What is Tim Tebow's style of play
Psalm 23: 4: I fear no evil!
He is considered the most controversial quarterback pick of all time. You love him or you hate him. But is Tim Tebow of the Denver Broncos revolutionizing the NFL - or is he going under? SPOX met him.
When I meet Tim Tebow, the Broncos locker room is already empty. After the bitter defeat, no player can stay in the catacombs longer than absolutely necessary. You want to leave. All. Only Tebow is still there, calmly answering the journalists' questions.
If you don't know him, then you could mistake the 23-year-old in his worn jeans and the far too wide T-shirt for one of the rowdies who are already stowing the team's belongings in large black roll containers around us.
Everywhere there are empty cups, gloves and tape, Gatorade barrels and training equipment pile up. It looks and smells like a battlefield. After a mixture of wet lawn, disinfectant and sweat.
Tebow: "That's what I always wanted"
It is not a place to be voluntarily after a defeat. At least most people don't. Most - just not Tebow.
"Exactly that, this atmosphere, that's what I always wanted," he greets me and takes a deep breath through his nose. As if to make sure that none of this is a dream. "I've dreamed about it for as long as I can remember," he says. "Dreamed of playing in the NFL."
And that's exactly what he's doing now. On Sunday (May 22nd in LIVESCORE) he will play against the Houston Texans for the second time as starting quarterback for the Denver Broncos - and should prove that he can be the future of the crisis club from Colorado.
Tebow, a typical American?
Tebow would have almost smoked past the entire American football system. Because he was homeschooled by his parents and therefore never allowed to play a high school game in many states. And so no one would ever have noticed.
Just because the controversial law was overturned in 1996 in Florida, home of the Tebows, and Tebow moved his mother to an apartment near one of the state's top football programs, he became a star.
But how did the son of a missionary family, born in the Philippines, get into football in the first place? He has to laugh. "In the end, we're just typical Americans," he says after a while. "We watched football as often as possible. I fell in love with the sport. And with the Florida Gators." His later college team.
A legend too popular for television
He becomes a sports icon at the University of Florida. Tebow is the first player in college history to achieve more than 20 pass and rushing touchdowns in one season, win two college championships with the Gators, and in 2007 become the youngest athlete of all time to win the coveted Heisman Trophy as the best player in the Country. But that's not all.
His motivational speeches are legendary. The most famous of his speeches has meanwhile been immortalized on a large plaque at the entrance to the Gators' football complex. At the age of 20, he was already one of the most influential athletes in the United States. When he painted the words "John 3:16" on his face during the 2009 college final, 92 million people looked up the relevant Bible verse on the Internet in a very short space of time.
Shortly thereafter, carrying such messages in college football is banned. The influence on other people is simply too great. The media call it: "The Tebow Rule".
He's going to revolutionize the NFL
In the NFL, however, Tebow is controversial. When Denver drafted him in the first round in 2010, it caused an outcry. And a split into two camps.
Some say: Tebow will revolutionize the NFL, they call him the most exciting rookie since Michael Vick. Like former NFL coaches Jon Gruden and Tony Dungy. "He's the strongest human being that has ever played as a quarterback. And he can throw," says Gruden.
But Tebow's critics say: He will never prevail in the NFL. One of them is CBS columnist Mike Freeman. He wrote at the time: "Every year there is a team that makes itself totally ridiculous in the draft. This time it was the Broncos. Tebow was by far the stupidest quarterback draft of all time. They will regret that for a long time."
An end on the bench?
Reason for criticism: Tebow played for the Gators in a system that is very different from that of most NFL teams. His pass routine, footwork, and overall style of play are difficult to transfer to the NFL.
In addition, his critics complain that Tebow has an arm that is too weak despite his beefy build. His long passes would spin, are imprecise and therefore easy to intercept, it is said.
So does the former college star face the same fate as his great childhood idol, Danny Wuerffel? He was also a celebrated hero in Florida before he made a meager 25 games in six years in the NFL and ended his career early.
Wuerffel's personal highlight: The World Bowl victory with Düsseldorf Rhein Fire in NFL Europe. Today he works for a charity in New Orleans.
Always 100 percent - and more
Tebow doesn't want to let it come to that. He knows he still has to work hard on himself. "Every single training session is crucial for me," he says. "I have to understand the offense and defense variants in order to be faster - in my reads and my decisions as well as in my movements. I focus on learning something every day. Seeing every day as an opportunity to myself to improve."
And you can see that. Anyone who has ever watched Tebow doing his pregame routine before a game is impressed. Even in the supposedly unimportant training session, he always pulls through and is always in the front row.
The fact that he is not liked by everyone only spurs him on. "Of course there are a lot of critics," he admits. "But that only motivates me even more. They should all discuss calmly. I then use their criticism to push myself further."
On a par me Michael Vick
With success. He made a good impression on his debut as the Broncos starting quarterback (a 23:39 loss to the Oakland Raiders). At least for a rookie - especially when you consider the question marks behind his abilities.
After his first game in the NFL, Tebow is one of only three quarterbacks in league history to have both a 40-yard touchdown pass and a 30-yard touchdown in one game.
The other two: Kordell Stewart (Pro Bowl selection with the Steelers) and Michael Vick. Tebow's pass rating of 100.5 is by far the best debut performance of any rookie quarterback run this year.
A great future?
And even if a game is not sufficient as a basis for evaluation (NFL scouts say you need at least four games for this) and Tebow allowed himself a few mistakes (the move that led to his rushing touchdown, for example, was not planned that way at all), he showed A significantly improved technique compared to his college days and preseason appearances.
"He deserves a lot of respect for that," says Raiders tackle Tommy Kelly, who faced him on his debut. "He's a better player than anyone thinks and has surprised many out there. I think he has a bright future ahead of him." Oaklands Safety Michael Huff is also convinced of this. "Once Tebow has a little more experience in passing, he'll be a really good quarterback."
And that's exactly what Tebow should now collect. It does not matter whether he wins the next game. Or whether he throws an interception. It's about how he leads the offense. Whether he will develop further.
He has shown that he can be successful with a game plan that is tailored to his strengths. Now he has to prove that he can hold his own against teams that know exactly what this one looks like. For this reason, interim coach Eric Studesville declared him unusually early to start the Texans game.
"If you betray yourself, you will fail"
But one thing Tebow wants to avoid on the way to becoming a recognized NFL quarterback: to let himself be turned inside out. "You have to be true to yourself," he says. "After all, that got you that far in the first place. To be successful, you have to work hard on yourself, but if you give yourself away, you will fail."
But according to his own statement, the 23-year-old would not be afraid of that. Before the game against the Raiders, he posted on Twitter and Facebook: "Psalm 23: 4". Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil ... "I am not afraid.
No wonder. Because for Tebow it is about much more than sporting success. "At the end of the day, it's not just about touchdowns and championships," he tells me. "An athlete has the task - no, the duty - to serve as a role model. Only what you do away from the field gives the sporting success a framework at all."
Well. Maybe too good?
Tebow the do-gooder. This is how his fans see him. No pre-marriage sex, no wild parties - instead volunteering in the offseason and regular church visits. In contrast, say its critics, nobody can be that decent.
Tebow himself is not interested in any of this. "After all, I don't do this so that I can feel great in front of others. I just want to use my opportunities to help others. That's how I was brought up."
It also helps him stay on the ground. "When you see how bad it is for many people in the world who have no houses or no future, then you want to help them. And I know that everyone can make a difference."
Everyone expected a stillbirth
He knows that from his own experience. Because the life of Timothy Richard, called Tim, Tebow could have been very different. If his mother hadn't changed something decisive, his life would not have started in the first place.
When Pam Tebow was pregnant with Tim, she fell ill with a life-threatening infection and fell into a coma. The doctors save her life, but the drugs administered cause the placenta to detach. Everyone expects a stillbirth - and advises an abortion so as not to endanger Pam's life at least.
She refuses. For Tim. The rest is history - or should be.
Thank you for your time
The Locker Room is now completely empty. No more other journalists and no workers. Tim Tebow also has to start slowly. The bus is waiting.
But as he goes out he says: "Thank you for taking so much time for me." I stop. Shouldn't I say that?
When Tebow notices this, he can't help but grin. And before he leaves the room, he takes another deep breath.
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