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