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Cleveland Browns QB Woes Should Not Lead to Tim Tebow
Cleveland Browns fans and their desire to oust Brandon Weeden as the team’s starting quarterback are at it again, this time turning to a report of Tim Tebow being spotted at Cleveland’s airport as their “answer” at the quarterback position. Despite the rumors quickly being debunked that Tebow has not been linked to the Browns in any way, fans have taken to social media to support the former Florida Gator.
As a long-time Clevelander, the passion and fire that burns inside of Browns fans for a winner is unmatched by any franchise in professional sports. After just two winning seasons and 18 different starting quarterbacks since 1999, one can see how a fan would be desperate to try almost anything in order to return to NFL relevance.
But Tebow? Come on people, let’s be realistic.
Since being drafted out of nowhere in the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft by the Denver Broncos and former head coach Josh McDaniels, Tebow has fallen so far that not one NFL team has found any value in him to be on their roster. The New England Patriots—a team that salvages careers of misfits and players with issues better than anyone—gave him a shot in training camp and preseason this year, only to cut him at the end of August.
The “Tebow experiment” in the NFL lasted just three regular seasons. In his two years in Denver and one year with the New York Jets, Tebow played in 35 games and started 14 of them. He accumulated an 8-6 record as a starting quarterback, completing 47.9 percent of his passes for 2,422 yards, 17 touchdowns and nine interceptions. He also rushed for 989 yards on 197 attempts, accumulating 12 touchdowns and 15 fumbles in his career (all stats via Pro Football Reference).
Most people will point to his winning record as a starting quarterback and overtime playoff win against the Pittsburgh Steelers as proof that he can be a quarterback in the NFL. However, his inability to develop as a passer should be more than enough of a reason for Browns fans to have little alarms and bells going off in their heads that this just is not a good idea.
If those stats are not a good enough reason for you to say no to Tebow, let’s go a little bit further.
In his 14 starts as an NFL quarterback, Tebow averaged 24.4 pass attempts per game and finished his career with that 47.9 percent completion percentage. Through six games this season, the Cleveland Browns have thrown the ball 254 times for an average of 42.3 attempts per game. If you put Tebow in a situation where he is throwing the ball that many times per game with his career completion percentage, that would put him at 20 completions per game, or six less completions than Weeden had against the Lions in a game fans are destroying him over for not throwing the ball well.
Listen, all fans have their prerogative when it comes to rooting for their team and who they want to be under center. But the fact of the matter is that Weeden has thrown for 4,390 yards, 18 touchdowns and 22 interceptions with a completion percentage of 57.2 in 19 games as an NFL quarterback. For all the wrong and lack of growth Weeden has shown in a year and a half that has driven fans crazy, he has a completion percentage nearly 10 percent higher than Tebow does in almost double the pass attempts in the NFL.
Is Weeden the quarterback of the future for the Cleveland Browns? More than likely the answer to that question is a resounding no. But even through all of his frustrating moments and throws that make you cringe, he is the best option the Browns have available to them on their roster and in free agency—and that includes Tebow.
With the Browns sitting at 3-3 and one game out of the AFC North lead, anything can happen over the last 10 games of the season. But instead of crucifying Weeden, calling for his head and booing him every time he drops back to pass or does something you do not like, why not try and actually support the guy who is under center for your team while he is here?
Weeden is not going to magically transform into a Top 15 quarterback the rest of the season, but putting even more pressure on him than he is already putting on himself right now makes zero sense if you want the Browns to win. So just say no to the Tebow rumors Browns fans, and let’s save the new quarterback talk for the 2014 NFL Draft.
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