Memo to John Fox: Benching Tebow is a Mistake

Tebow comeback victory vs Texans

Word has come out today that new Denver Broncos coach John Fox is going to go with Kyle Orton, and not Tim Tebow, as his starter next season (assuming there is a season).

It’s only February, so we all know how this goes.  It’s entirely plausible, or even likely, that he’ll change his mind ten times between now and the start of the season.  But I’ll say this, if Fox does indeed stick with that decision, it will be a horrible mistake.

As Gator fans, it’s difficult for us to look at this objectively.  However, even when taking a step back, I’m struggling to really see the logic in this.  So let’s look deeper.

Kyle Orton spent the first five years of his career mired in mediocrity.  He really came as close as he’s ever going to get to “breaking out” in the first half of 2010, where he put up some great numbers under Josh McDaniels.  This makes it less impressive to me, given that McDaniels may be the only true “offensive genius” in the NFL.  For all the talk about guys like Brian Billick and Mike Shanahan, McDaniels is the only one that’s ever parlayed that label into actual, consistent production.

When McDaniels was kicked out of town, Orton started looking more like John Brantley than he did the guy who played for Josh McDaniels.  Look at these lines he put up with Eric Studesville at the helm.

Week 13: 9-28 (32%) 117 yards (4.2ypa) 0TD 0INT — 6 offensive points
Week 14: 19-41 (46%) 166 yards (4.0ypa) 0TD 3INT — 13 offensive points

Tebow then came in, and while he didn’t exactly light up the world, given what he was stepping into, and given that it was his first three games as a starter in the NFL, what he did is in fact quite remarkable.

Week 15: 8-16 (50%) 138 yards (8.6ypa) 1TD 0INT, 78 yards rushing, 1 rush TD — 23 offensive points
Week 16: 16-29 (55%) 308 yards (10.6ypa) 1TD 1INT, 27 yards rushing, 1 rush TD — 24 offensive points
Week 17: 16-36 (44%) 205 yards (5.7ypa) 2TD 2INT, 94 yards rushing, 1 rush TD — 28 offensive points

And of course those games included the miracle comeback against the Texans, and the near miracle comeback against the Chargers.  I’m going to break down all three of these games in a much more detailed fashion in a future article, but this isn’t the place for it.

Like I said, not exactly Peyton Manning type numbers, but very impressive given the awful situation he was put into, and given that it was his first real action in the NFL.  Can anyone imagine the insane amounts of buzz that there would have been if a guy like Matt Stafford had started his NFL career in such a manner, rather than starting it with 1 touchdown and 5 interceptions in his first two games?

I’m open to the idea that Tim Tebow is not going to end up being a good NFL player, I really am.  But thusfar, all he’s done is answer some of the biggest doubts that many skeptics had (will he be able to run at the NFL level, does he have the arm strength, and will the throwing motion be an issue), while leading his failing, sputtering team to some good offensive performances in games that he was supposed to be doing nothing other than learning in.

Besides, do you really want to be the one to have to tell this guy that he’s back on the bench for no good reason?

Tebow leading the charge

So what’s the logic for going with Orton?  I’m not convinced that Kyle Orton is significantly better than Tim Tebow right now, and his window to improve and his ceiling are of course both much lower.  Orton also certainly does not bring the intangibles and leadership qualities that Tebow does.

So why go with Orton?  Simply put, John Fox is a very conservative coach.

Fox is notoriously loyal to veteran players.  Those of you out there that are bigtime fantasy football players are surely familiar with this.  I’m sure you remember the way that he stuck with an aging Stephen Davis who could barely stand upright while a younger, clearly superior (at that stage in their careers) Deshaun Foster waited patiently for his turn.  Then, Foster got older and DeAngelo Williams was repeatedly stuck on the bench in spite of his terrific ypc and flashes of brilliance in his limited time.

Fox is a conservative coach, and veterans provide a nice security blanket.  Simply put, Orton is the safer option in his mind, even if he’s not in reality.

The shame in all of this is that no matter who starts at QB for Denver next year, they likely won’t look good.  Fox is no good without a running game, and Denver’s running game is atrocious.  I really wish McDaniels had been able to stick around as I really believe Tebow would have thrived under him.  Under Fox though, I think any QB will have a difficult time there in 2011.

One thing is for sure.  This bad Denver team needs a superstar that the fans can get behind, and Orton is not that guy.

 

47 thoughts on “Memo to John Fox: Benching Tebow is a Mistake

  1. Personally I’m happy with this choice as a Raiders fan it will make the Broncos easier to beat. As a Gators fan though I think it isn’t right. Not gonna lie I’m damn conflicted about this decision.

  2. “[b]I don’t think we’ll really figure it out until we start competing,[/b]” Fox said. [b]”It’s a group of three that are very capable. [i]Right now[/i] Kyle Orton is our starter.[/b] We have a young guy, high draft pick, in Tim Tebow who got his feet wet last year toward the end of the season. And then shoot, Brady Quinn I’m looking forward to seeing.”

    Brian Billick was Randy Moss, Chris Carter, Robert Smith and Randall Cunningham but in a strong division.

    McDaniels was Tom Brady, Randy Moss, Wes Welker and a weak ass division.

    Shanahan……got “comfortable”

    Mike Martz had genius tendencies.

  3. Both Billick and McDaniels put together great offenses when they had great players.

    The difference is that when Billick lost those players he followed it with a decade of offensive mediocrity, yet somehow kept the label. McDaniels lost Brady and made a guy that hadn’t played a real game of football since high school (7+ years before) look like a good NFL quarterback. Then, he followed that up by going to a team with a career sub-par QB and the biggest group of journeyman wide receivers that a team could possibly muster up and turned all that trash into a potent NFL offense.

  4. Yeah I completely agree Ryan. Any way you look at it Tebow is better than Orton. Fox will have made a really big mistake if he still has Orton as the starter come the first game of next season. Get your head out of your arse Fox, but knowing you, you probably won’t.

  5. LOL

    So if they put together great offenses when they had great players……

    Now, here’s the rub – Billick had the original Matt Cassell. Remember, Brad Johnson sat behind Casey Weldon at FSU.

    So, Billick coached a guy who was a bench warmer in college and coached him up into a competent NFL qb who has a SB ring on his hand, albeit with a different team. Not to mention, Brad Johnson was more of a b-ball player growing up. Also, Brad Johnson also went 7 years without having played a real game of football.

    Now, we saw what Cassell did in KC. Some want to attribute it to Weis. I have gone out of my way to point out that Cassell already had a name before Weis came around as a result of McDaniels which is true.

    However, it’s not as though MC is devoid of talent. Pioli saw something in him when he brought him on board. Belichick clearly felt he was capable of running the show should Brady go down.

    Of course, there’s my favorite part too. Both McDaniels and Billick earned their reputations as offensive geniuses based on one magical season, really. Minnesota’s 15-1 season, and New England’s 16-0 season.

    What did both of those teams have in came ?

    Hint – a certain rolling stone that had gathered no Moss.

    2007 >

    Rec Yds Avg Lng TD 20+ 40+
    98 1,493 15.2 65T 23 18 9

    1998 >

    Rec Yds Avg Lng TD 20+ 40+
    69 1,313 19.0 61T 17 20 14

    In 1998 Billick had a rookie Randy Moss who was motivated and pissed because so many teams passed him over in the draft.

    In 2007 McDaniels had a veteran Randy Moss who was motivated and pissed because so many people were saying he was washed up because his numbers dropped in the wasteland that was Oakland.

    As for his Denver stint and Orton. Orton is not sub par. He’s par, maybe a bit above. His problem is that he’s not elite. He’s a slightly better version of Brantley.

    As for a potent offense from a bunch of journeymen…….his qb put up very similar numbers on a 2010 team without Brandon Marhsall as he did on the 2009 team with Brandon Marshall.

    I hate to use the word “gimmick offense” because I hate the term and the term “system player” but here’s the catch with McDaniels’ offense:

    It’s a lot like Mike Leach’s. He likes quick reads, short routes. Get rid of the ball quickly, get it in the receiver’s hands. That works great marching down the field. However, it has a not unexpected way of freezing and seizing as the red zone is entered. That’s true for a lot offenses, but McDaniels hasn’t perfected that part yet; he had the luxury of have Randy Moss out jumping people and Brady launching deep bombs to him.

    McDaniels’ offense was very similar to that of Joe Tiller’s, the offense Orton ran at Purdue.

  6. The problem with that is the mechanics HAVE to be fixed before he’s throw to the wolves.

    One of the common comebacks you hear regarding Tebow is “Phillip Rivers has a funky motion.”

    Rivers shot puts the ball, but he doesn’t have a helicopter windup that telegraphs the ball and leaves it exposed to a pass rusher’s reaching arm.

    Tebow now is more like Byron Leftwich.

    Tebow is more like Jake Plummer right now. Remember Jake Plummer was supposed to go to San Francisco as Bill Walsh was back advising. He’d have gotten good coaching. However, Mariucci and the new regime wanted to put their own stamp and chose Jim Druckenmiller instead.

    Plummer went to Arizona.

    The Cards were in trouble and had “Jake the Snake” local hometown hero. People were flocking to the stadium. They even made the playoffs and had some memorable wins. The problem was, he never was given time to correct his flaws.

    By the time Mike Shanahan got him in Denver, he’d spent too many years playing with his bad habits and was an old dog incapable of learning new tricks.

    I don’t want Tebow to get Plummer’d; I want him to get Steve Young’d – sit for a while, learn the craft for real and then play when he’s really ready.

  7. I love Tebow and if he’s ready to start let him start. I just don’t see the problem if Tebow waited awhile, Aaron Rodgers d*nm sure benefited.

  8. You make a great point their Bone. If he sits and hones his craft a little better then he will be one hell of a QB. But I still think he’s a better option than Orton though and Fox would be smart to start him so they have a better chance to win. Just saying.

  9. I can understand the value of him sitting and learning more and working on that throwing motion, but I really don’t think Denver has a better option than Tebow right now. Orton was more a product of the McDaniel’s system than he is an actual legitimate good QB IMO.

  10. Or…Denver could be naming Orton the starter now to try and boost up his trade value, because really logically it makes no sense for Fox to name a starter this early. It takes away the benefit of competition.

  11. I don’t think Tebow necessarily has to change his mechanics.

    You’re right that Rivers was a poor comparison for odd throwing motions. There was no actual problem that they connected with his throwing motion, they just thought it was weird.

    A much better example is our good buddy Vince Young. If you’ll recall, back when he was coming out, people were going crazy over his odd throwing motion because of his low delivery. “He’s 6-4, but the ball comes out like it would for a guy that’s 5-8” they said. They said every pass he threw was going to get batted down at the line of scrimmage.

    But none of that ever ended up being a problem, and now they pretend they never said it. When it gets brought up in relation to Tebow it’s all “oh that was really just a side comment, but this Tebow thing, now THAT is a real problem”. And 3 years from now if Tebow’s ends up not being a problem and someone else comes out with a weird throwing motion they’ll say the same thing again, only this time about how Tebow’s was never really an issue.

    Analysts love to base conjecture on theories that make logical sense in their head but have little actual effect in practice, and when those theories don’t actually play out on the field they just ignore it.

    So the theory with Tebow’s throwing motion is two-fold. Firstly, he drops the ball so low that it will be easy to strip.

    Secondly, and more importantly, his long windup will cause his release to take too long, causing him to miss the smaller passing windows that NFL defenders leave. That certainly is a lot of conjecture. But don’t let that stop them.

    We’ve seen three games, and while that’s far too few to draw any real conclusions, we saw no evidence of any of this coming to fruition, even in the slightest.

    I would say that the chances of these actually becoming problems are far lower than the chances that someone is going to drastically alter their throwing motion at the age of 23 successfully.

  12. You’re right that Johnson is a good comparison for Cassel, though he did have a bit more experience. I don’t see what Johnson’s Super Bowl has to do with anything though. He won that 6 years after Billick on a defensive team. Unless of course you’re going to count Cassel’s solid 2010 outing as a measure of McDaniel’s success as well (it’s not).

    Anyway, the big difference is that Brian Billick has had 10+ years of mediocrity since then while McDaniels needed only two to put together another monster offense with a bunch of scrubs.

    In Billick’s 12 years years in Baltimore they’ve had a good offense what, once?

    It’s not even that Billick hasn’t put together another great offense, it’s that for 12 years now, the offense has been the weak point of the team, the part of the team that’s kept their championship defenses from winning more championships. Billick had better offensive talent in nearly every one of those years than McDaniels had in 2010 and never put out a QB with numbers as good as what Denver was doing this year before McDaniels was sent packing.

    Also, I wouldn’t say Denver’s 2009 offense and 2010 offense were basically the same, not at all. You’re comparing 11 games with McDaniels in ’10 to 16 games in ’09.

    Denver was on pace to throw for 5300 yards and 30+ touchdowns after 11 games.

    McDaniels makes QBs look good.

  13. No, the much better example is the one I gave, Byron Leftwich.

    Tim Tebow doesn’t have a Vince Young problem with a sidearm delivery; he has a helicopter windup ala Leftwich.

    And yes, we have seen evidence of it. Not in the NFL (yet) but in NCAA. 2009 Tebow.

    And, when people get a bigger sample size of him in the pros, if that wind up is still there after they’ve beaten the running instinct out of him, well, he’ll be Byron Leftwich with charisma.

  14. If Fox is smart, he’ll do what Muschamp did- admit he doesn’t know a whole lot about offense and hire an ‘offensive mastermind’. Like you said though, McDaniels may be the only one in the NFL.

    But since the franchise is clearly rebuilding, take a chance and hire a young up-and-coming OC like Jed Fisch (who went to my high school and Florida and did the same thing I’m doing now) who isn’t afraid to take risks either.

    As for the 2009-20 Bronco offense- no way. Like Ryan said, Orton/Tebow were heading for some big numbers by season’s end.

    We don’t know if Orton is par subpar or whatever. He had basically no supporting cast. Give him Jeremy Shockey, both Steve Smiths, Sidney Rice and Matt Forte for his birthday and we’ll see how much his numbers improve. You can’t really judge him without a supporting cast. Of course, you can’t really judge Tebow either- but like Ryan said, he has much more time to improve than Orton, and in a rebuilding year, why not?

  15. Ryan, if you want to be taken seriously there are a few things that need to be addressed.

    First – “Unless of course you’re going to count Cassel’s solid 2010 outing as a measure of McDaniel’s success as well (it’s not).”

    Umm, so we’re going to say a player’s good performance down the road is in no way a reflection of good coaching received early in his career ? You should probably get on the phone and let NFL, NCAA and high school teams they;re wasting money paying QB coaches.

    Second – I said very similar. Second year n the system, but had less talent. However, he also ran a lot of garbage time stats as well.

    Third – You are aware Billick hasn’t been the coach in Baltimore for 3 years now, right ? You keep talking about 12 years. Billick was coach from 99-07. That’s not 12 years. Not even close.

    Do you even actually know who Brian Billick is ?

  16. Good discussion again Bone.

    You keep citing 2009 as an example of the fumbles, but I’m not seeing it.

    Tim Tebow had 5 fumbles in 2009. 3 of them came when he was running the football. If you could explain to me how Tebow fumbling 47 yards down field as he’s being taken out of bounds on a long run relates to his throwing motion, I’d love to hear it.

    Tebow had 2 sack-fumbles in 2009 in 13 games. That’s actually really low compared to the average. By comparison, Tom Brady has had more than ELEVEN sack-fumbles four times in his career.

    Further, I don’t recall either of those sack fumbles coming on plays where the ball was stripped out as he cocked it back, though I could be misremembering that.

    As for Leftwich, he sucks because all he can do is throw the ball really hard. He’s got no touch, and no field vision (though field vision is an area I would say Tebow is lacking in as well).

    Also, Leftwich not only had a windup delivery, but he had a slow windup. He cocked the ball back and paused there with it. Tebow, while he goes through a long motion, moves his arm much more quickly. In all the comparisons analysts have made comparing the lowest point of Tebow’s arm vs the lowest point of another QBs arm, it’s surprising that none of them have actually compared the release TIMES. Probably because it doesn’t fit their argument.

    I didn’t bring up Young to say that their throwing motions were similar. I brought up Young to say that, like Tebow, he had a throwing motion whereby all these scouts and analysts invented a problem that it was going to cause that never really existed. Sure, it sounds logical that if you release the ball really low you’re going to have an inordinate number of passes batted down at the line. But in practice, it doesn’t actually happen.

    Likewise, it sounds nice and logical that a lower starting point for your release is going to cause more fumbles and passing windows to be missed. In practice, we’ve seen no evidence of this.

    And no, a couple of fumbles on running plays 10+ yards down field where Tebow was holding the ball like a running back don’t count.

  17. “As for the 2009-20 Bronco offense- no way. Like Ryan said, Orton/Tebow were heading for some big numbers by season’s end. ”

    And almost every single inch of those yards was garbage yards.

    As I said – the offense has a way of marching downfield. It also has a way of clamming up big time in the red zone.

    That piled up numbers vs a weak schedule and a lot of garbage yards.

    The “big numbers” were illusionary. Case in point vs Indy.

    472 yards through the air and one fucking touchdown. It’s dink and dunk bullshit that’s easy to pull off between the 20s.

    There was absolutely nothing impressive about the 2010 Denver offense.

    They were 2-4 when passing for 300 or more yards. 3 of those 4 losses they couldn’t even manage 20 points. You know why that is ? Because teams didn’t give a damn about them playing dink and dunk between the 20s because they knew they didn’t have a red zone plan.

    Also, Ryan, Denver was NOT on pace to throw for 5033 after 11 games.

    First off, McD coached 12 games last year, not 11. His 12th and FINAL game was the 86 passing yard disaster. Denver was on pace to toss for 4343 yards under McD. However, if you’d like to omit the 86 yard disaster, the pace was 4612.

    Regardless, 4343 was the pace. In 2009 they had 3627. 700 yards in the second season of a system against a weaker schedule ?

    The final tally though ?

    2010 actual total offense – 5582. McD pace after 12 games – 5721

    2009 total offense – 5463

    Like I said, essentially the same. Of course, in 2009 Denver played New England, Indy, Dallas, NYG, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Cincy (winning season Cincy) and Philly.

    2010 they played Indy, Tennessee, NYJ, SF, Rams, Baltimore, Cards, Houston.

    Which schedule is more imposing ? Exactly.

  18. Ryan, I didn’t specifically say fumbles.

    You know, if your arm is moving forward that’s an incomplete pass, right ?

    Long helicopter windup leads to strips which are either a fumble or an inc, depending on where the arm is.

    Either one is not desired.

    Then there’s the other matter I HAVEN’T mentioned which won;t really apply to the pros.

    Rusher bending around the edge, Tebow doesn’t wind up, rusher cuts it short, turns up, curtails the run. Tebow winds up, rusher keeps coming because the windup says he isn’t running. Another reason for the red zone issues in 2009.

  19. My point in the “down the road” thing is that on the one hand you cited Brad Johnson’s eventual Super Bowl as a tick on Brian Billick coaching him up. Then a couple of sentences later you cited Matt Cassel’s good season down the road as a con for McDaniels, saying that it means he was actually a pretty good QB already. You can’t have it both ways, either future success is indicative of good coaching by these guys, or it’s indicative that the guy was already good. It can’t mean one thing for Billick and the opposite for McDaniels.

    You mentioned Cassel playing for Weis, but Johnson was playing for Gruden, who’s known to put together a pretty good system himself. The year before Gruden got there, Johnson wasn’t very good (13 TDs and 77.7 QB rating in 16 games).

    And yes, we’re talking about the ability to plug guys into a great system here, not to coach them up. Though if we want to talk about that, Brad Johnson being Billick’s shining star isn’t exactly a glowing example of that. Billick had his fare share of QBs to coach up in Baltimore and never made any of them better.

    As for point two, even “very similar” still isn’t true. You said Orton put up very similar numbers in 2009 with McDaniels as he did in 2010 with him. That’s just not the case, not even close.

    Lastly, obviously the Billick thing was a slip-up with me quickly mashing out words in a long post. I don’t proofread comments. Though this still doesn’t work in favor of Billick, as they have actually been a bit better on offense since he left. And if we want to bring up the “coaching them up” thing, then they’ve done a much better job with Flacco than Billick ever did with Boller.

    The bottom line is that Billick hasn’t done anything resembling that of an “offensive guru” in a decade. He was in the right place, at the right time in Minnesota, and when he had a chance to prove otherwise with less talent he failed miserably, whereas McDaniels turned inferior talent that had failed everywhere they’d been into a superior offense under him. He needed two years to prove something that Billick couldn’t prove in 9.

  20. Vince Young’s problems also include a test score that indicates he might be a functional retard.

    VY’s throwing motion also hasn’t been too problematic yet because they’re still a relatively horizontal team that takes the odd strike; they haven’t become a seam team. VY threw an awful lot of roll outs.

    Regardless, nobody said Tebow’s delivery was identical to Leftwich with regards to time. However, here’s a better one:

    List all the Super Bowl winning quarterbacks from 1980 on (post Coryell when passing really became an integral part of the game) who had long helicopter style windups.

    Seems to me the extremely overwhelming majority of the SB winning qbs have quick, compact deliveries.

    Montana, Theismann, Favre, Elways, Manning 1 & 2, Young, Brady, Warner, Ben, Dilfer, Johnson, Aikman, Simms, Rypien, Hostetler, Plunkett. Hell, even Jim McMahon, with all of his gloved nonsense, had a compact motion.

  21. “My point in the “down the road” thing is that on the one hand you cited Brad Johnson’s eventual Super Bowl as a tick on Brian Billick coaching him up. Then a couple of sentences later you cited Matt Cassel’s good season down the road as a con for McDaniels, saying that it means he was actually a pretty good QB already. You can’t have it both ways, either future success is indicative of good coaching by these guys, or it’s indicative that the guy was already good. It can’t mean one thing for Billick and the opposite for McDaniels.”

    Um, no.

    You were using the “hadn’t played a meaningful “game” bit for why McD was better than Billick and I pointed out that Billick did the same thing.

    My mentioning that MC was not devoid of talent is in no way an indication that Billick magically made BJ into a QB out of a mall food court mopper. If you made that leap, that’s your flaw, not mine.

  22. I know nobody said Tebow’s delivery was identical to Leftwich’s with regards to time, that’s my whole point. If the theory is that Tebow’s delivery will cause him to miss passing windows, then TIME is what we care about. Yet no one has actually ever compared time. If it were such a crucial thing in reality, you’d think they’d be smart enough to, you know, actually take a look at it.

    The Super Bowl point is ridiculous. Not many QBs with low starts to their windups haven’t won Super Bowls because not many QBs have that throwing motion. It’s not how most people naturally throw, just a few. The point you’re making here is like saying how many many QBs have won a Super Bowl that were born in Batesville, Arkansas. None? Well then I guess Ryan Mallet has no chance.

    You’re comparing like 6 guys against 600.

  23. Given that we have no way to track incompletions where his arm was hit in 2009 vs incompletions where his arm was hit in 2008, I guess all we have to go by is your word, the same word that already said he started fumbling a lot more in 2009 because of his throwing motion, which you have since backed off from when we did actually look up some real numbers.

    Regardless, you would think that if the windup were causing more incompletions where his arm was hit, it would show through in the fumble numbers as well. Both would have increased, and both would have been a problem. The fumbles were not, and I doubt you’ll find any Gator fan out there that remembers an inordinate number of plays where Tebow was hit as he was throwing compared to previous years, or compared to other running QBs. It just didn’t happen any more than usual.

  24. “As for point two, even “very similar” still isn’t true. You said Orton put up very similar numbers in 2009 with McDaniels as he did in 2010 with him. That’s just not the case, not even close.”

    I gave you the TRUE numbers, which were not even close to the made up numbers you provided.

    “Lastly, obviously the Billick thing was a slip-up with me quickly mashing out words in a long post. I don’t proofread comments. Though this still doesn’t work in favor of Billick, as they have actually been a bit better on offense since he left. And if we want to bring up the “coaching them up” thing, then they’ve done a much better job with Flacco than Billick ever did with Boller.

    The bottom line is that Billick hasn’t done anything resembling that of an “offensive guru” in a decade. He was in the right place, at the right time in Minnesota, and when he had a chance to prove otherwise with less talent he failed miserably, whereas McDaniels turned inferior talent that had failed everywhere they’d been into a superior offense under him. He needed two years to prove something that Billick couldn’t prove in 9.”

    Also remember, Billick didn’t pick the players in Baltimore; that’s Ozzie Newsome.

    Regardless, my ultimate point is they BOTH have undeserved reputations as geniuses because they both had something in common – a veteran QB tossing to a talented team led by a motivated Randy Moss.

    Baltimore was built to beat you into submission; McDaniels believes in passing first and almost always. Different teams, different divisions, different schools of thought. Don’t forget, Ozzie Newsome never gave Billick a chance at gamebreakers; he gave him TEs and possession receivers.

    McDaniels singlehandedly destroyed a franchise.

    But, if we want to compare them overall –

    Billick – never put up an offense like he did in Minnesota. Has a Super Bowl Ring.

    McDaniels – put up a lot of garbage yardage in meaningless moments, Destroyed a franchise.

  25. Ryan Ryan Ryan

    You looking up real numbers is laughable, as demonstrated in this very thread.

    Billick coaching 12 years.

    5033 yards after 11 games.

    LMAO

    If I said fumbles once or twice instead of strip, whatever – I must have been quickly mashing out words in a long post. I don’t proofread comments. 9See how that works?)

    This isn’t me against you – this is the football world against you. A Qb’s windup is pretty fucking important, no matter how unimportant it may seem in Gainesville.

  26. “The Super Bowl point is ridiculous. Not many QBs with low starts to their windups haven’t won Super Bowls because not many QBs have that throwing motion. It’s not how most people naturally throw, just a few. The point you’re making here is like saying how many many QBs have won a Super Bowl that were born in Batesville, Arkansas. None? Well then I guess Ryan Mallet has no chance.”

    Yes, because the town you grew up in is the same as the way you actually physically play the fucking game.

    Are you fucking kidding me ?

    “Hhehe, yeah man, saying no running back that fumbled 30 times in a season was a SB winner is the same as saying anyone who eats zesty cheese doritos can’t win”

    That’s how foolish your comparison read.

    But, you go ahead and keep thinking windup isn’t important to the game and that there isn’t a direct correlation between the biggest of big success and a compact delivery; it’s only been documented, filmed, debated on who of them was the best and laid out in this very thread.

  27. The point is you’re comparing Super Bowl wins of a couple of guys compared to Super Bowl wins of the entire field.

    You want one that actually relates to playing the game? Fine. How many QBs that run a sub 4.4 40 have won a Super Bowl?

    None.

    Does that mean that running a slower 40 time makes you a better QB? No, it just means that there haven’t been very many QBs with fast 40 times.

  28. In Ryan’s world, NFL GMs listen ONLY to analysts; not their own coaches or scouts.

    So when GMs pass on QBs with an odd delivery that could be problematic, it’s because they listen to Mel Kiper and Todd McShay.

    Apparently even the best GMs and coaches don’t listen to their own scouts and trust their own eyes and experience – it’s all about the Kipers of the world.

    Of course, the only guy who thought Tebow wasn’t a developmental project got himself fired and is now running a unit instead of a team.

    And, he’s working for the guy who embarrassed him no less.

    You know what McD is as a OC ? He’s the guy on Xbox Live or the PS network who cheeses and, when you figure his shtick out, is incapable of making adjustments.

    Remember what happened to McD in the SB vs Spagnulo ?

    Spagnulo knew Brady would want to launch to Moss and Moss wanted to make the huge plays, so he kept stunting and blitzing NEs criminally overrated line, knowing Brady wouldn’t be content to just dink and dunk McD style. Brady ended up triple patting the ball a lot and got himself smacked around. McD, meanwhile, made ZERO adjustments.

    Just like his offense will move between the 20s then……..cease in the red zone.

  29. Don’t act like you never meant the fumbles thing, you defended it tooth and nail multiple times, over multiple different threads going back weeks ago, even when I told you then that you were mistaken and you needed to double check that.

    Regardless, the strip, fumble, whatever thing is completely made up. 2009 Tebow is not an example of how that throwing motion leads to more strips, because it didn’t lead to more strips than your average QB.

    Btw, we both calculated those after 11 games stats wrong.

    I said 5000, you said 4600, the true number is 4900 (3370/11 * 16 = 4902).

    As for the football world against me thing, I never said that it WASN’T a problem, I said that it may not be a problem and we’ve seen no actual evidence that it is yet. Remember, “the whole football world” thought that Vince Young’s throwing motion was the end of the world too and it wasn’t. It’s pure theory, no substance to this point, and through Tebow’s three years in college and three games in the NFL we’ve seen no proof of any substance this time either. Sure, it could end up being a big deal, but like I said earlier, I think the chances of that happening are lower than the chances of you successfully changing a guy’s throwing motion at the age of 23.

    And FWIW, Brett Favre drops the ball just as low as Tebow does. He just does it really quickly.

  30. Again, a ridiculous argument. NFL qbs are more or less glorified dart players. The NFL doesn’t like its QB to run.

    I am comparing SB wins of the modern era where passing became an actual part of the offense, not just something to keep defenses honest to the run. In the modern PASSING era, compact delivery is what wins in a not at all surprising overwhelming landslide.

    Your 40 time argument is asinine. The NFL builds its teams around the pocket and would prefer their QBs sty in it. 40 times are absolutely irrelevant for Qbs

    Maybe I wasn’t clear on something. A QB throws the ball. How he throws is pretty fucking important, just like a WRs hands is to catching. I figured you;d understand that.

    What’s next from you, RBs who can throw 70 yards on one knee ? – WRs with SB rings who eat Wendy’s vs McDonalds ?

  31. My argument is asinine? Your entire Super Bowl argument is that the majority of Super Bowl winners come from the pool that makes up 99% of QBs, and not from the pool that makes up 1% of QBs. Obviously, that’s simple math.

    How many QBs with weird shotput style throwing motions like Philip Rivers’ have won Super Bowls in the modern era? On page 1 you said that Rivers’ throwing motion wasn’t a problem, yet a QB that throws like that has never won a Super Bowl?

    Why is that? Is it because that throwing motion is in some way hindering his ability to win Super Bowls, or is it because we’re comparing 1 guy against a field of 200?

  32. Ok, let’s try this again.

    Strips = fumbles plus arm swatted during throwing motion thus incompletions.

    As for the stats – I know you’re a college fan, but did you know sacks in the NFL count as negative PASSING yards (retarded as that might seem.)

    Perhaps you’re intentionally omitting that to help your case. My numbers are correct because I am counting NET passing yds which actually do count because I’m pretty sure when you get sacked, the next snap is from where you were sacked and it is not just a replay of the down.

    PS No the strip/fumble thing is NOT made up. If it was made up, why is it the only guy who took a chance on Tebow ceased to be his coach less than a year later ?

    Oh, right – all the other NFL talent evaluators were busy listening to the Mel Kipers of the world instead of relying on scouting. Apparently every NFL team is now the Cincinnati Bengals.

  33. Archie Manning was so pissed at Steve Spurrier that, as punishment for leading the attack and going unbeaten vs Peyton, Archie used his clout with the Saints to screw over Wuerffel.

  34. Actually the numbers the pace through 11 games was 4900, so I was off by 100 and you were off by 300, and apparently we both suck at math :p

    Anyway, to answer your question, yes I would say an INCREASE of 700 yards after losing an elite receiver who was your only legitimate receiving option is pretty significant. I don’t think I need to go through recent history and cite how many examples there are of teams that saw major dropoffs when losing an elite receiver, so improving by 700 yards when doing so (especially given who the alternatives were) is pretty big.

  35. Anyway, this whole McD vs Billick argument is kind of off on a tangent anyway with regards to the original article.

    My only point in bringing McDaniels up was as a counter to the point that Orton had a good year in 2010 because he’s a good QB. If you believe that Orton didn’t have a good year in 2010 and it was all just a bunch of dink and dunk and garbage time yards, then that has the same effect on my original point.

  36. Rivers’ motion LOOKS weird but it gets to where it has to go quickly and is not telegraphed.

    You seem to have trouble grasping the difference between appearance and efficiency.

    FYI my mentioning Rivers was to MOCK people who cited him as a defense for Tebow’s motion because they are nothing at all alike in terms of mechanics.

    FYI part 2 – if you think the helicopter thing is only a small minority like Tebow and Leftwich, you REALLY need to watch a hell of a lot more football than that which takes place in the Gainesville/Jacksonville area. The ranks are amateur ranks are littered with them.

    Eventually, you stop hearing of them. Any guesses as to why that might be ?

    Here’s a hint – eventually, when a person moves up far enough in life, the gaps close significantly.

  37. And btw, Favre won a Super Bowl (and will go down as one of the all-time greats) and drops the ball damn near down to his feet when he throws. That’s hyperbole, but you get the point, and he certainly had far from a compact throwing motion.

    So even in our tiny pool of guys that are outnumbered 200 to 1, there’s an example in there.

  38. I’m well aware that sacks in college football count as negative passing yards. There were two such plays where Tebow fumbled in 2009. His other three fumbles came on a 11 yard run at the end of the Tennessee game, a 47 yard run against FSU, and a no gain against Arkansas (I can’t remember this one vividly, but if I recall this was on a Tebow dive play up the middle). Even if I’m wrong about the Arkansas one, that’s still 3 fumbles in 13 games, which again is low for a QB, not high.

    As for the arm swatted during throwing motion thing, against I can’t find anywhere that actually tracks that so we really have nothing to go on here, but you seem to be the only person that remembers it happening more often than normal in 2009.

    As for your last question, that was kind of my whole point. The scouts THINK that it’s going to lead to more strips and fumbles. My point was that this was just theory, with no substance so far. You said there was substance, but there hasn’t been. The scouts and GMs passed on him because they THINK it will be a problem, not because there was already hard evidence of it being a problem. Only you said that.

    I think they’re wrong, just like they were when they THOUGHT that Vince Young’s motion was going to lead to balls getting batted down often when in practice, that had never actually been a problem. I may be in the minority, but I’m not alone, and neither was McDaniels. The reports were everywhere that the Bills were trying to trade up for Tebow before the Broncos took him. Also, Jon Gruden and Tony Dungy have both said that they would have taken Tebow near the top of the draft.

    Also, there were many reasons that teams didn’t like Tebow beyond his throwing motion. It’s not like teams thought he was this otherwise great QB who’s only fault was a bad throwing motion.

  39. “I’m well aware that sacks in college football count as negative passing yards. ”

    Negative rushing yards.

    “As for the arm swatted during throwing motion thing, against I can’t find anywhere that actually tracks that so we really have nothing to go on here, but you seem to be the only person that remembers it happening more often than normal in 2009.”

    More often than it had in the previous two years because teams caught on to it. Like I said in an earlier post, it had another effect as well:

    When a rusher/blitzer was coming off the edge, what was happening in 2009 was:

    If he didn’t wind up, the rusher/blitzer cut inside to get after his feet because he was running. If he did wind up, he was throwing so he continued the rush. Tebow’s wind up was more or less the equivalent of what Randy Moss does – when Randy Moss is actually running, the ball is most likely coming his way. if he’s not exploding off the line, put your safety elsewhere because he isn’t getting the ball.

    Same idea.

    The windup not only telegraphs the throw to dbs looking in the backfield, but it also allows the rushers/bliters to adjust their attack/pursuit.

    It’s always been a problem. It was on display vs Georgia in 2007. It was a HUGE topic of discussion hence why the Loeffler hire was met with such fanfare, even though Tebow told him to f-off.

    Tebow’s worst game of 2009 came against his former coach. Is that a coincidence, or is it most likely because he drilled into his players what Tebow’s habits were ?

    “As for your last question, that was kind of my whole point. The scouts THINK that it’s going to lead to more strips and fumbles. My point was that this was just theory, with no substance so far. You said there was substance, but there hasn’t been. The scouts and GMs passed on him because they THINK it will be a problem, not because there was already hard evidence of it being a problem.”

    Again, perhaps we were watching different feeds because I watched most of the feeds through CBS so I didn’t have Kent Austin and the other always saying how perfect he was. The games I saw, I saw a ball very exposed, and his arm getting swatted. On a regular basis. Along with the effect I mentioned above about rushers/blitzers. The CBS crew talked about regularly (shockingly).

    Brian Billick (hehe) talked about it at length in the SB.

    People aren’t just pulling it out of thing air. It was there. Teams caught on.

    “I think they’re wrong, just like they were when they THOUGHT that Vince Young’s motion was going to lead to balls getting batted down often when in practice, that had never actually been a problem. I may be in the minority, but I’m not alone, and neither was McDaniels. The reports were everywhere that the Bills were trying to trade up for Tebow before the Broncos took him. Also, Jon Gruden and Tony Dungy have both said that they would have taken Tebow near the top of the draft.”

    Ok, the Bills haven’t made a good draft pick since…..Eric Moulds most likely. Certainly on the offensive side of things.

    Regardless, I remember there was talk of the Bills taking Tebow…..in the SECOND round, as it was a Clausen vs Tebow thing.

    Dungy is just a nice guy who probably is incapable of criticizing anyone.

    As for Gruden…..the original McDaniels ? The guy who won with Dungy’s team. The guy who then proceeded to go through QBs like Kim Kardashian does men ? That Gruden ? The guy who USED to be a coach and is now an announcer, unable to field a winning product once the Dungy cabinet totally ran dry ?

    The guy who, at one point, had 7 Qbs on his roster?

    John Gruden’s never developed a quarterback. Gruden excels at making veteran pieces work well together. A team builder and personnel man he is not. His opinion on young players coming out of college is worthless.

    “Also, there were many reasons that teams didn’t like Tebow beyond his throwing motion. It’s not like teams thought he was this otherwise great QB who’s only fault was a bad throwing motion.”

    Yes, footwork was one reason, but that’s not a huge concern because that is easily corrected and is of little concern if the throwing is sound.

    Speaking of which. Let’s look at Sam Bradford.

    Here’s a guy who played mostly out of the shotgun, so footwork was an issue. he too played in a spread type offense where he wasn’t required to make NFL reads and his receivers didn’t run a full route tree. He won a Heisman. He was 0-1 vs Tebow head to head. He missed pretty much all of 2009 with a destroyed shoulder. Yet, in spite of all of that, nobody was afraid to take him at #1.

    So, why is it the less durable, less successful QB Bradford was a consensus top 5 pick whereas Tebow was a debatable first rounder ?

    So many similarities with regards to the system they played in. What as the main things that made the brittle Bradford, with concerns about his footwork and lack of experience making NFL reads and passing routes, more appealing than the durable Tebow, who also had footwork concerns and lack of experience making NFL reads and passing routes?

    I am sure there has to be SOMETHING.

  40. I’ll break my points into separate posts to try and keep some semblance of readability.

    This rusher/blitzer reading his windup thing is quite the extrapolation of theory. I mean, worst case here, we’re talking a tenth of a second different in release time, and realistically less than that if any at all. These guys must all ace the wonderlic to be able to respond that quickly to this.

    In reality, here’s Tom Brady and Tim Tebow’s release time compared, side by side. These passes were the same distance. Perhaps the difference is more pronounced on shorter passes, but I haven’t gotten that far yet.



    As you can see, Tebow’s starting point is much lower than Brady’s, which of course everyone already knows, as that was all the rage last year. But what no one talks about is where the motion goes from there. Tebow’s goes diagonally across his chest, whereas Brady’s goes, more prototypically, over the top. What this leads to in this clip is that, even with Brady’s starting point being higher, their release time is almost identical. Again, maybe it’s more pronounced on shorter passes, but I’ve not gotten there yet.

    But maybe you’re right, maybe these genius DE’s with instant reaction times were using all of this to key in on when Tebow was running and when he was passing. That certainly would explain Tebow’s monumental dropoff in rushing efficiency in 2009. I mean, they knew when it was coming.

    Except that Tebow’s rushing ypc actually IMPROVED by 0.4 yards in 2009, which is odd, given that everyone had this tell to demolish him with. I guess it must have been Steve Addazio’s electric playcalling that bailed him out in ’09.

    Ok, so it didn’t effect his rushing numbers. Surely it must have led to a bunch more fumbles where people hit his arm while he was throwing it, right? Oh wait, that’s right, I forgot. It only effected it to the exact extent that they hit his arm just as it was going forward, not ever as he was bringing it back. Of course this is odd, because Tebow’s motion going forward is shorter than a typical QB, it’s the long cock back that he does differently, with his arm either moving backwards or stationary.

    The reality is that if his arm were getting slapped a lot more while he were trying to throw it would have led to more incompletions AND fumbles via this manner, but as we’ve already been through it did not lead to more fumbles. The idea that it always happened at the exact instant his arm was going forward and never when it was going back is a huge stretch.

  41. When comparing Tebow and Bradford, you left out one major word when talking about Tebow and Bradford. “Pre-snap”. Both Tebow and Bradford were criticized for their inexperience making pre-snap reads in the systems they ran. The pre-snap reads are easily teachable though, but one major difference in the scouting of Bradford and Tebow was their post-snap reads. It was considered one of Tebow’s greatest weaknesses, with many scouts arguing that Tebow was only asked to make one or two reads and then just run with the ball (I think this is hyperbole, but I do agree that Tebow’s struggles reading defenses after the snap are his biggest weakness by far). Meanwhile, post-snap reads were considered one of Bradford’s greatest strengths.

    But this doesn’t really matter, because let’s just assume for a minute that every GM that passed on Tebow did it because of his throwing motion, for argument’s sake.

    Who cares? The gyst of your argument seems to be that scouts say it’s true, so it must be. Well, except for the scouts that say it’s no big deal, because those scouts are just stupid and “being nice”. Nevermind that Jon Gruden won a Super Bowl, which earlier in our argument was the end-all/be-all for you, now it’s not convenient so it doesn’t matter. I mean, he was just winning it with someone else’s team (which by the way, I agree with). Problem is, that guy is also one of Tebow’s biggest supporters. Plus, it’s not like Gruden’s super bowl was his only success, he did very well in Oakland and would have been in the Super Bowl there the year before were it not for the whole tuck rule fiasco. He (and Dungy) is certainly much more highly regarded than many of the GMs whom you keep bringing up that passed on Tebow. Let’s take those 25 GMs who passed on Tebow and discount the ones that “haven’t developed a young QB” as you did with Gruden. Then let’s remove the ones that didn’t have a need at QB on there team, and how many are we left with now?

    Anyway, I’m getting off on a tangent here. Back to it. The gyst of your argument is that most scouts/GMs say it’s a problem, so it must be true. Meanwhile the entire basis for my argument is that I think the scouts are wrong in this case, as they have been many times before. Who cares that 25 teams passed on Tim Tebow? 23 teams passed on Aaron Rodgers because he was just a “system QB”, and last I checked he seems to be doing fine. These are also the same guys who thought Jamarcus Russell was an elite NFL prospect simply because he could throw the ball 70 yards from his knees, even though he showed no other signs of being a good quarterback whatsoever. And before you go into the inevitable “it was the Raiders” excuse, don’t pretend that there weren’t 10 other teams lined up behind them ready to take him. And if we really want to get into these examples, we can always go back to the age old “every GM in the NFL passed up on Tom Brady 5 times” example.

    Many scouts tend to fixate on one thing that they THEORIZE will translate to the field in a particular way and let it dominate their impression of a player. Being wrong about these things is nothing new for them, and I think they’re wrong again in this case. Sure, they’re much more qualified than me, but what would be the point in even having websites like these if every argument just boiled down to “well the guys calling the shots say it, so it must be right”. Steve Addazio is much more “qualified” than any of us, but last I checked that didn’t stop anyone from saying that he was wrong about 100 different things he did.

    Tebow’s major weakness is his struggle with reading the field, not his windup. If he fails, that will be why. What better way to learn that than to get out there and do it in a season where Denver isn’t really going to be competitive with Orton anyway?

    Anyway, I think this discussion has pretty much run its course, neither of us are going to convince the other. I guess the only thing left now is time, and to see what happens. I’ll let you go ahead and get the last word in and then let this thing die off.

  42. “Upgrade the comment system so super long debates with thebone don’t break the website” added to the list of things to do, lol.

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