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Bucs Beat

Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Tim Tebow and the Bucs are a poor fit

19

March

Peyton Manning is headed to the Broncos, but there’s more drama to come in the Mile High City. That’s because now Denver must decide what to do with its polarizing and, suddenly, unnecessary quarterback, Tim Tebow.

The Broncos will reportedly attempt to trade the former University of Florida Heisman winner, meaning there are many Tebow debates to come.

In fact, they’ve already started. If I had a dollar for every person who has proposed to me today on Twitter that the Bucs should acquire Tebow, I could have taken the day off. This has also been a topic on local airwaves today, too.

I could be wrong, but I’m willing to bet that Tebow will not be wearing pewter and red anytime soon.

Why?

The Bucs have gone out of their way to insist they have faith in Josh Freeman’s ability to be an elite franchise quarterback, and acquiring Tebow flies completely in the face of that argument – even if it was made clear Tebow would be a backup.

Look at the pressure Denver coach John Fox faced last season when Kyle Orton ran into his struggles. Fox, clearly against playing Tebow, eventually caved, in part because of public pressure.

Greg Schiano, a first-year NFL coach, surely wants no part of that kind of controversy should Freeman have another tough season. Schiano’s got enough problems on his hands with trying to get the Bucs back on track after a 4-12 season. The last thing he needs or wants is to have half the Raymond James Stadium crowd chanting for the backup quarterback, one whose style would require a major overhaul the Bucs’ system.

And consider this: The Bucs just committed to Vincent Jackson with a 5-year, $55 million contract. Schiano has emphasized the intent is to throw the ball “over the top” to one of the best deep threats in the NFL.

The way to do that isn’t to bring in a quarterback whose strength is running the football. Tebow, like him or not, has redeeming qualities as a quarterback. But throwing the ball accurately down the field is not one of them. Freeman, however inaccurate he may have been in 2011, is a big-armed quarterback who is a great fit to play alongside Jackson.

And as for the other point I've heard often today, that Tebow would sell tickets, personnel decisions in the NFL aren't made with attendance in mind. If that was the case, don't you think Tebow -- a Jacksonville native -- would've been drafted by the Jaguars, a team with well-documented attendance woes?

The bottom line here is that the Bucs, despite what anyone on ESPN says, are not a great fit for Tebow. Jacksonville, Miami and a handful of other cities with less certain quarterback situations would be sensible landing spots.

But Tampa Bay, barring a major shock, will not be Tebow’s next stop.

[Last modified: Monday, March 19, 2012 7:11pm]

    

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