Thursday, October 28, 2010

Broncos Tebow: Why Not Let Him Play?

"If you don’t play Tebow in the fourth quarter against Oakland, then when?"

That's not me talking, although it could have been. That's from the New York Times' Toni Monkovic, in a post from this morning titled "Why Not Give Tebow a Try?"

Josh McDaniels' choice on Sunday was an odd one: No one would have second-guessed him for giving Tebow a few series -- even a few snaps.

Instead, McDaniels seems to have made the active decision NOT to play Tebow -- perhaps specifically to confound the expectations.

There is being contrarian and then there is something else.

Monkovic's "Then when?" is as good of a short-hand slogan for Sunday's mystifying decision-making as anything I've seen.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Tim Tebow Takes London

In advance of the Broncos' trip to London for the NFL's annual "Euro Game," Tim Tebow took questions from the UK press -- I demand my tabloid-style coverage!

Among the highlights:

*Yes, the globe-hopping Tebow has been to England before.

*They asked him what he would be typically dressing up as for Halloween. Tebow replied that he spends this week getting ready for Georgia. (Ahh, memories.)

*They asked him about how well Kyle Orton has been playing. Tebow said all the right things: "Whatever opportunity I get I’m trying to do my best with it."

*And, then, the Tebow money question: "As an athlete how important is it for you to send good messages to the wider public?" This is Tim's best thing. Take it away, Tim...

"I think one of the greatest things that pro athletes have is a platform that their sport gives them and to have so many people looking up to them.

"I believe it is their responsibility to be a role model to the kids and families that look up to them, because they can make a difference to so many people’s lives and bring faith, hope and love to those needing a brighter day in their darkest hour of need if they only try.

"That’s something I want to be is a better role model to kids and all the people looking up to me, and I would like to encourage other athletes to do the same, because who knows what a difference they could make if they just go into a hospital and spend time with kids and let them know that they care about them and encourage them.

"If more athletes took that approach they could really make a difference in people’s lives."

Let's see what the notoriously finicky London press does with that.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Broncos Tebow: DNP. Seriously?

I was on a JetBlue flight from Jacksonville to NYC late yesterday afternoon. Kudos to JetBlue for bringing NFL Sunday Ticket to their DirecTV packages on Sundays.

I was excited to watch the Broncos-Raiders game, one that I would never get regionally in NYC. By the time we were settled in our seats, the Raiders were up 31-0.

Broncos fans might not like the following sentiment, but my feeling was: Well, at least we'll get a nice long look at Tim Tebow, because Josh McDaniels can't possibly NOT play him in THIS one.

When the first half finished up and Tebow hadn't played a down, I was a little frustrated, but I was able to rationalize it: Gotta try to keep Kyle Orton in some kind of long-term rhythm.

But then we got into the 3rd quarter and the game was blown open -- I mean, more than it was when it was 31-freaking-zilch.

No Tebow.

Into the 4th quarter... no Tebow. Not a series.

In the most meaningless half of football the Broncos will play this season -- at least until they are mathematically eliminated from playoff contention -- McDaniels refused to play Tebow.

And I use that word "refused" purposely. He had every reason to give Tebow some much-needed in-game reps, against an opponent up so many points that they were half-speed.

"That's not really the time that I'd want him to get work," McDaniels said.

Instead, he let him linger -- the most notable Tebow appearance coming during all those TV camera cuts to him on the sidelines, helmet off, not even close to warming up.

If McDaniels isn't going to even give Tebow a glimpse of game action during a zillion-to-not-so-much rout, I'm not sure he is at all serious about Tebow as the future of the team.

As the Denver Post's Mark Kiszla said: "Stubborn and stupid is no way to go through life."

If not then, when? It is a fair question -- and one that would have taken at least some of the sting out of what turned out to be the most humiliating Broncos regular-season loss in a generation.

The Broncos play in London next week -- Tebow Takes the U.K.! -- and then have a bye week. As predicted before the season started, the week after the bye seems as good a time as any to give Tebow a try.

But given McDaniels' decision-making yesterday, I won't be holding my breath.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Broncos Tebow: New Role, New Dog?

A round-up of interesting Tebow-related stories floating around:

*"Tebow Package" must evolve. (L. Jones, Denver Post)

*More on need to expand Tebow's plays. (M. Krieger, Denver Post)

*Designing a successful pass play for Tebow. (National Football Post)

*Tebow on a 2-year development plan. (Denver Post)

*Should Tebow get more touches? Me: Um...yes. (ESPN.com)

*Tebow gets a dog: Bronco. (LB Sports)

Monday, October 18, 2010

Brand Tebow: Jockey Offers TD Deal

In honor of Tim Tebow's first career NFL TD, Jockey -- one of his most high-profile marketing partners -- is creating a spot deal: 15% off any order at jockey.com when you use the coupon code "TOUCHDOWN."

(Jockey had no influence on this post. In fact, I heard about it via Twitter, not from any Jockey PR reps. I simply found the idea interesting that they so quickly created a sales special off the touchdown.)

Broncos Tebow: Touchdown, Tim Tebow!

So much for Josh McDaniels' claim from a few weeks ago that using Tim Tebow as a change-it-up option on offense was "ridiculous."

McDaniels finally decided to use Tim Tebow in special situations, and -- go figure! -- it paid off with points.

Despite the Broncos' loss to the Jets, Tebow had his most effective game as a pro, including his first career TD.

This quote from Josh McDaniels sounds promising:

"I think anytime you can do some things that are a little different, it forces the defense to not only play tough and physical, but also think."

That was precisely the point -- and the promise -- of McDaniels drafting Tebow: That the coach would find innovative ways to use Tebow's skills to keep defenses off-balance.

Tebow's first play was an option to Correll Buckhalter for 13 yards, part of a 145-yard rushing day for the run-light Broncos.

Tebow ended up averaging nearly 4 yards per carry (6 carries, 23 yards). But more importantly, he proved he can be a productive part of the offense.

With the Broncos' playoff hopes fading as the season nears its midpoint, let's hope McDaniels gets even more creative with Tebow.

Denver plays the next two weeks, then has a bye week in Week 9 -- at which point their playoff prospects should be clear, and at which point McDaniels could spend more time on Tebow.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Broncos Tebow: Expect DNP vs. Ravens

I had hoped to zip down to Baltimore to catch Tim Tebow and the Broncos against the Ravens, in the closest they will get to New York City this season. Didn't happen.

Sounds like the Ravens aren't particularly concerned -- about my attendance or about Tebow. Tebow will be the No. 2 QB, however, so you never know. I'm not holding my breath that Josh McDaniels will use Tebow even as a one-time strategic gambit.

Meanwhile, I'm still reeling from last night's Florida loss to LSU at The Swamp, which was even more depressing than Florida and Tebow's loss at Baton Rouge in 2007.

At least that LSU team was a national champion. This year's edition is terrible -- of course, this year's Florida team looks far worse than that building-for-a-championship team in '07.

The defense came up big in the 4th (until they blew it on that long pass after the fake FG, which set up the game-winning TD for LSU). The special teams were just OK (the good: Debose's TD KR; the bad: not knowing Miles would go for the fake FG).

The offense? Ugh. If it wasn't for Carl "1st-Down Maker" Moore -- who I would call the team's offensive MVP this season -- things would have been unredeemable.

I know Demps was injured (and Brantley was limited), but come on. For the first three quarters, the offense was anemic.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Broncos Tebow: Sunday In Baltimore

Not unlike Trey Burton attempting the patented Tebow jump-pass against Alabama, I continue to be stymied by the slow news on the Tebow beat.

(Despite how well Kyle Orton is playing, I also remain annoyed that Josh McDaniels seemingly won't even consider possible innovative uses for Tebow in the game plan.)

I will say this: Tebow and the Broncos come as close to NYC as they will this season when they journey to Baltimore to play the Ravens on Sunday.

I am seriously considering driving down -- I may even take my 4-year-old with me for his first-ever NFL game. Unclear how he/we would be received in Tebow gear by the Ravens faithful.

Meanwhile, Florida's LSU week is a fun one for Tebow fans -- it is a fascination bookended by 2006 and 2009. More on that tomorrow.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Friends of Teblog: OnlyGators 1-Year

Happy 1-year anniversary to OnlyGators, the most comprehensive outlet for Florida football news -- and plenty of Tebow news -- you'll find. If it's not in your rotation of must-read Gator sites, it should be. (My only regret: I slept through an IM from them in the first minute after the Tebow shoes were put on sale online. But their effort to help me was entirely appreciated.)