By Dave Hyde, Sun Sentinel –
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — What Tim Tebow wants, what he deserves, what he desperately needs at this point in his football career more than a bigger spotlight or supportive fans is a team that appreciates his unorthodox skills.
That’s why, after a confounding and confusing Wednesday, Tebow chose right. He chose the New York Jets over Jacksonville. He picked football over marketing.
He showed the wisdom of Solomon in the decision, if you want to play out the Tebow parable to its fullest.
The Jets offered a coaching staff, general manager and owner who stepped up first to trade for him and evidently embrace his different quarterback style. Jacksonville came later to the party with an owner desperate for him to save the franchise.
As we all know, saving that franchise is kid’s stuff for Tebow compared to proving he can play quarterback.
“Every player deserves a coach who likes him” is one of new Dolphins coach Joe Philbin’s tenets.
That’s why the Dolphins didn’t chase him, unfortunately for Tebow fans like me intrigued by what he does for a team. But it’s smart for the franchise. It said important football decisions aren’t made by the ticket department.
In a week of despair, the Dolphins got this one right. And as long as they don’t announce an annual University of Florida reunion, it will stay right. Tebow isn’t a good fit for a new coach, implementing a new system that demands quick decisions and pinpoint throwing accuracy.
That’s not even getting into the circus that left him in Denver and greeted him in New York.
“I just think it’s a publicity stunt,” Jets legend Joe Namath said on New York radio of the Tebow trade. “I really think it’s wrong. I can’t go for it. I’m baffled. I kind of think they’re mixed up over there, and I’m talking about the folks making the decision.”
And: “We don’t need Tebow. We sell out every home game. Let him go to Jacksonville, Tampa or Miami,” cornerback Antonio Cromartie tweeted.
That’s just it. The Jets don’t need Tebow to sell tickets. They want him as a quarterback of some sort. He’ll be a perfect trigger to run the Wildcat, which new offensive coordinator Tony Sparano loves, as every Dolphins fan knows.
At the very least, there’s that role for him. Can he push unsteady starter Mark Sanchez? Is Tebow the type of personality you bring in to sit off to the side?
Even Tebow’s trade was full of drama, the initial report being put on hold for seven hours because the Jets didn’t notice there was a $5 million clause they had to pay. Jacksonville stepped into the mix. Denver reportedly had Tebow choose.
This was the decision of Tebow’s career because Denver’s coaches and front office wanted him to fail last year. John Elway seemed to cringe with each miracle win.
Half the football world shouted he can’t play by showing he completed more than half his passes in just two of 12 games last year. The other half points to how he took over a 1-4 team, had five last-minute victories and upset Pittsburgh in the playoffs.
When’s the last time the Dolphins had a quarterback who threw for more than 300 yards in a playoff victory, as Tebow did against Pittsburgh?
Answer: 1995. That was 16 years and 17 quarterbacks ago, when Dan Marino was The Man. Tebow did it in his first year as a starter.
“When are we going to realize Tim Tebow can win being inconsistent throwing the ball?” Jimmy Johnson tweeted out in January.
That’s where I stand on Tebow. I’m a believer he can be developed. And if it doesn’t work out for him at quarterback, he can be a rich man’s Jim Jensen, the kind of utility player who will lift team spirits and help win games.
Jacksonville was the easy choice for Tebow. Home cooking. Home fans. And all the comforts they bring.
The Jets were the best choice for him. The coaches want him. There’s an obvious role for him. He can quarterback in New York, which looks tougher for him than saving a franchise in Jacksonville.