Tebow the Bronco: the result of arrogance or confidence?

Dale Shrull
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Dale Shrull

Tim Tebow is a Denver Bronco.

Stunning, shocking, stupid, brilliant – you pick – but obviously, this is one of the great wait-and-see first-round draft picks in NFL history.

Tebow going to the Broncos has dominated the entire 2010 draft conversation.

Coach Josh McDaniels made more deals than a drug cartel, and the Tebow gamble was as gutsy (or stupid) as going all in with a pair of threes.

Picking Tebow screams ego.

But this is Josh McDaniels, the brash, young head coach who has made it very clear since he walked in the door that he was going to do it his way.

Gone are Jay Cutler, Brandon Marshall, Tony Scheffler, Peyton Hillis, defensive coordinator Mike Nolan and more.

Now in his second year after coming in from New England, McDaniels has added more Patriots to the roster than Paul Revere.

Yes, Josh is doing it his way. This will be his team, and, ultimately, he will be accountable for these decisions.

Coach McDaniels, the young offensive guru that he is, had his O face on for the draft, using six of seven picks through the sixth round to bolster the offense – two wideouts, three offensive linemen and Tebow.

McDaniels certainly doesn’t lack confidence. But is it ego or arrogance that led to the Tebow pick – or was it confidence?

In New England, McDaniels was the king of the (Matt) Cassel. He took a quarterback who didn’t play in college and made him a 4,000-yard passer. McDaniels also tutored Kyle Orton to his best statistical season in his career.

Now he hopes to aid the Gator in hopes of turning Tebow into an NFL quarterback, and proving everybody wrong.

Really, it’s not a huge gamble, since free agency can turn a team around as much as the draft. The Broncos made a nice move in grabbing Georgia Tech wide receiver Demaryius Thomas to fill the Marshall void. One problem with the Tebow pick is that it’s a better fit for a team not ready to contend. The Broncos were 8-8 and not too far from the playoffs. By picking a quarterback who could sit for two, three or more years, the team lost a chance to get immediate help.

The most disturbing part of the Tebow pick was that the Broncos gave up three picks (a second, a third and a fourth) to move back into the first round at 25 to take him. That’s three players in one of the deepest talent pools in recent history that they could have used to bolster a shallow defense and a developing offense.

The Tebow draft pick definitely creates excitement and plenty of questions that might take years to answer. He might eventually move to another position. He might be used in Wildcat formations. Will he take up a roster spot just to be used occasionally? Will they need a right tackle in the future to protect the southpaw’s blind side?

Scouts question Tebow’s throwing motion, arm strength and ability to read defenses. That’s not much of an endorsement for a first-round QB pick.

What this really comes down to is McDaniels’ confidence (or arrogance). Did the Broncos get one of the all-time McSteals of the drafts? Will Tim Tebow be the McNugget or the McFlop of the 2010 draft?

Taking Tebow with a second first-round pick isn’t a huge leap of faith. There are first-round busts every year. But because all the experts are screaming “stupid pick” it puts McDaniels on the hot seat.

Tim Tebow is the kind of guy you root for. He’s smart, he’s tough, he’s a leader, he’s a great teammate, he’s a team-first player, and he’s a winner.

It’s all those intangibles that make him appealing.

A quick look at T.O. or Tebow makes for an interesting debate on intangibles.

Terrell Owens is one of the great wide receivers to play the game. He’s headed to the Hall of Fame, but he’s never won a title and he’s frustrated more teammates than the lead cheerleader. Tebow’s team-first attitude and leadership qualities are unquestioned at the college level.

But intangibles are meaningless unless he produces on the field.

Quality person, yes; quality NFL QB, who knows?

Orton and Brady Quinn will be the Bronco QBs for 2010. After that, decisions must be made. The Broncos will not have three high-priced quarterbacks on their roster after this year.

McDaniels has staked his reputation on developing Tebow into an NFL quarterback, as well as branding the Broncos with his players.

Like his mentor in New England, McDaniels is a dictator. Josh also brought a Bill Belichick-sized ego to Denver, as he molds the 2010 roster. Belichick isn’t a bad mentor to have, but as a young unproven NFL head coach, McDaniels has put a target on his forehead because of the decisions he’s made in a very short time.

He’s got the players he wants, and now he has to provide results. Victories and playoff appearances are all that matters. Pat Bowlen shed tears when he let Mike Shanahan go. If a young, brash, cocky, arrogant, confident head coach doesn’t win and make the playoffs, there will be no tears.

Tim Tebow is a Denver Bronco. Josh McDaniels got his quarterback of the future.

Brilliant or stupid? We’ll wait and see.

Tim Tebow is the kind of guy you root for, but only if he’s on the field.

As for head coaches – they are only as brilliant as the number in the win column.

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