So long, Tebow

Tim Tebow’s highly watched and short-lived career with the New England Patriots has come to an end. Tebow, 26, was cut today from the Patriots’ roster, failing to convince the team that a third quarterback would be necessary. Tebow has been one of the most fascinating football players over the past several years. Tebow was a two-time National Champion with the Florida Gators and won the Heisman Trophy in 2007 as the best college football player in the country. He was drafted by the Denver Broncos in 2010. He became the starting quarterback for Denver in 2011, after a dismal 1 and 4 start to the season. The Broncos shocked the country by winning several come-from-behind games. They eventually won their division and stunned the Pittsburgh Steelers in the first round of the playoffs. The Broncos’ Cinderella season came to a screeching halt when the Patriots pounded them on their way to what would be a heartbreaking loss to the Giants in the Super Bowl.

After that, Tebow was traded to the New York Jets, following the acquisition of Peyton Manning by the Broncos. The Jets and Tebow were a bad matchup. Tebow never got much playing time and the Jets had a terrible season. Many people blame the Jets for what happened and say that the Jets ruined Tebow’s career potential. The Patriots signed him to appear in training camp with a chance to make the team. Tebow was largely unsuccessful and was cut several hours ago.

The problem with Tebow is that he never learned how to be a competitive quarterback in the National Football League. Tebow was an excellent college football player and he is an outstanding athlete. But that does not mean that he can compete at the next level. Tebow’s style of play is very unorthodox. It worked in college. It cannot work at the professional level.

I’ll be honest. I did not want Tim Tebow to be part of the 53-man roster. I don’t. He is not part of our plan. I have never been overly impressed with Tebow as a player. Now, before you all send me angry e-mails criticizing my character, integrity and patriotism, let me explain a little something about Tebow. I think he’s a great guy. I have no qualms with somebody wanting Tim Tebow has a role model. I think that some team should have Tebow on their roster. It just cannot be the Patriots. But here is the deal. Tebow cannot compete as a quarterback at this level.

Most of the criticism of Tebow is not because of Tebow, the person. I like having a guy like Tebow in the League. However, his cult following has absolutely nothing to do with his football ability. It has to do with his faith. People went nuts when they saw ‘a good Christian’ in the NFL. However, I feel that there are plenty of other good Christians in the NFL that can be the Christian role model that parents want. Robert Griffin III and Troy Polamalu are both outspoken about their faith. The reason why people don’t criticize them is because Griffin, when he is healthy, and Polamalu are excellent football players. Tebow’s outspoken Christian faith is reminiscent of another quarterback. A quarterback known for his Christian faith. A quarterback who won a Super Bowl and almost won a second. A first-ballot Hall of Famer when his name will come up. Kurt Warner. Warner was very outspoken about his faith. But he was also incredibly talented.

The criticism is about his talent. His numbers. Tebow posted terrible numbers as a starting quarterback. There’s no sugar-coating it. In 2011, he had a 46.5 completion percentage. Over half of the times, Tebow threw the football, it missed. He threw twelve touchdowns against six interceptions. I’m sorry, but these are not and never will be good numbers. He won a lot of games because of a defense and his kicker. I’m sorry, but the talent is not there. I am a football fan. I am a Patriots fan. I want to win games. I want a 53-man-roster with players who are willing to compete, willing to learn and who are good enough to lead the Patriots into the playoffs.

The Tebow era is over. Done. I wish Tebow the best. I think he is one of the greatest college football players in history. But he couldn’t do it at this level.