GUEST POST: Frankie Vittorini of "Flight 5" Talks Tim Tebow

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Aug 10, 2012; Cincinnati, OH, USA; New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow (15) hands a young fan his wrist band after the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium. The Bengals beat the Jets 17-6. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE

Tebow mania, oh Tebow mania. Do I really need to get into this? I will say Tebow came in and won 7 of 8 lifting a team that was statistically one of the worst in football. Tebow also had the highest 4th quarter QBR in football. Now if Tebow really can’t throw and play QB, then he must have a ton of confidence being able to pull all that off in one season. I mean he didn’t even practice the playbook in training camp with those guys.

Many ask: why was Tim Tebow a first round pick? He should have been drafted in the 4th round.

Well let me tell you about the man who drafted Tim Tebow. That man is Josh McDaniels and he started his coaching career as a graduate assistant under the wings of the great Nick Saban. At the time Nick Saban was very close with Bill Belichick; serving as the Cleveland Browns DC under Belichick from 1991-1994. Too bad Art Modell really loved crab cakes and reubens. After leaving Michigan State, Saban recommended Josh McDaniels to Bill Belichick and a year later Josh was working as Patriots personnel assistant. Four years later he would be calling plays for the New England Patriots and coaching one of the best quarterbacks ever.

During his tenure as the New England Patriots offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Josh McDaniels put together some of the best offenses in NFL history and helped mold a quarterback many thought of as a “manager” into one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history, in Tom Brady.

August 24, 2012; Tampa, FL, USA; New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels during the second half against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeated the New England Patriots 30-28. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE

The pinnacle of McDaniels offensive teaching and play calling success was with the 2007 New England Patriots. That New England offense scored the most points & touchdowns in NFL history, not to mention winning the most games in one season (16). Tom Brady threw for a NFL record 50 TDs and many consider his 2007 campaign the greatest single season performance by a quarterback ever. The next year even with an injured Brady, McDaniels called plays and mentored Matt Cassel, who attempted a total of 11 passes in college. Cassell would go on to have his best year ever (will always be his best year) as a pro throwing for 3,693 yards, 21 TDs, 11 Ints, a 63.1 QBR, and earning a trip to the Pro Bowl.

After 2008, Josh was given permission to interview for NFL head coaching jobs, and was eventually hired by the Denver Broncos in 2009. That year the Broncos won 6 straight games to open the season and the recently acquired Kyle Orton looked like a working man’s version of Tom Brady (10 TDs, 1 Int in 6 games); however the DEN season quickly fell apart. There are a variety of reasons why this happened, but many speculate it stemmed from a ton of negativity regarding McDaniels trading a popular Jay Cutler, which lead to an unhappy Brandon Marshall (oh boy). This led to the Broncos collapsing, but still finishing 8-8. The next year would not get any better as the NE Spygate scandal followed McDaniels in Denver as it was determined that a man McDaniels hired as the Broncos team director of video operations, Steve Scarmecchia, had filmed a San Francisco 49ers walkthrough practice. McDaniels claimed to never see the tape so he never reported the incident to the NFL; bad move. Both the Broncos & McDaniels were fined $50,000 each. Broncos were 3-9 and Josh was eventually fired.

Fast forward to this year. McDaniels is the offensive coordinator for a New England Patriots offense averaging over 430 yards/game. At that pace they would have 4th most explosive offense in terms of yards per game in NFL history. Couple that with 2007, and Josh McDaniels would be responsible for two top 10 offenses in NFL history.

Now this is when it gets good: so as head coach for the Denver Broncos Josh McDaniels took part in two NFL drafts. Now guess whom the offensive guru drafted with the 25th pick in 2010 draft? TIM TEBOW. Now why would Josh McDaniels, a guy who knows so much about running a successful NFL offenses with pocket passers (Brady, Cassel, Orton), draft a guy who many claim can’t throw a football or play QB? The better question is why are people questioning Tim Tebow?

In college, Tebow broke SEC records for total TDs (1 shy of NCAA record), rushing TDs, total yards, passer rating* (broke NCAA record), lowest interception ratio, and most points (non kicker). *Later would be broken.

Oct 28, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow (15) warms up before the game against the Miami Dolphins at MetLIfe Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-US PRESSWIRE

Yes Tim does have an awkwardly slow release; but when you have a guy that knows how to buy time his release is not what’s most important. He is arguable the best leader in football history and make players around him better. That is what’s important in my eyes. Not to mention a guy in college who had a year where he threw for 32 TDs and rushed for 23 TDs (55 TOTAL TDS). So it’s not like the ability is not there. Those Tebow led Gators played offense better than many NFL teams (Jets cough).

While Tebow buys the time to make plays, Mark Sanchez does the complete opposite; and you want to know what it boils down to? Not ability or preparation, but fear in the pocket. Tim Tebow is one of the most fearless quarterback I have ever seen. He will always find a way to escape and make a play in a big moment. Compare that with a Sanchez who is flat out “shell-shocked.”

Well ladies and gents the fact is Tim Tebow can be an extremely successful quarterback in the NFL and he should be the Jets starter for not only the present but also the future. Sure draft a QB because we need to get more conventional talent at that position, but I think Tebow as the starter will do. If the Jets can find an offensive coordinator committed to make it work with Tebow, he will no doubt deliver. You realize I did not mention the word “clutch” once in this article. I tried to back up everything up with facts and felt that “clutchness” is very hard to put a number on. But I do have one last stat to wrap it up. In 16 career starts Tebow has 7 game winning drives; the same as the great Aaron Rodgers who has started 71 games.

Thanks to Frankie for taking the time. Please check out his site, Flopping Out, and each and every Friday night at 7 PM, check out his terrific show, Flight 5.  Also be sure to give Frank a follow on Twitter (@hashtagfrankie), he is a great Jets fan, a funny guy, and loves talking Jets football.

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