Look: I am eager to learn stuff I don't know--which requires actively courting and posting smart disagreement.

But as you will understand, I don't like to post things that mischaracterize and are aimed to mislead.

-- Brad Delong

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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Tebow, Part 2

The NFL, in many and varied ways, is a cruel place to try to make a living.  Every Sunday, as you struggle to do your job, there are 11 other guys out there, and there job is to make you fail*.  Not only that, but they are among the very best in the world at their job - which, once again, is making you fail at yours.

In this context, the Quarterback is the center of attention.  Spectators, commentators, opposing linemen and blitzing safeties all have him in the cross hairs.  Rookie quarterbacks are especially vulnerable, not having the knowledge and experience to comfortably handle their offensive systems or read and react to pro-level defensive schemes, nor having complete mastery of the pro quarterback's skill set.

A few notably exceptional quarterbacks have achieved a high level of success in their rookie years, and gone on to stardom -  Dan Marino, John Elway, and Jim Kelly are the classic examples.  Others like Troy Aikman, Drew Bledsoe, and even Payton Manning had rough starts, but went on to achieve stardom.  Mediocre to poor careers, like those experienced by Charlie Batch, Brady Quinn and Kyle Orton are more common.

This year, there are a few rookie QB's who could be standouts: Cam Newton, Andy Dalton and Christian Ponder.  Notably absent from this list, though, is Tim Tebow.  His peformance against the Lions on Sunday was dismal.  The previous week against the vastly inferior Dolphins, he was mostly inept, but had a strong finish and managed to pull out an 18-15 victory in O/T.

Tebow is an earnest Young man.  There is no doubting his sincerity, effort, or character.  What is highly questionable, though, is his ability.  He only has a few starts, so the data set is small, and you need to be cautious about drawing broad conclusions.  The cause for worry, though, is his lack of improvement.  You have to believe (or at least hope) that the Broncos coaching staff is competent and has been working very hard to help him develop; so his story shouldn't turn into one like Joey Herrington's or Tim Couch's .  As yet, though, this has been to no avail.  The Lions defense totally undressed him.

It's still a bit early to draw the curtain on Tebow's pro football career.  But unless he starts improving quickly and dramatically, future comparisons will be to David Klingler, not Drew Breese.

H/T to LGM.
The NFL is an extremely Republican-type organization.  This is one of the less important reasons why.

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