I had a teacher, back when I was in high school, that was a real mentor to me. She taught an English class and assigned an extra credit assignment where we had to figure out the symbolism that was hidden in the movie "O Brother, Where Art Thou?".
Many students were struggling because it is quite difficult to pick up on symbolism if you don't have a ton of experience with it. Others in the class understood everything, right away, much to the dismay of the struggling students. My teacher began asking questions about the movie and only the students with a good grasp of the symbolism would answer. She caught on, right away, and figured out who didn't understand and then assigned the extra points, accordingly.
I was one of the kids who didn't understand but I wanted to figure it out. So I decided to meet with my teacher, after school. At the end of the day, I went to her room and there were already 2 other students sitting there. I sat down next to them and we went about our learning. At the end of the lecture, each of the students (including myself) had a much better grasp of symbolism. My teacher informed us that we would all be getting 5 extra points, just for putting in the extra effort to learn. So, those poor suckers that got the symbolism, right away, didn't get as many points as we did. Needless to say, we rubbed that into the faces of our classmates the next day.
The reason I tell you that story is because I think Tim Tebow is earning extra credit on top of his extra credit, in the Josh McDaniels grade book.
I dare you to read this quote without getting excited.
A ball Orton tried to loft downfield for Royal caught the wind and flew directly into the waiting arms of Darcel McBath for an interception. He turned and ran back upfield while the offense ran to stop him, including Tim Tebow, who wasn't even in on the play.
-Gray Caldwell, Denverbroncos.com
That shows some effort, in my opinion. I don't know what his tone was (angry, competitive, etc) during that play, but I know that it isn't common for things like that to happen. I have seen a few guys do something similar in a practice, to joke around, but this is a professional football team.
If he was running down Darcel because he was agitated at the turnover, great! That leads me to believe that he hates mistakes and wishes to make up for them, even if he wasn't the one who caused the mistake.
If he was running down Darcel because he was joking around or being competitive, great! That leads me to believe that he is really trying to connect with teammates and this little antic was a ploy to show the guys that he wants to be out there, giving it his all.
There really isn't a negative that I can wrap my head around, at this point.
Granted, it would be a bad thing if Tebow ran off the sidelines during a regular season game and tackled a defensive player who was sprinting down the field. There are rules against that. However, in practice, hearing that Tim Tebow chased down a defender, despite not being in the play, puts a smile to my face. It tells me that he wants to make up for mistakes, even if they aren't caused by Tim Tebow.
I'd much rather see a quarterback attempt to make up for his mistake by trying to tackle somebody (without injuring himself, obviously) than to have the quarterback pout and slouch and walk dejectedly to the sidelines. It could mean the difference between winning and losing (see Ben Roethlisberger in the 2005 divisional playoff game).
Let's do a quick exercise, shall we?
Assume, for a moment, that Tim Tebow earns the starting job. It is the third quarter in a game against the Chargers and the Broncos have driven to the Charger 14 yard line. Tebow drops back, is pressured, the ball gets tipped at the line and picked off. Do you think that the Charger better look out for Tim Tebow when he is running up the field?
Well, I think he had better keep his head on a swivel.
We've heard a lot about "extra effort", but let's see what it looks like after a QB throws an interception. If only we knew a guy who threw lots of interceptions and had to chase down some defenders...
Cutler did some good things on his 3rd interception. You know, minus the interception part. What I mean is that he pursued the defender after throwing an interception and helped push the defender out of bounds. It was awfully close to being a late hit out of bounds but that's a whole other debate and we won't get into it, right now.
The bottom line is that Cutler showed effort after the interception by running down the ball carrier and pushing him out of bounds. However, when I watched him throw the other interceptions, there was some moping. He didn't put in the same effort that he did for his third interception. Sure, he gave a little jog on a few of them but his effort didn't jump out at me.
By contrast, Tebow doesn't sound like a moper from any of the reports I have read. According to Gray Caldwell, Tebow even seeks revenge when one of his teammates throws an interception. If that doesn't say "extra effort", then I don't know what does. Obviously, Tim Tebow wasn't lying when he talked about the intensity, effort, and hard work that he uses when he plays the game of football.
Hopefully, Tebow can develop so that his quarterback skills in the NFL match his effort on the practice field. If that happens then we may be in for a serious treat in the next few years.