Tim Tebow Working Out for NFL Teams: Is He Worth One More Shot?

Tim Tebow is undoubtedly one of the greatest football players to come out of the SEC, but his career since leaving the ranks of the Florida Gators has been far less successful.

Few players can generate such a visceral reaction in either direction as former Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow. Those who love and support him are convinced that the system is shutting him out of the NFL via conspiracy, while those who tire of hearing his name make it clear that he’s been his own worst enemy.

After a brief and varying level of success career in the NFL, many thought that Tebow was done with football, and were content to hear his analysis and views in his various television jobs. But reports are surfacing that the former Heisman winner is back to working out as a hopeful for an NFL squad.

Most recently, Tebow worked out for the Philadelphia Eagles, and evil genius Chip Kelley. This came as a surprise to many, but not to me. The last time I had the opportunity to meet with Tebow, he expressed his continued desire to play and has never closed that door.

I’m not one who subscribes to the conspiracy theory of owners and coaches black-balling Tebow due to his high profile and his religious beliefs, but I’m also not convinced that some of Tebow’s difficulty in finding a team who will take him on isn’t part of his own doing.

One of the ongoing arguments about Tebow is whether or not he really has the ability to be a starting quarterback in the NFL. Questions about his delivery, accuracy and footwork had always come into question. The one thing that has never been in doubt is Tebow’s heart and desire to play.

For those who think that this is just the same old Tebow, recycling his way through NFL training camps until someone finally gives in and says “come on, we’ll see what happens”, you’re sorely mistaken.

In typical Tim Tebow fashion, he has taken a hard look at his shortcomings, taken criticisms to heart, and has embarked on a journey to reinvent himself as a passer.

In an interview with Bleacher Report, throwing guru Tom House, who is co-owner of 3DQB (a performance center for quarterbacks and pitchers) talked about the last two years he has worked with Tebow, and the improvements made to the areas in which he was having significant struggles:

I honestly believe that everybody who was trying to help Tim, everybody who thought they “fixed” him, they probably did temporarily fix him. But Tim didn’t have enough repetition for it to become autonomic. When he got into competition, with the stresses and anxieties that come with the competitive situation, he fell back to his old habits.

The difference now is that he has put in the reps. There have been 10,000-plus reps. If he gets a chance to play again and gets back to competition, it’s hard-wired now. He doesn’t have to think about it.

If the assessment that House has made of Tebow is correct, then it wouldn’t be surprising to see an NFL team actually make Tim an offer to play, but that brings up the next stumbling block.

Tebow has made it entirely clear in the past that he wants to start or at least be a backup with a fair chance of winning the starter’s job. He doesn’t want to be the guy to run the gimmick plays or to fill in for short yardage situations. Tim’s intense desire to lead could end up becoming the reason why he doesn’t play at all.

Changing your mechanics and fundamentals is fine, and as house told Bleacher Report, “If you give them proper mechanics, the idiosyncrasies go away. I think that Tim has found his efficient throwing motion.” If Tebow shows that motion and newly found accuracy to NFL coaches, he’ll likely get a chance. But having fixed those issues is still a long way from being ready to run an NFL offense and to put those skills to use in game situations.

Aug 16, 2013; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tim Tebow warms up prior to a preseason game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

There’s no reason Tebow shouldn’t be working out for teams, but he may have to — at least for a while — realign his expectations with the fact that he’s been out of the league for a couple of years, and right now, he’s not a known commodity, other than his name.

In the end, if you take a player with Tebow’s heart, strength and natural abilities, and you work on fixing those problems in an isolated environment rather than as part of learning to play in the league, you could end up with an even better quarterback than the Gators had.

That quarterback could be a huge asset to a lot of NFL teams right now.

Tebow’s workout with Philadelphia didn’t result in a contract offer, and given Chip Kelly’s system and the type of quarterback that he wants, that’s not surprising at all. But word gets out, and if Tebow did the right kind of things in his workout with Philly, then other teams will come calling.