FanPost

Great Expectations and the Downfall

With every draft, a few players are considered the next big thing. These are usually players in skill positions that are expected to reach great heights in the NFL. With each of these players that are drafted comes a new sense of joy among the fan base in general, better times await. With the arrival of this one player, our entire franchise can begin a new page in it's book. But their is a much sadder story that accompanies these players and their teams, and it is a self-inflicted one.

As we approach the 2010 season, with new players and a new mindset, something about the whole Tebow situation has been bothering me, and it has focused on these over-hyped expectations we have for the quarterback Tim Tebow.

Over-Hyped Expectations:

Few players know about expectations then those taken in the first round of the draft, especially quarterbacks. No one really has high expectation for a UDFA, or someone taken in the later rounds. People general stick to grounded goals for these players, but for some reason, come round one, people start to lose their sense on reality. This seems to have taken hold this season, just like those in the past. The arrival of Tim Tebow to Denver has brought with it a whole new group of expectations for this young man. Now we are not uncommon, many teams have done this as well. But, like with the false expectations talked about above, these lead to more heartache and anger then anything else.

In the 2002 NFL Draft, the newly created Houston Texans selected quarterback David Carr at #1. Carr had a very successful career at Fresno State, and going into the season, the NFL in general had high hope for the guy. But then the Texan offensive line happened. Carr struggled and set all kinds of records in both pain received as well as sacks. Now he is in competition for the 2nd spot in San Fransisco, largely written off as a bust. But while a portion of his struggles can be blamed on him, almost all of it falls on the Texans offensive line. Had people said "Okay, David is a good player, but look at that line, man he might get sacked a lot." Then, well people wouldn't be upset when the obvious happened, his value would be higher, and people might still have expectations for this solid quarterback.

The years of 2005 and 2006 saw a wide difference of expectations. Players such as Alex Smith, Vince Young, Matt Leinart, and lets not forget Jay Cutler were all taken in the 1st round. Most of these players were hailed as the future of their franchises, with huge expectations, but at one point or another they have all lost their starting jobs. Some were forced for a season or two to sit a learn and now have a starting chance again. But if you look at another quarterback who had lower expectations, Aaron Rodgers, we possibly find the most successful quarterback drafted in a long time. Rodgers was a first round pick, but everyone knew he'd sit a year or two behind Favre, and he did, and now he's becoming one of the top quarterbacks in the league.

Now these are people, each having human traits which make then hard to quantify, so each case is arguable, but I do know this, players like Alex Smith, Matt Leinart, Jay Cutler, Byron Leftwich, and David Carr have all had their careers directly negatively impacted by over-hyped expectations.

Tim Tebow:

Now to Mr. Tebow. Tim has all the personal traits to be successful in the NFL, strong willed, diligent and a good worker. He has the great chance to succeed, become something great. But despite his strength of will, if we throw all of our hopes and dreams onto this young man, despite his desire, he will be crushed. We are allowed to be optimistic about Tebow, we can expect him to grow and be a good football player, but to laden him, this untested player, with these expectations is crazy. Where is this magical world do you people get the idea that because Tebow was a 1st round pick, he needs to start? Looking back to the draft of the 2000 season, I put a table together of the quarterbacks taken in the top two rounds.

 Here's a handy dandy table:

2008

Rookie Starter

Games Played as Rookie

Starter Now

Matt Ryan

Y

16

Y

Joe Flacco

Y

16

Y

Chad Henne

N

3

Y

Brian Brohn

N

0

N

2007

JaMarcus Russell

N

4

N

Brady Quinn

N

1

N

Kevin Kolb

N

1

Y

John Beck

N

5

N

Drew Stanton

N

3

N

2006

Vince Young

Y

15

Y

Matt Leinart

N

12

Y

Jay Cutler

N

5

Y

Kellen Clemens

N

2

M

Tarvaris Jackson

N

4

M

2005

Alex Smith

N

9

Y

Aaron Rodgers

N

3

Y

Jason Campbell

N

0

M

2004

Eli Manning

N

9

Y

Philip Rivers

N

2

Y

Ben Roethlisberger

N

14

Y

J.P. Losman

N

4

N

2003

Carson Plamer

N

0

Y

Kyle Boller

Y

11

N

Byron Leftwich

N

15

N

Rex Grossman

N

3

N

2002

David Carr

Y

16

N

Joey Harrington

N

14

N

Patrick Ramsey

N

9

N

2001

Michael Vick

N

8

N

Drew Brees

N

1

Y

Quincy Carter

Y

8

N

Marques Tuiasosopo

N

1

N

2000

Chad Pennington

N

1

N

As for demanding he start, here's a bit of info, from the five drafts from 2000 to 2008, of the 33 quarterbacks taken in the first two rounds, here are a few quick points:

- Only 6 started from game 1

- Only 9 saw more then 10 games their rookie season

- 3 have lost their starting jobs

- 11 players who sat their first season are now starters

- So in total out of the 33 only 14 are starters in the NFL now

- Since 2000, only 1 quarterback who was named the starter their rookie year has reached the Pro Bowl, Vince Young. Whereas of those who either saw limited playing time their rookie year or just sat, 8 have since reached the Pro Bowl, with 3, Vick, Brees, and Rivers, reaching multiple Pro Bowls.

I see no evidence, anywhere, to suggest starting Tim Tebow from game 1 is of any benefit.

I expect to see Tebow on the field next season, I don't want to have us cheering for him to start game one, if he doesn't win out in training camp. I expect to see Tebow throw the ball well next season, I don't expect him to lead us from behind ever game with huge runs and even bigger throws. I don't expect Tebow to be a team captain this next season, but I expect he'll leave a mark on the locker room. If we believe Tebow will shred the league up next season from game one, and he doesn't even start, then we will be disappointed, but if we expect to see Tebow play a few snaps a game, maybe in games that have been wrapped up, and he does okay, we should be happy. Fans are moody, it's even in sociology books, and because of this if a player, like Tebow does well in a limited setting, maybe if Orton is down for a week, he is called for by the fans to start full time, and then if he fails he is booed. This hot and cold climate is detrimental to a persons growth, only limiting the player. So for Tebow's and our own sake, please, be realistic.

There are countless quotations on expectations, most cliche, like:

Aim for the stars, even if you miss, you'll land on the moon

Falling_medium

via 1.bp.blogspot.com

Yea, well the moon sucks, all gray and lacking in oxygen. Nope, all those flying metaphors don't work. Usually the people who claim they can fly have just jumped out of a 20 story building, and in less then 5 seconds they will find out they can't fly. To me it would have been easier to just assume you can't fly and take the stairs, you are more likely to reach the top.

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

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