Saturday, December 17, 2011

How Would Tim Tebow Have Fared Under Josh McDaniels?

Former Denver Broncos head coach Josh McDaniels is getting a lot of credit recently for the drafting of Tim Tebow last year in the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft.  At the time, it was a big shock (especially to Broncos fans), and McDaniels took a lot of heat for the pick.

Until a few weeks ago, the Tebow pick was seen in Denver as more of a burden than a blessing.  After John Elway was hired to run the Broncos front office earlier this year, most assumed that Tebow would be on his way out.  Had he had ANY trade value in pre-season, he may very well have been off-loaded.  As it was the Broncos couldn't even get rid of their designated starter, Kyle Orton.

What a difference a few months makes in the NFL.  Going 7-1 as the starter and completely turning around the franchise in a quarter of a season has turned Tebow into the talk of the town.  John Elway went from appearing not to support Elway to talking about how much he's looking forward to working with him over the off-season.

Is Fox the Difference Or Would Tebow Have Done Well With McDaniels?

Under McDaniels, the Broncos had the 18th ranked rushing offense (114.8 yards/game) in 2009 and, in his second year, the Broncos fell to 26th (96.5 yards/game) in 2010.

For comparison, the Broncos so far in 2011 are ranked FIRST overall with 156.2 yards/game.

I'm not even going to get into the defensive improvement that allows the Broncos to keep games close into the fourth quarter so that the offense can win it.

Tebow has been able to ease himself into the starter role because the Broncos haven't need consistent passing efficiency.  Under McDaniels, that was a requirement.  While Tebow would have been well-coached as a quarterback under McDaniels, the offensive scheme might not have been the right fit for him. It's quite possible that if McDaniels had been given another year with Tebow, he might have succeeded a bit more personally as a quarterback but I doubt the team would have had this same level of success.

So while Tebow should be thankful that McDaniels put him in Denver, he should also be thankful that John Fox is now his coach.  I still don't think that Tebow as a first-round pick was a good choice.  It was a lucky choice by a coach who was trying to show how smart he was and how he could develop any quarterback.

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