Thursday, February 23, 2012

Rookie quarterbacks

Okay, my favorite athlete, Tim Tebow, just got dissed again. This time, it was by his own teammate, Brady Quinn (a 3rd string scrub). Quinn got a fair chance to start in Cleveland and he sucked. True, he didn't have much talent around him but based on his prior results, he should consider himself lucky to have a job in the NFL at all. Quinn also questioned Tebow's character, most notably the sincerity of his prayers on the sideline. Say what you want about his play at quarterback but do NOT attack his character, especially his faith in Jesus. Tebow's a man who truly "talks the talk" and "walks the walk." He spents much of his free time visiting sick and disabled children and praying with them. Much of the money that he earns goes overseas to missionaries. He's done more good in the past year than most of us will do in a lifetime.
This past year, we saw Cam Newton and Andy Dalton have considerable success as rookies. Matt Ryan and Ben Roethlisberger also had immediate success but that has not always been the case. Here are some ugly stats from rookie-2nd year QBs within the last 25 years. All of whom developed into Hall of Famers:

John Elway- 47% comp. , 7 TD, 14 INT, 54.7 rating

Troy Aikman- 52% comp., 9 TD, 18 INT, 55.7 rating, 1-15 record

Peyton Manning- 28 INT, 71.2 rating, 3-13 record

Steve Young 11 TD, 21 INT

This next group may not be hall of fame worthy but have certainly gone on to have successful careers in the NFL:

Eli Manning- 48% comp, 6 TD, 9 INT 55.4 rating, 1-6 record

Testaverde- 47% comp, 13 TD, 35 INT, 48.8 rating

McNabb- 49% comp, 60.1 rating

Vick- 44% comp, 62.7 rating

Now, just how terrible has Tim Tebow been in his first 14 starts?

The 47% completion rate is pretty bad but it's on par with many hall of famers when they were rookies. However, in a close game, he made the conscious decision many times to throw it wide of the mark when the receiver was covered. Another quarterback might try to force it and end up with more completions but is also willing to accept more interceptions. Tebow has thrown only 9 interceptions against 17 touchdown passes. His career QB rating is 75.1, higher than Peyton Manning's through 14 starts. He has also rushed for 887 yards with 12 more touchdowns. More importantly, he has an 8-6 record as a starter in the regular season and 1-1 in the playoffs. With Kyle Orton starting, Denver went 4-14 over the same time period. Is Tebow a future Hall of Famer? Probably not. A decent starter who wins more than he loses? I think so. An inspirational leader who can elevate his team's play? Most definitely.
God bless you Tim. All the best to you next year and beyond.

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