If you are following me on Twitter, you know I’m a Tim Tebow guy. I love the intangibles he brings to a team and the unique skill set he has. Nothing makes me happier than someone going against the grain and succeed in doing so all while driving his detractors absolutely nuts. He’s a great story, really.
That said, Tim Tebow has absolutely no business being on the Green Bay Packers roster. Adam Schefter has tweeted a couple times about the Packers being a possible destination for Tebow now that the Denver Broncos have signed Peyton Manning. I would implore GM Ted Thompson, however, to not even sniff around the former Gator star.
Why, you ask?
First off is the baggage that comes with Tebow. Normally when someone talks about “baggage” in regards to a professional athlete, they’re talking about a checkered past or other skeletons in a guy’s closet. This isn’t the case with Tebow. Instead his “baggage” is an army of millions of blindly devoted Tebowmaniacs.
Who are these “Tebowmaniacs?” These are people ranging from fans to actual paid members of the mainstream sports media (I’m looking at you, Skip Bayless). These people would descend upon Green Bay as well as Packer sites all over the internet. The media coverage would be so intense it would border on making the Favre fiasco in 2008 look like a walk in the park.
There is no way Aaron Rodgers, the reigning league MVP, would be supplanted by Tebow but that doesn’t mean some of the Tebowmaniacs won’t start a push for it. We’re talking about fans that have a level of passion for the guy like teen girls have for Justin Bieber.
Thompson hates media circuses and he has firsthand experience after the Summer of Favre. The fact that Schefter mentioned the Packers shows that Thompson is perhaps slightly intrigued by adding Tebow to the roster as either the backup behind Rodgers or perhaps the third string behind Graham Harrell.
There’s also the small fact that Tebow is lousy as an NFL quarterback right now. Yes, he’s shown flashes of brilliance but he is way too inconsistent and too poor of a pocket passer to be able to firmly grasp Mike McCarthy’s offense as a backup. Matt Flynn at least had the fundamentals in line and McCarthy, Tom Clements and Joe Philbin were able to mold him into a decent quarterback.
Tebow would be a project of the highest order. His size and rushing ability would add a unique dimension to the Packers offense, which is already perhaps the most lethal in the league, but without Tebow being able to accurately throw the ball any packages the Packers (or any team for that matter) create for him would be figured out in no time by opposing defenses.
A side effect of having Tebow packages worked in for the Packers would be they might have to take Rodgers off the field and that would be way too many shades of stupid for the player who was last year’s MVP and is in the process of rewriting the club’s record books. Rodgers would not stand for that and neither would the fans. Thompson has to be aware of this.
Still, if anyone can fix Tebow, McCarthy and Clements can. Both men’s pedigree for developing quarterbacks is outstanding, as was noted above with Flynn. However, thanks to the immense spotlight on Tebow, is that realistic going forward? Would Tebowmania subside with him entrenched as the number three quarterback on the Packers?
Don’t bet on it.
Thompson would be much better off drafting a quarterback for McCarthy to mentor as the number three/practice squad quarterback and promote Harrell to the number two position. Harrell is no sure thing either but he is nowhere near the lightning rod for attention that Tebow has become.
Tebow would be well liked by the people of Green Bay thanks to his charitable efforts, but now would not by the time. The fan base is too busy rightly engaged in a group hug with Rodgers and company that introducing an unstable element like Tebow into a very stable situation that Thompson prides himself on would be insane.
I implore you Ted, just say no. I think your gut is telling you the same, just like it was telling you to go with Rodgers in 2008. Trust your instincts. Search your feelings, you know this to be true.
Stay away from Tim Tebow and Packer Nation will continue to live in harmony.——————
Kris Burke is a sports writer covering the Green Bay Packers for AllGreenBayPackers.com and WTMJ in Milwaukee. He is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA) and his work has been linked to by sites such as National Football Post and CBSSports.com. Follow @KrisLBurke