Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Broncos Tebow: QB2 or QB3?

Very interesting analysis in yesterday's Denver Post about the quandary the Broncos would be in if Tim Tebow was the No. 3 QB.

In short, league rules make it very complicated to deploy the 3rd-string QB in any scenario but an emergency -- those rules seem pretty anti-innovation to me, but it is what it is.

The solution, however, is fairly simple: Tebow should be the 2nd-string QB, so that Josh McDaniels can deploy him however -- and whenever -- he wants.

Should Kyle Orton (presumably the starter) get injured, then the Broncos have a bigger problem than QB eligibility, and then-3rd-string Brady Quinn might get elevated.

(Then again, there is a strong argument to be made that in that scenario, Tebow should be thrown into the starter's role and let's let it ride.)

The Post's analysis goes a little astray when it mentions that Brady Quinn might not appreciate being No. 3, behind Tebow, even if he is deemed the "better" QB. That is meaningless.

In the case of the Broncos, strategy has to rule: The starting QB is No. 1; the "situational" QB is No. 2. Tough luck, Brady.

I see it as a non-issue. It would be a waste -- not to mention disappointing -- if McDaniels didn't take advantage of Tebow's unique skills by deploying him innovatively from the QB2 spot.

Whatever you feel about the Wildcat -- let's label it as a running back taking direct snaps -- the real evolution/revolution is when teams have a QB who can run the single-wing.

When McDaniels and Tebow succeed this season, you'll see more teams follow suit with a QB2 who is a multi-purpose threat. And then the QB3 rule will get changed.

That would be a good thing. You don't have to root for Tebow to root for offensive innovation in the NFL.

1 comment:

  1. At the start of the 2009 season, the Miami Dolphins did this same roster setup. Chad Pennington was the starter, Pat White was the listed backup, and Chad Henne was the 3rd string. This let White come in for Wildcat or WR plays.

    Once Pennington got injured, Henne moved up to starter, White stayed at 2, and Tyler Thigpen was signed as the emergency guy.

    While the NFL rule is dumb that #3 can't play until 1&2 are out, this setup does allow the team to use the specialized player, and save the true backup for emergencies. Yes that'll stop the special plays, but is what the rules force. Broncos should definitely do this.