Imagine for a moment that the Denver Broncos defeat the Kansas City Chiefs in the last regular season game of 2011 and advance to the play-offs. There will be much rejoicing.
Imagine that the Pittsburgh Steelers come to town the following weekend and defeat the Denver Broncos in the first round of the play-offs and end the Broncos season. There will be much sadness…and much to resolve. That’s because it’s the days immediately following that loss that will determine what kind of immediate future the Broncos will have.
Two things can happen as Tim Tebow empties his locker and loads his belongings into a trash bag: He can say goodbye to his coaches for three months and turn his life back over to his agent, or he can sit down with John Elway and a to-be-determined personal quarterback coach and map out a 90 day workout plan that can turn him into a legitimate star at his position.
Yes, it really is that simple. It’s all on Tim Tebow right now. Despite the team’s success, and despite some great moments during his first season as a starting NFL QB, and despite the fact that he may actually end up playing in the Pro Bowl, Tebow is among those who know he has a long long way to go to be a polished and seasoned NFL quarterback with a long term future under center.
If Tebow chooses to bring his agent back into the mix, then we will see more TV commercials, autograph shows, award banquets, and trips to Indonesia to save the world for Christianity. That would be all fine and good if Tebow were Peyton Manning. But he’s not.
What he is is a work in progress, and that progress will be set back by any and all time spent on stuff that is not football training. Contrary to what you’ve heard from apologists, there WAS an NFL off season last year. Yes, there was a lockout. But the calendar still left plenty of time for football workouts that could have made a big difference in Tim Tebow. Yet he and his Team chose to do a book tour, make the trip to the Far East, do some TV commercials and be a presenter at various TV award shows. I’m sure it was all a lot of fun and the agent made a nice chunk of change for setting it all up. Great.
While it may have all helped build the Tebow brand, it did NOTHING for Tebow the QB.
So now, here we are, on the cusp of another crucial off season. If Tebow does the right thing this time, he will tell his agent no thanks. He will choose to say no to the off the field stuff and he will disappear for the next 90 days with his newly minted QB coach and spend six days a week (leaving a day for worship of course) learning the mechanics of his position. Throwing mechanics. Foot work. Reading defenses. Learning how to be an accurate passer who throws a spiral. All the things that CAN be learned and mastered with repetition.
There is no questioning Tim Tebow’s dedication to football. But how will that relate to his dedication to improving his quarterbacking skills? Will the success of this season give he and his entourage a false sense of where he stands? Will Team Tebow be willing to acknowledge his shortcomings and be willing to put the money making machine on hold so he can address those shortcomings to ensure more long term success?
That’s the nagging question going into 2012. We know Tebow will enter the season as the incumbent starter. No way the Broncos do something stupid like drafting a QB in the first round. Quarterback is way down the list of this team’s glaring needs in the draft and free agency. Still, those of us most concerned with the success of the Denver Broncos have to see significant improvement before it can be determined if Tebow is the Broncos quarterback of 2013 and beyond. This group includes everyone at DoveValley making football decisions.
If the first three months of 2012 are spent on non-football stuff like awards shows and book tours, Tebow Time will be a short time in Denver.