Tim Tebow has helped the Broncos win four of their past five games but it isn’t getting him any respect, not even from his own boss.
Denver executive vice president of football operations and hall of fame quarterback John Elway, when asked if the Broncos’ front office were now convinced they had their quarterback of the future, replied: “No.”
No wonder the rest of the league is giggling into its sleeve. If Tebow hasn’t convinced his own bosses that he can do the job it will obviously be difficult for him to be taken seriously outside the organization.
“I think obviously (Tebow is) making progress week in and week out. When you look at our third down numbers, those have to improve. I mean, that’s the bottom line,” said Elway, faint praise dripping from every syllable.
The problem with Tebow is that he doesn’t fit the NFL’s cookie-cutter mold of what a succesful quarterback should look like, throw like, play like, or even think like.
First, he throws like a girl. OK, the comparison is insulting — some women softball players throw better. Let’s just agree that Tebow’s throws aren’t going to be sending any of his receivers to their favourite manicurist to repair the damage, but lots of succesful NFL quarterbacks haven’t had great arms.
Second, he does himself no favours by turning every interview into a sermon. We know already. He’s high-fiving Jesus. But give it a rest. “I wish he’d just shut up after a game and go hug his teammates,” said Jake Plummer, another former Denver QB, this week. “I think that when he accepts the fact that we know that he loves Jesus Christ then I think I’ll like him a little better. I don’t hate him because of that, I just would rather not have to hear that every time he takes a good snap or makes a good handoff.”
Third: Major League Baseball is often criticized for accepting change with glacial speed but the NFL isn’t much better at fitting a square peg into the round holes that the folks in charge seem to have in their heads.
In this league “innovation” is just a four-letter word that ran away with itself.
It’s almost as if the Broncos’ front office itself wants the option offence Tebow is running to fail because it doesn’t fit into the accepted norm. Joe Kapp was different and ended up as the only man to quarterback teams in the Super Bowl, Rose Bowl and Grey Cup. Doug Flutie was atypical, but the Bills should be so lucky as to see those days again. Not to suggest Tebow is in that class but it would be nice if folks got off his case and gave the guy a chance to fail before they buried him.
Tebow may not be a Pro Bowl candidate, but then it’s not like Elway and the front office have surrounded him with hall of fame helpers, either. There will be plenty of chances to dump on Tebow in the future for his shortcomings.
In the meantime, it would be nice if we could just enjoy the moment.
“It is kind of fun to see,” Plummer said, “since they are bucking the system in the NFL.”
IT’S NO SNAP
Ben Roethlisberger admits there’s a twinge in his broken right thumb when he takes a snap, but he expects to play when the Steelers play in K.C. Sunday.
“It’s definitely different,” Roethlisberger said. “It hurts, first off, just to grip the ball. It’s something you have to get used to.”
The Steelers are expected to make some changes so Roethlisberger can run more plays out of the shotgun.
IT’S SPILLER TIMES TWO
C.J. Spiller has had his troubles getting into the starting lineup.
Sunday, the Buffalo Bills might wish he could be in two places at once.
Injuries once again are causing the Bills grief. Coach Chan Gailey says a left ankle injury to receiver Donald Jones is more serious than initally reported and he’s been put on injured reserve.
Meantime, sources told the Buffalo News starting running back Fred Jackson was “very, very sore,” after suffering a bruised right calf against Miami.
This leaves the Bills in a dilemma. When Jones was injured earlier this year, Spiller filled in for him. But with Jackson also questionable, Spiller is expected to work out at running back when the Bills return to practice Wednesday. Jackson likely will not.
“He’s banged up. We’ll have to wait and see,” Gailey told reporters. “I don’t know if I can give you an answer right now ... but we hope to have him late in the week.”
The Bills also signed receivers Derek Hagan, formerly with Oakland, and rookie Kamar Aiken.
Buffalo’s number of man-games lost to injury will easily surpass 100 by the end of the season with 17 Bills already having missed at least one game. “Nobody feels sorry for you. They don’t cancel any games because you’re hurting a little,” Gailey said. “You play with the guy that’s next in line.”
Matt Hasselbeck has no structural damage to his right forearm and elbow and there’s a chance he’ll play this weekend ... Percy Harvin, who had 11 touches after Adrian Peterson injured his ankle, will be the Vikings’ primary back Sunday ... Roy Helu’s future as a full-time back has not yet come. “I like Helu. He’s doing some great things,” but, said coach Mike Shanahan he’ll let Ryan Torain continue to start games. “I don’t want to put too much pressure on (Helu) too early. He’s not ready for that” ... Julio Jones said via Twitter he’s uncertain if he’ll play this week ... Running back James Starks has a sprained knee and the Packers are uncertain he’ll play Thursday. Wide receiver Greg Jennings has a bruised knee.