Tebow has “it” factor that will translate to NFL success

By dchardon26  |   Thursday, October 29, 2009  |  Comments( 1 )

Florida Gators
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With almost half of the NFL season gone, there are a number of teams that are already looking to the 2010 season. It’s no coincidence that most of those teams have issues at the quarterback position. The Raiders, Panthers, Browns, Redskins, Rams, and to an extent the Titans are most likely going to be looking to upgrade that position in the upcoming off-season. With the potential of an uncapped season in 2010, the NFL Draft will be more vital than ever in terms of rebuilding a team.

The draft is the ultimate boom or bust for NFL teams, with a successful draft a team can be established for a decade. On the flip side of the draft coin, with one bad draft a team can be set back for a very long time. So it’s no accident that quarterbacks are usually at the top of the draft, because they are the most important cog in a winning team. There is a laundry list of teams that missed on quarterbacks in recent drafts that ruined careers and set franchises back, both financially and on the field. Does Ryan Leaf ring a bell? How about Akili Smith? Or Tim Couch? With those selections, the Chargers, Bengals, and Browns; respectively, were cast into the bottom rung of the NFL hierarchy for years. Only recently have the Chargers and Bengals climbed into the elite status of the NFL, in large part due to them drafting Philip Rivers and Carson Palmer. In the NFL, if you don’t have a good quarterback, you have nothing.

It was understood that in the upcoming draft there was one guy who was worthy of being selected in that number overall slot, Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford. But with his recent shoulder injuries and opting to have surgery, his status is up in the air. Bradford only makes up one-third of the best QB trio in the college ranks. The other two are Colt McCoy from Texas and Tim Tebow from Florida. All three have accomplished a lot during their college careers, even though their careers are not over yet. Even still, there is one that stands out among the others, and that people is Tim Tebow. Tim Tebow has two national championships to his name. Tebow was the first ever true sophomore to win the Heisman Trophy. Tebow also owns numerous NCAA records, SEC records, and University of Florida records. And to top it off, Tebow and the Gators are in the process of optimistically winning a third NCAA Championship. Yes, Tim Tebow has many accolades from his famed college career, but how will all that help him at the NFL level? The simple answer is that it won’t. It might help him earn a nice paycheck from an NFL team, but everything he accomplished won’t help him on the field come Sundays.

In the upcoming weeks to the draft, every scout and coach will scrutinize every facet of Tebow’s game. Even now there are questions about how his game will translate to the NFL. Every scout will look at his arm strength and say that it’s not strong enough or that his throwing delivery is funky or he played in a QB friendly system at Florida under Urban Meyer. Hell, even the fact that Tebow very rarely takes snaps from under center will get thrown into the analysis that is the NFL Draft. And you know what, all that stuff may be true. So what if Tebow can’t rocket the ball sixty yards down the field or he throws sidearm sometimes. Who cares! The one thing that Tebow has more of than any other college, or maybe even pro player for that matter, is “it.” Yeah I said “it.” Everybody knows “it.” Coaches, scouts, even fans know “it” when they see it. There is no describing “it”, or fitting “it” into a box with a definition. All that matters is that Tim Tebow has so much “it” that he can lend JaMarcus Russell a third of his “it” and still lead Florida to a national title. When looking for a quarterback to lead their team, every single person in an organization from the general manager to the head coach to the scouts will inspect every component of their physical game. When things start to go wrong for a team the first person to get the blame is the quarterback, and that’s because they are expected to be the team leader. Leader being the key word. That’s the one aspect of any player’s game that can’t measured, but has to be proven. Tebow has proven that he is a consummate leader time and time again. There is a plaque of Tebows famed “Promise” speech he delivered after the loss to Ole’ Miss last season hanging outside the football complex. And he didn’t even graduate yet! It’s evident in his games that there are times that he just refuses to let the Gators lose. Ask opposing SEC coaches about Tebow and they’ll say that Tebow is a game changer and ultimate leader and someone that must be accounted for on every play. Even though other coaches wouldn’t publicly say it, they would love to have Tebow on their team. Just for an example, Tom Brady wasn’t labeled as the most physically gifted player coming out of college and all he did was win three Super Bowls and set the single season passing touchdown record. Tom Brady has “it”, and as crazy as this may sound, Tim Tebow may have even more “it!”

If leadership and the “it” factor weren’t important, then Ryan Leaf probably would have multiple Super Bowls and Todd Marinovich would be in the Hall of Fame. The intangibles are perhaps more important than any other feature of a quarterbacks game. There are going to be multiple teams looking for a quarterback this April and if they were smart they would take a trip down to Gainesville to take a look at Tim Tebow. At the end of the day, Tebow might not throw for 400 yards or pass for five touchdowns but he’ll find a way to win the game. And isn’t winning the only thing that matters?
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