Bill Parcells is widely credited with being a football genius, even though he hasn’t won anything in about two decades. But you have to agree with one thing for sure: After his most recent retirement, Parcells laid out his “11 Quarterback Commandments” and number 11 rings very true around Denver.
“Don’t be a Celebrity Quarterback” Parcells noted. What did he mean?
He didn’t mean that quarterbacks should be or can be anonomous. There’s a large amount of notoritiy that comes with the job. But there’s a difference between being a well known athlete and being a “Celebrity Quarterback,” where your off field actions bring you attention that doesn’t have anything to do with your job.
Parcells was making the statement in relation to Tony Romo of Dallas, who still shows up frequently in non-sports related news and gossip items…the kinds of things that distract from a player’s focus on his job. He certainly could have been talking about New York Jet Mark Sanchez and his fur coats and GQ cover shots. Or…he could have been talking about Tim Tebow.
We all know Tebow’s story: He gives of his time freely and is as good a citizen as there is in the league. But you don’t have to be doing the night club scene with supermodels to be doing stuff that distracts you from the task at hand. This is especially true of young quarterbacks, which Tebow certainly is.
Tebow’s amazing starting debut might have ended up with a Broncos win, but it also showed that he has a loooooooooong way to go to become a upper echelon NFL quarterback. He needs a ton of work on his throwing mechanics and foot work…stuff he can and should be working on pretty much every spare moment he has.
That spare time includes all of the off season. It includes the time he has previously spent making TV commericals, being a guest presenter on TV award shows, and traveling to the far east to help provide medical assistance to the underprivledged. Nothing wrong with any of these actions under normal circumstances. The charity work is very admirable in fact. But just not now. Table that stuff for later on. Spend your time RIGHT NOW away from the cameras with a personal quarterback coach working on the very basics of the position.
Tim Tebow has a decision to make right now. His NFL QB career can go two ways from this point forward: He can stay with what he’s doing, including all the off the field stuff, and keep being the kind of fun and exciting player who can energize his team for a time – along the lines of the career of Doug Flutie…or he can get to work on improving the quarterbacking skills he very definatly CAN improve on, and work toward having a career more like that of Steve Young.
He could be fine either way of course. You can make a strong case for Flutie to be in the PRO FOOTBALL Hall of Fame because it could include the great things he did in Canada (It’s NOT the NFL Hall of Fame, after all) during his CFL days. Young of course IS in the Hall, and his career path as a young player are very similar to Tebow at the same points in their repective careers. Tebow could be fine either way.
But for Tim Tebow to become the quarterback Denver Bronco fans want him to become, the Flutie things isn’t going to work. Bronco fans – NFL fans, actually – want more from him. If he wants to be great, he needs to work more and be seen less. From the end of this season at the end of December until the time the Broncos report back in the spring, Tebow should spend every minute he can working with a personal QB coach to undo bad habits and build new, more productive ones.
The things Tebow brings to the QB position can’t be taught. The things he does very poorly can be.