It was bound to happen, because it happens every August. The whisper usually starts in the distance. It begins with a gentle breeze, and then builds to gale force.
Hear that? Tebow. Tim Tebow. Timmy.
His name lodges once more in the mind. You recall something he once did on an NFL field, but that seems so far off now, and so long ago. So irrelevant, really.
That’s the correct feeling, because no logical-minded football watcher should waste even a mere second of thought on Tim Tebow the quarterback. Tim Tebow the person seems like a nice, genuinely kind man, and we all wish him the best of luck in his new gig saying words on your television at the SEC Network.
But a quarterback he is not, and yet still with an injury to a backup at the position, his name has yet again risen from the great beyond. This time it’s Matt Moore who’s dinged up, with Ryan Tannehill’s backup in Miami having sat out the past five days of practice and the Dolphins’ first preseason game due to a shoulder problem.
The Dolphins have been forced to at least explore training camp bodies. That led Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald to look at Tebow and ask: hey, why not?
The appropriate response to any such question is always simply “why?” The Dolphins’ short-term quarterback need and Tebow’s lack of qualifications for it shows just how little hope he has of ever making a significant NFL contribution again.
In Tannehill the Phins already have their young, promising quarterback, and in Moore they have an established veteran who has started and proven to be capable — if still underwhelming — against NFL competition. That experience is also valuable during August training camp learning time, because further down the depth chart are Pat Devlin and Seth Lobato, who are both raw and could use the mentoring presence of a veteran.
That title belongs to the likes of Rex Grossman and Brady Quinn, both of whom were brought in by the Dolphins for a workout today. There are always Rex Grossmans and Brady Quinns available to pluck off the street, and Tebow doesn’t fit their profile.
Those sort of junk heap quarterbacks come with a strong stench too, but at minimum Grossman and Quinn bring veteran guidance simply from the amount of league service time they’ve accumulated. And in a dire emergency they’re both capable of standing in the pocket and completing a forward pass with some degree of consistency. Translation: at best they can be average or thereabouts, a standard Tebow falls far below.
Tebow clearly can’t bring a mentoring presence, because there’s little to learn from his loopy throwing motion and inability to justify an existence as even a punt protector with the New York Jets. And even though he’s still young at 26 years old, the optimism for any potential he once had has run dry. The last drop of that hope fizzled when even Josh McDaniels, the Tebow fanboy kingpin, couldn’t justify a roster spot for him last summer in New England.
McDaniels’ resurrection attempt failed, and now 2011 — a time when Tebow taught us that quarterback wins are meaningless as a statistic — is a spec in the rearview (unnecessary reminder: his career completion percentage is 47.9, with a passer rating of 75.3). Tebow is out of the league and unable to get a roster sport even during a time of the year when there are 90 of them per team.
He repeatedly failed as a quarterback, and he rightfully remains below Quinn, Grossman, and several other veteran journeymen who have logged many miles (Dan Orlovsky, Kellen Clemens, and Shaun Hill, to name a few well worn arms who are currently rostered).
Eventually, his name won’t come up even as a tossed-in mention following an injury. Tebow the football player will fade away forever, while Tebow the human will stay on your living room picture boxes. That’s the natural order of all things Tebow.