Thursday, February 18, 2010

NFL Tebow: Bradford Double-Standard?

Apologies for the light posting this week. I'd like to say that I needed a bit of rest after the Senior Bowl/Super Bowl two weeks of insanity, but the news flow was simply slower.

But let's get right to it: I am mystified by the double-standard applied by the draftniks between Tim Tebow and Sam Bradford as it relates to the NFL.

In no particular order:


*Tebow participates in the Senior Bowl -- the most high-profile participant ever, putting himself under the full scrutiny of the scouts (most of whom were eager to tear him down).

*Bradford is skipping all but the most benign parts of the NFL Combine (the measurements, interviews and Wonderlic), instead going for the inflated workout at his school's "Pro Day."

And not a peep from the scouts about Bradford's character or the potential that he's trying to hide something by ignoring their opportunity to perform in front of them at a neutral site.


*Tebow was a product of his offense; Urban Meyer's system can't produce pro QBs.

*But somehow, Bradford is a natural fit for the NFL. This, despite all evidence we have that Oklahoma QBs in the Stoops Era were ENTIRELY products of their system.


*Tim Tebow's career stats, by season as a full-time starting QB:

Completion percentage: 67%, 64%, 68%
Yards-per-attempt: 9.39, 9.22, 9.22
QB Rating: 172, 172, 164

*Sam Bradford's career stats, in his two seasons as a full-time starting QB:

Completion percentage: 69%, 68%
Yards-per-attempt: 9.1, 9.7
QB Rating: 176, 180

But let's not entirely discount Bradford's abbreviated junior year in 2009, in which he had a 56 percent completion rate, 8.1 YPA and a QB rating of 134.

The point is: They are entirely comparable -- if anything, Tebow did it over roughly 50 percent more games.


*Tim Tebow is a physical freak who could actually run between the tackles in the NFL -- not every down, but certainly occasionally -- and not break. I wouldn't worry if he got sacked.

*Sam Bradford's shoulder is literally hanging on by the physiological equivalent of a few strands of tooth floss. Does ANYONE think that Bradford could survive a direct hit from a lineman? He crumpled TWICE last season -- and that was against BYU and Texas. And the team he ends up on will, more likely than not, have a crappy O-line. Bradford is not going to have an NFL experience like he did at Oklahoma, where he was barely touched (although how can it not be a huge warning sign that in the few times he did get touched, he crumpled?). He is going to get sacked... hard.

I find it baffling that Tim Tebow's mechanics are enough for some to scuttle him all the way to the 3rd round, while Sam Bradford's tissue-paper shoulder ligaments are so little worry that a team would be willing to spend Top 10 QB money on him.

Let me make a rather bold prediction: I can't tell you how long or how successful Tim Tebow's NFL career will be, but I'll bet it is longer than Sam Bradford's.

I have nothing against Bradford. He seems like a nice guy and he was a terrific (even prolific) college QB -- when healthy. My problem is with the draftniks, who cherry-pick the things they like about Bradford and virtually ignore the glaring warning signs -- namely, that he is as much of a "system" QB as any other Oklahoma QB in the draft in the last decade, and that his shoulder cannot possibly withstand the punishment it will take week-in and week-out in the NFL.

If they're going to hold Tebow to some absurdly high standard of scrutiny, I wonder why they won't do the same thing for Bradford.

Because Bradford's mechanics are perfect? It is going to be really hard for him to display those mechanics when his arm is in a sling 14 weeks out of each season.


  1. Why do you care so much about what the "draftniks" think? You've already made it very clear that what they think has zero impact what so ever to what NFL teams end up doing. So just because you have some concerns with Bradford that they don't have you write up a huge post that completely misses the point and is ungodly biased (Hey, it's a tim tebow blog I don't expect unbiased opinions here that's for sure).

    Let the Draftniks talk... it all means jack squat at the end of the day. It's just talk and nothing else.

    (Also, what are you really basing the entire Bradford can't stay healthy in the NFL. Because he hurt his shoulder twice? Cause you know how those quarterbacks who hurt their shoulder just always keep hurting it year after year.... oh... wait.

  2. It is completely hilarious that people say Tebow can't play his style in the NFL when Sam Bradford couldn't even stay healthy in COLLEGE when he wasn't even getting touched his whole college career and played against terrible defenses.

    Also, no one talks about Sam Bradford's weak arm.. even Skip Bayless, who is an OU homer, has said Tebow has a stringer arm than Bradford.

    My favorite was when Mel Kiper and McShay discounted Tebow's performance against Cinci because they said their defense was terrible and yet OU faced horrible defenses alls season in the BIG12.

    I think the reality is that because Tebow has had such a massive spotlight on him he has all the pressure on him AND all the scrutiny has magnified Tebow's weaknesses and diminished what makes him great as well as the weaknesses of the other QBs like Bradford. No college QB could look good with all the criticism and scrutiny Tebow is under... it's truly incredible Tebow has accomplished what he has even with that intense scrutiny and pressure. Tebow had big expectations coming into college and he completely surpassed them and people now say that wasn't enough when no one even predicted he would do what he has done.

    Oh yeah.. what;s u with Kiper and McShay saying Tebow shouldn't have gone to the Senior bowl.. why didn't they tell him that before hand? Why didn't they KNOW that ahead of time. Seems like every reporter I read said Tebow had to go to the Senior bowl or he was a coward and wasns't a real NFL prospect if he was afraid to do it.

  3. Dan, this is a fantastic post (& so are your blog post & column about Tiger today). There's no question that there's an enormous double standard here-the only question is WHY there's a double standard.

    After Bradford got injured the 2nd time last year, Lou Holtz questioned whether or not he'd been taught how to properly fall to avoid injury when getting tackled from the side. Sustaining the same injury from the same kind of tackle in his first game back from that injury is not a good sign. Why these draftniks aren't taking the health of his shoulder & his ability to avoid injuries into consideration is mystifying.

    (And before someone mentions Tebow's concussion, I'll mention it: Tim got knocked out & concussed b/c the back of his head hit his teammate's knee. It's unlikely there's a way to train someone how to not get injured in a freak situation like that.)

  4. Exactly, Brooke. The Tebow concussion was a total fluke. Tebow even had a bad flu or something when he had the concussion.. and he didn't even miss a game with the concussion! LOL

    This is the real irony to me.. Tebow is BUILT for the NFL.. he;s a beast.. Tebow could stay healthy taking more contact than any QB in college history.. Bradford couldn't stay healthy maybe taking he LEAST contact in college history.

    Again.. I just really think it's the spotlight.. maybe no athlete has ever had a bigger spotlight on them AND embraced it as much as Tebow. Every little blemish Tebow has is magnified at a ridiculous level and all the great attributes have been completely taken for granted at this point.

    What amazes me is how everything is so based on results. If Peyton Manning won the Superbowl people were ready to call him one of the greatest QBs ever.. yet when it was Eli winning the championship and Peyton out of the playoffs recently people said Eli was better than Peyton.

    It amazes me how people miss that one player does not have that great of an impact in football. One football player, even a QB, has much less of an impact on their team than a basketball player on their basketball team because of the greater amount of players. A QB is so reliant on all those players for success(especially their defense). This is why they shouldn't get so much praise for winning nor blame for losing..

    Just look at Michael Jordan in basketball. he only won one championship in 3 years of college.. and didn't in his first NBA championship until he was 28 years old!

    But anyway.. my point was that a big reason I think Tebow is taking so much criticism now is because the Gators offense was statistically weak this season AND because the Gators didn't win the championship again.

    But in reality just the fact Tebow made them a contender again even with that massive spotlight and pressure and in light of all the issues should really be incredible enough. And this is why people should realize how great Tebow will be no matter where he goes.

  5. This post is hilarius. So you want us to believe that the Scouts are biased against the media machine that is Tim Tebow in favor of Sam Bradford, despite the fact that Tebow gets 100 times more positive media coverage than Sam Bradford? You don't think that Teams are looking for excuses to draft Tim Tebow high? Do you think there is a conspiracy to draft the ill talked about Sam Bradford high? Of Course not! This is absolutely ridiculous.

    Let me correct your errors. First off, Bradford is still recovering from surgury, so injury is usually a valid reason to skip the combine. Its not as if the top quarterbacks of the last 3 years haven't done the same thing, even while NOT RECOVERING FROM INJURY!!! Matt Stafford...not at the combine. Matt Ryan...not at the combine. That's considered fine, since they are the conscensus #1 quarterback in the draft. Compare this to Tebow, whose stock was falling after he was probably the worst quarterback at the Senior Bowl, and he doesn't throw when he has an opportunity to raise his stock again.

    Second, You complain about OU's system. PLENTY OF PEOPLE complain about Sam Bradford being a system QB (despite the fact that EVERY quarterback plays a system, how insane). OU's quarterbacks of this decade that appearantly prove that its a system were
    1. Josh Hypel and Nate Hyble, who played basically a mike leach offense
    2. Jason White, who had two HORRIBLE KNEES, and played a leach offense
    3. Paul Thompson - introduction of a new offensive coordinator which made the offense less shotgun heavy and more versital, but was a wide receiver playing QB for one year.
    4. Sam Bradford. TONS OF EVIDENCE!!!

    Tebow runs the same offense that Alex Smith ran for Urban Meyer, who struggled for years transitioning to the pros. Secondly, its basically a zone read running offense. Pat White, Vince Young, Alex Smith, quarterbacks who run this offense struggle to adjust to pro style offenses, because they had little idea how to read coverages. At least Vince Young is actually fast. Tebow is big guy, but not fast enough to run away from or through NFL defenses. How well did he run in the Senior Bowl? And that was a bunch of rookies!

    3. About the statistics, you have to look at the types of throws made. bubble screens and pitches by Tebow for 25 yards or 50 yards is not the same to an NFL scout as a 25 yard out that Bradford throws in his offense. And while Tebow throws a good deep ball, its those intermediate pro style routes that Bradford excels in, as anyone who watched the senior bowl practices and games like me can see, Tebow struggles immensely in that department. While OU isn't a pro-stlye offense, their routes are much more similar to NFL routes than Tebows. Plus, Sam Bradford is used to being under center, unlike the focus guy of this blog.

    Finally, you frail, small can't survive 3 games Sam Bradford weighed in today at the combine at a paltry 236 pounds...REALLY FRAIL!!! You are defining a career based on 1 freak injury, just like people who argued that Adrian Peterson was injury prone after a freak injury at his last season at OU. Or just like Drew Brees when he had the EXACT SAME shoulder injury. Before the injury, Sam Bradford had only missed one game due to a concussion...really injury prone! Plus, consider that when Sam Bradford played against top 10 defenses in 2008, he had 12 touchdowns and 4 interceptions (one at a hail-mary at the end of the game, two off bobbled passes). Your quarterback threw a ball directly to a defensive tackle!!! That tells me one guy can read a defense...and the other guy can't, which may contribute to the draft stock being so different!

    Tim Tebow might not ride the bench for 10 years in the pros like some people are saying, but he's a long ways away from being an NFL quarterback. If Sam Bradford ends up in a situation like Washington or Seattle, or maybe even St. Louis like we're hearing now, he may struggle at first, but I expect him to have an excellent career.

  6. "It amazes me how people miss that one player does not have that great of an impact in football. One football player, even a QB, has much less of an impact on their team than a basketball player on their basketball team because of the greater amount of players. A QB is so reliant on all those players for success(especially their defense). This is why they shouldn't get so much praise for winning nor blame for losing.."

    "But in reality just the fact Tebow made them a contender again even with that massive spotlight and pressure and in light of all the issues should really be incredible enough. And this is why people should realize how great Tebow will be no matter where he goes."

    Aren't these contradictory statements? One statement, you're saying that one player doesn't make up the team and that how the players around them make the team successful, and then you say Tebow is the one that made this team a contender! what about Carlos Dunlap, or Brandon Spikes, or Joe Haden, or Marcus Pouncey? Or All the other great players at FLorida?