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Tebow is no star, but deserves better

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Tebow is no star, but deserves better

Pat Haynes

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It was announced this week that Tim Tebow, former college phenom, would more than likely start the season as the Denver Broncos’ third-string quarterback.

New Broncos coach John Fox named former Chicago Bears signal caller Kyle Orton the starter, with former first-round draft pick Brady Quinn filling the backup role.

This baffles me. Tebow leads the team in jersey sales and the former Heisman Trophy winner is indisputably their most popular player. I’m not trying to make the argument that Tebow should start over Orton. While Tebow has yet to truly be given a chance as a starter, he needs more time to develop before he is completely given the reins.

However, to put Quinn – who has a career quarterback rating in the 60s – behind Tebow is a highly questionable move. Quinn is surely not a reliable backup.

People have always complained that Tebow is not an NFL-level quarterback. They say he runs too much. That his arm is unreliable. That he’s too big. And so on.

This is just nonsense. People doubted Tebow would be drafted in the first round. Denver took a chance taking him 25th in the 2009 draft. Sure, the college game is different than the NFL, but Tebow is arguably one of the best collegiate football players of the last decade.

Two former Super Bowl-winning coaches, Jon Gruden and Tony Dungy, praised Tebow around the time of the pick, saying that he could revolutionize the game. Seems quite the whirlwind turnaround now that ESPN analyst Merril Hoge, a lackluster running back at best during his NFL career who has always been one of my least favorite analysts, seems to be gunning for the Broncos to cut Tebow. The incredulous “Are you insane?” look from tablemate Adam Schefter in response provided me with a brief moment of solace amidst the rage.

Last year, despite the doubters, Tebow led the team to a comeback victory, winning 24-23 against the Houston Texans. Down 17-0 at halftime, Tebow led the comeback with 308 yards, one touchdown in the air and one on the ground. This was his second career start.

While Tebow didn’t perform quite as well his other two starts last season, judging someone off three games is hardly fair. In less than a third of the amount of games played last season, Tebow rushed for six more touchdowns last season, and compiled 227 rushing yards; meanwhile, Orton had zero rushing TDs and just 98 yards on the ground.

Although Orton threw for more yards and touchdowns than Tebow last year, Tebow played less than a third of the games. In 10 games, Orton threw eight touchdowns and seven interceptions, compared to Tebow’s five and three in only three games.

By no means am I saying that Tebow deserves to start for the Broncos. Orton, while not great, has done good work and deserves the starting job when he’s healthy. But to have Tebow back up Quinn, who has always drawn the attention of Broncos fans more for his looks than his abilities, is insane.

I hope the Broncos trade Tebow. He deserves to be utilized by a team that will actually respect his abilities.

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The independent student newspaper of Western Illinois University. Serving Macomb since 1905.
Tebow is no star, but deserves better