Watching ESPN’s live footage of a silver SUV taking Peyton Manning from the airport in Denver to the Broncos headquarters, OJ Simpson style, I can’t help but feel that John Elway is taking a huge huge gamble.
After all, how can you discount what Tim Tebow has done for that team, that franchise? The same team that was dead in the water in 2011, looking lost with a “conventional” quarterback in Kyle Orton had all but given up on the season.
Cue Tim Tebow, who enters stage right, and proceeds to stink it up. How bad did he stink? He struggled to connect on even the most routine pass pattern, couldn’t consistently throw a spiral and looked to pull the ball down at the first hint of pressure.
Some games he had single digit completions well into the third quarter, he was last in quarterback completion percentage at just 45%, he made some throws that looked like I was out there on the field, he just looked as though he was the worst quarterback to ever play in the NFL.
Until it was crunch time that is…..
Where he inexplicably led the Broncos to win after win, leading them into the playoffs and knocking off the Pittsburgh Steelers with the 80 yard catch and run to Demarious Thomas in overtime.
So it’s all puzzling to see as Elway pursues Peyton Manning, what happens if they dont win the Manning sweepstakes?
“Sorry Tim! You are still my guy!?!?!”
But is Elway really all that crazy?
Is Tim Tebow a winner? Heck yes he is…. but is he a NFL quarterback??
While I like Tim Tebow, and admire the man and the person he is, he’s just not a NFL quarterback and I don’t see him transforming into one anytime soon.
He’s a winner yes, he’s a leader of men, he’s got the intangibles and has them in spades. He’s a great runner, doesn’t turn the ball over, and a specimen with the size and ability to play in the NFL.
But his footwork and his mechanics simply aren’t things you can wave a magic wand over and fix overnight. This isn’t Florida and this sure isnt the SEC, it’s the NFL where you can’t just get by on ability alone.
Elway knows this which is why he has Manning in town, damn the consequences.
With 50 million in cap space, the Broncos have the ability to sign Manning and instantly contend. With Eric Decker and Demaryius Thomas, they could probably bring Reggie Wayne along in a package deal, as Wayne’s agent has hinted to, giving them a promising top 3.
What the real question should be is, does John Elway think that he can give up on Tebow’s “X-factor” in favor for 3-4 years of stellar play from Manning?
Again, for those Tebow fans I am not knocking him directly, I realize he’s a winner, a national champion, a Christian and a guy that defied logic and proved the talking heads wrong by winning over and over and over again.
After all, you can teach mechanics but you can never teach the intangibles. Problem is, Pat Bowlen wants to win, and wants to win now and nobody gives them a better chance to do so than Peyton himself.