You talk Tim Tebow and I’ll talk Charlie Frye

tebowing-3While 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.

Here are some of the responses I got.

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.

  1. They might have beaten themselves, but whatever… []

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    TD Jesus and the Patriots HATERS unite! New England will find a place for Tim and if they can’t they’ll cut him.

  • BenRM

    I disagree with the “Frye is a better QB, but Tebow is a better football player” logic.

    A player without a position is worthless. We can speculate that Tebow might be an okay goal-line-something-or-other, but we know far more about what he can’t do well than where he excels. He’s not a good QB, he can’t punt protect, and he probably wouldn’t be a good RB (4.71 40-time).

    Frye is “better” because he has a discernible skill set which translates to the NFL.

  • mgbode

    if a player has football skills, then it is up to the coach to utilize them to their fullest. Tebow football skills > Frye. Anyday. And, I’m no Tebow fan.

  • Ben Frambaugh

    I think that if he doesn’t make it on the Patriots team…then odds are he’s out of the NFL for good.

  • BenRM

    What discernible football skills does he have though? He can run, but he’s not a special runner. He can’t really throw. He can’t block. We’ve never seen him catch. We’ve never seen him tackle. I don’t think he’s ever been asked to catch or tackle.

    serious question. what does this guy do well?

  • Natedawg86

    Pray, although you don’t really need to be “good” at that

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Some guy named Ghandi on line 2…a mother Theresa on line 3…

  • Mr0verk1ll

    Any chance Belichick signed this guy as an excuse to cut him and simultaneously crush the Tebow fans and story lines once and for all? I wouldn’t put it past him.

  • san fran, seattle, wash, and now tenn are running some zone read.

    tebow is a proven -and great- zone read qb at a bargain price. smart move by belichick. mangini always said he hated to plan for multiple qbs.

  • MrCleaveland

    Sorry, mg, but it’s game, set, and match to Ben.

  • saggy

    I have to step in here and call some selective statisticianing.

    what does “fumbles ALL the time” mean? According to pro-football reference, Tebow has 15 fumbles in 35 games. Frye has, hmmm, let’s see here, 15 fumbles in 26 games. well what do you know? If Tebow fumbles “ALL the time” can you please explain what Frye does?

    Oh, and Tebow has a playoff victory to his name against the Pittsburgh Steelers, a Heisman, and 2 NCAA national titles.

    Frye has 29 career picks in 677 attempts, good for 1 every 23 throws.

    Tebow has 9 career INT’s in 360 attempts. 1 every 40 throws.

    They have both thrown for 17 TDs in their careers.

    Not sure why anyone would make all these arguments without consulting stats which would seem to employ Tebow as an obvious choice.

  • MrCleaveland

    Oh sure, sag, throw a bunch of facts into the argument. That’s pretty low.

  • The_Matt_Of_Akron

    Where does Cribbs fit into all this?

  • They both stink and yet Charlie Frye leads in a number of categories. Sure, not all. That was the point.

    I think the TD / INT ratio has more to do with the John Fox quote that I put in there than it does a reasonable comparison of Tebow and Charlie Frye.

    That’s my stance though.

  • saggy

    they both stink. yes.

  • Harv 21

    I don’t get the point of any of this. And I’m a huge Lyndall fan.

  • mgbode

    beats Pitt in the playoffs. Frye never beat Pitt.

    outside of that:

    he is good at extending plays.

    he’s good at creating a cushion in the secondary with his ability to scramble.

    he’s good at finding the 1on1 coverage deep while doing all of the above and that is somehow the one throw he actually makes accurately (1on1 deep seam) likely because he has alot more time for that windup.

    also, realize the comparison we are giving here is Charlie Frye. not a hard bar to jump over.

  • mgbode

    also agreed that they both stink. the ability of Tebow to run, beating Pitt in the playoffs and being better in a number of categories pushes him over the top by a considerable margin.

    but, only when compared with bass-fisher, Charlie Frye.

  • mgbode

    he also beat Pitt playing QB. something Frye has never done.

  • saggy

    not in the playoffs, though.

  • mgbode

    very true.

  • Will someone point me to the time that Charlie Frye came from behind to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers, in overtime, in the playoffs with his arm?

  • Except that those teams all run zone read with their starting quarterback.

    Belichick is not taking Tom Brady off the field so he can give snaps to Tim Tebow.

  • i’m not so sure about that. not sure about that at all.

  • LaundroMat

    “Obviously I’m well aware that comparing two “quarterbacks” with spreadsheets is problematic”

    So, are they not actually quarterbacks?

  • Ben Frambaugh

    Tebow isn’t considered a modern era quarterback…he’s basically an anomoly.

  • LaundroMat

    What?? His position is QB.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Selective statisticianing – NICE!