After a failed season with the New York Jets, the Tim Tebow detractors are piling on. The latest is Phil Simms, who said on last night’s episode of The Late Show with David Letterman that he believes it will be hard for Tebow to ever again be a starter in the NFL.
Simms cited the incredible polarization Tebow bring to any fan base, and how it will always create some kind of schism:
“It’s going to be hard for him to ever be a starter,” Simms said. “… When you bring in Tim Tebow, you have to know what comes with him. If you have a starting quarterback, like the Jets did in Mark Sanchez, they’re worried about him and they’re paying him a lot of money. When you bring Tim Tebow in, it brings a lot more focus and his fan base, and it creates a controversy no matter what.”
And to some degree, Simms is right. Though Tebow was brought in to run the wildcat aspect of Tony Sparano’s offense in New York, as Sanchez (predictably) began to struggle this past season, the cries for Tebow from stands and the media alike began to create controversy, even more so when Tebow was passed over twice for the starting job, once when third-stringer Greg McElroy was named the starter for the Week 16 game vs. San Diego, and again when Sanchez was put back into the starting role for the season finale vs. Buffalo. Both games were Jets losses.
Tebow has shown he can win, evidenced by the division title he brought Denver last year while leading them to the second round of the playoffs. However, questions about his passing skills (his career completion percentage is under 50%) makes teams hesitant to make him the starter. He’s an effective runner, but teams don’t want that to be the best aspect of their quarterbacks. Combine that, his legion of fans, and his polarizing nature, and you have a volatile mix, one that coaches are hesitant to dip their fingers into. We saw it last year with Rex Ryan’s hesitance to make Tebow the starter in New York, and we’ve seen it again this past offseason when Jacksonville’s new general manager said that he would not be bringing in Tebow, despite Jacksonville’s desperate quarterback and ticket sales situations, the latter of which Tebow would almost certainly help, being that he’s from the Jacksonville area.
Will Tim Tebow ever be a starting quarterback in the NFL? Only time will tell. But for now, things do not look good for the former Heisman Trophy winner.