Mike Ditka: Tim Tebow can play quarterback in the NFL
Tim Tebow may have played his last down as a quarterback in the NFL. The New York Jets finally released him last week after an experiment that failed miserably, and the former Florida star cleared waivers as expected. If Hall of Famer Mike Ditka were still coaching, Tebow might have a shot.
In his weekly “4 Downs with Ditka” column in the Chicago Sun-Times on Sunday, Ditka wrote that he would be willing to take a chance on Tebow.
“I think [Tebow] can play quarterback in the NFL, but whatever offense you run might have to be tweaked a bit,” the two-time AP NFL Coach of the Year said, via Adam Jahns of the Sun-Times. “This kid is a talent and he proved it in college. He is an outstanding leader.
“Now, does he have an unusual throwing motion? Yes. But there a lot of quarterbacks that didn’t have a perfect throwing motion. Some of them turned out to be great quarterbacks because they were great leaders. I really do think there’s a place for him. If not at quarterback, I think he could play tight end. If I was in the league and coaching today, I would take a chance on him at quarterback.”
There has been speculation that a coach like Bill Belichick might take a flyer on Tebow and try to use him as a tight end or an H-back. In order for Tebow to succeed as a quarterback in the NFL, some team would have to drastically alter their offense. The type of offense he ran with the Gators is not common at the NFL level, and that likely has a lot to do with the speed of the game.
In believing that Tebow can still play quarterback in the NFL, Ditka is among the very minuscule minority. One legendary quarterback doubts if he would even be able to play quarterback in the CFL. If all else fails, Tebow always has a place as a quarterbacks coach in the Lingerie Football League.