Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

08 Feb 2009

Jon Gruden Likes Tim Tebow

Jon Gruden discusses his offseason plans with the Orlando Sentinel, and has plenty of nice things to say about Tim Tebow and his chances of making it in the NFL. Most importantly, he refers to Tebow as "250 pounds of concrete cyanide." "Concrete Cyanide" is the coolest nickname any athlete could ever have, and I'm making it a personal mission to ensure that it sticks.

Posted by: Vincent Verhei on 08 Feb 2009

15 comments, Last at 12 Feb 2009, 12:28am by An Onimous


by Danish Denver-Fan :: Sun, 02/08/2009 - 9:54pm

So, John Gruden likes Tebow? Which is the same as saying; Tebow is a quaterback not named Simms or Garcia..

by noahpoah :: Mon, 02/09/2009 - 11:37am

No, it's the same as saying that Tim Tebow is old and crotchety.

by Drunkmonkey :: Sun, 02/08/2009 - 11:05pm

I really see this as Gruden's way of becoming the next head coach of a team that wants Teebow to play QB. While he may genuinely like Teebow, I think this is more of Gruden trying to get the notion out there that he a) is willing to work with young QB's, b) wants to coach him in the pro's, and c) can invent amazing nicknames that work well.

by MC2 :: Sun, 02/08/2009 - 11:12pm

This is a little surprising to me. Gruden is normally known for loving to coach quarterbacks, not fullbacks.

by An Onimous (not verified) :: Mon, 02/09/2009 - 2:19am

He's like Brandon Jacobs playing quarterback. He's 250 pounds. He's the strongest human being who's ever played the position. Ever.

This is probably the truth. I did some research before the UF/tOSU championship two years back and was shocked to discover that, of the 160 or so players on the two most talented teams in the nation, only ONE of them benched more coming out of high school than Tebow did- Jim Tartt, offensive lineman for UF. Tebow out-benched all 10 starting offensive lineman (Tartt was a backup), and all 8 starting defensive linemen. He's every bit as much of a freak of nature as Michael Vick was, just in a different way. And for those who criticize Michael Vick as an NFL disaster, I refer back to the 2002 season, when Vick showed the promise of what he could be at the NFL level if he was just used the right way. I still think that Vick's chance at success in the NFL was destroyed by the NFL's unwillingness to just let Vick be Vick. Dan Reeves knew Vick's strengths, and he played to them- he used lots of full house backfields, lots of max protects, and what patterns his receivers did run were generally very deep. Reeves used the threat of Vick as a decoy sometimes, and did whatever he could to get defenders away from the line of scrimmage so Vick could work his magic. It's only when Atlanta made the ABSURD decision to become a WCO team (which in turn crowds the LoS and negates Vick's biggest strengths) that Vick became such a terrible NFL QB.

I think Tebow's the same way. If some coach is creative and bold enough to craft an offense to Tebow's strengths, that offense will be extremely difficult to stop, because defenses won't have seen anything like it. Because nobody on the planet can do what Tim Tebow does. You've already had Gruden and Belichick- two coaches known as some of the better schemers in the game and renowned for their creative minds- both weigh in and say they could do incredible things with Tebow at the pro level. Personally, I really think both guys know exactly what they're talking about.

by Eddo :: Mon, 02/09/2009 - 11:23am

"If some coach is creative and bold enough to craft an offense to Tebow's strengths, that offense will be extremely difficult to stop, because defenses won't have seen anything like it. Because nobody on the planet can do what Tim Tebow does."

Ah, but you've pointed out a flaw in this method already. The problem with crafting an offense around Tebow is that "nobody on the planet can do what [he] does." So it's extremely risky to design an offense for Tebow, because if he gets hurt, no one else can step in and run it. And a QB is more likely to get hurt when he'll be running a lot.

I think the most likely scenario for Tebow to succeed, barring him taking great strides as a passer his senior year, is to be used an a hybrid-type offense with two QBs, the other being a Seneca Wallace type player. Essentially, both Tebow and Wallace could take snaps and throw the ball, but not have to leave the field when the other is playing QB. However, do you really want to pay first-round money for a part-time QB? It will be interesting to see how pro scouts and coaches like Tebow when next year's draft rolls around.

by Jimmy :: Mon, 02/09/2009 - 2:51pm

The Niners never had a guy who was even close to being able to replicate what Young could do on a football field. For that matter how similar in terms of ability were any of Favre's backups? Can Jim Sorgi run the show like Peyton Manning?

So why is Tebow any different. If you don't think the guy is good enough at reading defenses and so forth, that is fine. I just don't get the argument that seems to be that his physical skills are simply too amazing so you can't use him in the NFL as you will never find a backup similar enough. There are plenty of teams who have had very different backup QBs to the starter and it hasn't been too much of a problem.

Some team is going to take him in the first round next year (I am guessing the top ten at least) and to an extent it will then depend on the coaching he receives. If he gets coached very well he could end up in the hall. If he gets coached badly he will be back carrying out missionary work within five years.

by Key19 :: Mon, 02/09/2009 - 2:57pm

"There are plenty of teams who have had very different backup QBs to the starter and it hasn't been too much of a problem."

Don't tell the Cowboys that. No really, please don't tell them that. They might cling to some hope that Brad Johnson can hold down the fort one more season.

by Eddo :: Mon, 02/09/2009 - 3:14pm

No, none of Steve Young's, Brett Favre's, or Peyton Manning's backups are as good as they are. However, they at least play a similar style of football. Tebow, as the poster I replied to said, would need a whole new style of offense, one for which finding any similar backups, let alone good ones, would be very difficult.

Additionally, Tebow's style of play makes him more susceptible to injury than a standard drop-back passer, so his backups become more important than a Jim Sorgi or a Green Bay QB #2.

I agree that some team will take him in the first round, possibly in the top ten. And while the coaching he receives is extremely important, I think his durability will be a bigger factor. Much like Brandon Jacobs, his bruising running style will only be effective if he's on the field.

by I'm verified! (not verified) :: Mon, 02/09/2009 - 9:41am

Perhaps this is why Gruden is out of a job?

by Nick Giaquinto (not verified) :: Mon, 02/09/2009 - 9:43am

is there a QB Gruden doesn't love? I mean, until he actually gets them on his roster?

by Joe T. (not verified) :: Mon, 02/09/2009 - 1:10pm

He wants to harvest Tim Tebow for his organs after his experiment doing the same with Chris Simms failed.

by Key19 :: Mon, 02/09/2009 - 2:58pm

lol Maybe a bit of a lowblow to Simms? I mean, he did get ONE organ out of him... lol

by Illmatic74 :: Mon, 02/09/2009 - 9:39pm

With his strength and running style he will make a great FB.

by An Onimous (not verified) :: Thu, 02/12/2009 - 12:28am

Tebow's said he won't play any other position as long as any team is willing to take a shot on him at QB, and as Gruden (and earlier this season, Belichick) has just demonstrated, there will certainly be coaches willing to give him a shot at QB.