Saturday, August 24, 2013

Is Tim Tebow "Not Smart Enough" to Play in the NFL?

Despite claims of greatness from supporters like his own brother, Tim Tebow is certainly not making an impact on the pre-season roster of the New England Patriots. In the latest pre-season game against the Detroit Lions, Tebow didn't play a down. Thus, the question remains: is this finally the end of Tim Tebow's NFL career?

For those in the know in the NFL, the asking of questions may be the key to Tim Tebow's inability to successfully lead from the pocket.  Apparently, Tim Tebow was an incessant questioner of everyone on the field - practice or game day - from the minute he entered training day. And while asking questions and wanting to learn is often an admirable quality, Tebow's habit more likely indicates that he simply doesn't understand what's going on and lacks the confidence to call plays. Recent reports on Tebow's habit of questioning leaked out of Patriots' practices after reporters learned Tim Tebow was asking Tom Brady too many questions. Offensive Coordinator Josh McDaniels - who made the shocking decision to draft Tebow during McDaniel's ill-fated attempt to be the head coach of the Denver Broncos - explained "I'm not sure exactly the volume of questions that he asks per day, but I'm sure Tom probably puts a strict limit on that."

Curiosity is certainly a good thing ... in many situations.  But, the real reason Tim Tebow is not playing quarterback in the NFL may be that he's simply not smart enough to handle it. Stories from his playing days in Denver revealed that Tebow had a habit of hearing the play calls, and then repeatedly following up with OC Mike McCoy to make sure he was on the right page and understood the plan. This proved to be a frustrating habit that revealed doubts about Tebow's ability to understand pro offenses and play calling in the NFL.  In the story from ESPN, stories of doubts about Tebow's mental ability to handle surfaced, as even some in his own camp admitted he was probably done as an NFL quarterback.

More troubling for potential employers is that Tebow struggled badly with the mental side of the game, according to a league source. At age 7, he was diagnosed with dyslexia, a learning disability that affects how he reads and processes information, such as a playbook or game plan. Tebow won a Heisman Trophy and two BCS titles and graduated from Florida with a 3.7 GPA. But he scored a below-average (for QBs) 22 on his Wonderlic test. As a kinesthetic learner, Tebow absorbs information better through using flash cards and hands-on repetitive experience than the traditional method of memorizing diagrams, notes and Polaroids from a playbook. That doesn't mean Tebow isn't smart or that he couldn't develop into a brilliant, quick-thinking quarterback. It just hasn't happened yet.

When the Broncos defense was on the field, offensive coaches would often tell Tebow the first series of plays they wanted to run when the team got the ball back. Tebow would nod, and they'd separate. And then, invariably, a short while later he'd ask for the information again. Sometimes this ritual would repeat right up until Tebow had to duck into the huddle and call the play. As a result, despite starting only 11 games in 2011, Tebow was flagged for delay of game an NFL-high seven times. Worse still was the fact that, according to scouts, Tebow almost never audibled because he struggled to quickly and properly read defenses. And of all the deadly sins Tebow committed against quarterbacking, this was the worst: lacking the self-awareness to recognize and fix these shortcomings.

Despite all the excuses from his supporters, the reality is that if Tim Tebow could effectively lead an NFL offense, he would be.

1 comment:

Kody Semora said...

I think Tebow will find himself on either a practice squad or with a third string spot on a roster for some time. With the increase of spread offenses and mobile quarterbacks, he could be a valuable asset. New England would be wise to keep him around at the league minimum; he can provide looks as a scout team quarterback that you don't get from your average practice squad quarter back.
Aaron Rogers, Russel Wilson, Cam Newton, and Colin Kaepernick are all very talented mobile QB's who the Pat's might one day see in hte Super Bowl or in the AFC one day. Mobile quarterbacks are here to stay