Now that Peyton Manning and the Broncos have agreed on a 5-year $96 million contract, Peyton manning will be walking into new territory with hidden pitfalls.
Peyton Manning has owned every city he’s ever walked into. However, he’s preparing to step into a hornet’s nest with the Denver Broncos. Fans aren’t logical people. Hence the term fan-atic.
Somehow Tebow-mania has trumped the two out of five Super Bowls that Elway won as a quarterback. His latest move as an executive may bring the Broncos closer to a Super Bowl in the future but to the hordes of Tebow fans in Denver that may not matter.
It’s even more worrisome when you factor in religion. Tebow has plenty of fans who are religious throughout Denver and won’t make things easier for Manning if he struggles early.
From now until September, Manning will face a fan base more divided than the Gaza Strip. After that all Manning has to do is show he’s still the NFL’s best quarterback and keep on winning.
If Tebow is still on the roster by then, Manning will be involved in one of the more awkward situations in NFL history. Three months ago, Tebow was the darling of the NFL. His late game heroics combined with his subpar throwing through three quarters made him an enigma.
Tebow’s up and down performances in the final three weeks of the Bronco’s season against the Chiefs, Steelers and Patriots encapsulate the mystery of Tebow best. Is he a fluke or just inexperienced and therefore inconsistent. Either way, the more pertinent mystery surrounding Tebow revolves around where he’ll play next.
He’s such a lightning rod for attention that it would be hard to imagine many teams trading for him to even be a backup. Trading for Tebow as a potential starter would mean instituting a drastic philosophical change on offense. It’d be like asking Snoop Dogg to lay off the grass for a while or asking Kobe Bryant to smile more.
Despite the Tebow base that resides in Florida, Jacksonville and Miami have rookie head coaches who won’t gamble on Tebow because if it fails they’ll end up on the chopping block like Josh McDaniels did. They’ll likely look for more conventional options.
Teams don’t adjust their scheme for average-at best quarterbacks. Tebow is no Robert Griffin III, Michael Vick or Cam Newton. His passing ability makes Mike Vick’s in Atlanta look like Steve Young and while he’s a strong downfield runner, he’s not elusive by any means.
Based on his attributes, Tebow was a late round prospect that should have been forced to sit for a few seasons. Instead, Josh McDaniels brought into the ancillary hype around the legend of Tebow and selected him in the first round. Tebow had his moments and last season was magical but his sub-50% completion percentage, uneven play and painfully inaccurate throws are going to backfire on him at some point.
Nobody has heard from Tebow since the Manning trade but sometime in the past 24 hours he probably uttered his first swear. Tebow needs to undergo a complete transformation as a quarterback outside the spotlight.
Terrell Owens had a monster debut in the Indoor Football League. We’ll find out soon if the Allen Wranglers are in the market for a quarterback.