After being released by the New York Jets on Monday morning, Tim Tebow is without a job.
And that may be a blessing in disguise.
“Right now, playing – going out on the field and getting in games – is not what helps him,” Yahoo! Sports columnist Jason Cole said on The Damon Amendolara Show. “This is my opinion: He needs to sit and watch and learn how the game actually (functions) and how (to) read coverages – because if he goes out and plays right now, the thing that he’s going to have to do is exist, just try and fight to survive. And his survival mechanism is take off and run – not sit in the pocket, disciplined, read a defense, go through progressions (and) understand what’s in front of him.
“This guy, to me, needs to take a year or two (off) from playing,” Cole continued. “Until he does that, he’s not going to learn how to function as a quarterback – whether he’s in the CFL, the AFL or the NFL. It just doesn’t matter.”
Tebow became a national craze – not to mention a polarizing figure – in 2011 with his unconventional style of quarterbacking. He led the Denver Broncos to a winning record that featured fourth-quarter comeback after fourth-quarter comeback. He even threw for 316 yards on just 10 completions in a 29-23 overtime win over Pittsburgh in the Wild Card round.
But then he went 9-for-26 for 136 yards in a 45-10 loss to the Patriots. That offseason, the Broncos traded Tebow to the Jets after signing Peyton Manning.
As a Jet, Tebow – fairly or unfairly – was a back-up for Mark Sanchez, who finished with the second-worst QB rating in all of football.
While Tebow’s style of play is exciting, he has struggled with consistency, particularly when it comes to reading defenses – and many coaches believe that Tebow’s dyslexia has something to do with it.
“There is a belief among some people who have coached him – and not that these are educational specialists who can really quantify it – but they say that there are issues there in terms of remembering the play from the time you get (from) the huddle to the line and things start to change,” Cole explained. “Defenses move around, they show blitz, they show different coverages; he’s not very adept at picking up the different coverages.”
That’s probably because Tebow didn’t have to do a whole lot of that at Florida, where he won the Heisman Trophy and two national championships.
“(Deciphering coverages) was generally not what he was required to do at the University of Florida,” Cole said. “So this combination of dyslexia (and) not a lot of experience reading coverages has all conspired in the view of coaches to make it hard for him to function in a normal passing game.
“He’s been able to do certain things very well that allow him to run (and) throw over the top. He’s a very good deep thrower. But you talk about those intermediate routes, those timing routes – that’s not what he does in any shape or form.”
In the end, Tebow wants to play quarterback, and he wants to play quarterback now. Whether a team allows that remains to be seen. Of course, even if a team does allow that, there’s no guarantee it’ll be in the NFL. Complicating matters is the fact that Tebow probably wouldn’t realistically consider any other league.
“Not in his mind,” Cole said. “That’d be a last resort.”