Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

The Pros and Cons of an Unconventional QB

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

The Pros and Cons of an Unconventional QB

Article excerpt

Gimmick or game-changer? Marketing bonanza or legitimate quarterback?

Those are the debates that have raged within the NFL since Tim Tebow burst upon the scene in his second pro season in 2011, and transformed a 1-4 team into the AFC West champion. And yes, less than 24 hours after the Jets' trade with Denver for Tebow was finalized, green No. 15 Tebow T-shirts already were available for purchase on the Jets' website even before he arrived in Florham Park on Thursday to meet with team officials.

Tebow's economic impact is easy to predict. But it's not as simple to figure out how he will do on the field. He does have a "unique skill set," as Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum phrased it, but he also has obvious limitations and shortcomings.

A look at what Tebow does and doesn't bring to the table:

* He can be very clutch. Tebow led the Broncos to five come-from- behind victories in the fourth quarter last season, seemingly willing Denver across the finish line after he had struggled for most of the game.

"He seems to play his best football in big games and late in games, when it matters most," said former NFL quarterback Rich Gannon, now a SiriusXM NFL Radio host. "I think he's got a lot of the intangibles that you're looking for in a quarterback in terms of competitiveness. ... He's passionate about the game. He makes others around him better."

* His passing needs work. Tebow has completed only 47.3 percent of his passes in the pros, and as Gannon said, that percentage "is not going to keep you under center very long. He has issues with footwork. He's not as comfortable under center as he is in the [shot]gun, where he spent most of his time."

Gannon, the 2002 NFL MVP with Oakland, added, "He's not real quiet at the top of his drop. He's bouncing around, moving around. I think that affects his mechanics a little bit."

Gannon believes Tebow was hurt by the lockout and the lack of spring practice last year, and will benefit from a full spring with the Jets' coaches. …

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