Broncos Trade Tim Tebow To Jets

March 21, 2012

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DENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 17:  Quarterback Mark Sa...

Love ya, teammate!

Tim Tebow sparked Tebowmania in 2011.  Despite uneven – and at times very bad – play at the quarterback position, Tebow managed a 7-4 record as a starter and became a much beloved figure in the Mile High City.  Tebow jersey were flying off the shelves, and high school kids everywhere were tebowing.

The amazing flight of Tim Tebow crash landed this week when the Broncos signed future Hall of Famer quarterback Peyton Manning to a contract.  Manning was cut loose by the Indianapolis Colts to avoid payment of a $28 million roster bonus.  After a prolonged recruiting trip, current Hall of Famer and Denver icon John Elway convinced Manning that the place for him to begin his quest for another ring was in Denver.

Naturally, the minute that Manning signed on the dotted line, he became the starting quarterback for the Broncos.  You don’t pay a guy $96 million (over five years) to carry a clipboard.  Suddenly, Manning is The Man and Tebow was relegated to backup duty, perhaps being rotated in for a series once in a while.  Maybe even converted to a halfback to keep his athleticism on the field.

Then the other shoe dropped.  Tebow was being shipped out.  He was traded today to the New York Jets.  The Jets got Tebow and a 7th round pick and the Broncos got a 4th and 6th round pick.

How the mighty have fallen.  The once “great” Tebow was now being valued less than a hundred or so players who will be drafted before the Broncos will be able to draft a player with that 4th round pick.

Does the deal make sense for the Broncos?

I’m not a huge Tebow fan, but this deal makes very little sense to me.  Many people – including me – felt that he was overvalued when the Broncos spent a first round pick on him.  But on the flip side, I definitely think he’s worth more than a 4th rounder plus the 6-for-7 swap.  Really, there’s a player in the 4th round who provides more value to the Broncos than Tim Tebow?

IOWA CITY, IA - NOVEMBER 21: Linebacker A.J. E...

This is Adam Weber.

Without Tebow on the roster, the Broncos are going to be force to acquire a backup quarterback.  They chased Kyle Orton out of town – to give Tebow a wide berth.  Brady Quinn recently signed with KC while the Manning/Tebow sagas played out.  According to NFL.com, the only other QB on Denver’s roster is Adam Weber.  Weber is best known for … actually, nobody really knows who he is.  He may not have existed when I began writing this article.  As for the wisdom of backup up Manning with an inexperience QB – how did that work out for the Colts this year (other than winning the Andrew Luck sweepstakes)?

It’s not even about the money – Tebow will make $1.942 million in 2012, $2.266 million in 2013, and $2.590 million in 2014.  Those are bad salaries for a guy who has shown some ability to win games.  Heck, Matt Flynn recently signed a $24 million contract (over three years) on the strength of his performance in ONE game.

Does the deal make sense for the Jets?

Definitely.  They only give up a 4th round pick for Tebow.  At worst, he backs up Mark Sanchez and serves as a capable second string QB.  If Sanchez were to continue to regress, there’s even the chance that the Jets would let Tebow take the team out for a spin and see what he can do with the offense.  Although some are rubbed the wrong way by Tebow’s Christian messages, he’s definitely not the sort of player who is going to make headlines for the wrong reason (Big Ben).

All in all, there’s very little downside here, and a decent amount of upside – especially if Tebow can every figure out how the pass the ball effectively.

Around the NFL: Horse of a different color

ST. LOUIS, MO - AUGUST 13: Jeff Saturday #63 a...

I was not able to find a public domain image of Saturday's backside.

Several other Colts may be switching their mounts and also joined the Broncos.  My friend Ray gave me a heads-up that center Jeff Saturday, tight end Dallas Clark,  and running back Joseph Addai are all being mentioned as possible free agent signings by Denver.  If all goes well for Denver, Manning could once again be staring at Saturday’s butt, handing the ball off the Addai, and finding Dallas Clark in the back on the end zone.

Add these cogs into the mix, and the Broncos could easily find themselves in the playoff rodeo once again.

Around the NFL: Saints Brass Lose Halos

The other big new story of the day is the NFL cracking down on the New Orleans Saints for Bountygate.

Suspensions:

  • Head coach Sean Payton, entire 2012 season
  • GM Mickey Loomis, eight games
  • Assistant coach Joe Vitt, six games
  • Former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams (now with Rams) suspended indefinitely.  Status to be reviewed after the season.

Other penalties:

  • $500,000 fine
  • Forfeiture of second round picks in 2012 and 2013

It’s interesting to look at these penalties alongside the penalties for SpyGate.  There were no suspensions for the Patriots, but they were stripped of a first round pick.  So was BountyGate worse, or SpyGate?
 

 

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Peyton Will Be Manning The Broncos

March 20, 2012

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Striking Down With Great Vengeance….

FOXBORO, MA - NOVEMBER 21:  Peyton Manning #18...

I saw a funny couple of posts on Facebook last night.

One went something along the lines of “Will the Wrath of God hit the Broncos now that his favorite Quarterback has lost the starting job?”

While this may be funny on the surface it really does hit an interesting point. There is Broncos Nation….and then there is Tebow Nation.

The Broncos fans were torn last year as Tebow became the quarterback. Many tried and true Tebow fans proclaimed him as their “football savior” Indicating his college record, his winning spirit, and that “IT” factor that no-one can quite put their finger on…but evidently Tim has “IT” .  “All he does is win” is what the Tebow camp proclaimed.

Naysayers would bring up the same couple of points over and over. He can’t throw the ball at all. He throws it terribly inaccurately and his throwing motion is horrid. With him as quarterback all teams do is load up to stop the run and make him throw the football.

Turns out both groups of fans were right. He really did not throw the ball worth a lick, but he did win games and had six fourth quarter come from behind victories and led the Broncos to the playoffs.

Enter Peyton Manning. He has had career neck problems. He has proven time and time again that he is arguably the best regular season quarterback of all time. He is the consummate field general, calling all the plays at the line of scrimmage and changing them on the fly based on what the defense if giving him. His accuracy over the years and arm strength are without question.

Let the Sound Clips Begin!

DENVER, CO - DECEMBER 11:  Quarterback Tim Teb...

Already the arguments are starting with what will become of Tim Tebow? Why did the Broncos of all teams go get Manning after they stated last year Tebow was “their guy”

 

Current player Willis McGahee and stated on Sirius XM NFL Radio – “Basically, he can really take us to another level,” “We were young and I think those guys got the jitters out of them last year, even though we did go to the playoffs and represented the AFC West. It was a certain something that we were missing. We were missing that general to take charge in tough situations and I think he brings that to the table.”

 

Former Broncos player, Bill Romanowski told Yahoo Sports Radio – “I don’t see this as a huge positive for the Denver Broncos. I don’t think you can just throw in a Peyton Manning, who to me is still broken down, who is not healthy yet, and think that he is going to be the answer to getting you to a Super Bowl. To me, you had the answer. You just need more talent around a guy like Tim Tebow.”

These are the comments before any “official” announcement has been made. I am sure the comments will continue to roll out of Mile High City in the next few weeks.

Why Didn’t Peyton Go For the Gold?

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JANUARY 22:  (L-R) Alex Sm...

I personally was thinking that Manning might have went to the west coast and landed with the 49ers. At the end of the day, I think the same thing that makes it appealing to Manning is ultimately the same thing that made it unattractive. Jim Harbaugh.

Harbaugh strikes me as a guy that is ultra-competitive. I get the feeling is very cerebral when it comes to being a tactician on the field. He is intense. He is a former Colts Quarterback. I have the sense likes to be in control.

To me this is a case where Manning and Harbaugh might be too much alike and would ultimately clash in the end game. There is no doubt the Niners would be a prohibitive favorite in the NFC to get to the Super Bowl with Peyton in charge of the huddle. In the end, maybe it was the perception that egos would get in the way.

Un-retiring the 18?

An interesting side note is that the Denver Broncos long ago retired the #18 jersey. It was worn by Frank Tripucka, who also was the first U.S. professional quarterback to throw for over 3000 yards in a season. Tripucka, who is now in his mid-Eighties, has indicated he would be happy to give permission to Manning to sport the long ago retired #18 for the Broncos. “A number is a number!” Frank said. “I’d be honored if he wants to use it. He’s a great quarterback.”

While the Tim Tebow Jersey was the 2nd bestselling NFL jersey last year, it will be interesting to see if the new number 18 in navy and orange will crack the top 10 in jersey sales in 2012. My guess is that he will be miles high up on the list.

Until next time– Stay Classy Toledo, Ohio
 

 

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Can A Coach’s Confidence Affect Player Performance?

January 17, 2012

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Taking a sports angle on a bigger topic this week.

What can confidence, or belief in someone really achieve?

This year in the NFL we have seen two of the largest examples of this in recent memory.

First, (and apologies here as many have already beaten this to horse glue) but look at Tim Tebow of the Denver Broncos. Ridiculed by many, he took a team that was 1-4 to start the year and made them an 8-8 club. He led the Broncos to a division title, beat the defending AFC Champions Steelers in his first ever playoff game. Lucky? Overachiever?

Perhaps.

The fact is that Tim Tebow has shown at the college level and now the professional level that he is a great leader. Teammates believe in him. Obviously I am not on the practice field, on the sidelines or in the huddle…I am not even a Broncos fan. But you can’t dispute the results of what he seems to have accomplished this year basically on heart and guts alone.

An even bigger example is Alex Smith. He has been tossed on the scrap heap in San Francisco on a few different occasions. The Niners have played musical coaches and musical offensive coordinator in their coaching hierarchy over Smith’s entire NFL career.

All it took as a new head coach, Jim Harbaugh, to come into the organization with the attitude that “hey this Smith kid is good, he just has not been properly coached. Voila’ The player who has been told by fans and media his entire career that he was a bust as a #1 Draft pick out of Utah has talent, that he is good, and that they can win games with him.

What happened with the San Francisco 49ers? They won their division, beat a favored team in the playoffs last week in one of the most exciting NFL games in recent or distant memory and are now poised to make the Super Bowl for the first time since they have had Hall of Fame quarterbacks at the helm.

The secret – Having the right people in the right place at the right time.

No doubt that Tebow, gave the Broncos a lift just when their organization needed it. The debate is still out if he is a long-term solution, but there is no denying the entire team has played much better since he took over as their quarterback.

San Francisco has shown that the right coach, who personally got to know his personnel and giving them the proper confidence and feedback to help them succeed, now has a team that were total underachiever’s in the eyes of many to on the verge of being NFC champions.

For those reading this article you likely can look to leaders in your place of employment and point to situations where strong leaders have assisted you, or assisted one your co-workers to achieve personal successes. I am certain you can also remember instances where this has not worked out so well.

Just like in the NFL combine where 40 yard dash times and repetitions in the weight room can increase draft stock, window dressing in the workplace is not always enough.

Sometimes….. what all of us need, whether is it in our parenting, our careers or in our sports pursuits is a some good coaching, and a little confidence.

Until next time, stay classy Charlotte, North Carolina.

Is Tim Tebow For Real?

December 13, 2011

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Once again, Tim Tebow saved the day, rallying the Broncos to an overtime win against the Chicago Bears. Tebow is now 7-1 as a starter, and the Broncos have won six straight and find themselves atop the AFC West.

So, while Tebow is building a reputation as a winner, he’s also criticized for his lackluster numbers. He’s completing less than 50% of his passes (48.5), and averaging just 6.5 yards per attempt. Tebow has only topped the 50% rate in three games. However, those three games are the last three, suggesting that he may be improving. He’s only topped 200 yards in two games – but those are the last two games.

The Broncos cut ties with Kyle Orton earlier this year, meaning that the 2011 Broncos are Tebow’s team. However, it remains to be see whether he is the long term answer at quarterback, or whether the Broncos will go after a quarterback in the draft.

What’s my opinion? I think that Tim Tebow is, at best, the second coming. The second coming of Kordell Stewart, that is.

Heisman Trophy

Robert Griffin III of Baylor won the Heisman Trophy.  I was happy to see RG3 grab the award.  Not only does he have the physical tools to succeed, but he’s also a smart guy – he has already earned a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and is working toward a Masters in Communication.  Some teams is going to get a great person – and great player – in the draft.

The Heisman also bring welcome publicity to a Baylor program that was downtrodden in recent years.  Baylor won 4 games in November 2011.  In the prior 15 years, they had won 4 November games, total (an average of about 0.25 wins per year).

Ryan Braun

Reigning National League MVP Ryan Braun made the news by reportedly testing positive for synthetic testosterone.  Although this is bad news for Braun and the Brewers, I think this is good news for baseball.  In the past, the players who tested positive were either players nobody like much (Palmeiro and Manny) or guys nobody had ever heard of.  Braun is a rising superstar just coming into his prime.  A positive test result from such a player indicates that MLB’s testing is on the level, and that there are no sacred cows being protected.

BCS

I’m not a fan of the BCS matchup between LSU and Alabama.  If Alabama wins a squeaker on a neutral field, how does this become more important than LSU’s win at Alabama?  I wonder how big of a win Alabama would need to push ahead of LSU with the computers.

I hate seeing rematches in bowl games.  Alabama had their chance at LSU, and LSU proved that they were better.  Step aside and let the next team have their chance.

NBA

I haven’t followed the NBA much since Magic Johnson retired (and even less since Alonzo Mourning retired).  I must be really out of touch if Marc Gausol is worth $58  million over 4 years.  I don’t mind seeing superstars get paid, but I don’t think MG’s in that class.  I think one of the reasons the NBA is in financial trouble is because they pay role players and minor stars absurd amounts of money – not necessarily that the actual superstars are overpaid.

Will Tiger Woods Bounce Back in 2012?

November 22, 2011

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It might be turning around for Eldrick Tont Woods.

He got blasted 7 & 6 in his first round match while being partnered with Steve Stricker.

He clinched the President’s Cup for the American side, giving Fred Couples the opportunity to do his best Muhammad Ali impersonation of shadow boxing in the beginning of the victory celebration.

Tiger Woods appears to have turned the corner. In difficult conditions at Royal Melbourne Golf Club he rarely missed fairways, showed improved bunker play, and found his putting stroke in the singles matches. This all on the heels of a 3rd place finish in another tournament down under just a week before.

Fred Couples called him the best player ever and stated there was no way you could leave that type of guy off of a team assembling the finest golfers on the PGA tour. No matter that Tiger had slipped to 50th in the World Rankings.

Tiger make Fred look wise enough with the selection. Having Tiger involved in the President’s Cup matches obviously made the television audience greater than it otherwise would have been. More importantly I saw a more balanced swing out of Eldrick, he looked in control of his shots in horrible wind condition. I think it could be a decent bounce back year for him in 2012. He seems to have his focus and now more importantly his swing appears to be back as well.

Wow what a week in college football!

Oklahoma State loses on the road in Ames to a lowly Iowa State team. Those pesky Cyclones always seem to beat someone. RG III puts one hand on the Heisman with a big upset of Oklahoma. It appears that Texas Tech loss was no fluke. The Sooners cannot defend the pass whatsoever. Speaking of not defending, the Huskers get housed at the Big House losing by an “N” barrasing 28 points to Michigan.

Meanwhile back in the SEC, the teams have claimed the top 3 spots in the BCS rankings. The real question is does anyone north of the Mason Dixon line or west of the Mississippi river even care about the SEC?

J-E-T-S – Lose! Lose! Lose! Lose!

See what happens when you rag about how a guy can’t throw the football at all, talk about how bored you are going to be watching the other team run the football.

Well…that bum from the Florida Gators moved his team 95 yards and scored the go ahead touchdown to beat your sorry green butts.

Tebow Time in Denver! Amazingly all sports fans are correct about Tim Tebow. He is a lousy NFL passing quarterback, he can’t throw a lick. He is a winner, all he does is wins games. I can’t remember such a divided sports figure as Tebow in my lifetime where the pro’s and con’s are technically both correct in their arguments, but yet still stand firmly behind their side and won’t agree with the other side of the argument.

Discount Double Check!

Overheard by me at the Detroit airport when a sports bar was showing highlights of the Packers Game on Sunday. As soon as they show Aaron Rodgers the table of Viking fans behind me dropped the “discount double check” belt move from State Farm Commercials….Classic!

Until Next time….

Stay classy Gas City, Indiana

Are Sports Drafts Fair?

April 29, 2010

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If I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it a hundred times. Drafts ensure an equal distribution of talent.

But is it really true?

The concept behind drafts in the major sports is that the teams with the worst records receive the top picks in the annual draft of amateur players. In baseball and football, this is as simple as assigning the top pick to the team with the worst record. Basketball employs a lottery system. The worst teams receive more ping pong balls in the lottery, but they are not guaranteed the top pick.

Even if you’re not a sports fan, you probably spotted the moral hazard. If you’re having a bad season, it can be a good move to intentionally lose games late in the season in order to get a good pick in the draft.

Let’s take a deeper look at the core assertion that drafts ensure an equal distribution of talent. This isn’t true, of course. The best that the draft process can hope to do is produce parity in terms of win-loss records. Some organizations are simply much better at maximizing talent than others. Throw a bad coach and GM into the mix, and the team will easily under-perform the level you’d expect based on the talent.

There’s another question to be addressed – even if drafts did ensure an equal distribution of talent, should this be a goal of a league? If your team allows stars to leave via free agency, makes bad trades, and makes inefficient use of the players, should the league bail you out by handing you high draft picks each year? This really amounts to a subsidy of the bad teams at the expense of the good ones.

What’s my solution? Throw all the team names in a hat and randomly draw to determine the draft order.

OK, maybe that’s a bit extreme, and could lead to massive apathy for some teams that struggle to improve. However, at the very least, baseball and football should adopt a lottery similar to the NBAs.

The Resin Bag

Like Johnny Goodman, I was a bit surprised to see Tim Tebow taken with the #25 pick in the draft. I’m not as down on Tebow as Johnny. I think he’s a project that could pay dividends down the road. However, you don’t take projects in the first round, particularly with better QBs still available.

I was hoping the Rams would break from conventional thought and nab Texas QB Colt McCoy with the top pick in the 3rd round (McCoy was taken by the Browns later in the 3rd round). It’s true that the Rams have a lot of holes, and that spending two high picks on quarterbacks is a luxury. However, picking a franchise quarterback can be a real crapshoot.  (For the latest proof of this, look in JaMarcus Russell’s direction).  If Sam Bradford fails, the Rams may be back to the drawing board in a few years, using another #1 pick on a quarterback. McCoy would have given the Rams a second roll of he dice for a lower price. Not only that, but he could have pushed Bradford for the job, bringing out the best in both players.  It’s hard for a sense of entitlement to set in when there is another quality young QB gunning for your job.  After years of battling in the Big 12 South, it would have been interesting to see them battling in training camp.

Iowa State basketball coach Greg McDermott left for a new job as the coach at Creighton. McDermott had a very successful run as the coach of UNI, but his Iowa State teams never won more than 15 games, and the patience of the fans was growing a bit thin.

After McDermott left, the ABC station in Ames began to report the news that favorite son Fred Hoiberg was being considered for the vacant Iowa State job. Hoiberg went to Ames High School before becoming one of the most popular players in the history of the program. His nickname was “The Mayor.” My business law professor was he actual mayor of Ames at the time, and he even referred to Hoiberg as “The Mayor”.  Hoiberg doesn’t have any hands-on coaching experience, but he did spend the last few years in the front office of the NBA’s Minnesota Timberwolves.

Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard signed a 5 year contract extension that pays him $25 million per year.  Seen licking him chops after the announcement was Cardinals first baseball Albert Pujols, who will become a free agent after the 2011 season.  Pujols is a better offensive and defensive player than Howard and could command upwards of $30 million per year.

Rockies pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez will finish the month of April with a record of 5-0 and  0.79 ERA.  If those numbers aren’t enough to warrant the National League Pitcher of the Month honors, perhaps his no-hitter will push him over the edge.

What Are the Broncos Thinking?

April 27, 2010

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Editor’s note: Today, Johnny Goodman resumes his regular gig on The Soap Boxers.  Good to have you back, Johnny.

Tim Tebow … Tim Tebow, Tim Tebow, Tim Tebow …

The Media cannot get enough of this guy. I am thoroughly convinced anyone living outside of Gainesville is sick and tired of seeing his mug on the television.

Of course he is a good guy. I mean the guy is practically a minister. Never in the history of football has a player put God in the forefront so much. Heck he even put bible versus on his eye black stickers that he wore for each and every game last year.

Which is part of the reason the NCAA passed a rule this off-season that messages on eye black are now a big fat no-no … No longer acceptable. I mean we would hate to have eye black patches get us into a big church vs. state discussion right … Not as long as Tim Tebow was in College, but now that he is gone, let’s get the rule into place.

The media made this guy the popular guy he is. Let’s break down what he was at Florida.

  • Heisman Trophy winner
  • Popular with the fans
  • A great leader for his team
  • Urban Meyer’s favorite player of all time
  • A big bruising punishing runner of a quarterback

What Tim Tebow was not at Florida

  • A good passer
  • A guy with a great Quarterback motion
  • A pro prospect at QB

What is Tim Tebow? A great Human being. A god loving Human being … I mean he has told us all about a million times right. Tim Tebow as a football player in college is nothing more than a media over-hyped and glorified Scott Frost, the former Husker QB who went on to play a few years as a safety in the NFL. Frost was also a big guy, could throw just a little but had a funky motion, but he was like a linebacker when running the football. Big and punishing, and good enough to lead the Huskers and Tom Osborne to a National Championship in 1997, Osborne’s final season.

What are the Denver Bronco’s thinking? This guy is NOT a pro quarterback, not even close. When they ask him if he is will to get better and change and do whatever, what do you expect him to say? “No coach, I want to be a quarterback only, I have no desire to change.”

I give the kid credit for working on changing his throwing motion since the end of the NCAA season, but trust me, Glorified Scott Frost, which is a big compliment while in college, but a huge let down for Bronco’s fan expecting him to be their savior at QB.

I personally think Josh Daniels just put himself about 5 steps closer to the door.