Those who fail to learn from the mistakes of their predecessors are destined to repeat them. (Paraphase of a George Santayana quote from “The Life of Reason, Volume 1: Reason in Common Sense”)
When all is said and done, will the two Johns — Fox and Elway — be counted with Howard and Meyer or with Dorminey? Meyer, of course, is fomer University of Florida Head Coach Urban Meyer. Who, pray tell, are these Howard and Dorminey fellow? Outside of rabid Florida high school football fans or those who have read (or, like me, have started reading) Tim Tebow’s autobiography, “Through My Eyes,” no one has probably heard of Coach Craig Howard or Coach Verlon Dorminey.
You see, Coach Dorminey was the Head Coach of Jacksonville’s Trinity Christian Academy. After a young, 8th-grade Tim Tebow led Trinity’s JV football team to an undefeated season as their QUARTERBACK, it was Dorminey who would tell Tebow and his family that Tim should play, not quarterback, but rather linebacker, at Trinity. As only Homer Simpson could say, “D’oh!”
In what Tim Tebow describes as “position by stereotype,” Dorminey was of the philosophy that Tebow’s build — not withstanding the obvious facts of an undefeated JV season staring him in the face — suited him to play linebacker like his older brothers. I do not know the Tebows personally, but I would venture to say that God has created each of the Tebow boys differently. One should not make the mistake, as did Dorminey, to believe that Tim Tebow was gifted to play any position other than quarterback.
Thankfully, Craig Howard, Head Coach of Nease High School, the public high school in St. John’s County, FL where Tim Tebow would get the chance to start at quarterback, saw things differently than Coach Dorminey. Not only would Tim Tebow start at quarterback, but he would lead Nease to a 4A State Championship in his senior year, beating Armwood High School 44-37 in the state finals played at the Miami Dolphins’
Sun Life Joe Robbie Statium. Of couse, this stadium was the place where Tebow and the Florida Gators won a National Championship against the Sam Bradford-led Oklahoma Sooners and where he would lead the only Broncos’ team to ever beat the Dolphins in Miami in a stunning come-from-behind overtime victory in his first start of the 2011 season.
After a 4-1 start, Tim Tebow looks to be the future quarterback of the Denver Broncos. However, John Elway, the former Broncos’ great and now V.P of Football Operations for Denver, apparently can’t bring himself to “buy into” Tim Tebow as the long-term solution to the franchise’s football woes at quarterback. Elway, who seems to give a lot more interviews than any other V.P. of Football Operations of any NFL franchise, had the following exchange with a local Denver radio station on Monday:
“Any closer to feeling if you have your quarterback on this team?”
Elway flatly answered “no.”
“I think obviously [Tebow is] making progress week in and week out. When you look at our third down numbers, those have to improve. I mean, that’s the bottom line,” Elway said. “We can’t go 3-for-13 [on third downs] and win a world championship. Those are the type of things we have to keep improving.”
Talk about a ringing endorsement of the Broncos’ current starter. I’m not sure how Elway could be more tepid in his support of Tim Tebow, although the pained expression on his face while gingerly clapping after Tebow’s game-winning run against the Jets last Thursday might would rank up there. Did anyone — including the great John Elway — honestly think that the Broncos could compete for a play-off spot this year, much less a world championship?
Common sense (which seems to be in short supply in the Tebow debate) would tell us that Super Bowl champions would need a better completion percentage than 3-for-13. However, the facts tell us teams that are in a rebuilding mode with a second-year quarterback named Tebow and a young offensive line can and do win football games, even with low 3rd down completion percentages. But, why let facts get in the way of feelings. After all, we are a feelings-oriented culture.
I expect the Merril Hoge’s and Cris Carter’s of the football world to continue to move the goalposts on Tim Tebow. However, I do not expect the V.P. of Football Operations for the Denver Broncos to keep changing the standards by which Tim Tebow is judged. And, to give such a pathetically lame answer to a question that he should have known was coming either shows that Elway really does not want Tim Tebow as the quarterback of the future or he is not as good a front office man as he was a field general. Neither one is an attractive option.
For the record, I believe that Tim Tebow needs to improve his skills as a professional quarterback. Of course, Tim Tebow would tell you that as well. But, why is Tim Tebow held to a different standard than any other NFL quarterback with similar playing/starting experience? At this point, I think that the answer to that question is obvious, but I’ll let the readers decide for themselves based on the facts that are before us.
Funny thing is, that the football facts — the good, the bad, and the ugly — regarding one Tim Tebow are right in front of us. Similar facts, albeit with a much younger Tim Tebow, were before Coach Dorminey and Coach Howard. More refined facts were before Urban Meyer. Still more facts — including a 4-1 starting record since he took over for the now waived Kyle Orton — are staring John Fox and John Elway in the face.
Tim Tebow is not your conventional, stereotypical quarterback. Never has been. Never will be. Craig Howard and Urban Meyer had the vision to see it. John Fox wants to. John Elway may never see it. Here’s hoping that the two Johns don’t end up in the same sentence with Verlon Dorminey, but instead end up alongside Howard and Meyer.
I have my doubts about the two Johns, but not about Tim Tebow. Those who don’t study his history are doomed to get run over at some point by the strong-willed young man who knew he was destined to be a quarterback since he was six. If we only could see through his eyes! Maybe somebody needs to get John Elway a certain book for Christmas.