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Tebow in Tampa: Out of the Question

Tim is on the trading block- and that's dangerous for NFL fans. Why that's dangerous comes twofold. First, because there currently exists a dearth on which to report before the draft in April, laziness and a lack of creativity gives writers the task to throw up a story that involves Tebow going to their market. Second, this means that some other club is going to be stuck with the quarterback. This entry will not try to convince a single reader that Tebow would be anything other than the harbinger of Dominik's end.

Let's start off looking at Freeman's 2011 campaign. He came back down to Earth after having an elite 2010 season, a pace we all knew he could not maintain. While he threw 22 picks to only 16 touchdowns, his completion percentage substantially increased. Freeman went from 61.4% to 62.8% While he made more poor decisions and got the bite side of luck, he became more accurate when he was asked to throw 76 more times. Those are the numbers that matter most going forward- he has shown the ability to be precise.

People who are under the impression that Tebow will be a worthwhile investment at quarterback from the team and give Tampa a better chance to win long-term are insane. No one can convince them otherwise. He'll be out of the league in a few years and they will have forgotten about him before giving themselves the opportunity to change their minds. This is because they are individuals who buy into sensationalist journalism and will be too focused on 2015's RGIII to even recall how number 15 used to stand after scoring.

If he came to the Buc's, more tickets would sell immediately and the team would get even more press coverage. They would now have a few new looks to give opposing defenses, some trick plays, and goal line options. That, however, is the best possible case scenario.

In all scenarios, Tebow's presence on the roster will provide a distraction. Even in the best case the team loses. He doesn't fit the offense. Coordinators would have to scheme just to fit him into the gameplan. Every snap Tebow takes under center deprives Josh Freeman an opportunity. I'm getting ahead of myself here.

Schiano is going to implement a conventional offense. From what has been said this off season there will be a comparable mix of running and passing, tipping the scale to the former. Tebow cannot succeed in this offense, as it will not be dominated by the run. Asking him to throw invites errant passes and turnovers. The man's numbers are egregious: In 15 career games of throwing more than one pass, he's had 3 instances of a pass completion percentage better than 50%. One out of every five games he has completed more than half of his passes. Last year he averaged 46.5%- by far the worst in the league and 16.3% worse than Josh.

Check out team percentages league wide. Denver sits firmly at the bottom, the only team below 50%. How unreasonable is it to ask a quarterback to complete half of his passes? Every player is entitled to a poor streak, but an entire season with those numbers embarrasses the player and the tool that drafted him. The blame can't even be placed on his receivers. Denver tied for 12th overall in passes dropped (28), which is essentially dead on league average. Cleveland raced ahead of the pack with 43 drops while most other teams sat between 26-28.

We can see that the offense would support Josh Freeman's style of play. The newcomer would not be able to unseat him in camp, and he'll wind up wearing a ball cap all season. The ticket sales would spike, a prompt rise accompanied by a prompt fall. Immediately fans will realize Tebow's never going to see the field, then they will stop coming.

The special goal line packages would be superfluous. With the recent hiring of Carl Nicks, Tampa's goal line presence is going to be felt. The combined weight of their QB and RB is 500 lbs, and that will be of tremendous help if they decide to run behind the best guard tandem in the league. If Sullivan calls a pass, Kellen Winslow and Vincent Jackson will provide prodigious targets in opponent's endzones. The current lineup is impressive enough already. If Tebow were plugged in, suddenly the run is a lot more likely and defenses can key in on it. In that scenario Tebow will be challenged to throw, and his history of doing that is quite poor. As far as the goal line offense, Tebow makes it much more predictable and less prolific.

What terrifies me is the chance that Tampa will need to employ his services someday as more than a cute trick play- like starting in the event of an injury. Since Tebow does more damage to his own team with his arm than he does to the opposition with his legs, the offense would need to shift drastically for him to be effective (and our defense would have to play out of their minds). Jeremy Trueblood is scheduled to be blocking the left hander's right side, and that's terrifying. Donald Penn would have to shift for the safety of Tim's spinal chord, and the whole rest of the offense needs to mirror itself in order to accommodate as well. Tampa would need to work in more full house and ace sets to get RB's and H backs in the backfield to threaten defenses. Personnel problems are created when you employ an atypical breed of animal to be the focal point of an offensive attack. The type of backs needed for this offense do not presently reside on the Buccaneer roster, so in the event of an injury there will be a lot of sloppy improvisation (probably with WR's) and poor results. It may be just as ineffective to have Tebow try and run Freeman's offense.

If Freeman has a slow start, a poor camp, or a rough patch, a quarterback controversy explodes. I can almost see the arguments now: "You have a first round quarterback on the bench who took a team to the playoffs last year..." so on and so forth until someone has a stroke. Fallacy aside, Tebow fans and journalists alike will annoy actual Tampa fans while stirring up unwanted dilemmas in the locker room. Freeman needs to have another excellent campaign to avoid the inevitable scrutiny that comes with Tim on the roster.

QB coaches in camp are going to try and rid Tim of the windmill throwing motion he has (a herculean effort), while trying to make him avoid being the least accurate QB in the league. Splitting that much attention from Freeman is unacceptable. Tampa is trying desperately to show improvement and Freeman needs a solid off season with experienced coaches. This draft may prove to be Dominik's most important if he wants to keep his job, as another 4 win season will surely call an end to his tenure. As this draft is more important than the last, what pick(s) would be worth surrendering for a player who won't start and will cause a negative stir? If the GM decides to make the trade he'll be left with five or less picks to help the team climb back to relevance and that will not happen.

Tim Tebow doesn't come to Tampa Bay if he's cut and willing to work for the rookie minimum. He cannot be integrated into the current scheme and would provide only migraines to those responsible for creating some way to implement him. Also, do not forget he is tremendously worse than Freeman. His draw would sell tickets briefly while the distraction that comes with him will plague the franchise for a much longer period of time. The biggest concern is his innate inability to play the position for which he was drafted. Merril Hodge is the most vociferous analyst as he consistently asserts that Tebow should/will become an H back who throws on trick plays. Why? Because that is exactly what he is: a decent runner with a garbage arm, not a quarterback.