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Why Tim Tebow Will Not be Starting in the NFL Within 3 Years or Less

Updated on April 14, 2012
Tim Tebow gets sacked after the New England Patriots exposed his college style offense as ineffective.
Tim Tebow gets sacked after the New England Patriots exposed his college style offense as ineffective. | Source

Tim Tebow's college option offense will not survive in the NFL. With Tebow's skill set, or lack thereof, he will not be starting in the NFL for very much longer


The NFL fad that is Tim Tebow and the college option offense will not be sustainable in the NFL for very long. This has been proven over the years through many different fads that have come and gone, from the Chicago Bears 4-6 Defense in 1985 to the Wild Cat Offense developed by the Dolphins in 2008. Let's take a look at the 3 latest fads and how they dominated at first, but were eventually figured out by NFL defenses and became quickly obsolete.

Chicago's 4-6 Defense

In 1985, under head coach Mike Ditka and Defensive Coordinator Buddy Ryan (the father of Rex and Rob Ryan) Ryan developed a NFL defense that had never been seen before. It involved blitzing the quarterback early and often. This produced chaos and distrupted offenses because they had much less time to react. Because they had never seen this style of defense before, offenses were caught off guard and were slow to react.

This produced a record breaking season for Chicago. It also produced an 18-1 record, with their only loss coming to the Miami Dolphins late in the season. Additionally, and most importantly, it produced a Super Bowl title for the Chicago Bears.

However, once NFL offensive coordinators got a chance to study it, its effectiveness quickly disappeared. Other NFL teams realized that you could do quick tosses, reverses, and sweeps that would negate such a defense. Soon after, this defense disappeared with the exception of a few plays here and there. However, it was no longer an effective defense that could be used consistently or featured.

The Miami Dolphins and the Wild Cat

The year was 2008 and the Miami Dolphins were being coached by Bill Parcells when they unleashed another NFL fad, this time it was offensive and not defensive. It was known as the Wild Cat.

In this type of offense a running back would take a direct snap from center instead of the quarterback. The running back would then have an option to either throw the ball or run with it in a traditional manner through the line. This confused many NFL defenses, who again, had never seen this type of offense and were slow to react.

This produced a division title for the Miami Dolphins and a 12-4 record for a team that was terrible the year before. However, the next season it was not as effective as teams had time to study it. They realized they could simply blitz the A gap and give the runner little time to read and react. Just as fast as this offense became a fad, it disappeared. And, just like the 4-6, is only used on occasions, or from time to time as a trick play.

Tim Tebow's College Style Option Offense

In comes Tim Tebow after the Broncos were 0-5. John Fox develops an offense that allows Tebow to utilize what little skills he has. This offense is based primarily on running the football a lot both by the running back, fullback, and quarterback.

In other portions the running back fakes the dive and Tebow throws downfield. Additionally, Tebow can keep the ball and run out to the edge to rush the ball himself. He may also decide to pitch it out to another player if there are no lanes.

The Patriots were the first to really dismantle this type of offense. The first time they played in week 15, the Patriots did not read and react, they simply rushed the passer hard. This burnt them in only one respect, they gave up 167 yards rushing in the first quarter of that game before winning 41-23.

The second time they played the Broncos, the Patriots were already used to this type of play. Except this time, they changed their defensive strategy. This time they contained and shadowed until the play was unveiled and then had several players swarm Tebow. This produced an even worse outing for the Broncos. This game saw Tebow rush for 13 yards and produce a completion percentage of 34%, far below anything effective. To make matters worse Tebow fumbled several times, threw for only 136 yards, and had 0 touchdown passes.

The Kansas City Cheifs were another team that played the Broncos twice this year. The first time the Tebow offense caught them off gaurd. However, the second time they played Tebow, they also had much more success against him winning in week 17. It was in the final game of the season, a loss that almost cost the Broncos a chance at the playoffs. However, they backed in at 8-8.

Final Analysis

Because Tebow has limited passing skills, hovering below 50%, he will never be an effective NFL quarterback. Although, his option style offense took many NFL teams off guard this season and produced a playoff appearance and one playoff victory, the Patriots have provided two effective blue prints on how to stop this type of offense. With one more off season and an opportunity to study this type of offense, unless Tim Tebow can seriously improve his passing skills to a competent 60% this offense and Tebow will simply be a fad in the NFL that will be gone within three years or less.


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    • Preston5134 profile image

      Preston5134 6 years ago from Polkton, NC

      Something that has always bothered me when anyone talks about Tebow, his inaccuarcy, and his mechanics is no one takes into effect that three years ago he went and completly revamped his throwing motion. I promise you that if any other QB tried to do this, you would probably see the same type of numbers. I was probably on of the few Broncos fans that wanted to see what Tebow could do with a full offseason and being the unquestioned stater, but the lure of Manning was too much. Oh, by the way, the Broncos were 1-4 when Tebow took over and were down by 16 to the Chargers when Tebow took over for Orton and the ended up losing that game by 5.

    • Kyle Obergfell profile image

      Kyle Obergfell 6 years ago

      the lone asterisk in doubt is of course the Pittsburgh playoff game.

      aside from that.. Tebow's last four games resulted in a complete shut down.

      But the Steelers approach will be as important as the Patriots, Bills and Chiefs.

      The Steelers had absolutely zero respect for Tebow passing the ball..

      played 8 in the box, and left their Ryan Clark-less secondary naked with

      only three defenders beyond 10 yards.

      Pittsburgh were not stupid or even foolhardy.

      Tebow still only completed 10/21.

      And before that 15 yard throw that Thomas ran 65 yards in..

      Tebow was 9/20 for 236.. most of that damage came in the 2nd qtr

      when Broncos scored 20 points, and then Steelers shut them down

      in the 2nd half.. allowing only 3 points, and scored 17 to tie it.

      The Steelers had reasons to be confident.

      Broncos failed to get a first down in the first quarter,

      The Broncos looked stumped in the whole 2nd half.

      Then one play in OT.

      How realistic is this to continue?

      Not very. Teams are going to hyper-analyze that 2nd qtr.

      I hope you had a good chance to enjoy it Tebow fans.

      Because that's how the story ends.

      And all the college accolades? Championships, Heismans,

      passer rating.. all well and fine.. but completely inconsequential

      when it comes to the NFL.

    • Stevennix2001 profile image

      Steven Escareno 6 years ago

      Well only time will tell on this. Personally, I doubt seriously that Tim Tebow will remain a starting quarterback in the nfl for long, but I do want him to succeed because he seems like a nice guy, and he's done everything people have asked of him and then some. Unfortunately, life isn't always fair, as I think next season will say a lot about how good Tim Tebow really is.

    • CMerritt profile image

      Chris Merritt 6 years ago from Pendleton, Indiana

      I agree...

    • MarkRFox profile image

      MarkRFox 6 years ago

      Yup...remember Ken Dorsey, the University of MIami QB..I think he was either undefeated in college or had a 36-1 mark. Everyone said the same thing. He didn't last. I always go back to what future HOFer Kurt Warner said, "Ya, sure they have the ability to throw it to a guy who is open by 10 yards in college, but can they throw to a guy when he is open by 1 yard? Can they do it when the speed is faster? Can they do it when they are getting hit by guys bigger than them? Nobody knows until they get there." 48% just won't cut it in this league. Nor will running around like a chicken with your head cut off. The only reason QBs like Micheal Vick and Randall Cunninham ever survived was because they had rocket arms that were much more accurate to go with it. I just don't see that with Tebow. At least not at this level. However, only time will tell.

    • CMerritt profile image

      Chris Merritt 6 years ago from Pendleton, Indiana

      I am not yet ready to write this kid off. I think he has some incredible atheltic ability and a very strong arm.

      At Florida he had a QB rating of: 176

      completed: over 67% of his passes

      Threw for 88 TD's with only 15 INT's.

      He also ran for 57 TD's

      More importantly he is a proven leader....

      So, I am not yet convinced he can make the tranisition...but he will have his chance.

      Good hub though, and you make all valid points.



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