Tim Tebow should play for the Washington Redskins. There, I said it. As an avid Redskins fan and reader of all things Redskins related, I have seen a lot of anti-Tebow sentiment coming out from local sports writers in the DC area since his newly found free agency status. Most of them describe what they believe would be the perfect scenario for the infamous quarterback:
- A team that has an established and military style strong-willed head coach
- A team that has an established star quarterback
- A team that runs the read option offense
Hmmm. What team, of which most of you reading this article are big fans, would fit this to a tee?
Well, it seems pretty obvious to me. However, these particular writers, after establishing these Tebow rules, immediately follow this up with: "Not the Redskins!!!"
Now, I must mention that most of them do not give real specifics as to why this would be the case. One writer acknowledged all the reasons he would fit here, and then just stated "Nah". Others just advised their followers to not ask them anymore about Tebow as the question was ridiculous and would not be answered. So my question is, why?
Why would the Redskins NOT take a chance on this guy? And, why are so many people against the idea?
First, let's address the obvious. Tebow is a devout Christian, and a very vocal devout Christian at that. In fact, most of the time a reporter cannot get through an interview with him without hearing how God played a role in some way. This can rub people, especially those not of the Christian persuasion, the wrong way. However, many NFL players are Christian and loud, yet they are not given the same treatment.
Second, due in part to his on-field success and in part to his off the field message, Tebow brings the circus with him wherever he goes. This circus ranges from every talking head at ESPN to the 700 Club, and it can most definitely be a distraction if allowed to become one. However, a strong-willed coach would certainly control the outside media access to their players and thus, at least somewhat, contain this.
Finally, Tebow really has not shown the ability to play quarterback in the NFL. He throws a funky looking ball, has mechanical issues that a third grader could point out, and sometimes looks lost on the field.
With all these issues being on the table, I still say if you can sign him to the veteran minimum tomorrow, you do it without hesitation. I have pointed out the negatives. Here are the positives:
Tebow is a tough and gutsy locker room leader who earns the respect of his teammates and plays every down like it's his last. Also, he would fit in here. He IS perfect for the read option offense and could be used to take some of the beating away from Robert Griffin III. I can imagine a goal line scenario or two in which #10 and Tebow are standing alongside Alfred Morris in the Triple Option formation in the backfield. What defense in the world could possibly feel good about seeing that? Tebow is built more like a fullback than a quarterback, and is excellent at finding holes and exploiting them. He is able to take big hits and absorb them, and even if he is not the most fundamentally sound at throwing the ball, he has shown that he has the ability to get the ball to receivers when defenses are keyed in on him running.
And that is really the key. When he has to go into a game and present an equal threat passer and runner as the starting quarterback, he has yet to show he can be effective. However, when the defense has no idea what is coming, he can destroy them. RGIII is entrenched as the starting quarterback here. In just one year, he has brought this team legitimacy and stability at the quarterback position as an accurate thrower with intelligence, amazing arm strength and sprinter's speed. He is expected to make a full recovery from off season knee surgery and regain his spot. We also have a backup quarterback in Kirk Cousins who is number two on the depth chart without question.
The Redskins brought in Pat White recently to take some read option snaps in the pre-season and also to see if his athletic abilities could otherwise give him another way to make the team as a read option threat. Tebow has already proven he can do this in the NFL, and won a playoff game doing so. The Shanahan's could simply use him as a Swiss army knife (fullback/H-back/quarterback/tight end) type player while he further develops his skills in the hopes of one day getting another starting full-time gig at quarterback with another team.
This team, who already has a star quarterback, a military style strong willed head coach, and an offense which utilizes the read option, could capitalize on this in a major way and put some real fear in defenses that would have no idea what was coming. The experts all agree a team like this would make a lot of sense. Imagine the possibilities.