Thursday, September 17, 2009

Draft Tebow, Cont'd: Jaguars vs. Patriots

Just to offer one last perspective on this "Jaguars-draft-Tebow" meme that popped up in the last 18 hours when Wayne Weaver talked up how compelling Tebow is as a draft prospect.

Let's compare the Jaguars' interest in Tim Tebow with the other team you regularly hear thrown around (at least by me) as interested in Tebow: The Patriots.

The Jaguars apparently want to draft Tebow as a strategic marketing asset -- a schtick to sell tickets and merchandise. There is no evidence that Jack Del Rio has the wherewithal to optimally use Tebow on the field.

The Patriots presumably want to draft Tebow as a strategic football asset -- Bill Belichick wants nothing more than to test and expand the potential for the single-wing through Tebow, who -- as Lane Kiffin put it this week -- grades out like a love-child (my phrase) of Mike Vick and Mike Alstott.

People might scoff at the idea of Belichick removing the best QB in the league for ANY snaps -- but Belichick is about opportunism and winning. If putting Tebow at the goal-line or on a 4th-and-short makes strategic sense, he will do it.

(For all the yammering from draftniks about how college spread QBs can't transition to the NFL, Bill Belichick runs the spread as his base offense -- and certainly the offense he goes to when it matters most in a game.)

There is a reason that Urban Meyer constantly uses the Patriots as his model for the team he would like to see draft Tebow -- and his (and my) argument that Tebow needs to be in the right system to succeed.

Incidentally, Meyer has nothing to say about Tebow being in the right marketing campaign. If Jack Del Rio -- or OC Dirk Koettner, who has created innovative offenses in his time -- adapt for Tebow, that's great.

I'm all for the reality that the NFL is a business -- for the struggling Jags, that is even more of an imperative.

But I think Belichick -- and others -- would argue that if you play winning football -- championship football -- the fans will come, with the marketing dollars quickly following.

Drafting Tebow to sell a bunch of season tickets -- like the Vikings saw with Favre -- or to sell a bunch of jerseys -- again, like the Vikings saw with Favre -- is both short-term and short-lived. You almost have to admire the cynicism behind the sentiment.

I loathe the Patriots (and I am on the record as having adopted the Jaguars as "my" team in the last few seasons and I am a nominal fan at best... call me a Jags sympathizer), but I really like Bill Belichick -- and what I believe will be Belichick's obsession with turning Tebow into a productive (if not revolutionary) new talent in the NFL.

For the sake of Tebow's pro prospects (whether as a full-time or innovative "situational" QB), I hope he ends up with the Patriots.

4 comments:

  1. I think the Vikings would be a great fit for Tebow. He wouldn't have to run that much since they already have a strong running game, this would only increase his yardage when he did run, since the defense wouldn't have a QB spy on him almost every down like they do now. I'm sure Play action to Peterson then Tebow running the option with Harvin running a reverse for him to toss it back to would be a fun play to see. Also reuniting Harvin and Tebow can't be a bad thing. They could keep Favre around another year, draft Tebow and let Favre mentor Tebow and give him a chance to develop. Then when Favre retires (It's gotta be sooner than later) Tebow can start. Then you're not forcing him to start his rookie season. Just my 2 cents.

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  2. Great post! Very original and well put-together.

    Best,

    'Gator Fred'

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  3. As much as I detest the Patriots and the thought of Tebow playing for them, I can't argue with your logic. The "What NFL team will draft Tebow?" conversation is one I've been having with friends for almost 2 years now. Considering the teams that will be in need of a quarterback and willing to spend first round $$$, the options become more limited. In my opinion the top contenders would have to be Jacksonville, Denver, St. Louis, Washington, Minnesota, and Houston.

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  4. Oh yeah, love the blog. Keep up the good work.

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