NFL Nation: Florida Gators

Dolphins should avoid Tim Tebow

March, 19, 2012
3/19/12
2:10
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Don't do it, Miami Dolphins.

[+] EnlargeTim Tebow
Donald Miralle/Getty ImagesThere are a plethora of reasons the Dolphins should avoid falling into the Tim Tebow trap.
Do not make a quarterback mistake that will potentially stagnate the franchise for the next several years.

Do not, under any circumstances, trade for Tim Tebow.

I know this thought will cross the mind of Dolphins owner Stephen Ross, if it hasn't already. Peyton Manning agreed to join the Denver Broncos Monday. Now, Tebow is expected to be available.

Ross is desperate to make a splash to help fill an empty and often lifeless Sun Life Stadium. The Dolphins even came up with the idea last year to honor Tebow and his national champion team with the Florida Gators, despite being the opposing starting quarterback.

It would be na´ve to assume the Dolphins' front office wouldn't be interested in Tebow. Getting the wildly-popular Tebow would put more fans in the stands. That is one of Ross' main objectives. But from a pure football standpoint, the Dolphins should want no part of this.

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Should the Dolphins acquire QB Tim Tebow?

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Miami is implementing a precision-passing, West Coast offense under rookie head coach Joe Philbin. Last year Denver had to completely gut its offense to mold around Tebow’s strength, which is more run-oriented. Acquiring Tebow and making him your starter would completely undermine everything Philbin and new offensive coordinator Mike Sherman were brought to Miami to do.

With Tebow, the Dolphins would not run the Packers system or any pass-heavy system in Miami -- at least if they want a chance to compete. The only system you can successfully run with Tebow is the read-option offense he ran in college and last season with the Broncos. That is why Denver desperately did everything it could to land Manning.

Despite all the reasons on the contrary, expect a lot of speculation linking the Dolphins and Tebow. Miami's front office has made some curious decisions lately and doesn't appear to have a clear-cut plan this offseason. So you just never know with this group.

But what I do know is if Miami's starting quarterback search ends with Tebow, that is the biggest mistake Miami's regime could make.
Sometimes looking back at the past can help project the future.

Is that the case for upcoming meetings between Cleveland Browns cornerback Joe Haden and new Cincinnati Bengals receiver A.J. Green?

[+] EnlargeJoe Haden and A.J. Green
AP Photo/Phil CoaleFormer Florida cornerback Joe Haden, shown intercepting a 2008 pass intended for A.J. Green, will battle the former Georgia receiver twice a season in the AFC North.
These two top-end athletes will take their SEC rivalry to the AFC North in what should be great, one-on-one battles twice a season. Haden was a first-round pick for Cleveland in 2010, while Green was this year's No. 4 overall pick for Cincinnati.

So who has the advantage in this high-profile matchup? Judging by their two games in college, Haden at Florida got the upper hand against Green at Georgia.

  • In 2009, the Gators won a blowout over the Bulldogs, 41-17. Green was a non-factor. Haden held the receiver to just three catches for 50 yards and zero touchdowns. Green's biggest play in the game was a 19-yard reception. But other than that, Green had trouble shaking Haden.
  • In 2008, Florida won another blowout, 49-10. Green had more success this time, with five receptions for 91 yards. Probably worth noting is Green's quarterback that year was Matthew Stafford, who turned out to be the No. 1 overall pick of the Detroit Lions. To Haden's credit, he intercepted Stafford in the game and returned the pick 88 yards.

Considering the possible variations of man and zone coverage, we double-checked the accuracy of these numbers with ESPN.com SEC blogger Chris Low, who says Haden was on Green "for much of the game."

Haden was 2-0 against Green in college and performed well in both meetings. Will Haden continue to have Green's number in the AFC North?

We don't have to wait long to find out. The Browns will host the Bengals in Week 1, where Haden likely will draw the assignment of covering Green in his NFL debut.

Can't wait!
Baltimore Ravens receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh caught a game-winning, 18-yard touchdown reception in last week's win over the Pittsburgh Steelers. The catch was a relief for "Housh," who joined the team late and is trying to fit into an all-star cast that also includes former Pro Bowlers Anquan Boldin, Derrick Mason, Ray Rice, Todd Heap and Le'Ron McClain.

Houshmandzadeh
Houshmandzadeh
Afterwards the AFC North blog caught up with Houshmandzadeh, who was excited and very optimistic about the prospects of Baltimore's offense improving as the season goes on.

"We could literally, no lie, be like the Rams or Arizona of the last few years," Houshmandzadeh said. "With the guys we got and the quarterback [Joe Flacco]? We should be scoring and we got a defense, too. We should be smacking people like the Florida Gators with Tim Tebow. That's the type of weapons we have, and we have a defense where if we get that lead, it's over."

Houshmandzadeh mentioned he hopes last week's key drive late against Pittsburgh was the spark the Ravens needed to get the offense rolling. Baltimore's offense is off to a slow start in four games, ranking just 22nd in the NFL at 306.5 yards per game.

The Ravens (3-1) will host the Denver Broncos (2-2) Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium.

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