Running Quarterbacks Through the Years

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Mar 26; Florham Park, NJ, USA; Newly acquired New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow addresses the media at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-US PRESSWIRE

A reader recently asked me, “What will it take for you to get on the Tim Tebow bus?” A very interesting question, thanks to the reader for asking it, and I answered. Clearly, if you have been on the site a lot, you have seen me write about why I think this is bound to fail, and the scenarios where I think it can work.  Anyone who reads me knows that my overall impression of this idea is not very good.

The question got me thinking a bit, about the game, through the years I have been watching.  It got me thinking about other running quarterbacks, and why some of them have been successful, and yet I have my thoughts about Tim Tebow.  So today, I am going to look at three top running quarterbacks from my time.  The first is:


Most readers I am sure know who this guy is, but for any really young readers that only know him from ESPN, here is some quick background.  He was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1985, and went to the 49ers in 1987.  After sitting the last years of Joe Montana’s time in SF on the bench, he became the starter and won a Super Bowl title while he was there in 1994.

He was about as Tim Tebow-like as anybody.  The game was different then, but in his years as a full time starter, he never ran the ball less than 50 times, rushed for as many as 537 yards, 7 TDs, and never ran for less than 4.0 yards per carry.  In his early years in SF, the late Bill Walsh would complain about how Steve had difficulty with the offense, but was so good with his feet that he would get himself out of trouble.

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Tags: Alan Schechter Backup Quarterback Completion Percentage John Elway NY Jets Randall Cunningham Running Quarterback Steve Young Tebowmania Tim Tebow

  • Mopp

    I am always surprised at your lack of detail.  Tim Tebow set Florida state passing records while in High School. Tim Tebow holds multiple SEC passing records in College. He also hold national records. Look them up. He also went 33-35 in the last game he played in college. His college record is better than John Elway.  His first year playing and wins and winning percentages are better than John Elways, Peyton Manning, Eli Manning etc. for the same  time frame. He also won more games than new Wonder boy Cam Newton while starting the same amount. Look at the numbers and really compare rather than continue regurgitating information. Lay out all the number for Peyton Manning, Eli Manning, John Elway, Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Steve Young for the same time frame and lets use the same yard stick that was used  for them with Tim Tebow.  Objective view points seem to be far and few between    run the numbers, run the numbers, run the numbers, on all of these players that have become Super bowl Champions  for the same time frame that Tebow has started

    • Alan Schechter

      You are entitled to your opinion, but I don’t agree.

      Yes he won more games than the guys you mentioned, those guys were going through growing pains of young quarterbacks, that all go through. Show me a guy that has won playing the style of Tim Tebow? It’s never happened.

      And as far as the numbers, look at the completion percentages. Steve Young never completed less than 50%. Peyton Manning only had one season throwing for less than 60% completion percentage. You can compare the numbers all you like. It bares out as I described in the article.

      As a Tim Tebow fan you may not like to hear it, but Tebow needs to improve as a drop back passer. He won a lot of games last year, and if you read carefully I acknowlege that every time. After a year of it, teams have tape on him now. If Tim Tebow is as good as you think, how did the Patriots, who had one of the worst defenses in 2011, eat him for lunch? They destroyed him.

      The reason, they didn’t allow him running lanes. They forced him to be an NFL passer, and he isn’t one. If he is so good, why did Denver get rid of him? A lot of teams didn’t have Peyton Manning, and didn’t try for him either.

      I appreciate your opinions, if you are always surprised that means you visit a lot. But, Tim Tebow fans look at him through rose colored glasses, I’m sorry.

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  • Murf47

    Mopp just covered it all. Articles like this should compare numbers within the same time frame of each player.

    • Alan Schechter

      And Tim Tebow fans need to be honest about their guy. I DID compare the numbers from the same time, those guys had good completion percentages, Tebow does not.

      And I ask you the same question I asked Mopp. If Tim Tebow is so good, why didn’t the Broncos keep him?

  • SeanLDurham

     @Mopp Bringing up Tebow’s college accomplishments huh?  Nice…..while we’re at it lets bring up Brad Smith’s college accomplishments as well considering he broke ALL kinds of passing and rushing records at Missouri.
    Problem with your INVALID comparisons to OTHER notable QBs is that those QBs dont have to deal with fundamentally FLAWED mechanics.  No ONE CARES about Tebow’s college accomplishments anymore.  His college accomplishments didn’t mean JACK to John Elway.  John Elway showed you and EVERYONE else just WHAT he thought of Tebow’s college “accomplishments” when he traded him at the DROP of a hat INSTEAD of having him SIT behind and LEARN from one of the BEST QBs in the league…..That’s what I would have done had I felt Tebow had a chance in becoming a legit franchise QB but Elway, a former PRO QB, didnt see in Tebow what Tebow fanatics see in him and that says ALOT…..
    Tebow’s “success” with the Broncos STARTS with the fact that he was at the helm a SEVERELY SIMPLER offense than Newton, Sanchez, Elway and any OTHER QB you want to compare him to.
    How did the Broncos win most of those comeback games last year? Was it from Tebow dissecting the defense through the air?? No it was from Tebow being able to play the option and only finding success through the air because teams had to start defending the run (also from Marion Barber being an EFFIN IDIOT) It’s how he beat the Jets for christ’s sake! It had little to do with his abilities as a passer, and more to do with his athletic abilities.  The Pitt playoff game was the only real game I saw where I felt like he carried his team as a true passer. But that’s one game… Look Tebow could develop into a fine QB, or he may never but could still be an excellent athlete in football in other roles. Since he’s on the Jets I hope he does great doing whatever they have him do. But people need to get over the delusion that this guy is a good QB right now. He’s not.
    Bringing up Tebow’s college numbers is about as LOGICAL as expecting him and his 47% career comp% to come in and beat out Sanchez for the starting job.  Tebow proponents dont want to argue LEGIT facts when it comes to Tebow and his IMMENSE flaws, they just want to throw up MEANINGLESS and pointless regurgitated Skip Bayless talking points and that just isn’t going to FLY….
    Debate FACTS……talk about how Bellichick EMBARRASSED Tebow in the playoffs holding him to a PUTRID 34.6 % comp% against the leagues WORST pass defense.
    Talking about “objective views” and you’re bringing up irrelevant and meaningless college stats and references……run the numbers? You mean the numbers that says Tebow’s comp = 46.5% and Cam Newton’s comp = 60% ?….should we start with THOSE numbers?
    #Child Please!