Tim Tebow A TE In New England??

Tim Tebow... Newest New England Patriot.

Tim Tebow… Newest New England Patriot.

Ever since Tim Tebow’s junior season at Florida, our CEO has said over and over he would be a tight end in the NFL. The Broncos and Patriots tried him at quarterback and all indications are the Patriots will do the same. However we are talking the master of deception in Bill Belichick.

Isn’t it ironic that he is being signed when Hernandez is nicked up and Rob Gronkowski is due to have surgery on his arm (again) and then his back. Truth be told we may never see the “old Gronk” again through all these injuries. This is a team that brought in Kellen Winslow Jr last year to shore things up.

So now the speculating begins as to where Tebow will play. So let’s ask some hardline questions.

Do you really think Belichick will take this generation’s best quarterback in Tom Brady off the field to accomodate a 46% passer?? Even if the Patriots trade incumbent 2nd stringer Ryan Mallett, do you think Belichick will take practice time from Brady to run a “read option offense so Tebow can take his place??

If he’s going to be a third string QB and help on the scout offense to prepare his defense for mobile quarterbacks, couldn’t Belichick have done it cheaper?? Tebow’s league minimum for 4 years of service is $70K higher than a rookie.

Even though he worked out with the quarterbacks exclusively, Belichick nor anyone else poured cold water on Tebow playing another position. Don’t forget this is the coach who deployed Troy Brown as a cornerback when there was a shortage of corners. He also platooned LB Mike Vrabel as a TE, who scored in Super Bowls, and DT/DE Richard Seymour as a blocking back.

Is it really far fetched to think of Tim Tebow at another position?? Rob Gronkowski is 6’6 265lbs., Aaron Hernandez stands 6’2 250 lbs, and Tebow is of the same build type at 6’2 236 lbs. Don’t forget that Hernandez was his college teammate for 3 years at the University of Florida.

Remember Jim Jensen??

Remember Jim Jensen??

Just like the media when it tries to pry information out of Belichick, you know there is more there than meets the eye. The Chancellor sees the Patriots transforming Tebow into an H-Back- TE Hybrid like former Miami Dolphins. Remember him wearing #11 for the Dolphins?? Ironically, he stood 6’4 215 lbs.

The Chancellor’s Take On Mark Sanchez v. Tim Tebow in New York

Everyone is giving an opinion on the quarterback controversy between Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow in New York,  now it’s time for The Chancellor to weigh in. The latest comments coming from New York Jets quarterback coach Matt Cavanaugh. First he expressed that Sanchez made ‘poor decisions’ last year and now the next day raving about the upside of Tebow’s throwing prowess. It’s been interesting to watch. From the second New York signed Tebow the controversy started and as usual the Jets have been vocal in the media yet none seem to support their starting quarterback of the last three years.

Ironically now Tebow comes to work and the first item praised is how he’s working on his throwing ability. Are you kidding me?? His stat-line for the 2011 season was 126 of 271 for 1,729 yards 12 TDs and 6 interceptions. He completed just 46% of his passes….46%?? In an NFL that has changed the rules and officiating to the point that every major passing record fell last year and that was the best Tebow could do?? So he’s to unseat Mark Sanchez who competed 56% in going 308 passes out of 543 attempts for 3,474 yards, 26TDs and 18 interceptions??  That can’t be a sentiment expressed with a straight face… not if you know football.

By the way, Sanchez’s 26TDs were the most by a New York Jet since Vinny Testaverde threw for 29 in 1998. In that year Testaverde led the Jets to the AFC Championship Game.

No doubt Sanchez has to improve on his interceptions but too much has been thrown on his shoulders. Let’s talk about the complete and utter collapse of the New York rushing attack and defense to start the 2011 campaign. First off going into week 5, the Jets defense had given up 34 points in back to back outings against the Raiders and Ravens. Where was that stout defense you were known for?? It was at that point we here at Taylor Blitz started to criticize the anemic rushing attack of Shonn Greene and LaDanian Tomlinson who were averaging 3.1 and 3 yards respectively.  https://taylorblitztimes.com/2011/10/09/nfl-week-4-afc-east-see-you-at-the-crossroads/ Greene only had 157 yards rushing in the first four games. This before the Patriots throttled them 30-21. Although the team fought back and had a chance for the playoffs this really derailed your season. The blueprint was the Patriots game.

The Jets as an organization and a coaching staff are more to blame than the quarterback. It was you who let Sanchez confidante and productive route running receiver Braylon Edwards go. How close were they?? When Braylon landed in New York the teammate he met was Sanchez who was studying film at the house of then Jets safety Kerry Rhodes. He was his go to guy. You signed Santonio Holmes to a $50 million contract who runs very lazy routes yet was supposed to be the deep threat. Isn’t it ironic that Edwards had better statistics in 2010 when you made this bonehead decision (Edwards 53 rec. 904 yds /7TDs to Holmes 52 rec. 746 yds /6TDs).  http://www.pro-football-reference.com/teams/nyj/2010.htm Edwards reception yardage record was nealy 3 yards better than Holmes. To top it off you lost WR Brad Smith in free agency then to add further insult to injury you signed another terrible route runner in the slow Plaxico Burress, who had been incarcerated for more than a year and was not in football playing shape. All of this before you also lost dependable 3rd down WR Jerricho Cotchery.  Fittingly the first grumbling heard about Sanchez was from Holmes, the receiver the Steelers gave up on after he was a Super Bowl MVP for them. Great for chemistry.

As for Tebow, the circus comes to town with him. He has a tremendous following that has more to do with his religious convictions than pure football skills. He did have many a fourth quarter rally and you have to give him credit for that. What needed to be pointed out that wasn’t, was the Bronco defense keeping him in all those games. Tebow fans say how much of a leader he is…well so are most quarterbacks. Yet time and time again we kept saying that the Broncos have to minimize his passing to make him more effective. https://taylorblitztimes.com/?s=Tebow+Quotient Coming out of college, our CEO had Tebow as an H-Back or Tight End because of his questionable throwing and his statistics bore that out. We said we would grade him fairly and we have. Tebow fans point to his 6 fourth quarter comebacks yet seem to go blank on the 40-14 loss to Buffalo, 45-10 trouncing they took at home from the Detroit Lions, the 41-23 pounding they took from the Patriots before being routed 45-10 in the playoffs.

The last time I checked, Mark Sanchez won in the playoffs IN New England the year before and held the NFL record for road playoff wins with four until Eli Manning broke it last year. Tebow has one home wildcard win to Sanchez’ four road playoff wins and 2 trips to the AFC Championship Game. So let me get this straight… You want to replace a quarterback who’s beaten Belichick and New England on several occasions including playoffs for one that has been routed each time he’s played them with an ineffective running game?? Good luck. If you wanted to light a fire under your present quarterback, draft one. These non votes of confidence for your incumbent could derail this entire season if things don’t get off to a good clean start. Don’t take blame front office it’s all the quarterbacks fault and now you’ve whipped your fans into a frenzy with all the talk coming out of New York. First with Super Bowl promises and now with nonsensical desperate moves. Did you know the Broncos scored 309 points while allowing 390?? That’s a negative 81 point differential… and if Tebow was so effective, why did he get ousted and Peyton Manning signed in the blink of an eye??

By the way…if Tebow starts, Rex Ryan will be the first coach fired this year because it will be an abject failure…and you heard it here first.

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The Tebow Quotient

You could almost hear the television announcers last night on NFL Network: “If you’re just joining us Tim Tebow has a chance to do it again.” Invesco Field at Mile High sprung to life when the Broncos came onto the field with just over 5:50 to go. We don’t want to say the New York defense looked defeated as they took the field but they had somewhat of a demoralized pace and demeanor . You could see the look on their faces which seemed to say “How did we let ourselves get in this position?” Then Tebow went to work.

It is here where we’ll cite a previous article on the Tebow quotient. In our week 10 AFC West edition we said “The Broncos need to realize they have a running quarterback the size of a linebacker. They need to call plays that exploit his ability to turn football back into 11 on 11 on some running plays. He and Willis McGahee bludgeoned Oakland with over 100 yards each and the better he runs, the more defenses are going to remain honest in nickel and especially dime defense situations. Instead of 6th and 7th pass defenders back to cover receivers they have to keep them within 10 yards of the scrimmage line to deter him from running. Right now the Broncos have to come up with a hybrid version of the wildcat where the quarterback is as much a runner as a thrower. That simple. They have to go to the collegiate ranks and nab a quarterback friendly offensive co-ordinator to make this work.”

‘Critics are just going to bash Tebow for backlash from the super favorable treatment he received in college. We legitimately thought of him as a tight end going into the draft. Yet when you see a pass play breakdown, he can bull his way to positive yards instead of throwing a pass that could be intercepted. Sure critics point to Kyle Orton’s superior passing percentage (58.7% -46.4%) yet this is the only showcase to Orton’s upside. http://www.pro-football-reference.com/teams/den/2011.htm Yet when it comes to touchdown to interception ratio Tebow is killing Orton (6TDs /1 INT- 8TDs /7INTS) and Orton has thrown 58 more passes. Orton’s having thrown 6 more interceptions directly relate to Denver’s losing 23-20 to Oakland, the Titans 17-14, and the 29-24 loss to San Diego. Think about it, had they had the ball and possibly have scored 1 more time in each game, this team could be 6-2. The Tebow trade-off for rushing yards (277-17 for Orton) is well worth getting rid of the 6 extra turnovers. The difference is Tebow SHOULD improve passing the football vs this is it for Orton’s upside. Coach Fox, you’re just going to have to live with some offensive breakdowns from time to time, hell the Giants did that with Lawrence Taylor when he’d rush the passer instead of dropping like he should when he was young. This is where you have to close ranks as a team and move on. Yet you’re 2-1 with Tebow v. 1-4 with Orton. Alright make a case for why Orton should be elevated to starter again??”

Now the Broncos are 4-1 with Tim Tebow at the helm…

Was this or was this not the essence of Tebow ball last night. It was sloppy and haphazard yet when the game was on the line the Broncos did what they did best: Run with Tebow to force defenses to  play 11 on 11 and we clearly saw CB Darelle Revis NOT want to tackle the charging 245 lbs quarterback on one of his runs to the sideline. Then the final touchdown run illustrating how hard it is to defense this guy. If you’re going to run a man to man defense, the linemen and blitzers can’t allow the quarterback to take off with the football. No one will account for him. So once he broke past Jets safety Eric Smith, it was clear sailing to the endzone. Had the Jets been in a zone the defenders wouldn’t have had their backs to him when he took off running.  Yet this is nothing new…

Remember back in the 1987 season when defenses started to defend a young John Elway with spies?? These were normally reserve defensive backs that played 5 yards off the line of scrimmage and mirrored the quarterback once he stepped up and threatened to run they would come up as delayed blitzers. They did this with Randall Cunningham also yet I digress. We hear of all the pundits getting on Tebow’s passing ability but let’s not forget Roger “The Dodger” Staubach, Terry Bradshaw, Kenny “The Snake” Stabler, Fran Tarkenton, and many of the greats had to rely on their running ability before they developed downfield throwing prowess. In the famous game with the “Immaculate Reception” before Franco Harris won the game, it was Kenny Stabler who scrambled 30 yards for a TD to give the Raiders a  7-6 lead. When the Cowboys won Super Bowl VI, Staubach wasn’t the full time starter until week 7. Even in the Super Bowl Staubach ran more times than he passed it in the first half (9 to 6).

Right now Tebow can get away with games where he just runs the football and should develop as a down field passer. Again Orton had far superior passing yards yet the Broncos were 1-4 with him passing. Looks like the Broncos will be playing “Wing-T” or “Wildcat” football for now.

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Week 10 AFC West: The Broken Record That Keeps on Playing

Is this the end for Norv??

In the most unpredictable NFL season ever, there have been a few teams who have repeated previous incarnations of themselves. Namely the San Diego Chargers. At some point you learn who you are as a team and as a coaching staff and ever since Norv Turner was called out by Rex Ryan before the Jets game, this team has been in disarray. They already played up and down to the level of their competition, yet at the time stood at 4-1. After blowing a 21-6 halftime lead, they promptly had the Jets take their lunch money and rip the heart out of the team. Oh no?? They haven’t won a game since and as of last night, they dropped their 4th in a row to the revitalized Oakland Raiders falling 24-17. Now this team is in 3rd place with a 4-5 record with 4 conference losses. You can say goodbye to a wildcard and the same to Norv Turner as their Head Coach.

Face it Rex Ryan was right. A good coach in San Diego, with the talent that is in place, should have taken this team to the Super Bowl. They had the #1 offense AND #1 defense a year ago and didn’t make the playoffs. First time that has ever happened. The last two times someone was #1 in offense and defense were the ’87 San Francisco 49ers, who went 13-2 before back to back Super Bowl championships, and the Dallas Cowboys in 1977 who went on to win Super Bowl XII. Norv couldn’t even get them to the playoffs?? This team will play better for another head coach, they just wouldn’t play for him. When his job was on the line they have come up snake eyes each time.

Carson Palmer leads the Raiders to first place with a fine performance v. San Diego

Which brings us to the Oakland Raiders who were down in the dumps, wondering how they were going to right the ship, then they traded for Carson Palmer. Lets see… a former Pac 10 Heisman Trophy winner coming off the bench to resurrect the Oakland Raiders season. Hmmmm now where have we seen this before?? Somewhere Al Davis is smiling. At one point in last night’s game, Carson Palmer hit on 10 of 10 passes for 126 yards 2TDs. He was on pace to become the first quarterback in NFL history to finish with a perfect quarterback rating of 158.3 with less than 15 passes. He didn’t make it but finished with 14 of 20  for 299 yards, 2 TDs and 1 interception. Oakland now has a quarterback! That pounding sound you’re hearing is Jason Campbell’s sign going into the ground as his house is going up for sale. Rookie Denarius Moore was in sync with Palmer all night. His 5 catches for 123 yards for 2 touchdowns showcased the speed Al Davis always coveted. Once Darren McFadden can come back 100%, look out this team is going to be dangerous. Take a look at the standings

AFC WEST W L T PCT HOME ROAD DIV CONF PF PA DIFF STRK
Oakland 5 4 0 .556 2-3-0 3-1-0 2-2-0 5-4-0 208 233 -25 Won 1
Kansas City 4 4 0 .500 2-2-0 2-2-0 2-1-0 3-3-0 131 201 -70 Lost 1
San Diego 4 5 0 .444 3-2-0 1-3-0 2-2-0 3-4-0 216 228 -12 Lost 4
Denver 3 5 0 .375 1-3-0 2-2-0 1-2-0 3-3-0 171 224 -53 Won 1

Tebow's harsh critics dog him with every incompletion or misread

Again the situation is tenuous out in Denver. Book ending the come from behind miracle in Miami and the signature win vs. their hated Raider rivals was a forgettable 45-10 loss to the Detroit Lions. With one forgettable game, Tebow doubts krept back into the picture. The Broncos need to realize they have a running quarterback the size of a linebacker. They need to call plays that exploit his ability to turn football back into 11 on 11 on some running plays. He and Willis McGahee bludgeoned Oakland with over 100 yards each and the better he runs, the more defenses are going to remain honest in nickel and especially dime defense situations. Instead of 6th and 7th pass defenders back to cover receivers they have to keep them within 10 yards of the scrimmage line to deter him from running. Right now the Broncos have to come up with a hybrid version of the wildcat where the quarterback is as much a runner as a thrower. That simple. They have to go to the collegiate ranks and nab a quarterback friendly offensive co-ordinator to make this work.

Critics are just going to bash Tebow for backlash from the super favorable treatment he received in college. We legitimately thought of him as a tight end going into the draft. Yet when you see a pass play breakdown, he can bull his way to positive yards instead of throwing a pass that could be intercepted. Sure critics point to Kyle Orton’s superior passing percentage (58.7% -46.4%) yet this is the only showcase to Orton’s upside. http://www.pro-football-reference.com/teams/den/2011.htm Yet when it comes to touchdown to interception ratio Tebow is killing Orton (6TDs /1 INT- 8TDs /7INTS) and Orton has thrown 58 more passes. Orton’s having thrown 6 more interceptions directly relate to Denver’s losing 23-20 to Oakland, the Titans 17-14, and the 29-24 loss to San Diego. Think about it, had they had the ball and possibly have scored 1 more time in each game, this team could be 6-2. The Tebow trade-off for rushing yards (277-17 for Orton) is well worth getting rid of the 6 extra turnovers. The difference is Tebow SHOULD improve passing the football vs this is it for Orton’s upside. Coach Fox, you’re just going to have to live with some offensive breakdowns from time to time, hell the Giants did that with Lawrence Taylor when he’d rush the passer instead of dropping like he should when he was young. This is where you have to close ranks as a team and move on. Yet you’re 2-1 with Tebow v. 1-4 with Orton. Alright make a case for why Orton should be elevated to starter again?? Sorry we can’t hear you….

Can we ask a question: Was Charlie Weiss that important to the Chiefs passing game?? Apparently so. Matt Cassel’s regression from 27TDs to 7 INTs last year has been replaced with a less than modest 61% completion percentage, and 9TDs to 9 INTs is an epic drop. The Chiefs still have the 10th best rushing attack despite losing Jamaal Charles. Completely unacceptable. They drafted a big receiver in Jonathon Baldwin and brought in a Steve Breaston he should be slightly off last year’s pace at worst. With all his arsenal at his behest he threw for a modest 239 yards against the Dolphin’s 27th best defense against the pass last week. At home he should have been more successful than that. Hell, Tom Brady nearly set an NFL record against this bunch back in week 1 with his 517 yard performance. They should be gaining momentum with taking over 1st place in the AFC West instead of falling back to the pack losing to a win-less, hapless Dolphins team.

For the Chiefs to hit their stride their defense has to be better against the run (18th and gave up 90 yards rushing to Reggie Bush) and find a pass rusher to assist Tamba Hali (6 sacks). Which brings up another question..Where is Glenn Dorsey?? No sacks and only 10 unassisted tackles? Pathetic for such a high draft pick. They somehow have to light a fire under his ass and possibly get raw Aaron Bailey (from [[_]]) on the field. Maybe more hussle and less thinking is what the Chiefs need. They clawed their way back into the race, but will they stay there?? The hated Raiders need a running mate.

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Week 7 AFC West: The Pendulum Swings

Just when it seemed that you knew where the season and how the teams would fare, up jumped week 7. The Oakland Raiders had to recover from not only the loss of owner Al Davis, they had to replace QB Jason Campbell due to injury. It seemed natural that there would be a letdown after the emotional win over Houston but a 28-0 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs may have turned the season. The Chiefs looked like their 2011 campaign was doomed after an 0-3 start. However do you realize that the Raiders have a bye and if the Chiefs defeat the Chargers, they would actually be in first place with a 4-3 record?? Sure we’re getting ahead of ourselves until you realize the AFC West has been thrown for a loop.

Gone is the efficient offense the Raiders enjoyed for 6 weeks with Campbell at the controls. The Raiders tossed up 6 interceptions yesterday with perennial below average quarterback Kyle Boller at the controls. He and Carson Palmer each threw 3 interceptions. Palmer’s is understandable since he has only two practices with the team but Boller has no excuse for being that ineffective. The Chiefs came into the game with only 5 interceptions on the year. However they left Oakland with a confidence boosting win and the Raiders are left trying to salvage a good season start short circuited by injury.

Tim Tebow in the midst of yesterday's 18-15 comeback win over Miami

Did we say changes?? Well the Broncos will be galvanized for the next few weeks with their 18-15 comeback win over the Dolphins. The Broncos were down 15-0 with just under 3 minutes remaining when Tebow and the offense came to life. Up until then he looked like the erratic quarterback that John Elway envisioned before the season. Turnovers, inaccurate throws, and not reading the whole field. He missed a wide open Aaron Decker, when the Dolphins broke a coverage that would have been a 78 yard touchdown. Tebow completely whiffed on his throw. For much of the day he displayed exactly what team exec. John Elway and Coach John Fox’s countenances had suggested about his play.

Yet when the game and the lingering questions of inserting Tebow was on the line, he led a dramatic comeback. His first touchdown was a scramble throw but the throw for 27 yards to Daniel Fells to set up the second showed maturity. He threw a bend to the TE over the linebacker in the heart of a Cover 2 (we don’t say Tampa 2 here) which showcased the type of throw Tebow was accused of not being able to make. Then came his TE throwback screen for the TD before running in the two-point conversion himself. Yet before we get ahead of ourselves…lets take a look at the standings

AFC WEST W L T PCT HOME ROAD DIV CONF PF PA DIFF STRK
San Diego 4 2 0 .667 3-0-0 1-2-0 2-0-0 3-2-0 141 136 +5 Lost 1
Oakland 4 3 0 .571 2-2-0 2-1-0 1-1-0 4-3-0 160 178 -18 Lost 1
Kansas City 3 3 0 .500 1-1-0 2-2-0 1-1-0 2-2-0 105 150 -45 Won 3
Denver 2 4 0 .333 1-2-0 1-2-0 0-2-0 2-3-0 123 155 -32 Won 1

Which brings us to the front running San Diego Chargers. After Coach Norv Turner was upset by Jets Coach Rex Ryan who said earlier in the week, ‘that he would have several rings had he coached the talent in San Diego’. The Chargers took the field with that emotion and marched to a 21-10 halftime lead only to fold in the second half enroute to a 27-21 loss. This was a big loss, not only because Turner’s reputation was on the line but again this team displayed the lack of heart to take down an AFC heavy. Its a broken record around here to talk about how they play up to or down to their competition yet here we go again. https://taylorblitztimes.wordpress.com/2011/07/05/2011-san-diego-chargers-preview/ The two teams with winning records the Chargers have played they lost to. This is music to the Chiefs ears who host San Diego this week and can overtake the Chargers in the AFC West with a win. The Chargers are 1-2 on the road and looked like the AFC’s best team in the first half. Yet a second half collapse against a team that knocked them out of the playoffs a few years back is disheartening and may have long term affects. Especially with a showdown with the World Champion Green Bay Packers in two weeks. This team could possibly be .500, again!! You have to be kidding me?? After a 4-1 start?? Of course it doesn’t sound far fetched. No more than the NFL’s #8 offense being shut out (2nd half) in the type of game that could have gotten the Chargers over the hump from a maturation standpoint. Even with Rex Ryan’s bulletin board shenanigans and they play that flat when their coaches reputation is on the line?? Uh Oh!! We fully expect it if you read our preview nothing has changed and yes the pendulum has swung.

The Chiefs are playing mistake proof football and Coach Haley has scaled back Matt Cassel’s passing. As of this week the Chiefs are the 7th best in the NFL at rushing the football. This bodes well for their upcoming game with the Chargers ranked 21st at stopping the run. They have gone back to last year’s formula that produced a 10-6 season. Thomas Jones (58 att., 185 yards) does the heavy lifting but the committee of Jackie Battle (232 yards / 5.2 avg) and Dexter McCluster (210 yards /5.0 avg.) has been effective. The Chiefs are 6th in sacks allowed with 10 and the defense has rebounded to a respectable 18th.http://www.nfl.com/stats/categorystats?archive=false&conference=null&role=TM&offensiveStatisticCategory=OFFENSIVE_LINE&defensiveStatisticCategory=null&season=2011&seasonType=REG&tabSeq=2&qualified=true&Submit=Go  Coach Haley, this is the formula you need to stay with until you have a full offseason with Cassel. He’s not yet ready to be your Kurt Warner as his early season play showed. One more week and the Chiefs can be in first place at midseason. Who would have thunk it 4 weeks ago??

http://www.nfl.com/gamecenter/2011102300/2011/REG7/broncos@dolphins#menu=highlights&tab=recap

Which brings us to the 2-4 Broncos again. The comeback was one that was more frantic than it was artistic but its the heart that was displayed that rallied his teammates that can’t be underestimated. You saw it in the team’s body english along the sideline and the spirit exhibited on the field. First the team found life in Willis McGahee’s emergence and now Tebow going into the lineup. His team believes in him and all comments about his play should be relegated to what he does the rest of this season. However as we at the Taylor Blitz Times look back, yesterday’s performance invokes the memory of the first comeback by Lil’ John Elway. Each came against weak teams but the experience could have long term affects on confidence. How can you be so enigmatic for 57 minutes and deadly in the last 3?? Yet when you quarterback the Denver Broncos, you will ALWAYS be compared to John Elway. Well here is Elway’s first fourth quarter comeback which looked eerily similar to Tebow’s yesterday. Take a look

Did you notice Elway only had one good throw on the corner route to Clint Sampson?? The rest were screens and a frantic ad-lib to a blitz. They looked the same to me and Tebow has a chance to grow from his moment in Miami just as Hall of Famer Elway grew from his. Are we saying Tebow will become a Hall of Famer?? Time will tell…we’re just comparing novice quarterback comeback to another for their starting point value. Now maybe his team executive nemesis Lil’ John will cut Tebow some slack. Believe me, we have.

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Portrait of Persistance

Florida's steady John Brantley

There are many times in a players career where they will be at a crossroads as to what they should do or question whether they chose to attend the right school.  What happens when you replace a legend?? What must that crucible be like to go through to follow one of the most celebrated athletes in the history of college football?? For John Brantley of Florida, its been a  compelling study. He was more than familiar with the legendary Tim Tebow having played his high school ball right there in the state of Florida. In fact he broke Tebow’s record for touchdown passes by a Florida prep quarterback with 99, while attending Trinity Catholic in Ocala, Florida.

What’s made this journey so compelling is what he’s had to endure and yet remain a leader for the Florida Gators. The first thing that comes to mind is listening in stunned amazement, as he was booed at home against Miami of  Ohio. It was the first game of the post Tim Tebow era and the Gators were on their way to a 34-10 win. Yet in the second quarter the offense was sluggish and bogged down a few times. One time the camera panned in close to him on the sideline when the crowd at  Ben Hill Griffin started in and you couldn’t help but feel for him. “The Swamp” let the team have it and let’s be honest, they were on Brantley for not being Tim Tebow. We never heard that during Tebow’s years. You couldn’t help but feel for him on that day and it cast a pall over that game and the rest of an 8-5 season. Urban Meyer’s last year at the helm.

In 2010, Brantley had a sporadic year throwing for 2,061 yards while completing 200 of 329 for 9TDs and 10 int’s. Yet keep something in mind, he has always been a drop back passer and nowhere in Urban Meyer’s offense had he been developed plays that accentuated his talents. Not in the way that there were specific plays to aid Tebow early in his career. Think back to win Tebow stepped in and played as a freshman while Chris Leak was still there. They developed plays for Tebow that would grant him success early on, to build confidence and get to learn the college game. Brantley wasn’t afforded that luxury. Had he been, where would he be on the path to success right now??

Brantley scrambling for yards agianst Miami of Ohio in 2010

Yet one of the intangibles that did forge was  was  an unshakable belief in himself. A quarterback who was unsure if he’d remain in Florida’s future, stayed with his commitment and was awarded Offensive Co-ordinator Charlie Weiss. Weiss is an offensive guru with a serious hand on the pro passing game that accentuates Brantley’s strengths. At 6’3, 219 lbs as a drop back passer who can see over the rush, Brantley should throw for more than 30TDs this season. Weiss knows the passing game that will take him to the next level and beyond in the NFL. Think not?? Look, last year Kansas City Chief’s quarterback Matt Cassell was among the NFL’s leading passers with 27TDs and only 7 ints. Without Weiss, he’s thrown for 3 TDs with 5 ints in only 3 games. Seriously…not making that up.

Brantley will further develop in Weiss’ system and the SEC will be his foil as he improves on his accuracy. Do you realize that his efficiency rating is 148.1 this year as opposed to 116.4 last year?? http://espn.go.com/college-football/player/_/id/235158/john-brantley Does he have the right guy to elevate his game in Charlie Weiss?? Listen it was under his tutelage that journeyman quarterback Vinny Testaverde became a pro bowl quarterback in the NFL for the first time after 12 years. Then he developed a young Tom Brady into being a Super Bowl winning quarterback. What do you think he’ll do with a pro prospect like Brantley against 18- 20 year olds in the SEC??

With Brantley, the SEC  will be a foil as he develops his game. It’s almost a shame it had to come so late in his career but with a showdown with conference leader Alabama, what better time than to showcase his talent than now?? Showcase he’s dodged the burbs of football pundits and rival fans. Although I am a Miami Hurricane fanatic, I know a real dropback passer when I see one. He’s an excellent pocket passer who should do well in today’s game against the Crimson Tide. He will grow over the next couple of months into  a total pro quarterback prospect. Prediction…??

#12 Florida 4-0 (2-0 conf) v. #3 Alabama 4-0 (1-0 conf)

Is Alabama really ready for a quarterback who once outperformed Cam Newton?? Not, Gators!!