Urban Meyer coached Tim Tebow during his most prolific college days where the six-foot, three-inch quarterback won two national championships, as well as the 2007 Heisman trophy for Most Oustanding Player in all of college football. And according to the ex-Florida and current Ohio State head coach, Meyer truly believed Tebow’s NFL comeback should have been with Chip Kelly’s Eagles squad.
“I really thought the Chip Kelly experience would be his opportunity,” Meyer told Mike Mayock and Rich Esien of the NFL Network when asked of Tebow’s chances of a comeback at the NFL combine on Saturday.
And while Urban did admit that Tim has “somewhat of an awkward throwing motion at times” he also affirmed that the road back to the NFL is not completely closed for Tebow. It just might take a detour through Canada first.
“I was actually in a conversation with him about going to Canada… I think if there’s a right (opportunity) I think he’d probably do it.”
After capturing two National Championships with Florida in 2006 and 2008, Tebow was drafted in the first round by the Denver Broncos in the NFL Draft that year. Many pundits argued that his awkward throwing motion and lack of a pocket presence would ultimately doom Tebow’s chances of a successful NFL career.
But in 2011, Tebow got his chance to be an everyday starter and while his numbers were pedestrian at best, he did manage to turn the Broncos season around and lead them to the playoffs with an 8-8 record. Tebowmania ensued, especially after Tebow tossed the game winning touchdown to Demaryius Thomas in a playoff game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
However, his Broncos career was short lived. The following season Tim was shipped to the Jets after Denver signed the recently-released Peyton Manning, who was let go by the Colts after they drafted Andrew Luck that year. From there his career took a definitive spiral, culminating in an embarrassing situation where Tebow couldn’t even get on the field with the Jets.
In 2012, the Jets head coach at the time, Rex Ryan, refused to play Tebow despite the struggles of then starting quarterback Mark Sanchez. Ryan bypassed Tebow even though he was technically the number two quarterback, replacing Sanchez with third stringer Greg McElroy late in the 2012 season. Tebow was eventually released the following year and has been trying to claw his way back onto an NFL roster ever since.
The knocks on Tebow as an NFL quarterback extend beyond just his on-the-field play, as pointed out by NESN‘s Doug Kyed.
“The reasons Tebow is a terrible backup quarterback are innumerable. He’s worse in practice than he is in games, he can’t imitate most starting quarterbacks for the scout team, he steals headlines and he’ll have fans chanting ‘TE-BOW, TE-BOW, TE-BOW’ with [the starter’s] first errant throw.”
After a brief audition with the New England Patriots in 2013 went nowhere, Tebow resurfaced last year with Chip Kelly’s Eagles. And it looked as if the former Heisman winner had found a home after Kelly traded away his competition for the third string job, Matt Barkley, to the Arizona Cardinals the day before cuts.
But alas, Kelly opted not to board the Tim Tebow NFL comeback train, cutting the star the very next day in favor of a waiver-wire QB cut from the Raiders. And from there, Tebow has been searching for an NFL home ever since.
Not that it’s hurt his popularity any. As the Denver Post recently reported, Tebow is still one of the most popular quarterbacks in the league, ahead of current stars Russell Wilson and Drew Brees to name a few.
And if Urban Meyer is correct, Tim Tebow could become the most popular Canadian player, too.
[Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images]