Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Will Tebow Play: Is It All Just a Ploy?

Urban Meyer may or may not believe that a half-speed, coming-off-a-concussion, not-yet-recovered-two-weeks Tim Tebow can help Florida beat LSU by playing in the game.

I am, obviously, on the record about how I feel about it:

(1) Tebow shouldn't play, because of the unknown risk of playing him so soon after his concussion, and because it is very unclear that Tebow just two weeks off a concussion is a better option than John Brantley.

(2) Florida can beat LSU without him. The team is more than equipped -- between the defense, the RBs, the special teams and Brantley's solid skill set. We'd like to think Tebow is so valuable they couldn't do it... but with this team, he's not -- and they can.

Alligator Alley makes the point that Meyer should set a deadline to determine whether or not Tebow is playing, so the rest of the team is prepared.

There is an alternative view to AA's eminently reasonable argument:

Isn't it possible that Meyer is floating the "I think Tebow can play" notion specifically to get into Les Miles' head? That the more time Miles has to prep for Tebow, the less time he can prep for Brantley -- and what will almost assuredly be a different-looking Florida offense?

If that's the case, I'm all for the "Tebow can play" talk -- as a feint. Let's take it all the way: Have Tebow dress. Have him take warm-up reps. Have everyone believing that he will play -- maybe not every series...but even a couple series. Hell, put him in the sideline huddle before the offense breaks for the field -- with Brantley in charge. Have Miles not knowing WHAT will happen.

To dovetail with Alligator Alley, if Meyer sets a deadline -- for himself, if not public consumption -- that makes sense. I'm sure he and the doctors even have that in mind. But Meyer is under no obligation to tell the world about it -- perhaps only his team.

In fact, as gamesmanship versus LSU, dangling Tebow -- the mere idea of Tebow -- for the next 11 days as likely to play would be genius.

But the genius ends if Tebow actually plays.

1 comment:

  1. 31 straight night games. Let me say that again, 31 straight night games. That's LSU's current home winning streak at night. And you think a QB, who has never, ever started a game, let alone a conference game, let alone a road conference game, can break that streak?

    If John Brantley starts that game, that's an automatic loss. I don't care how well Florida's defense and special teams plays. I'm sure Brantley is going to be a fine quarterback, but has he had to read a STARTING defense in a live game? Mop up duty is a whole lot different than in front of 90,000 screaming fans on the road, and once again, at night.

    One loss could knock Florida from the national title game, and if Tebow is cleared by doctors, would he want to risk losing that shot? Does Urban Meyer owe that shot to the rest of his players? Once again, prefacing that with the fact Tebow is cleared by doctors.

    I'm sure John Brantley is going to be a fine quarterback, but he's never had to deal with live bullets. That's quite an assumption to make to think an unproven guy could make his very first start at LSU and win. In fact, I think it's a very, very, very flawed assumption.

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