While I think as Browns fans we all appreciated Tim Tebow stepping up and beating the Steelers1 in the playoffs for the Denver Broncos, the continued, unending talk about him is pure silliness. Of course my own decision to talk about Tim Tebow is ironic given the first sentence, but I’ve embraced the catch-22. Despite my misgivings about talking about him at all, I can’t help but put my name in the chorus.
Last night I sent out a tweet that I’m sure a lot of people found trollish. I asked everyone who they thought was a better quarterback between Tim Tebow and Charlie Frye.
True or false? Charlie Frye is a better football player than Tim Tebow?
— Craig Lyndall (@WFNYCraig) June 10, 2013
Here are some of the responses I got.
@WFNYCraig Tebow the better football player. Frye the better QB. Distinction important there, IMO.
— Logan Andress (@LoganAndress) June 11, 2013
@WFNYCraig false by miles
— Kevin Iacofano (@icekevin) June 11, 2013
@WFNYCraig false, better qb but not football player
— Butcher (@butcher98) June 11, 2013
@WFNYCraig Love my Zip Charlie, but Tebow.
— SL Smith (@SLSmith4) June 11, 2013
@WFNYCraig I've always thought he could contribute in a variety of ways, just not as a full time QB. Would be a maniac on ST
— DJS (@LonesomeKicker3) June 11, 2013
My point in tweeting that wasn’t to say that either of them are good NFL players. I just had this feeling if I looked up Charlie Frye’s numbers that it would surprise some people with the differences.
In 2006 Charlie Frye started 13 games. In 2011 Tebow started 11 games. The Broncos went 7-4 in games he started. The Browns went 4-9 in Charlie Frye’s games. There’s an obvious difference there. As for passing the ball, Charlie Frye completed just over 64% of his passes compared to Tim Tebow completing only about 47%. Charlie Frye’s yards per game were pretty bad at 175 yards, and Tebow’s were worse at 150 yards.
Obviously I’m well aware that comparing two “quarterbacks” with spreadsheets is problematic. You have to watch the games and see how each performed in situations and how the team responded to each. To simply compare stats in a vacuum is meaningless. But at a certain point stats do mean something about a guy’s viability when the view of their play on TV also points you toward the possibility that their viability as a starting NFL QB is problematic at best. As pure quarterbacks if you removed the names, it’s a crapshoot as to which QB you’d rather have third up on your roster at the position is all I was trying to say.
One of the biggest points of praise (or hopeful praise) for Rob Chudzinski as new Browns head coach has been the way he worked with different styles of players to get the most out of them. Cam Newton’s style is completely dissimilar to Derek Anderson and Chud has had some success added to his résumé with both quarterbacks. Still, despite a coach’s adaptability there’s a point where a player’s style and abilities become a limitation.
John Fox coached Tebow in Denver and changed the entire system to try and make Tebow a success. After a 45-10 loss to Detroit, Fox changed the entire offense so Tebow wouldn’t be “screwed.”
“If we were trying to run a regular offense, he’d be screwed. After the loss to Detroit we decided if Tim is going to be our guy, we can’t do that other crap. We had to tweak it.”
And tweak it they did. The Broncos went on a run winning six games in a row. In the first four of those victories, Tebow completed 10 or fewer passes including going 2-8 for 69 yards against the Chiefs. Because John Fox found a way to win with Tebow, now we’re being led to believe that there’s some “intangible” winning gene in Tim Tebow and he continues to be a story as he re-joins Josh McDaniels in New England.
The point here is to say that there’s just not reason to talk about such a severely limited quarterback unless he does something other than sign to play in New England. The talk of his potential and accomplishments isn’t rooted in football reality at this point and anything else that’s turned into a conversation is little more than reality television at its worst with Tebow being the football equivalent to Paris Hilton or Kim Kardashian.
- They might have beaten themselves, but whatever… [↩]