Tim Tebow enjoys the finer, and very boring things in life. He likes attending church, minimizing his interaction with the opposite sex, and never saying anything that means anything.
Those are the cardinal rules carved somewhere in a stone underneath Tebow’s bed that he follows while living a fulfilled life. But he broke one of them over the weekend. The last one, and it allowed us to have a brief glimpse into the mind of Tebow, showing that he’s more than just intensely self-righteous. He’s also very self aware.
During an appearance at his Alma mater in which the adoring crowd at the University of Florida may or may not have performed their version of the Passion of the Tebow, a conversation with Gatorzone.com turned towards the holy one’s lack of passing ability once the inevitable nostalgic reminiscing was over with.
Although Tebow is typically a boring quote, he’s never been shy about discussing his passing skills, or lack thereof. But often he speaks in generalities, referencing his timing with receivers, or the need to work through his progressions better and show a little more patience in the pocket before tucking and running. While those are undeniable Tebow truths, he expanded much more while speaking to Gatorzone, saying that he pretty much has to improve, well, everything.
On what he needs to work to become a better quarterback: “Everything. This my third year and my third offense. That’s been a struggle. Eventually, I’ll know them all, hopefully. I think understanding offense very well, that’ll be a key. And just continuing to work on fundamentals. … My biggest weakness has probably been fundamentals. The offense we ran at Florida, I had great fundamentals for that, with my feet. Now, being under center, play-action, seven-step drops, being in the pocket, it’s different. The great quarterbacks aren’t necessarily super-athletic, but they have great rhythm and timing because of their feet. … Sometimes I want to go so fast, so having rhythm and timing is something I need to work on every day.”
It’s a little jarring to hear Tebow reference his deficiencies so flatly, and with such a blanket word. Fundamentals. He needs more of them, and quickly if he’s ever going to be a regular starter in this league again.
We should all be aware of the absurdity of the quarterback “wins” stat by now, which was the primary metric used to measure Tebow last season by the legion of believers cultivated by Skip Bayless. You’re also aware of his either below average of very average production in every statistical passing category (46.5 completion percentage, 72.9 passer rating, 6.4 yards per pass attempt, 123.5 yards per game).
But what’s often overlooked is the coaching carousel Tebow highlights. Combine his unorthodox style with the lack of a consistent system, and you’ll get an inconsistent quarterback. The two games during last year’s playoffs are a prime example, with Tebow excelling one week and showing glimpses of what he could become during an upset win over the Steelers, and then getting trampled a week later, and sacked five times by the Patriots.
His running, wild style can be effective, and we saw it work at times during a six-game stretch last year, although there were many other factors in play (his defense, his kicker hitting multiple +50-yard field goals, the support he received from his running game). If he can develop even mild accuracy (let’s say completing 55 percent of his passes), then we can begin to take him seriously as a long-term starter.
If the Mark Sanchez from 2011 returns in 2012, Tebow may get the chance to show us how much his fundamentals have improved (if they’ve improved), even if he doesn’t want Sanchez to stumble.