I don't know about you my fellow Bronco Maniacs, but I hate sitting on the couch watching other teams play. The bye week is always great for a team but it is really hard on the fans. However, for the first time in a very long time, I am so excited and full of anticipation for the next game. It is the fresh feeling of a new beginning together with the feeling of hope for the future. The Miami game marks the official start of the Tim Tebow era under center for our Broncos. With the gradual rebuilding of our defense already in the works I think for the first time we are heading in the right direction.
Let me start by making very clear that I do not want anyone to misunderstand my post and my intentions. I am not going to compare Elway and Tebow on a "who is better" level. Something like that will be absolutely incredibly foolish especially since Elway is in the Hall of Fame and in my own humble opinion the best overall QB to play the NFL game so far and Tebow is just starting his NFL career. However I am going to link and compare some of their stats in college and their first NFL seasons to show all of you that Tim Tebow is a very special QB and if given the right opportunity can give us all some very incredible football seasons in the future.
John Elway is ABSOLUTELY my favorite NFL player of all times and for a good reason. I had the pleasure to meet John Elway in October of 1984, just a couple of days before they beat the Oakland Raiders in the LA Memorial Coliseum 22-19 in overtime. I was a Greek immigrant going to school on my second year in USA and I had absolutely no idea about the NFL and the game of football. I was a big sports fan though and when someone explained to me who John was, I got a ticket to the Raiders game and the rest is wonderful history. I became a die hard Broncos fan breathing and living Orange and Blue for the last 27 years.
There are so many things that John Elway did for all of us and for our beloved Denver Broncos. However, I think all of us agree that above all he had "IT", and as long as John was in the game and there was time on the clock there was hope. Tim Tebow is exactly the same kind of player and he is the first QB to wear our uniform after John retired that brings the same feeling in me every time he touches the ball. He has the same "IT" and you can use your own word here to describe what it is, but at the end of the day what makes this game beautiful and fun to watch again is the hope in our hearts that we could compete and win again on a consistent level.
John Elway's career is well documented in our Broncos hearts. Elway like Tebow came in the NFL as one of the best college players of their own time. The main difference between them was that John actually joined a very good Broncos team with all the stable pieces around him. Tebow joined a Broncos team in the lowest of the lows in our franchise history. When Elway came in the NFL, there were only TV and newspaper reporters who did mostly "reporting". Tim Tebow joined the NFL at the peak of the Internet explosion where everyone with a keyboard in front of them is an expert coach and the sports world is full of "prophets" who can see the future and predict someone's career before it actually ever happens!
All the above "experts" have been questioning Tebow's drafting and criticizing his style of play. They say that he will never make it in the NFL because he is not an accurate passer. Really? Ladies and Gentlemen that is a bunch of ^&*&* crap. Let's compare facts for a second: Here are the average passing stats for Tim Tebow's and John Elway's last three college years where both started every game:
Elway averaged 11 starts per season, 383 attempts, 241 completions, 62.4% passing ratio, 23 TD and 12 INT with a 141.1 average QB rating.
Tebow averaged 14 starts per season, 320 attempts, 220 completions, 66.53 passing ratio, 27 TD and 5 INT with a 169.7 average QB rating.
It looks that Tebow's college accuracy stats are actually better than John Elway's and anyone labeling the guy inaccurate and a future bust in the NFL for the sake of having something to blubber about, should tape their mouths and let history decide Tebow's NFL career. Remember that we are talking about passing stats here so I left out the 18 rushing TD's Tebow averaged per year to John's 0!
Few of us remember that John's first year with the Broncos on a personal level was nothing to write home about. In his rookie year, the 1983-84 season, John started 10 games and finished the year as the NFL's 17th rated QB. He played in 11 games, starting 10 of them. He attempted only 259 passes and completed 123 of them (limited playbook someone said?) for a 47.5% ratio and 1663 yards with 7 TD and 14 INT. He averaged a very mediocre 151 yards passing per game and he finished the year with a pedestrian 54.9 QB rating. I am sure that a lot of Broncos fans were not very impressed with John in his first year and were actually thinking of drafting in 1984 the next top "NFL ready Andrew Luck type" QB which by the way was:
Boomer Esiason!!!!!!!! OUCH!
Thankfully, the Broncos front office did not go for it, stuck with John and gave him a chance to develop and the rest is amazing beautiful Broncos History! (We drafted Andre Townshed instead).
My Bronco friends I want all of you to stop for a second, look in your crystal balls and forward your clocks to the end of the year. Tim Tebow is taking over our offense for the next 11 games, much as Elway did back in 1984 and he is inheriting a team that is not nearly as good as the team that John took over. What will happen if Tebow finishes the year with equal stats to those John Elway put up in his first year? All the NFL expert charlatans will be pounding their chests screaming that they were right and they will be asking to trade him or release him. After 11 friggin games! So many MHR members in here think that we should take a look at what he does and if he does not do amazingly well we should abort the Tebow plan and draft the next "NFL ready QB". If the 1984 Denver Broncos followed the same philosophy, Boomer would have been our QB and we would have been the NFL's Cincinnati Bengals for the next 13 years.
Tim Tebow is really a special QB, a winner in every level so far and a leader that elevates the level of enthusiasm and competition for all the players around him with a work ethic and dedication that is second to none. He might not be the most prototypical NFL QB, but great all around football players in the QB position like him do not show up every year! As a matter of fact, the last one of this caliber, at least for our Broncos was John Elway back in 1983. Say whatever you want about McDaniels and I am not going to argue with you, but he had the vision to see an amazing QB that could be a great starter in this league for a lot of years to come if he is given the time and the support from the fans and the organization and he is surrounded with the right pieces. However, Tebow like Elway, is not an one year plan. He will need time to learn and flourish and that time is not only 11 games. Hell, John Elway in his interviews said that in his first year he wanted to run away! Get ready for a great ride my friends. We will go through ups and downs, high's and lows, but Tim Tebow as long as there is time on the clock will sell out every play and he will keep us on the edge of our seats. Please remember that it took the legendary John Elway 13 years and 4 tries to lead us to our first Super Bowl win in 1997. I think Tim Tebow, if we embrace him and give him our support just like we did with John, might actually get us there faster. Bronco Country, I don't know about you but I cannot wait for next Sunday! Let's start by frying some Dolphins!