The Associated Press is reporting that Tim Tebow is exploring his options after being let go by the New York Jets. One of the landing spots the anonymous writer suggests is here in the sunny, warm, and bikini heavy world of Tampa Bay. Should the Bucs do it? I am going to side with the minority in the US and Canada (see the comments of the Montreal Alouettes’ coach) and give a resounding YES! Two thumbs up! Knock yourself out.
While I am not a Tebow fan nor a Tebow hater, I got to see plenty of him when he played for the Denver Broncos. The guy won games. He won ugly. He threw wounded ducks. He scrambled. He fought. He hammered and willed his way to victory. What is not to like about that? This is old school. This is twelve pass attempts per game. This is Tebow in sepia sprinting left behind the lead blocking of Frank Gifford. In short, this is fun. Love him or hate him, there is a prevailing theme in sports media that QBs are judged by wins and losses. Well, folks, there we have it. Tebow took a struggling Denver team and brought them to the playoffs and beat a heavily-favored Pittsburgh team with a top-ranked defense.
No, you say? Tebow is a circus? Tebow cannot play the position? Why was he drafted in the first round to play QB? Why did a lot of teams consider him as a top-three round QB? Why did Jon Gruden say Tim Tebow was a first-round worthy pick at QB? Because he brings “it”. He works hard, he inspires, and he gives effort on every down. That makes football fun to watch, especially in this me-first world that we live in.
Would Tebow be too distracting? Yes, some fans will like it. Uncle Earnie will show up with his Gators jersey from 1975 and the guy with the John 3:16 card in the endzone will be thrilled. But really? You may say the guy can’t play QB. And besides, he will create uncertainty for Josh Freeman and create fan pressure and a media circus and lots of bad things will happen until the earth opens up and swallows One Buc Place, right?
Nope. Josh Freeman is a professional. I doubt Tim Tebow or any other challenger will keep him awake at night. And if Tebow does keep Freeman awake, do you want him as your starter? See note above: Tebow works. Tebow wins. If Josh Freeman can’t hold off Tim Tebow, is he a franchise quarterback for this team that wants to contend now?
What if that pressure is too much for anyone to handle, and it negatively affects Josh Freeman? Consider the circumstances. Tampa is hardly New York. The media notice the Bucs as often as people notice the fact that they’re breathing. As for Freeman feeling safe in his job, this is a non-playoff team that needs to take the next step. Someone had better feel uncomfortable. There will be some fans who are calling for Tebow to start, and that should push Josh to be better. Management can put all of this in perspective with some deftness and the right words. “We like Tim as a backup QB for depth. He has playoff experience. Josh Freeman is our starter.” The kind of PR statement that hides the truth behind the scenes, that Josh Freeman has to win, and win now, otherwise there are other options to explore, like rookie Mike Glennon and a playoff game-winning veteran like Tebow.
Besides, if football is entertainment, what would be more entertaining than Tebow in Tampa?