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  • What Denver should do at QB

    http://insider.espn.go.com/nfl/story...bow-debate-nfl

    What Denver should do at QB

    The correct answer to the Tim Tebow debate might not suit either side

    By Chris Sprow
    ESPN Insider

    Let's cut right to the chase so you can decide whether to jump right to the comments and begin the usual brawl or whether there's more to the Tim Tebow debate you should consider. Ready?

    The Denver Broncos should be committed to the idea that Tim Tebow will be their starter in Week 1 of 2012. But the Broncos also must aggressively look for quarterback options to compete with Tebow because they must be prepared for the possibility that he'll fail. Have it both ways. The right course of action is to embrace both the pro- and anti-Tebow arguments.

    See, a frustrating thing about the Tebow debate is how it has allowed us to avoid considering how successful NFL franchises actually operate. We yell "Hater!" or "Blind follower!" and live as though there are only two sides, avoiding the reality that successful NFL franchises not only have good starting quarterbacks but often have fostered competition at the position, or at least the ability to withstand failure by a starter. Look at the QBR rankings for 2011. Many of the top guys on the list have been the guy waiting in the wings behind a player (Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Tony Romo, Matt Schaub, Philip Rivers, even Ben Roethlisberger) or have even been pushed aside and found success elsewhere (Drew Brees). We see greatness and forget how messy it can be at the start. But franchises that maintain success for long periods are willing to bear the burden of making the sometimes unpopular move when the current QB can't cut it. They don't shy from competition at the risk of undermining the starter when the upside of the starter is in question -- they foster competition.

    John Elway and John Fox should aggressively pursue quarterbacks in free agency or the draft not because they want to undermine Tebow but because they want to maximize Denver's chances to succeed long term. They shouldn't draw scorn for treating the franchise as if it's more than one player or for making it clear that one player doesn't deserve a role that comes without competition. And they should have knowledge of things like this:

    In the past 20 years, these are the QBs who have -- like Tebow -- started games in their first two NFL seasons, thrown 300-plus passes and completed less than 52 percent of those passes (at right).

    Although there is one clear success story among those listed (Eli Manning), overall what you see is a list of guys who simply couldn't cut it as starters at the NFL level. Still, there are instances of relative success, something Tebow clearly had in 2011 based on wins.

    Gus Frerotte started all 16 games for the Redskins in 1996, his third year, which is what Tebow is about to enter. He went 9-7 as the starter. In his third year, Jeff Blake started 16 games and managed to go 8-8. But any clamor for Denver to commit to Tebow long term is also asking it to commit to, at best, an outlier.

    And, if Manning is the cause for hope, the tape also says we're comparing two totally different things, not merely apples and oranges but Mannings and Tebows. Manning's struggles as a young starter, and even as a more experienced one, are based on his willingness to be too aggressive, his confidence to make every throw. He struggled as a young QB with high interception rates, and, even as he has gotten more accurate (60-plus percent completion rate in each of his past four seasons), he still throws INTs at a high rate.

    Tebow's successes in 2011 were based on his unwillingness to make throws into tight windows or to read those potential windows. He avoided tight windows and instead threw over the top at an extremely high rate -- home run or foul ball, high upside, low INT risk. (Again, scouts will tell you the deep throw was never the big concern with Tebow.) He led the NFL in yards per air attempt (the distance his average pass was thrown) in 2011, at 12.3 yards per throw. That's nearly 30 percent higher than many of the top QBs.

    Right now, a numberFire projection of the 2012 season with current quarterbacks shows Denver with a clear regression (at right):

    Assuming Brady Quinn departs soon as an unrestricted free agent, Denver will go into free agency with only Tebow as a real possible starter at quarterback. The Broncos shouldn't cater to Tebow because they know he's working hard on his mechanics this offseason (he is) or because he's the incumbent and an incumbent shouldn't have to face the pressure of competition for his job. Even Brett Favre in his prime saw the Packers draft Rodgers as part of an eventual succession plan. Elway should bring in competition -- the best competition possible -- because, in Tebow, they have the ultimate competitor, and competition should bring more out of him, not less. And the managers of the franchise should be prepared to succeed even if Tebow fails. In fact, they should be prepared to replace any failing quarterback. Teams have brought in capable quarterbacks to challenge some of the best of all time. Why should Denver be different?

    There is already talk among evaluators and agents that free agents and even draft picks could resist going to Denver because of the drama associated with succeeding Tebow. Elway's stance is that the QB position in Denver is Tebow's for now because Tebow has earned that status but that it's also open to competition. That's not a slight to Tebow as much as it would be a total affront to proper management if Elway said anything else.
    Last edited by broncolee; 02-18-2012, 09:05 AM.
    My Opinion isn’t determined by what the Popular Opinion is. Sometimes I agree with the Majority, Sometimes I Don’t. If My Opinion is Different than Yours, I have to Ask One Question:
    You Mad Bro?
    Don’t Be A Mean Girl

  • #2
    Assuming Brday Quinn leaves for another team, that leaves the Broncos with Tebow and Weber. Ultimately that might be enough, but the Broncos will want a third or fourth QB going into TC.

    Signing a quality FA QB, as some have suggested, might be problematic because such a guy would want to start. It seems only a FA who expects to be a backup will be signed if any (Kevin O'Connell?).

    Due to serious needs on defense and other offensive positions, it seems unlikely the Broncos will draft a QB. If Ryan Lindley was still there in the fourth round, they might take him, or Russell Wilson with the second fifth rounder.

    In the event the Broncos intend to run from I formations, FB is the position of greatest offensive need. Fortunately, a decent prospect could be available in the seventh round or UDFA.

    After the Broncos re-sign their own FAs and sign some from other teams, the list of needs to be addressed via the draft will be smaller and the focus will be obvious, ... or will it?
    Last edited by samparnell; 02-18-2012, 09:19 AM.
    "Stultum est timere quod vitare non potes." ~ Publilius Syrus

    Comment


    • #3
      I think the point of the article is that the Broncos should bring in competition for the starting job.

      The writer says that they should be committed to the idea that Tebow will be the starter, not that he will be the starter on opening day.

      Any free agent quarterback that goes to Denver would have to go in knowing that he's trying to unseat the incumbent and not competing in a true open competition.

      I don't know that they could get a free agent to go in under that circumstance but you never know.

      Yes the Broncos have Weber but he's not a legitimate option to be the starter, or at least can't be considered one by anyone from the outside.

      Right now, the Broncos are only committed to Tebow as the starter going into training camp. They don't have to do what the writer suggests as far as being committed to the idea of him being the starter on opening day. That makes it somewhat easier to bring in competition and make it clear that the best guy will be the starter on opening day.
      My Opinion isn’t determined by what the Popular Opinion is. Sometimes I agree with the Majority, Sometimes I Don’t. If My Opinion is Different than Yours, I have to Ask One Question:
      You Mad Bro?
      Don’t Be A Mean Girl

      Comment


      • #4
        Good article, and it makes a good point about Tebow and our QB situation. Why not bring in another quality QB to compete with Tebow, it's only going to fuel his competitive fire and who knows what it'll bring out of him. We've seen other NFL franchises do this (as mentioned in the article), so why should the Broncos do anything different?
        Mile High Manning Fivehead Bandwagon Member #12

        Comment


        • #5
          I believe that the author either has selective memory, or he is just flat out wrong about a number of things.

          One that stands out is the issue with Favre. Rodgers wasn't brought in to provide "competition". He was brought in as a succession plan as Favre was getting old.

          Also, we could look at Brady and Bledsoe. Brady outdid Bledsoe in TC, but the Pats still went with Bledsoe and Brady didn't come in until Bledsoe was injured.

          A team SHOULDN'T UNDERMINE their QB.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by demosthenes9 View Post
            I believe that the author either has selective memory, or he is just flat out wrong about a number of things.

            One that stands out is the issue with Favre. Rodgers wasn't brought in to provide "competition". He was brought in as a succession plan as Favre was getting old.

            Also, we could look at Brady and Bledsoe. Brady outdid Bledsoe in TC, but the Pats still went with Bledsoe and Brady didn't come in until Bledsoe was injured.

            A team SHOULDN'T UNDERMINE their QB.
            When you don't have a quarterback that is clearly a franchise quarterback, bringing in competition isn't undermining him. It's smart business.
            My Opinion isn’t determined by what the Popular Opinion is. Sometimes I agree with the Majority, Sometimes I Don’t. If My Opinion is Different than Yours, I have to Ask One Question:
            You Mad Bro?
            Don’t Be A Mean Girl

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by broncolee View Post
              When you don't have a quarterback that is clearly a franchise quarterback, bringing in competition isn't undermining him. It's smart business.
              Exactly. The dumbest part about that article is where the writer states that FA's and even draft prospects willl "refuse" to come here because they don't want to deal with Tebowmania. If it's to the point where we can't even bring in DEPTH without pissing his fans off, then he's becoming a cancer. It's going to be an interesting off-season and I fully expect the Broncos to both sign a QB and draft one to compete. Who those two will be remains the true question.
              RESTORE THE ORANGE CRUSH!!!!
              :smash

              LONG LIVE THE ORANGE AND BLUE!!!

              Comment


              • #8
                The tebow debate is pointless
                like a fat kid running a marathon
                sigpic

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by broncolee View Post
                  When you don't have a quarterback that is clearly a franchise quarterback, bringing in competition isn't undermining him. It's smart business.
                  That's the biggest problem. If u don't have a "franchise QB", picking up one in FA will not net u one either. The only way to get a "franchise QB" is to draft one, have a consistent offensive system for him to learn and develop in an have stability in the coaching. Anything less than that will result in failure no matter how "good" the QB is. The best thing would be to just let things be. Pick up an older vet for mentoring and sideline coverage reading help. And just run with it. Either we win or we lose and gain good draft position to actually draft a stud top tier QB. And not sign some fly-by-night mediocre FA who looks good in the system he's in, but looks just awful anywhere else.

                  Good example is Cassel and Kolb. Cassel was the perfect Brady backup. But in KC he was never worth the money. Only in 2010 when Weiss was the play caller did he thrive. When Haley called the plays, he was very mediocre. Same with Kolb in Arizona. They would have been better served trading with us, as it would have cost them less and not impacted their draft and secondary nowhere near as much. Now Kolb better start paying dividends or "Wis" is gonna find himself on the hotseat and Kolb will be in his 3rd system with nothing to show for the money he's making. And there's already talk about Skelton taking his job in camp( but we know it won't happen due to the money they're paying Kolb). FA competition is not the answer because cross-grading is not up-grading.
                  #swapping

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I'm a complete Tebow homer, and I agree 100% with the article.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      As far as current NFL quarterbacks are concerned, who could you bring in to run this style of offense?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by BroncoBreeder View Post
                        As far as current NFL quarterbacks are concerned, who could you bring in to run this style of offense?
                        I think you gotta assume you're going to go to a more traditional, NFL offense, and that the zone read/Tebow package stuff will just be an extra wrinkle. If Tebow falters, that stuff is just taken out.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Recipe for failure. Are the Boncos going to practice for 2 different styles of offenses?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            very fair article

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Send it to the news wire. This is in the wrong area now. Should be with the other articles.

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