Friday, March 05, 2010

One Thought on Tebow's Draft Status

I can feel the "if you do one more soccer post, Mr. Trotsky" stare that you're giving me right now...

I agree with the general consensus in the college football blogosphere that Urban Meyer shouldn't care that NFL types are running Tim Tebow down because of his technique. Meyer is a whopping six years removed from producing a quarterback who went #1 in the Draft (and who, as it turns out, isn't a total bust). The notion that he cannot produce a pro quarterback is idiotic because it relies on an incredibly small sample size and it requires forgetting a significant portion of that sample size. Yes, opposing coaches may try to use Tebow in recruiting, but how effective are those claims going to be coming from Florida's recruiting rivals? You think that Jimbo Fisher and Les Miles are going to try to sell JaMarcus Russell's NFL success? (Yes, he went #1, but so did Alex Smith, which is my point.) What does Mark Richt have to sell prior to Matt Stafford? Two Heisman winners who amounted to nothing in the NFL (one of the two didn't even enter the Draft because of his low stock) and Brad Johnson, whom Richt and Bobby Bowden consigned to being a back-up for most of his career? Does Nick Saban want to tout his history with producing NFL quarterbacks? How about you, Coach Spurrier?

I don't see why we can't accept the notion that Tebow may very well turn out to be a great college quarterback who isn't suited for the pros. We never had much trouble making this distinction before. No one seemed outraged when Danny Wuerrfel and Chris Weinke didn't make a stir on Draft day. I suppose that the massive build-up that Tebow got from the media led to a notion that he was a great quarterback period, as opposed to a great college quarterback who was in the right offense for his skill-set, and now we're seeing the deflation of the massive edifice.

I also think that we're seeing a misunderstanding as to what the spread 'n' shred offense really is. People see shotgun formations and multiple receivers and think that the offense is designed to throw the ball. Some versions of the offense are pass-based (such as the version that Florida might use with John Brantley), but Meyer's current version isn't. Tebow has been at the helm of the modern day version of the wishbone. Meyer's offense is better than the wishbone because of the enhanced passing threat, but it is still an offense that is based around the principle of making the quarterback a running threat to create a numbers advantage on running plays. Yes, Tebow had outstanding passing stats in college, but how much of that success in the air was derived from having open receivers as a result of: (1) Florida's superior talent; and (2) defenses being stretched as a result of the running threat? Because there is such a misunderstanding as to what the spread 'n' shred does, there is a misunderstanding as to what Tebow has been doing for the past four years and therefore, what his college experience bodes for his professional career.

2 comments:

119 said...

I love readding, and thanks for your artical. ........................................

dbh said...

At the risk of seeming like an educated twit, I refer you to this piece by Malcolm Gladwell from around this time last year, which attempts to illustrate the problem of drafting NFL QBs: http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2008/12/15/081215fa_fact_gladwell

I think the point here is that, in spite of all the work they put into it, no one knows whether quarterbacks will be successful until you put them out there.