Friday, March 30, 2012

Tebow's Message for Jets Fans

"I've already said it 44 times so here goes number 45: I'm really excited to be a Jet! Haha! All joking aside it's truly an honor to be a Jet and I'm anxiously looking forward to going to work with all of my new teammates and coaches. Fireman Ed and the rest of Jets nation, I'm gonna play my heart out for you. J-E-T-S JETS! JETS! JETS!"

-- Tim Tebow, on Twitter last night

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Nike vs. Reebok Over Tebow

And suddenly, those Reebok Jets Tebow T-shirts and jerseys -- which had a shelf life of about two weeks to begin with -- are collector's items, because Nike's lawsuit against Reebok turned into a judge's injunction, with the merchandise to be pulled from stores.

Let's remember the mantra: Just when you think things can't get more [anything] when it comes to Tebowmania, it does.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Nuanced Take on Tebow's Public Religious Expression

I think I have been waiting six years for a mainstream media outlet to cover Tebow's public expressions of and about his religious faith with any sort of nuance.

Mostly, I've been looking for something that dispels the erroneous characterizations/caricatures of Tebow from some corners of the media as some kind of raging public proselytizer (which he is most definitely not).

This piece in Wednesday's New York Times -- pegged off of Tebow's answer to the "religion" question in Monday's press conference -- is well worth your time.

-- Dan

Tuesday Tebow Link Round-Up

*The reviews from Tim Tebow's performance at his Jets opening press conference yesterday are in -- and almost entirely rave.

(Longtime Tebow fans would not have been surprised at all about how deftly Tebow handled the New York media, which seemed totally unprepared for Tebow's open, earnest speaking style. Note that Tebow didn't bring up religion at all, until a media person broached the topic, obviously trying to stir up something. Nothing doing: All football. The best part was the way Tebow dug in to the strategic advantages of using a dual-threat QB.)

*Of all of yesterday's columns, pay attention most to this take from NFL.com's Jeff Darlington, who is as perceptive about the Tebow dynamic as anyone in mainstream media: "It's one thing to manage a monster. It's another to feed it. And if the Jets continue to cultivate an environment that fuels even more life into their newly acquired phenomenon -- which is exactly what they did Monday -- they might as well go ahead and name Tebow as the team's starter right now."

*ESPN.com's Jeff MacGregor on Tebow's arrival in New York.

*ESPNNY.com's Johnette Howard has a fantastic survey of all things Tebow. Great stuff, even for die-hard fans who know most of it already (the shout-out to this blog doesn't hurt!)

*Absolutely DO NOT MISS Grantland's Chris Brown talking about how the Jets' offense with Tebow is so much more than the Wildcat -- it'll make you wince whenever you hear someone bludgeon Tebow and the Jets' new offensive strategy with the "W-word."

*This is just plain fun: The new "Jetbow" sandwich coming to New York's Carnegie Deli. (Cheekily made with white bread, a first for the restaurant.)

*And, of course, if you haven't seen my piece in the New York Times from Sunday about Tebow, please give it a look. Really proud of this one. (Feel free to share it with friends!)

-- Dan

Monday, March 26, 2012

Tim Tebow vs. Mark Sanchez, Cont'd

This is promising: Rex Ryan wants to deploy Tim Tebow liberally.

That's a great start. For two years, all we've called for here is a little bit of innovation when it comes to Tebow. Ryan may be up for that challenge (even if he continues to insist on using the archaic word "Wildcat" -- known from here on out as the "W-word.")

There are two things going on: The first is the competition between Tebow and Mark Sanchez to be QB1 -- starting QB -- of the Jets. Sanchez is the starter... for now. We'll see what happens if he gets hurt or simply struggles.

The second thing is how the Jets will use Tebow -- the obvious answer is to use him as a substitute for Sanchez in particular scenarios (goal-line, short-yardage or anything else). The other answer is to do what Ryan implied yesterday: Get the ball in Tebow's hands, even if Sanchez is on the field, too.

Tebow may take 10 snaps a game directly from a center, but what if he is on the field for 20-30 snaps per game, in other ways? What if he lines up next to Sanchez, gets the ball and then has the option to run or pass? What if he lines up along the line of scrimmage? What if he lines up behind the FB and next to an RB, along with Sanchez: The "Full Tebow" Backfield?

The point is that the Jets' edge is the mystery of their schemes with Tebow. I don't expect them to reveal anything -- and, hopefully, they will adapt and adjust it from week to week -- but I will be disappointed if Ryan doesn't take advantage of the mismatch.

Don't miss my piece in yesterday's New York Times about Tebow fandom vs. Jets fandom.

-- Dan

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Welcome, New/Curious Readers

If you are checking out TimTeblog.com for the first time after seeing Dan Shanoff's essay in Sunday's New York Times about Tebow fans suddenly becoming Jets fans, welcome!

The site goes back to 2009 and the hysteria surrounding Tebow's final season in college football, then extended into the hysteria around the NFL Draft, then the hysteria around his rookie season, then the hysteria of this past season's playoff surge... and now the hysteria of Tebow relocating to New York City. Feel free to check out old posts or just pop by daily for news and analysis about the Tebow phenomenon.

(Dan's other project -- Quickish.com, a start-up sports-news recommendation service -- also has plenty about Tim Tebow. Check it out.)

You can reach Dan at timteblog-[at]-gmail-[dot]-com or dshanoff-[at]-gmail-[dot]-com.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Tim Tebow vs. Mark Sanchez

And the New York tabloid ("Tebloid?") insanity continues, today with a Daily News story that Tebow is gunning for Mark Sanchez's starting job.

Well, I should certainly hope so.

I doubt Rex Ryan wants a back-up QB who doesn't want to play so well that he makes the coaches think twice about who to start.

Sanchez may or may not be able to handle the competition -- frankly, if your starting QB can't handle heat from a confident back-up, it's unclear they should be starting anyway.

The other point: It's March 23. The season starts in September. It's going to be a long, long five months until then. Settle in.

(As we continue to hammer on the idea of Ryan breaking new ground in QB innovations through Tebow, there is nothing wrong with giving Tebow way more than a handful of snaps per game as a change-up.)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

It's Official (Again): Tebow to the Jets

See two posts down for reactions, which haven't changed.
It's going to be a wild scene.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Aaand...Maybe Not.

Let's pause that "Tebow to Jets" talk while they work out the contract issues. Sounds like it's down to the Jets or Jags, NYC or Jacksonville.

Tim Tebow Traded to New York Jets

Wow. Wow. Just... wow.

Tim Tebow is coming to New York City.

The biggest name in the NFL is coming to the biggest city in the country.

It's going to be nuts. It's going to be crazy. It's going to be wild.

And that's just the tabloid newspaper covers.

Tebow will fit great on a team that has largely been characterized as a bit of a nut-house, because he is one of the best teammates in the NFL -- works hard, wants to win.

If Mark Sanchez has a problem -- and he very well might -- that's Sanchez's problem, not Tebow's. And not the team's. I think Tebow will immediately win over his teammates.

Wow. Of all the destinations....

I go back to one of the truisms of Tebow: Just when you think it can't get any bigger, it does.

Much, much more soon.

-- Dan

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Where Will Tebow End Up, Cont'd

Speculation is swirling: Jaguars? Dolphins? Packers? Bills? Mystery team?

This almost reminds me of the week before the 2010 NFL Draft, when we were wondering which team would take Tebow.

Here's a really good take from Peter King, affirming a few things I strongly agree with:

(1) Tebow can be and should be an essential contributor to a winning football team.

(2) That doesn't necessarily mean Tebow would start full-time at QB.

(3) The right fit for Tebow is with a head coach secure in his position and innovative in his schemes.

What is the ideal outcome here? That Tebow is a starting QB in the NFL? That he makes tangible contributions to a winning team? That his team wins a Super Bowl? There are a lot of paths to success -- I know Tebow wants to be a starting QB in the league, and he has shown he can be successful in that role. He has earned the chance to compete, and he has shown a limitless capacity to work hard and learn.

I also know he wants to contribute however he can, and when he is finally on a team that wants him (unlike the Broncos), making that contribution in whatever way the coach can dream up (and hopefully the coach is plenty creative in doing it) will be a satisfying next chapter in Tebow's NFL career.

BTW, here's another read: The Redskins have been on zero radars and just forked over a trove of draft picks to position themselves to draft Robert Griffin III as their QB of the present and future, but in the Washington Post, I laid out the case for why trading for Tebow makes sense for D.C.

-- Dan

Monday, March 19, 2012

Broncos Signing Peyton, Trading Tebow

And there we have it: Peyton Manning has picked the Denver Broncos -- whose top executive John Elway pursued him with a passion that he never had for Tim Tebow. According to ESPN, Tim Tebow will be traded.

The Tebow Era in Denver is over. Where it continues instantly becomes the biggest story in sports.

A few snap judgments:

*Anyone who didn't see this coming hasn't been paying attention to the way John Elway has acted since Week 1.

*Betting on Peyton Manning returning from a year away with a neck injury is the biggest "if" in sports history. I guess they figure if Peyton goes down, they'll pull a Colts and "Splat for Matt [Barkley]."

*Where will Tebow end up? Well, the Jaguars just signed Chad Henne, to back up last season's first-round pick Blaine Gabbert. Unlikely he ends up there. (But you never know.) Peter King posits that he ends up on a team with a coach secure in his own stature -- the Patriots and Ravens come to mind. The fact is, teams will be able to get Tebow for a 3rd-round draft pick -- the question is: Do they want the hysteria that comes with him?

Ironically, there isn't a better teammate in the league than Tebow. He will do his best, no matter what the situation is -- what roster couldn't use that kind of presence? I wouldn't be scared away by the media frenzy -- I would focus on the value Tebow adds to any roster.

More later. Much much more.

-- Dan

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Where Will Tim Tebow End Up?

Here are the scenarios:
(1) Peyton comes to Denver; Tebow gets traded.
(2) Peyton comes to Denver, Tebow gets kept. Awkward!
(3) Peyton snubs Denver, Tebow gets kept. Still awkward!

There is a very good chance Peyton Manning goes to the Broncos. I cannot imagine that he wants to play with Tebow, and beyond John Elway's interest in wanting to exile Tebow anyway, this gives him the pretext to do it. And so the natural question is: Where might Tebow end up?

There is a conventional wisdom that the Jaguars would love to have him. The reality is that the Jaguars new owner would love to have him; his football staff is less excited about the prospect. (Let's be real here: What the owner wants, the owner will get. I'd like to see him call the GM's bluff -- does the GM really want to quit over this? GM jobs don't exactly grow on trees.)

Anyway, Peter King had a nugget buried in his weekly Tuesday column, worth paying attention to:
I wouldn't be surprised if the most Denver could get for Tebow is a fourth-round pick. I know the fans in Jacksonville want him, but I can't see GM Gene Smith brining him in to muddle the quarterback situation with a guy they're trying to salvage, Blaine Gabbert, who'd be in an unwinnable situation with the fans. It'd take a strong coach -- Bill Belichick, John Harbaugh, Pete Carroll -- not worried about the public pressure to play him to take Tebow on, in my opinion. I could see Belichick or Harbaugh making him a wild card type of player, playing 15 snaps a game all over the offense.
I absolutely agree with King's assessment that a strong coach would definitely want Tebow -- that's at the heart of why we've been saying for years (really: since 2009 or before) that Tebow would end up with the Patriots, even if he isn't the starting QB but merely an ultra-back that Bill Belichick unleashes on the rest of the NFL to the tune of 20 TDs a year.

I still think that if the Jaguars' owner wants him, he'll get him. The Jags are willing to pay more than the market rate (say, a 4th rounder).

This remains the most intriguing storyline of the NFL offseason -- even more intriguing than where Peyton Manning goes. And if/when Manning signs with the Broncos, this is going to become a frenzy, as usual.

-- Dan

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Peyton Manning vs. Tim Tebow, Cont'd

At this point, let's hope that the Broncos sign Peyton Manning and trade Tim Tebow to a team that actually wants him (ie, Jacksonville), because this situation is brutal.

It's funny to read the "reports" that the Broncos would get rid of Tebow if Manning came in -- what, exactly, is the other choice? Keep Tebow? Relegate him from starting QB of a playoff team to backup for the next 2-3 years? (Or 2-3 games until Manning snaps in half.)

The best-case scenario for Tebow is that he gets traded to a team that actually wants him.

The worst-case scenario is that Peyton Manning picks the Cardinals and Tebow is left playing for a team president and coach who so obviously don't want him there.

-- Dan

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Another View of Tebow vs. Manning

This has been floated around a couple of times over the past few weeks: What if the Broncos signed Peyton Manning and traded Tim Tebow to the Jacksonville Jaguars?

Jaguars fans and ownership would obviously be thrilled. John Elway and John Fox would be thrilled to finally unburden themselves of a player they don't support.

And, for all his enthusiasm for Denver, Tebow would presumably be happy to return to his hometown and home state (where his support is more rabid than anywhere else) -- and assuredly happy to join a team thrilled to commit to him as their starting QB.

Broncos fans would surely miss Tebow, but it's not like they would be replacing him with a slouch like Brady Quinn or any other inferior QB.

Did the Jaguars just use a first-round pick on Blaine Gabbert? Yes. They can trade him or let him develop slowly as Tebow's backup (before trading him).

But it's not like the plan doesn't make sense. I still think Manning ends up in Miami or Washington, and the entire question is moot -- aside from the signal Elway sends to Tebow and Broncos fans by entertaining the idea of bringing in Peyton Manning in the first place.

Tim Tebow vs. Peyton Manning

It's unclear who leaked to the media that the Broncos are interested in Peyton Manning -- let's accept it on its face that it is true.

That would make Denver the only team among the dozen or so angling for Manning who (a) already have an entirely capable incumbent QB, and (b) made the playoffs last year with an incumbent QB.

People ask why I think John Elway is disingenuous and why I think the media totally mis-read Elway's "supportive" quotes of Tebow, and it's things like this. The Broncos don't need Manning -- they have a starting QB who got them to the playoffs under some severely limited conditions.

Beyond that, the Broncos have virtually no shot at Manning -- he doesn't want to play for them and there are plenty of other teams he would rather play for (and would be thrilled to bid up to get him). So I'm not sure I see the point in floating the idea they would want him.

All it does is (continue to) undermine Tebow.

(This topic is totally aggravating, and yet it's still probably preferable to talking about whether Tebow is dating Taylor Swift, the discussion of which you'll notice has been absent from this site.)