I don't know about you, but I have found this week very tiring. I am seeing a lot of exaggeration. I'm seeing a lot of old arguments cropping up. And I'm seeing a fair amount of bad behavior.
But rather than going through a long list of grievances, I'm going to do my best to evolve the discussion a bit, and ask some questions that I think have been under-discussed, along with my own answers. Join me below the jump!
How has Tebow's performance matched your expectations so far?
My own answer - I'm a little disappointed, but not a lot. I think that my reasonable expectations where that while I knew opposing defenses had basically figured out Orton's game (if you look at his stats from his last season's worth of games or so, his last eight are far worse than his first eight), we hadn't yet seen how opposing defenses would scheme Tebow, and I was curious how he'd perform against blitz/spy/man. I figured he would struggle, but I also thought he would find answers faster. The sacks and pressure don't surprise me, but I thought he'd complete a deep pass or two to the sidelines by now.
What about you? Did you expect more and are you greatly disappointed? Did you expect less and are you mildly impressed? Is this about what you expected and how does that make you feel?
What do you need to see from Tebow against the Raiders in order to believe he shouldn't be immediately benched?
I think for me it's about incremental improvement. I'd simply like to see some improvement in Tebow's game from Miami and Detroit. I see a lot of young quarterbacks play badly and yet still given a lot of time to learn the game on the field and get better, and I think Tebow deserves the same chance. I don't need to see a lot of improvement, either - just evidence that a couple more things are clicking for him. I do think that there is a lot of room for him to get worse, like a quarterback that just panics from the game being beyond him - things like "what was he thinking?!" interceptions and crazy pitches and backward passes. If we see multiple occasions of that happening, then he'd need to be benched until he can regroup so the game can slow down for him again.
Young quarterbacks often struggle when opposing defenses game-plan against them. If you don't believe Tebow will improve from where he is, why not?
This is the part that confuses me the most. We know that Tebow is capable of reading defenses - sometimes he makes the wrong read, but he's not completely random out there. We also know that Tebow is capable of throwing accurate, NFL-level throws, including sideline and deep out patterns. He just doesn't hit them all the time - it seems to be a matter of when he's using good footwork. So to me it doesn't seem like he's just naturally inaccurate, or naturally dumb, these are improvable skills that seem like they'd naturally improve for him as the game slows down. So I think that we can not only hope, but expect that Tebow will show marked improvement over the next handful of games. If you don't agree, why not? What is it about Tebow's game that makes you believe he has already plateaued and hit his ceiling?
I've tried my best to keep this fan post respectful and free of exaggeration, and hope that you'll do the same in the comments. ;-)