no idea what his knowledge of the playbook is and 
how much they trust him with it. The fact that the TD run was actually a play 
he messed up may be an indicator of that. However, they hadn't practiced that play
all week so maybe it was confusion and nerves. 
I thought Trent Dilfer made excellent points. Tebow had 24 touches (runs+passes) which produced 2 TD's (should have been 3) and no turnovers. That's very impressive for a first start, on the road, in bad weather. But in the NFL you have to make plays from the pocket on 3rd down.  Tebow did not. For the every good throw he made there was a big over throw. The reason Michael Vick is such a better player this year is because of how much better a passer he is. Many analysts have said they would much rather force him to run than throw. Tebow is not the runner Vick is.  We can only hope he becomes that good of a passer some day.
Over the next 2 games I hope we get a chance to see a playbook that shows us a little more. 
I think they ran about 10 plays from shotgun formation yesterday. I'd like to see twice that, 
maybe more. One friend pointed out to me how slow Tebow was dropping back from center, 
a common issue for rookie QB's. You can still run the ball from shotgun, but giving Tebow 
a little better view at the defense and putting him in more of a comfort zone may allow them
to run more traditional plays. It just seemed like every 3rd down play was some kind of 
off-beat call  as opposed to normal play-calling relying on good execution. Someone else
pointed out that pass plays over the middle of the field are tough to read, which is why
Denver ran next to no plays in that part of the field.
Again, it's one game. We saw some good stuff, we saw some so-so stuff. Look at Matt Flynn last night. He played great right up until they needed him most, and then his inexperience cost his team. This is a hard league and even the best, most talented of college players have trouble making it (JaMarcus Russell, hello.) I hope Tebow can become a good QB. I hope the next coach thinks he can too. Tebow is incredibly admirable. He is a good guy who is humble, 
sincere and respectful of people and the game. I think it's amazing that objective
observers would want him to fail. He appears to be most everything we beg our
athletes to be today. So I am pulling for him because of that. I had a Chiefs fan tell
me today they were rooting for him. A Chiefs fan. 

So let's give him 2 more games and an off-season to prepare for year 2. I'm comfortable with setting my Tebowmeter at 5.5 because I'm only slightly more confident than not that he can make it in this league. There have been lots of guys who were "winners" in college and had "all the intangibles" who never succeeded in the NFL. It's great to have those qualities but they don't guarantee much. I'm excited to watch him over the next two weeks. I think the home crowd will be energized and that should lift the team a little. Plus, if they are playing the Chargers with a chance to be a spoiler, that may give them a boost as well. It's one game (have I said that enough?) so we're far removed from being able to categorize 
Tebow as anything other than a work in process and a guy who has a chance to be good.

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