Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Broncos Tebow: "4th-and-Tebow"

I have talked a bunch about how central to the Broncos' decision to draft Tim Tebow is that Josh McDaniels plans to be particularly innovative in his offensive schemes -- I would argue far more than the boundaries of typical NFL offensive orthodoxy.

Not unlike the way the Dolphins unleashed the Wildcat on an unsuspecting NFL (unsuspecting Bill Belichick, no less), just because it hasn't been done doesn't mean it can't or won't or shouldn't be done. In fact, there are huge rewards to being innovative.

There is a really good post on the terrific Michigan blog MGoBlog that caught my attention, initially because the title of the post was "Fourth Down Decisions: Never Punt With Tebow." But when you dig into the post -- and, be forewarned, it is very dense and very wonky -- you recognize that the quantitative analysis suggests just how radical the Broncos' offense with Tebow could be, particularly as it relates to going for it on 4th down.

I have made this argument all spring: Even if all Tebow does his rookie year is come in occasionally on short-yardage or 4th-down situations -- let alone goal-line or red-zone situations -- he has the potential to dramatically impact his team's expected value of winning the game.

Florida fans saw this regularly, as part of something that came to be known as "Tebow Time." For these purposes, I'll dub it "4th-and-Tebow."

I think it comes down to McDaniels' confidence to go against NFL coaching orthodoxy, rather than a limitation of his imagination. If he can stand the external pressures (particularly if early attempts aren't successful), there is very little downside to implementing innovations.

1 comment:

  1. expected value of winning...you couldn't think of any normal phrases to explain increasing their chances of winning? Sometimes you say the most random things.

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