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Tebow’s Freeze Out
The Sports Economist ^ | May 9, 2013 | Brian Goff

Posted on 05/11/2013 6:47:46 AM PDT by 1rudeboy

Why is Tim Tebow out in the cold? Why are general managers and coaches willing to roll the dice with a QB who has never played an NFL down or a struggling QB versus one who holds a winning record and notched a stylish, memorable playoff victory over the vaunted Pittsburgh defense?

Part of Tebow’s fate falls to timing.   In past posts,  I’ve referenced economist Zvi Griliches iconic article “Hybrid Corn: An Exploration in the Economics of Technological Change”. He demonstrated the acreage planted with hybrid seed took over across states, slowly, at first few adopters, then gaining steam, and finally won over even the die-hards resulting in an “S-shaped” curve depicting the growth in its use. This picture describes the diffusion of most any “technological change” whether a new corn seed, a new tractor implement, black players on Major League teams, or the use of “run-option” quarterbacks in the NFL. In the early stages of use, it’s difficult to distinguish between crazy ideas and brilliant ideas. Almost any new idea will draw vocal detractors, sometimes among people of respect and insight. Numerous NFL insiders, including those as insightful as Bill Belichick and Steve Mariucci, have denigrated the idea of the “option” and QBs suited for it as an integral part of NFL offensive strategy. Even a year or two ago, and in spite of Tebow’s success in Denver, the critique appeared weighty — enough so that the Broncos sought out another QB (albeit, a Hall of Famer) and traded Tebow. With the Colin Kaepernick’s trip to the Super Bowl with the 49ers along with others such as Robert Griffin III, it’s looking less crazy and more brilliant, less temporary fad and more permanent strategy.

I don’t mean to imply that the run-option QBs will ever come to dominate completely. One key difference between sports and agriculture is that one particular technology doesn’t necessarily swamp all others. NFL rules favor passing. Successful teams for many years have employed skilled passers with ever-increasingly complex passing schemes. The trouble is that not everyone can draft Tom Brady or Peyton Manning. The ground in Iowa and the ground in Kentucky may both be receptive to hybrid corn seed, but the same passing scheme that works in New England or Denver isn’t going to work nearly as well in some other place because a key input, the QB, does not have the skills of Brady or Manning. Insightful coaches like Jim Harbaugh and Mike Shanahan decided better to adjust the system to the talent rather than hope that a struggling young QB like Blaine Gabbert (Jacksonville) evolves into a Brady or Manning.

Alright, so Tebow came on the scene just a bit too early, why aren’t teams like Jacksonville scrambling for him now? His less than consistent passing skills hurt him. He can thread the needle on one throw and look silly on the next. Ironically, the GM who turned him out in Denver, John Elway, displayed those same traits for the first half of his career. Nonetheless, Tebow’s passing isn’t as polished as Kaepernick or Griffin. On the flip side, he has shown that he can win games, even against good defenses. A major part of the success of Kaepernick and Griffin is what they do to defensive strategy. At the end of last season, Griffin played a very mediocre passing game against the Cowboys, but because of his running threat (even with a bad knee), his running threat opened the way for his running back, Alfred Morris to have a great night with the Redskins scoring 28 points. The interaction effects between running and passing abilities of QBs with the other offensive players influences both yards gained per passing play along with yards gained by other runners. Tebow’s enormous celebrity almost certainly works against him now. Any GM and coach who bring him on board invite a national media spotlight far beyond what a newly drafted QB will bring. Don’t be fooled — coaches and GMs, in spite of voicing indifference about media and fan attention, care about scrutiny. The care a lot — ok, maybe Bill Belichick doesn’t, but that’s why he is willing to make decisions other coaches will not on matters such as not punting on fourth down. The “Christian” element of Tebow’s celebrity also surfaces as a possible obstacle to him. While I don’t doubt that some coaches, players, and, particularly, media figures roll their eyes at him, there are many NFL players who openly, if with less attention, display their faith. My guess is that his unlucky timing, inconsistent passing, and undesired media attention resolve the conundrum much better.

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Society; Sports
KEYWORDS: denverbroncos; newyorkjets; timtebow
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1 posted on 05/11/2013 6:47:46 AM PDT by 1rudeboy
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To: Perdogg

for your list

2 posted on 05/11/2013 6:48:03 AM PDT by 1rudeboy
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To: 1rudeboy

With the above critique, it sounds like the ‘Skins should pick up Tebow and put him in line behind RG-III.

I’ve made similar “prognostications” here on FR regarding the run-option QB. For some teams, it may be the way of the future and, since in the run-option, the lifetime of a QB is shortened (10-and-retire), it will save the owners $$$ over a contract and, ultimately, up-front (as the idea takes hold).

3 posted on 05/11/2013 6:56:09 AM PDT by Cletus.D.Yokel (Catastrophic Anthropogenic Climate Alteration: The acronym explains the science.)
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To: Absolutely Nobama; Thunder90; 4everontheRight; ABG(anybody but Gore); Abbeville Conservative; ...


FReepmail Perdogg to be added to, or to be taken off the NFL Ping list...
4 posted on 05/11/2013 7:03:10 AM PDT by Perdogg (Sen Ted Cruz, Sen Mike Lee, and Sen Rand Paul are my adoptive Senators)
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To: FReepers

Teamwork keeps Free Republic going.

Click the Pic

Support Free Republic

5 posted on 05/11/2013 7:08:20 AM PDT by deoetdoctrinae (The Old White Flag Republicans can go straight to He// and take their pal Obama with them!)
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To: 1rudeboy

It is such a shame he does not change to another position. I think he is being stubborn. He is not a great quarterback to say the least, but would be good in another position.

6 posted on 05/11/2013 7:10:30 AM PDT by napscoordinator (Santorum-Bachmann 2016 for the future of the Country!)
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To: 1rudeboy

This is how America now treats the “All American Boy”.

7 posted on 05/11/2013 7:11:29 AM PDT by Falcon4.0
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To: 1rudeboy

If Tebow were willing to switch to halfback or tight end he would be very much in demand. It is his apparent insistence on playing QB that is keeping him unsigned.

8 posted on 05/11/2013 7:12:29 AM PDT by GSWarrior
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To: 1rudeboy
I can't imagine those who run professional football teams would refuse to contract with a player having the skills that would make them money. It appears that no matter how much one respects Tebow as a man he just does not have the skills necessary to Quarterback a professional football team.
9 posted on 05/11/2013 7:16:38 AM PDT by AEMILIUS PAULUS (It is a shame that when these people give a riot)
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To: Falcon4.0

This is how America has always treated the All American Boy when it turns out they can’t do what they’re paid for. We’re a results oriented business.

10 posted on 05/11/2013 7:17:37 AM PDT by discostu (Not just another moon faced assassin of joy.)
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To: 1rudeboy
No coach in his right mind is going to take what is probably his most expensive (and valuable) asset and let him get pounded virtually every play, and for the run option to be an effective threat, that's what's going to happen. The author even mentions RG3’s bad knee, well how do you think that happened? The other problem with the run option is that it wastes other potential big contributors - if I've got a couple of world class sprinters at wide receiver, I don't want them running 10 yard curls. As a Seahawk fan I know what's like to have a QB who can take off and make big plays, but you can't build an offense with that as a strategy - you'll either burn out your QB or a couple of head-hunting safeties will send your hero to the orthopedic ward. When you call the tune, sooner or later you will pay the piper...
11 posted on 05/11/2013 7:25:11 AM PDT by stormer
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To: napscoordinator; GSWarrior
" It is such a shame he does not change to another position. I think he is being stubborn. He is not a great quarterback to say the least, but would be good in another position. "

In the second place, because I'm always fair about this kind of stuff, Tebow was a great QB when he was at the U of Florida. Doesn't mean he's going to be a great NFL QB or even a good one, and he's not.

In the first place...

What he is, is PRIDEFUL.

He had a chance at still being on the roster in New York, only at TE / H-back.

That turned out to not be good enough for him and his penchant for self-promotion, and the Jets, in spite of all the criticism that sticks to them, were being fair when they said "Fine, check out what happens to everyone in the league when the team doesn't have a place for them on the roster."

Let's see what happens with the Jags, or maybe he'll wise up and ask someone to give him a look at TE or H-back or whatever. I mean gee, the guy can run, he ain't afraid of getting hit, he ought to be able to catch, he'd always be a threat to throw or run on a trick play... can he block or does he just not want to?

The narrative about poor Tim being discriminated against because he's a Christian just doesn't make sense to me. In order for that to work, one would have to believe that he's the ONLY Christian in the league.

I think he's having trouble finding a place in the league mostly because he's a prideful, (see also "original sin") self-promoting showboat. Otherwise he would have shown some interest when the jets said they wanted to look at him at TE, which implied maybe keeping him on the roster at TE.


12 posted on 05/11/2013 7:29:25 AM PDT by OKSooner
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To: discostu

“...when it turns out they can’t do what they’re paid for.”

I understand that Tebow wasn’t a very good QB even while they were winning in Denver, but he was better than Gabbert, probably better than Ponder has been these past two years, and probably would have been a better option for several other teams.

He’s also a young guy who works hard and has a good attitude. He is at least a decent developmental prospect in addition to being a marketing gold mine. The problem is many of his supporters think he’s a great QB already because he happened to be playing QB when Denver started winning the 3-pt games instead of losing them.

13 posted on 05/11/2013 7:34:53 AM PDT by Gil4 (Progressives - Trying to repeal the Law of Supply and Demand since 1848)
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To: OKSooner

You’re just mad about 2008. :)

14 posted on 05/11/2013 7:50:56 AM PDT by EEGator
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To: Gil4

Tebow career completion percentage - 47.9
Gabbert - 53.8
Ponder - 59.2

He really doesn’t have the stuff.

Yeah the cult of Tebow really hurts him. They ignore the fact that the Denver defense shaved 15 points of their average allowed for his reign (or somehow credit him with it) and studiously ignore how often he had 10 or fewer completions in a game.

He’s been in the league three years, and he still kind of stinks. I don’t think he’s a development prospect anymore. And while his jerseys sell well thanks to the cult that follows him he’s an instant QB controversy, teams don’t like that. How many other 3rd string QBs (which is where he’s been on the depth chart his whole career) have huge crowds of people demanding he get put in? And which coach or GM would volunteer to put up with that? It’s kind of sad, he’s a good kid, but in the end his popularity is turning out to be his worst enemy. He probably could have had a decent career as an anonymous 3rd stringer coming in for gadget plays, could have had a better career as an RB with gadgets, but the cult wants him to be a starter, and he doesn’t have those skills, and the cult is making him untouchable.

15 posted on 05/11/2013 7:51:21 AM PDT by discostu (Not just another moon faced assassin of joy.)
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To: 1rudeboy

The result of standing up for faith in Jesus Christ.

16 posted on 05/11/2013 7:51:45 AM PDT by dps.inspect (rage against the Obama machine...)
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To: 1rudeboy

Why would anyone in the NFL waste a valuable spot on him, when some team will have the opportunity to sign that elusive and valuable, “first gay in the NFL”?

On the plus side, it has given me a lot of my life back.

I can remember when weekends posed a significant conflict between doing things and watching the sports. I find I am having more and more time to do things, and less and less time wasted on sports!

17 posted on 05/11/2013 8:20:42 AM PDT by I cannot think of a name
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To: Falcon4.0

Actually, America is treating him very well - he’s rich, sought after for his opinions and for endorsements and for speaking engagements....just not sought after as an NFL quarterback. His life doesn’t suck. (and it shouldn’t - he’s a great role model).

18 posted on 05/11/2013 8:31:37 AM PDT by C. Edmund Wright (Tokyo Rove is more than a name, it's a GREAT WEBSITE)
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To: 1rudeboy

like a hybrid seed.. that landed on bedrock. wow. good comparison.

19 posted on 05/11/2013 8:32:53 AM PDT by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi)
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To: discostu

I agree that he is not being discriminated because of his religion. I think at most games players from both teams pray together in the endzone after the game.

20 posted on 05/11/2013 8:49:30 AM PDT by castlegreyskull
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