A Balanced Look at Tim Tebow and Sport Science

Hey guys... just wanted to pass on some info that a lot of people were considering after underdog and Guru posted the FanShot of the Sport Science segment of Tim Tebow and his adjusted throwing motion.

The Segment revealed that by adjusting where he held the ball, Tim shaved 60 milliseconds off of his throwing motion and brought it down to an average of 530 milliseconds. 

The question was, how does that rank against some of the NFL QB's... and other prospects?

Well, Sport Science ran two other segments on QB's in the draft... one for John Skelton(QB prospect out of Fordham) and one for Jevan Snead (QB prospect out of Ole Miss).  These segments were different from the Tim Tebow segment, which took footage from Tebow's pro-day and compared it against some game-time footage to assess his new throwing motion.  The Skelton and Snead segments were basically an indoor test of the two QB's response times in identifying the correct target, and then making an accurate throw using lighted targets and two rushers.  

Although they never directly compared the three QB's, if you were paying attention, you could snag some very helpful information.


First... Sport Science measured Tim Tebow's new throwing motion, from start to release at 530 milliseconds.

John Skelton's throwing motion, from start to release was measured at 410 milliseconds.

Jevan Snead's throwing motion, from start to release was measured at 430 milliseconds.


****Before you draw any great conclusions, note this... These measurements were not all performed the same way... so it would be slightly unfair to be dogmatic in your conclusions here.  The scenarios were different (Tebow was measured off of pro-day film, and Skelton and Snead were measured in a controlled variable experiment where speed and accuracy was the objective ) and this could easily effect the precision of the numbers being compared.


If you watched the Tim Tebow segment, you will notice that by shaving 60 milliseconds off of his throwing motion, that equated to a huge difference in regards to protection and time to throw (Sport Science said that it equalled nearly 2 more feet of space between the defender and QB).  We all understand just how important this is to success in the NFL, where winning and losing can be determined in seconds and inches.


Snap-shot Conclusions....

First, If we simply consider that all measurements are accurate, and therefore, comparable, we find that even with Tebow's improved delivery, it is significantly slower than both Skelton and Snead... and I mean significantly slower.  If Tebow could add 2 extra feet of throwing space by trimming 60 milliseconds off of his old throwing motion, then the difference between Tebow's new motion and Skelton (120 milliseconds)... and Snead (100 milliseconds) are overwhelming... and not something that can simply be overcome with "great intangibles".

Second, in the Sport Science segments for Skelton and Snead, they gave NFL comparisons for each QB's throwing motion time.  For Skelton, his 410 millisecond motion is on par with NFL great Peyton Manning.  For Snead, his 430 millisecond motion is on par with SuperBowl Champion QB Drew Brees.  Both of these NFL QB's are easily considered as two of the top passers in this league.  Tebow's 530 millisecond delivery just simply does not stack up.


Other Factors to Consider...

Recently, I watched an interview of a NFL analyst (I wish I could remember who) who mentioned that one of the reasons that Tebow was so successful in College was because the game was slower for him, than it was for other players.  What that would mean is that Tebow is able to process information and  make decisions just a tad faster than the average QB.  If this is, in fact, the case, this would help equalize these numbers between all three QB's, or would, at least, help decrease the disparity between them... although I doubt it would cover a 100 millisecond spread. 

The other consideration would be Tebow's mobility, which gives him an advantage over most other QB's, and significantly changes the comparisons between the release times.  If Tebow was limited to being a "pocket passer" only, then his release time could, very well, become an overwhelming liability in the NFL.  However, because he has a skill set that includes mobility... the release time argument may very well be off-set by the ability to extend the play with his speed and elusiveness.


What this means for Tim Tebow...

Well obviously, if Tebow is going to become an elite "Pocket Passer", then he will need to greatly improve his release time.   Will he ever have a release time that is equivalent to Brees or Manning?  That is very, very unlikely, however, I wouldn't put it past the kid.  With continued coaching and training on footwork and mechanics he can, and probably will, improve that aspect of his game.

What it also means means, at least in my opinion, is that McDaniels saw significant value in Tebow's ability to extend the play with his mobility.  If McDaniels is able to improve Tebow's release to a point of comparison with average NFL QB's, then we very well might have an incredible QB at the helm of Denver's offense in the future.

This is a Fan-Created Comment on The opinion here is not necessarily shared by the editorial staff of MHR

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