A Majority Of People Would Really Rather Have Tim Tebow Starting At Quarterback Than Johnny Manziel?
I was listening to Max and Marcellus on ESPN radio yesterday, and almost every caller was steadfast in their support of Tim Tebow over Johnny Manziel as an NFL starting quarterback. I honestly can't believe I am in the minority here. I know time changes people's perspective, but we are one year removed from Johnny Manziel being drafted in the first round. Now sure, that year was as far from impressive as a year can possibly be, but he's certainly not the first rookie quarterback that has struggled to catch up to the speed of the NFL. Meanwhile, the player that people would be willing to start in his place has been out of the league for the entirety of two seasons. Without doing much research, and assuming that at any given time every NFL team has 3 quarterbacks on the roster, that means Tim Tebow has been passed on at least 96 times over the last two years. Now granted, that has as much to do with the unrivaled media circus that follows him around as it does with his talent level. Regardless, the NFL has shown that if you can play football and consistently win games then they will forgive the less than desirable aspects of your presence. So while I think that Tim Tebow is probably worthy of a roster spot, I am not going to sit here and act like a white, privileged, Bible thumping quarterback is the victim of some conspiracy to keep him out of the league. That's a narrative would make 9/11 truthers look like rational, down-to-earth human beings.
I don't want to come off as a Johnny Football apologist. In actuality, I am quite the opposite. Not only do I not particular care for Johnny Manziel, but I also don't think he's going to amount to much of a quarterback. Therein lies the difference. I THINK Johnny Football can't be successful in the NFL. I KNOW Tim Tebow can't be successful in the NFL. A lot of people will point to leadership and the fact that he was 8-4 with a playoff win as starting quarterback of the Broncos. Those people ignore the outlandish circumstances that surrounded most of those wins. Those people forget that he averaged a mere 150 yards passing a game, and had more fumbles than touchdowns passes. Those people ignore his 46.5% completion percentage. Those people fail to credit a Broncos defense that played out of their minds during that stretch. Credit where credit is due. A win is a win no matter how ugly it ends up being. However, to say that season wasn't a mirage of his actual abilities would be to say that the smartest football men in the business have spent two years actively passing over a player that can help their team win. Gimmicks only last for so long in the NFL. Sure, the 'Wildcat' formation helped the Dolphins sneak into the playoffs in 2008, but it was rendered virtually useless by 2009. Much like the Wildcat, a quarterback that wins despite an inability to throw a football with any consistency is a gimmick. No one can take away his wins, but Tim Tebow's putrid numbers were bound to bring his win-loss record back to reality. It's just that NFL executives foresaw his demise before he even had a chance to prove otherwise. That may not be fair, but it was definitely thoroughly researched and calculated.
Do I think that Johnny Manziel is capable of winning two thirds of his starts (assuming he actually gets any) for the Cleveland Browns this year? Nope, not even a little. However, I'd rather put my franchise in the hands of an immature 22 year old that can make any throw on the field, than a mature 27 year old that is still working on his mechanics. Johnny Football wasn't even given two full games to show what he's got. Yet somehow those two awful, terrible, no good, very bad games convinced people that a player that has been out of competitive football for two years, and wasn't good when he was in it, has somehow ascended past the promising young prospect of just one season ago? Listen, if you are starting Tim Tebow or Johnny Manziel you're probably doomed to fail, but I'd rather fail with someone that still has the potential to succeed.