Friday, August 12, 2011

Using Tim Tebow Opportunistically

There has been a lot of talk today about how Tim Tebow played last night, but I want to focus on Kyle Orton for a second.

In Orton's only series of the game, he led the Broncos to 1st and goal at the Cowboys' 1-yard line. Orton proceeded to throw the Broncos out of getting a TD; it ended in a field goal.

Here is my question:

If it was a REAL game, and the Broncos had 1st and goal at the 1 -- even in the 1st quarter -- isn't the best play, the play with the most chance of success, to pull Orton and insert Tebow?

And yet we probably won't see it. Maybe it's because John Fox doesn't want to upset his starting QB's seemingly delicate sensibilities. Maybe it's because it causes a lot of trouble if Tebow does something positive.

But more likely, it is because the notion of using a full-time 2-QB system -- where one QB comes in specifically for short-yardage plays, such as goal-line or 4th-and-short (or even 2nd- or 3rd-and-short) situations elsewhere on the field is anathema to NFL strategic orthodoxy.

We've argued for more than a year that if you're not going to use Tebow as a full-time QB, then the way to get the most out of him is to use him situationally -- not as a Wildcat gimmick but as a part of a base offense that revolves around two QBs.

John Fox doesn't seem to be the kind of coach who has the wherewithal to pull that off. (On the other hand, one of the reasons so many people wanted to see Tebow end up in New England is precisely for the innovative ways Bill Belichick would have used him, even with the best QB on the planet already on his roster.)

Tebow will start soon enough -- it might take half the season, but Tebow starting is as inevitable as the Broncos not even sniffing playoff contention.

In the meantime, there are plenty of valuable ways he could help right now -- if not as the "starting" QB, then an alternate QB who comes in when the tough yards are needed.

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