The year of the Tebow.
This is likely how the season that just wrapped up will go down in history. The Packers had a great run going, but then they ran into the Chiefs of all teams. A few other players emerged as stars, but no one came close to capturing the collective imagination of America as Tim Tebow did.
Everyone knows that it was so much more than just football with Tebow. But when he did happen to be playing, he actually managed to win some games. John Fox threw the playbook out the door and made his offence look like something that Urban Meyer drew up in The Swamp. But it is sustainable?
The holes in Tebow’s game were known coming into the season, and while he did have some success, little of it can realistically be brought back to the talents of he who shall no longer be named. Fox is an excellent coach and John Elway himself is calling the shots upstairs, so can they really go forward with this fullback taking snaps?
It is unlikely that the Broncos make a splash for a big time pivot, but bringing in competition is within the realm of possibility. They will not be players for Peyton, Flynn, Luck or RGIII. But it would not surprise many if they drafted someone like Nick Foles or Brock Osweiler a few rounds into the draft.
Tebow will likely be given the chance to run with the first team out of camp, and likely into the regular season. But an entire off-season of studying tape will give opposing teams even more time to prepare for his hijinx. The league is going the way of the spread, not the read-option. Sure the Broncos have a nice pass rush, but it cannot do enough to make up for the fact that they have next to nothing in terms of real offensive weapons.
The team realistically has holes all over the roster. They have a few good rushing linebackers, an ageing secondary and a decent offensive line. Aside from that? Elway has some work to do. The longer that they try to build this team around Tebow, the longer they will stay stagnant in this media circus that has surrounded the team.
Knowshown Moreno is a bust, and he is JUICED. Demaryius Thomas is a burner, but imagine if he had a real pocket quarterback getting him the ball.
The Broncos just may need to be stripped down. It wont happen this off season, but if the coming season is the type of let down disaster that it could very likely be, don’t be surprised when Elway gets rid of the garbage and starts fresh.
The Fins tried to be a full time Wildcat team. They even drafted Pat White in the second round to help them along the way. But it flopped terribly after teams had enough time to break it down and find the holes. The same will be the case with the Tebow-option.
Remember when Tebow was thought to be fourth on the Broncos depth chart in camp? Well that is likely where we he belongs. Sure he is inspirational. Sure he can motivate. But he is not a good quarterback. Plain and simple.
The league is best suited for Rodgers, Brees, Brady and Stafford. Not Tim Tebow. He is a gimmick and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Once you get past the rhetoric surrounding him, you will realize that he is not much more than Tyler Palko. Elway knows this, as does John Fox. They will keep him on the roster for jersey sales and goal line plays. But the Tebow experiment will not last much longer.
Or will it?
What happens if they do try to stay the course? Is it actually possible for a team to turn the league on its head and force others to work around their system? Never say never.
The Broncos started the season 1-4 with a uninspired conventional attack led by Kyle Orton and Brandon Lloyd. They did not have the pieces to be competitive in the AFC with this less than inspiring attack.
So it is not out of the realm of possibility that they continue to build around this whole read-option concept they are working on. There are college programs that have run it for a century, and they simply recruit players that would best fit in their program. The Broncos can draft in the same way that these schools recruit.
Where do the Broncos need to improve to make this a reality? Well one thing that Tebow was sorely missing was a good tight end. One that can both act as a safety valve when his deep options are covered, but also help in pass blocking on sweeps and tosses.
Dwayne Allen is a beast of a tight end coming to the league via Clemson. At 6-foot-4 and tipping in at 255-pounds, Allen is a mismatch when he is downfield and a mauler in the running game. He is likely to go late in the first round, and would be the perfect addition to the Broncos attack.
The Broncos rushing attack was not exactly spectacular this year, as Moreno continues to confuse onlookers. A change-of-pace back would be lethal out of the backfield. Screens and sweeps to the edge with misdirection could get a burner some time and space to gouge the defence. Doug Martin out of Boise St. could fit that bill and should be available in the second round.
After grabbing a few skill guys, Elway can spend the rest of the draft on hogs in the middle. Interior lineman on both sides of the ball that will do the work in the trenches that needs doing.
The crazy thing bout the entire Tebow experiment is that it just might work.