What’s The Deal With Tebow Mania?

Tim Tebow is back in football. The former Heisman winner tried and failed to cut it in professional football, but he’s being handed an opportunity to prove his worth to the NFL.

The former Broncos and Jets QB had a workout with the Philadelphia Eagles last month and it appears that Chip Kelly liked what he saw. Tebow is expected to sign for the Eagles today and will join in the offseason program.

He becomes the fourth quarterback on their roster this offseason and he gives the NFC East team three First Round QBs in their squad.

“Tebow Mania” has followed this player wherever he’s been. So why does he get so much hype? He struggled to make an impact for the Denver Broncos and New York Jets, so what’s the big deal?

TEBOW TIMELINE

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Tim Tebow rushed for a TD in 2010’s International Series game vs San Francisco 49ers. The 49ers won 24-16.

He was home educated.

2007 – He won the Heisman Trophy. That season he threw 32 touchdowns for the Florida Gators. He also rushed 23 TDs, which is an SEC (South Eastern Conference) record.

2008 – He finished third in the Heisman voting. His new team mate, Sam Bradford, won the honour that year.

2009 – Turned down the NFL Draft to complete his senior year with Florida Gators.

2010 – First Round draft pick for the Denver Broncos (25th overall). He set an NFL Draft record for jersey sales.

On October 31st he appeared at Wembley and ran in a touchdown against the San Francisco 49ers. Denver lost 24-16. His first start came on December 19, which was a 39-23 road loss to the Oakland Raiders. He completed eight of 16 passes for 138 yards, including a 33-yard touchdown pass. He also rushed for 78 yards, 40 of which came on a touchdown run in the first quarter of the game. It was the longest touchdown run for a quarterback in Broncos history and the longest touchdown run in NFL history for a quarterback in his first start.

Tebow’s first career victory came in his second start on December 26. The Broncos defeated the Houston Texans, 24-23, in Denver. He helped rally the Broncos from a 17-0 deficit at halftime, as he finished the game with 308 passing yards and one touchdown pass. He also added a fourth quarter rushing touchdown, which capped the comeback.

He became the first quarterback in NFL history to rush for a touchdown in each of his first three career starts.

2011 – He began the season as the Broncos’ backup quarterback, behind Kyle Orton. After a 1-4 start and some poor performances, Orton was replaced by Tebow at halftime during a home game against the San Diego Chargers in week five.

Tebow nearly led the Broncos back from a 16-point deficit, as he passed and ran for a touchdown in the fourth quarter. The Chargers ultimately won the game, 29-24. The Broncos went on to make the play-offs with him behind centre.

After the three consecutive losses, Broncos vice president and former quarterback John Elway said Tebow was playing tentatively and needed to “pull the trigger.”

In the wildcard round the Broncos hosted the Pittsburgh Steelers. Tebow threw for a career high 316 yards and two touchdowns, including an 80-yard TD to Demaryius Thomas on the first play of overtime, as the Broncos won 29-23.

The Broncos were then handed a 45-10 defeat by the New England Patriots the following week, knocking them out of the playoffs. Tebow completed 9 of 26 passes for 136 yards and was sacked five times; he also rushed five times for thirteen yards.

After the season, John Elway confirmed that Tebow would be the Broncos starting quarterback going into training camp in 2012.

Despite on-field successes by the Broncos under Tebow, he finished the season with the lowest passing completion rate in the NFL which led many to question his potential as a quarterback at the professional level.

2012 – The Broncos signed Peyton Manning and traded Tebow to the Jets, along with the Broncos’ 2012 7th round pick, in exchange for the Jets’ fourth and sixth round picks.

The Jets struggled that season and the fans and media called for Rex Ryan to bench the inconsistent Mark Sanchez in favour of Tebow.

Tebow suffered two broken ribs during a road game against the Seahawks, however, this was not confirmed until two days prior to the Jets’ Thanksgiving contest against the New England Patriots. Tebow was active despite the injury which was publicly revealed after the game.

He was subsequently inactive during the Jets’ following contest against the Arizona Cardinals in which Sanchez was benched in favour of Greg McElroy.

2013 – Tebow was released by the Jets having only thrown eight passes and run 32 times in his single season. He signed with the New England Patriots and played two preseason games. He failed to make the cut.

He presented for ESPN last season, but now Tebow Mania returns and the spotlight falls on Philly. Despite being out of the league, the 27-year-old Tebow remains one of the most popular players around. He has a legion of fans who follow him because of his strong Christian beliefs.

We’re all guessing what Chip Kelly’s next move will be this offseason, with speculation rife that he will trade up for Marcus Mariota in the draft next week. One thing’s for sure, Chip’s given us plenty to talk about.

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