August 30, 2013

Tim Tebow's Final Preseason Performance Tebowesque: Tim Tebow threw two touchdown passes and an interception in the second half of the New England Patriots' final preseason game. He completed 6 of 11 passes, ran for 30 yards and was sacked four times. Has he done enough to make the roster? Mike Foss of USA Today says yes. Howard Ulman of AP says maybe. Josh Katzowitz of CBS says no.

posted by rcade to football at 12:25 PM - 28 comments

Honestly, if the rookie didn't make a great catch on a ball that was way too high, make a brillant cut and run and score a TD, there's no way we're even having this conversation. 5/11, 40 yards, 1 short TD against third-stringers, 1 int and four sacks and he's cut.

But that's the "magic" of Tebow - the Denver D bails him out for 3 1/2 quarters a game, but two or three throws and suddenly he's a winner. One play that wasn't even his spectacular moment and suddenly he's in the conversation.

I think he's cut, solely because in order to ever go to him as QB, you'd have to totally redesign the whole offence. Brady isn't coming off the field for a gimmick ever, Mallett has proven he can throw from the pocket, so why even divert a moment's worth of attention to a QB that doesn't fit that model?

posted by dfleming at 12:41 PM on August 30, 2013

Tebow's first touchdown pass wasn't as bad as you're making it sound. It was a little high, but the receiver Quentin Sims had no trouble with it and was able to turn it into a nice score. But even with that 52-yarder Tebow's stats do not impress.

His QBR for the preseason was 47.2 with two TDs and two interceptions. I think he's done. Seeing him last night made me feel a little better about Blaine Gabbert, but not much.

posted by rcade at 01:44 PM on August 30, 2013

I was struck by how bad he looked at merely throwing the ball. I guess I've never really watched his mechanics that closely, but he looked like an amateur out there last night. Some of his throws were so far off the target it was inexplicable.

posted by Rock Steady at 02:09 PM on August 30, 2013

I refuse to dignify Tim Tebow with any further comments on SpoFi.


posted by tahoemoj at 02:58 PM on August 30, 2013

Mallett has proven he can throw from the pocket

I'm not sold on that. He should be able to, supposedly he has shown this in practice, but I've yet to see it. He blew a wide-open touch pass last night and his targeting engine isn't miles away from Tebow's. Which isn't me complimenting Tim.

I guess I've never really watched his mechanics that closely

That's a good plan, especially if you've recently eaten. I have no idea what they will do with Tebow, but he made it through the next round of cuts. I think ideally he'd come down with an "injury" between now and the final round of cuts that can get him onto the PUP list.

posted by yerfatma at 03:05 PM on August 30, 2013

I'm not sold on that. He should be able to, supposedly he has shown this in practice, but I've yet to see it.

I think his biggest problem is he hasn't seen a lot of game action. But point taken - he's never been a good touch passer.

I'm not saying there's a seamless transition in the event of a Brady injury, nor do I think anyone could come in and run the same kind of short-and-precise timing throws that he does. I don't think you have an 11-5 Cassell situation here - but I think you'd at least scheme Mallett to run the Brady offence and not have everyone adapt to the wet-and-wild Tebow show.

Ballard and Fells getting cut must mean Gronk will be ready to go early. Ballard didn't look very good as his knee must not've healed well.

posted by dfleming at 03:41 PM on August 30, 2013


And maybe, the next time we'll hear about Tebow will be in the November 2023 digital issue of Sports Illustrated in the annual "Where are they now?" article. In that article, he talks about how he's gone on to live a happy and healthy life as a Christian counsellor and public speaker. He talks about his commitment to his faith, how his marriage and children provided him with the stability that sports never did, and how he didn't regret his brief time in the limelight (or that it's over). He smiles, points to his 8 year old son throwing a football straight into the ground, and says "A quarterback, just like his old man."

posted by grum@work at 03:43 PM on August 30, 2013

I don't know what you do with Tebow, especially in NE where the Patriots rarely win unless the offense puts 30 on the board.

He's got a great attitude making him a guy you want in the locker room. He could play special teams, but you usually want to keep those spots for young developing second string players that show potential at a specific position. Tebow is never going to be a QB in the Patriots offense which means you're making a concession by keeping him for special teams by cutting a second or third string LB/CB/RB to make space for him. Add to that Belichick is not a coach who places high value on character and I'd say he's gone.

posted by cixelsyd at 04:29 PM on August 30, 2013

That's a beautiful story, Grum. I cried a little.

posted by rcade at 04:43 PM on August 30, 2013

First of all, I'm pretty sure Tebow will have the limelight on him for a long time to come. And if he becomes a counselor or a public speaker and raises a family, my hat's off to him. What a wonderful, honorable life. I sort of resent the implication that that would be a failure.

Also, aren't Tebows famous for over-throwing their receivers? A football on the roof, perhaps? I don't know, the Onion disagrees.

posted by phaedon at 05:59 PM on August 30, 2013

You guys are talking awfully casually about just tossing aside a guy who is nothing short of the most successful member of his peer group in the last 25 years.

posted by beaverboard at 07:12 PM on August 30, 2013

Oh gods, beaverboard, I am seriously gasping for breath with laughter here.

posted by Etrigan at 07:39 PM on August 30, 2013

I sort of resent the implication that that would be a failure.

A failure as an NFL quarterback can still be successful in life.

I mean, I'm not saying he'll be like this guy. (Who, incidently, had a higher NFL completion percentage than Tim Tebow.)

posted by grum@work at 08:40 PM on August 30, 2013

How long will it take for Tebow finally to learn the mechanics required to consistently throw a football accurately and with the right pace? Perhaps his coaches at Denver and New York did not recognize the problem, perhaps they did. Perhaps Tebow tried to learn, perhaps he did not. Unless Josh McDaniels and Bill Belichick see something in Tebow and feel he can make sufficient progress on the practice field this year, I feel he will not make the final cut. If Tebow can learn anything from anyone and be in the right place to do it, New England is the place and Brady/McDaniels/Belichick and the people.

On top of any mechanical problems comes the need to process the information about the defense quickly and correctly. One of the sports magazines (I forget whether it was SI or ESPN) had an article a few weeks ago about how the elite athletes process information in bunches. The article seemed to indicate that the elite athlete's brain somehow worked differently than other people's brains. I disagree with that premise, and think that the difference comes from experience and how well one can learn from it. I know that as an engineer the longer I was on a project the more efficiently I could solve problems that came up. You see a lot of things happen, and pretty soon you recognize what's going on without thinking too deeply about it. So it is with a QB dissecting a defense. It is not an easy skill to achieve, but it is certainly possible. Can Tebow ever learn it well enough to play QB as a regular in the NFL?

posted by Howard_T at 11:20 PM on August 30, 2013

ESPN is reporting that Tebow has been released.

posted by rcade at 11:33 AM on August 31, 2013

File this under "ascribing more credit to Belichick than he actually deserves", but: I wonder if the Pats brought Tebow on just to hold him on the roster and then cut him in an attempt to spare fans from the whole circus this year? Sure, he can still sign somewhere else, but he'd have to learn a different system and wouldn't really have any time to get familiar with his new teammates, so that's a less attractive proposition than it already seems to be.

posted by LionIndex at 12:48 PM on August 31, 2013

especially in NE where the Patriots rarely win unless the offense puts 30 on the board.

2012 results/ 2011 results - I see one game each season where the opposition scored 30 points.

posted by yerfatma at 12:52 PM on August 31, 2013

I really don't understand why he hasn't tried other positions. Maybe he can't catch very well? Maybe it's about injury risks? Who knows, but from where I am sitting, it seems like he would be a pretty crazy threat as a TE. You know he can run and he adds the extra dimension of being a more plausible threat than usual for "TE option" types of plays.

I hear the Jets need a QB.

posted by feloniousmonk at 01:17 PM on August 31, 2013

I still think "additional strong safety in situational packages" when I look at Tebow, but I guess that dishing out punishment is not part of his divine path.

Maybe BB cuts him in order to get the notion of playing QB in the NFL out of his head once and for all, then brings him back to do something completely different.

Or maybe Tebow is already prepping for the possibility of being deposed as a character witness by Urban Meyer's legal team, should the need ever arise.

It's in the NFL's interest to have Tebow rostered somewhere, because when they run their numbers on off-field factors such as number of dependents on child support per player, the presence of Tebow balances out Cromartie and pushes the league average down a bit.

They can also keep him around as a post-career sideline celebrity for in-game cameos. It's good to have people near the field who know the game and are safe for Suzy Kolber to interview.

posted by beaverboard at 01:39 PM on August 31, 2013

I really don't understand why he hasn't tried other positions.

A couple of Pats beat writers (or maybe they were national guys, it was back when the Pats first signed him) suggested that's not as easy as we all think it is, that learning TE at the NFL level is pretty complicated and hard to do. I suppose there's the risk/ reward equation to: if he can catch and run, is it worth it to risk having him miss blocking assignments for a year or two?

posted by yerfatma at 02:30 PM on August 31, 2013

In a sport that requires ever-increasing degrees of specialization, there are few positions save those on the offensive line, safety/corner, or outside linebacker/defensive end where a player can perform at multiple positions. The occasional tight end who has the speed and moves to be used as an outside receiver can be included, but the rest of the skill positions as well as defensive interior linemen require either a certain body type or physical and mental skills that are not easily learned or acquired. Tebow has the unfortunate attribute of being "jack of all trades and master of none".

posted by Howard_T at 05:33 PM on August 31, 2013

"I will remain in relentless pursuit of continuing my lifelong dream of being an NFL quarterback." -- Tim Tebow on Twitter.

It's getting a little sad now. The NFL just isn't that into you. Let it go.

posted by rcade at 09:49 AM on September 01, 2013

If he had any sense and was open to the CFL, would he be a good fit there?

posted by yerfatma at 10:51 AM on September 01, 2013

Not as a QB, the CFL is even more of a passer's league.

posted by Scottymac at 11:27 AM on September 01, 2013

With Manuel hurt, Buffalo is starting a guy from the Pullman, WA witness protection program at QB and had been backing him up with a gong show of Leinarts.

You'd think that with a little snow on the ground, the Bills could win some 17-14 ballgames with Tebow doing his best Mosi Tatupu "I'm a sure-footed winter weather tropical badass" impersonation.

(I'm secretly wishing that the Pats would pick up Dennis Dixon from the Eagles chop list, mainly because I still miss Michael Bishop, and because Dixon has gotten far less of a fair shot in the league than Tebow or Kordell got).

Meanwhile, Tebow should keep up his lifting regimen, because there's a sure-fire motivational DVD entitled "Guns of God" that's just waiting to happen.

posted by beaverboard at 02:28 PM on September 01, 2013

because I still miss Michael Bishop

Oh God, you were that guy calling 'EEI every week saying Belichick's refusal to play Bishop over Brady was a result of Belichick being a "stone-cold racist".

posted by yerfatma at 03:46 PM on September 01, 2013

Now they're trying to recruit Tebow for U. S. Rugby. It won't happen. Tebow would never play on a team that employed a hooker.

posted by Howard_T at 05:16 PM on September 01, 2013

you were that guy calling 'EEI every week

Damn, my cover is blown. No, actually, it was some other zealot. I have no idea who.

I liked Bishop. He made the pre-season more lively and entertaining. Watching him run around on TV accompanied by Jerry Glanville's homespun commentary was a good pairing with an ice cold frothy beverage.

Once, Bishop tried a run option play, which blew up as he was moving laterally behind the OL. So being Bishop, he tried to improvise. It wasn't pretty. Glanville said, "Jesus, that looked like spring practice at Oklahoma". No doubt BB was not pleased. Not his brand of ball.

Poor Bish, having to ply his trade in college and the NFL under Snyder and Belichick, two cum laude graduates of the school of spontaneity and enthusiasm.

posted by beaverboard at 08:59 PM on September 01, 2013

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