Tim Tebow and the NFC North (gotcha!)
March, 19, 2012
By Kevin Seifert | ESPN.com
ESPN.com IllustrationAbove is a glimpse at what quarterback Tim Tebow might look like in a jersey other than Denver's.I dropped off Twitter for a few minutes Monday morning while focusing on our Pulitzer-worthy breakdown of Donald Driver's turn on "Dancing With the Stars." When I jumped back on, I had 103 new tweets. About half of them were asking whether an NFC North team would try to acquire Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow after the Broncos officially sign veteran Peyton Manning.
It's not unusual to get instant questions about newly-available players, but the relative certainty of the NFC North's quarterback depth makes us an unlikely Tebow destination, to say the least. Our only locale with even the hint of a question mark, at least for 2012, is the Packers. Here is how each team's depth chart shakes out for now:
- Chicago Bears: Jay Cutler, Jason Campbell, Josh McCown, Nathan Enderle
- Detroit Lions: Matthew Stafford, Shaun Hill
- Green Bay Packers: Aaron Rodgers, Graham Harrell
- Minnesota Vikings: Christian Ponder, Joe Webb, Sage Rosenfels
I would understand if Packers fans aren't totally sold on Harrell as Matt Flynn's replacement. I'm not sure the Packers are themselves, at least not until they get him through a full offseason in their modified quarterback school. I wouldn't be surprised if they drafted a quarterback and/or picked through what's left of the free-agent market later this spring.
But would it make sense to even consider Tebow in that vein? From what I could tell from our Machiavellian readership base, the only people who want the Packers to pursue Tebow are Bears, Lions and Vikings fans. Tweeted @ScottD408: "can we make the Packers take Tebow?"
Longtime readers will remember that we discussed a Packers-Tebow union before the 2010 draft, sparked mostly by some awfully nice comments from coach Mike McCarthy and general manager Ted Thompson. (That’s where the otherwise incendiary photo illustration in this post came from.)
For what it's worth, McCarthy said in February 2010 that "I would definitely love to coach him." McCarthy added: "I think the guy's a winner, just the way he plays the game. I know a lot's being said about his mechanics. Just the way he approaches the game of football, I think he'll do everything he needs to do to improve. But you look for football players. And his record in college, I think, speaks for itself. But I'd love the opportunity to work with a Tim Tebow."
McCarthy and Tom Clements, once the Packers' quarterbacks coach and now their offensive coordinator, are considered two of the best quarterback tutors in the NFL. As we discussed in 2010, if you're a Tebow fan, you would hope he lands in a place like Green Bay, where he would have a well-honed structure to straighten out his game.
But the Packers aren't a public-service organization. They would only acquire Tebow if they thought he was their best option to back up Rodgers. I'm not sure if many of us could say that at the moment.