Tampa Bay chose to bench its career passing touchdown leader, Josh Freeman, in favor of unproven rookie Mike Glennon. Coach Greg Schiano said that the change was made because Glennon gave the team its best chance to win. Whether those remarks are true or not is beside the point. Glennon has prepared himself since the day he was drafted for an opportunity to lead this offense. He deserves that. Tampa Bay didn't draft him so that he would sit the bench. This is his team. For the time being.
This is not Tim Tebow's team. Nor should it ever be.
Tebow is an amazing human being. He has a loyal fan base. Even people outside of football are drawn to him. He's a vocal leader, and has an exemplary work ethic. We never hear about any off the field incidents with him, and he would be a great teammate to have in the locker room. He's not, however, a good quarterback.
What he accomplished in 2011 with the Denver Broncos was thrilling to watch. The playoff win against the Pittsburgh Steelers was magical. Not even his haters should dispute that. But, there's a reason why no NFL team wants his services at this time. It isn't about his character. It has nothing to do with his commitment. And it isn't because the NFL has a vendetta out against him ever being a starting quarterback again.
He lacks consistency. He is terribly inaccurate. In 11 games started for the Broncos in 2011, Tebow had an NFL-worst 46.7 completion percentage, and a dreadful 29.91 quarterback rating. On top of that, he was sacked on 11 percent of his drop backs, the highest percentage in the league.
His supporters will point to his intangibles and say that stats don't matter. They'll bring up his playoff win against the Steelers and his six game-winning drives. But, I doubt his followers will talk up his 123.5 passing yards per game, the lowest mark in the league. The reality is that Tebow was just a piece of the puzzle, not a future franchise quarterback in the making. In fact, John Elway, VP of Operations for the Broncos, chose to trade Tebow to the New York Jets rather than retain him as a backup to learn behind Peyton Manning. If Tebow's season wasn't good enough for the Broncos, why should it be for the Bucs?
Admirers of Tebow have also brought up his ability to put fans in the stands. 'If you sign him, people will come.' It's no secret that the Bucs have struggled with empty seats. However, people don't pay to watch bad football. And, they don't pay to watch backups sit. If Tampa Bay were to sign him, he couldn't play until he learned the offense. How long would he be able to keep ticket sales booming? Unless there were an injury, there's no guarantee he would even crack the roster once he learned the offensive scheme. Coach Schiano drafted Glennon. That's 'his guy.' His future in Tampa Bay is in Glennon's hands. There's no way Schiano is trading in his draft pick for a 'fan favorite.'
Where Tebow goes, the media follows. Do the Bucs really need all that media attention right now? Tampa Bay is winless, the starting quarterback has been benched, and the coach is still on the hot seat. This team has been in the public's eye for all the wrong reasons. Adding quarterback controversy to the list isn't going to help the team. Look at the New York Jets. How'd that work for them? How many bad passes by Glennon would it take for Tebow-mania to begin in Tampa Bay? It's not worth it.
Tampa Bay doesn't need him. Tebow frequently holds onto the ball too long, he locks on his No. 1 target, and struggles reading opposing coverage. Additionally, he is fidgety in the pocket and when he does throw to a receiver, he tends to overthrow them or throw the ball near their ankles. The Bucs don't want Tebow and the reason is simple. They already have that kind of player on the roster.
He's sitting on the bench. Backing up Mike Glennon.
James LoPresti lives in Tampa and has eight years experience working in print media with the Tampa Tribune. Follow him on Twitter @JLoPresti3114.
- Sports & Recreation
- American Football
- Tim Tebow
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Mike Glennon