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Tebow finally gets chance for Broncos
It's Tebow time.
An NFL legend says Andrew Luck could be the best ever.
We praise the Packers' unsung hero and rip the NFL's annual trip to London.
We bring you our weekly Sizzle and Fizzle in the NFL.
I said Tebow would be a first-round pick before the 2010 draft. I am on record saying he will be a starter and will win. I believe 100 percent in Tim Tebow. I'm excited for one of the most talked-about quarterbacks, one of the most decorated collegiate athletes ever, to finally get his crack.
Now, I think the odds are stacked against Tebow in proving to John Elway that he is the quarterback of the future. Elway is an all-time great at the position, and I'd argue the best I've seen with my eyes in the last 35 years. He didn't draft Tebow. Josh McDaniels did. But in talking to Elway — now the Broncos executive vice president of football operations — on the SiriusXM Blitz on Thursday, he seemed very interested in being open-minded on Tebow's future.
Elway said, "He's competitive and a true competitor. He will do anything he can to win a football game. Tim has playmaking ability that you can't coach." Elway says Tebow, who functioned out of the shotgun at Florida, "needs snaps under center and needs to understand the technique of 3, 5 and 7 step drops. He needs consistency with drops. It's just like a pitcher in baseball. You need that rhythm."
This is a very valid point.
I asked Elway point blank what he will be judging Tebow on in determining whether or not he is the answer at quarterback in Denver.
"The No. 1 thing is production," he said. "It's about wins and losses. It's about what you can do in tough situations. There are four or five plays within a game that make a difference."
That's also valid, and I think Tebow can thrive here.
Elway agreed with my take that a multitude of reasons factored into the decision to play Tebow, including his potential, the play of Kyle Orton, the team's 7-24 record in the last 31 games (thanks for digging an impossible hole, Josh McDaniels) and "the energy change" Tebow brings.
I think Tebow is going to provide that energy and win games, even with little talent around him (thanks again, Josh McDaniels). Elway will never see himself when he looks at Tim Tebow, but here's the educated guess he sees something he likes. I'm rooting for him, and he's going to beat Miami on Sunday.
As teams and fan bases continue to "Suck for Luck," I appreciated Luck calling the concept stupid in the New York Times.
But there is going to be a team that is going to draft the next Peyton Manning, and maybe even a quarterback better than Peyton Manning.
I think Luck's going to be great. He has the talent, the drive, the fundamentals, the smarts and the skill to be incredible. But don't take my word for it.
My guy John Madden told us this week on SiriusXM NFL Radio, "(Luck) is the real deal. I've been watching the NFL for years and I don't remember a more automatic sure thing."
Wow. That's coming from John Madden!
I begged the Browns to sign the Packers receiver when he was a free agent this summer. His skill and knowledge of the West Coast offense would have been perfect. Oh well.
Jones never wanted to leave Green Bay and re-upped with the Packers after Aaron Rodgers lobbied to management. The season started slowly for Jones, with rookie Randall Cobb being the flavor of the month of September. But Jones, the epitome of class and team play, stayed hungry and focused. This week against the Vikings, he aims for his fourth straight game with a receiving touchdown.
Packers coach Mike McCarthy told us on the SiriusXM Blitz, "James Jones is playing with a different edge. He has taken advantage of big play opportunities. He is really coming on."
I'll say he is.
Football in London
I loathe the concept of playing NFL games abroad. I feel terrible for the great Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans that lose one of eight holidays known as home games. But most especially, this is a killer for the Bucs players and coaches. Tampa is a first-place team at 4-2. They aren't incredibly talented, but they're scrappy, tough and well-coached. They are going to be fighting tooth and nail all year for the playoffs, whether it is winning the division or the wild card. And the Bucs just lost the chance to play a real home game. This kills competitive balance.
Tampa Bay coach Raheem Morris was very positive and politically correct when he talked to us on the Sirius XM Blitz from London this week. He cited team bonding and the experience of having a week akin to the Super Bowl in the middle of the year. I appreciate Raheem for doing his job, but that's nonsense. It's an unnecessary week of travel and being out of your element when you should be prepping at home, getting ready to play in front of your fans. There's a reason they call it home field advantage.
The fans in London cheer for good plays, not a team. If anything, those who have witnessed football in London before think the fans will cheer for the more popular team and most popular fans, which would equal Brian Urlacher and the Bears.
The Glazer family took the pay day. Roger Goodell loves expanding the game globally. I know some in the league office who would love a Super Bowl or — get this — an actual team in London! That's nonsense. The league should promote the product abroad in the preseason. Hurting a team's chances to make the playoffs is just wrong.
Congrats to Ross on being the single most clueless owner in the NFL. Let me count the ways.
He tried to hire Jim Harbaugh while he already employed Tony Sparano, neutering his coach and creating a dead man walking scenario for 2011. Now Sparano has, predictably, done a wretched job this season, the Dolphins at 0-5 going into this weekend. The Miami Herald reported this week that Ross would fire Sparano if the club lost this weekend to Denver, but the owner isn't convinced that defensive coordinator Mike Nolan, who would be the interim coach, would equal more ticket sales.
You can't make this up.
You have a celebrity, jock-sniffing owner who likes to be surrounded by the popular kids and is only interested in a coach who can sell tickets. Stephen, do you know what sells tickets? Wins sell tickets.
And that's not even why he made the fizzle list (again) this week.
Ross is honoring the Florida Gators championship team. And the game is a sellout because of it. This shows Ross being clueless in a few ways. His team plays in Miami. It's Hurricanes country, not Gators. But most especially, he created a scenario where his players only have seven home games.
The tickets got gobbled up to support Tim Tebow, who happens to be the starting quarterback of the Denver Broncos, making his first start this season. The fans won't be cheering for the Dolphins and their quarterback Matt Moore. You watch and listen. It is going to be a pro-Tebow crowd, putting Miami at a major disadvantage. But Ross doesn't care. The seats are sold. It's all that matters. It's sad, pathetic and predictable.
I love Rex, but he absolutely crossed the line and said the most foolish and inflammatory thing he's said as the coach of the Jets — and that's saying something.
Why would he ever say he could've won multiple rings with the talent Norv Turner's had in San Diego? That's an insult to Norv. That's an insult to his own general manager Mike Tannenbaum, who provides Rex with great talent. That's an insult to Marty Schottenheimer, who had the talent before Norv. Oh yeah, Marty's son Brian is Rex's offensive coordinator.
And credit the usually vanilla Norv for ripping Rex right back, referring to the Super Bowl guarantees that have fallen short.
Ryan needs to stop taking pot shots and living in a fantasy world. His 2011 Jets are 3-3. And if you watch the games, if you have seen how poorly they've played, they are truly closer to 1-5 than 5-1. His run defense is consistently shredded. Everyone in the secondary other than Darrelle Revis has underachieved. His third-year quarterback has regressed, and the "ground and pound" offense is a sound bite, a myth.
And there was a chance the 4-1 Chargers — coming off a bye, playing a 1 p.m. game on the east coast — could sleep walk through this game. Not now. Rex Ryan poked the bear that is the talented San Diego Chargers. If Rex and the Jets lose and fall to 3-4, the honeymoon in New York is over. Rex, who has had a charmed existence in New York City, will get roasted on TV, radio and in the papers going into their bye week, and then they have the Bills in Buffalo and the Patriots.
Rex has made this a must-win game. Heck, I picked the Jets to win. But let's see if his mediocre team can back him up — or else.