After spending the last two years watching Tim Tebow's up and down struggles and successes here in Denver, I've kept a close eye on him after his move to the New York Jets. Part of it stems from a firm belief that Tebow will never be a quality passer in the NFL. Another part relates to the constant pro-Tebow sentiment that is still rampant here in Colorado. Finally, despite my misgivings, I do want to see Tebow succeed at some level in this league.
That's why word of Tebow's bulking up has worried me. Apparently the New York Jets, who plan on using Tebow on the football field in many new ways (to him), wanted Tebow to add a little weight going into the 2012 season. Tebow played at roughly 241 pounds (and has been listed as low as 236 lbs in some places) for the Denver Broncos in 2011 which was already a fairly bulky weight for a guy who is 6'3". The Jets want him up to 250 lbs to help protect him against the punishment he is sure to receive in his new duties for the Jets.
Those duties will apparently involve running the ball in a wildcat offense and being the personal punt protector. They clearly want Tebow to be physical, a trait that he is known and loved for. The problem with that, however, is that placing him in that kind of offense where he will be even more exposed to the defense will not only get him hurt, but shorten his career.
That size will also prevent him from being an effective passing quarterback. There are some who think that guys who are excessively muscular have a harder time throwing the ball accurately than others. At 6'3" and 250 lbs, Tebow will be bigger than Ben Roethlisberger (6'5", 241 lbs), Eli Manning (6'4", 218 lbs), Peyton Manning (6'5", 230 lbs), and Cam Newton (6'5", 250 lbs).
If Tebow truly wants to be a great NFL quarterback, then clearly the Jets are not going to allow him to get there. There's barely any word out of Jets camp about how hard Tebow is working on his mechanics. Instead there's constant word of how bad he looks in practice throwing the ball. Now with this news of how he's bulking up, and anyone can see that Tebow's future is not going to involve throwing a lot of touchdowns.
While he can still be a highly effective player in this way (at least for a while), it worries me because every defensive player in the NFL is going to be looking to lay big hits on Tebow. Last year he was somewhat protected by a Denver offense that limited his throws and running opportunities (no, he didn't run as much as everyone thought he did). Now he's going to be put out front and center as a target for defenses. As big and tough as Tebow is, no one can get hit like he's going to be hit and survive for long.
Julie is a lifelong NFL fan and a featured NFL contributor for the Yahoo Contributor Network. After following Tebow for two years with the Denver Broncos (she's lived in Colorado since 2001), she has a vested interest in his career.