Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Fox and Tebow: A shotgun marriage

We interrupt our regularly scheduled local programming to bring you an update from Denver, Colorado, where head coach John Fox has made the unlikely move of installing Tim Tebow as the Denver Broncos' new starting quarterback.

It's hard for me to believe Fox has done this, but I believe he must have felt painted into a corner. I've kept up with what the nine-year Panther head coach has done in Denver only by reading up on the Broncos every now and then, but from everything I read it sounded like Fox was extremely committed to Kyle Orton and a more traditional style at quarterback.

That won't surprise anyone in the Carolinas. If Fox had been coaching this Carolina Panther team and had the same quarterbacks, he would have started Derek Anderson for the first five games, undoubtedly. Cam Newton would be sitting on the bench except for maybe a handful of "Wildcat" plays in every game. Fans would be clamoring to see more of Cam and Fox would be stubbornly saying that Anderson "still gives us the best chance to win."

Given the choice, Fox is always more comfortable with the veteran.

That's not to say Fox won't ever start a young quarterback. He did in 2010 with rookie Jimmy Clausen, giving Matt Moore a quick hook, and of course that ended very badly. Clausen had a 1-9 record as a starter and the Panthers went 2-14, which means Fox is now 3-18 over his last 21 games as an NFL head coach.

But Tebow? The Broncos are 1-4 (same as the Panthers), but Fox had been adamantly sticking with Orton until halftime of Denver's most recent game, when he replaced a thoroughly awful Orton with Tebow. Tebow then led two fourth-quarter touchdown drives against San Diego, although he also made a couple of errors and Denver still lost.

This all tickles me. Thinking of Fox coaching such an unorthodox quarterback like Tebow -- who is a poor man's on-field version of double threat Cam, but throws the ball less accurately than Newton does and simply doesn't inspire as much fear in defenses -- is delightful.

Not to say it won't work. Let's not forget the Panthers had most of their greatest successes under Fox, including their lone Super Bowl appearance and another trip to the NFC title game. The man is more conservative than Rush Limbaugh, but he can coach. Don't forget that.

Still, Tebow is not a conservative coach's quarterback. I would think that ultimately this Fox-Tebow shotgun marriage will end badly, but it's not out of the question the two can make it work. Denver has a bye week this Sunday, but the Broncos and Tebow will be among the most-watched, written-about and dissected teams in the NFL after that. All of which I'm sure Fox just loves.


Anonymous said...

You know that decision was from above, probably John Elway. No way Fox makes that move, he would rather lose than admit he was wrong.

Anonymous said...

I fell over when I read Kyle Orton's "is what it is" quote this morning - he's channeling Fox already!

Anonymous said...




Fox was and is a JOKE said...

WTH cares? Fox was run out of town. Why do you still report on his issues?

Anonymous said...

That was definitely a John Elway decision. Fox is way too conservative to have made the change. As a Bronco/Panther Fan its been like he's never left for me.

Anonymous said...

Unless your a Bronco fan why do you care? Bronco fans are tired of losing period. Whether its Tebow or Quinn we don't care, just give us a quarterback who will help us win. Tebow brought us back last week so why not let him start. GO BRONCOS!!!

Chris Callahan said...

Scott. Well said and my sentiments exactly. I admire Tebow attitude and willingness to give it all to the win. But I haven't seen a NFL quarterback throw such "wounded duck" passes since Joe Kapp of the Minnesota Vikings in the 1960's. Don't get me wrong, I was a HUGE fan of Joe Kapp and the Purple People Eaters back then, but I doubt seriously Kapp could survive one season in todays' NFL.
I don't see this ending well for either Fox Or Tebow.

Anonymous said...

Good news for Fox and Denver is, they will definitely be in the running for Andrew Luck by the end of the season...otherwise, Fox's days in Denver sadly are also numbered.

Joe F. said...

I'm rooting for Tebow too and yes he's a gamer, but let's face it he will never be a full-time starter at QB in this league. Lots of QBs have unorthodox mechanics, but you can time the guy's release with a sundial. That's not gonna work in the NFL, and if it was fixable they would have fixed it already.

Remember this is the same Fox who brought in Brian St. Pierre in last year to throw pick-6s to the Ravens like 5 days before the game, rather than start Tony Pike. I think he's only doing this because he knows his job is safe (for now), and if the Donks continue to fail (as they would under Orton as well), at least he can blame it on Tebow and say, "See fans, I told you so."

John - Harrisburg, NC said...

Anonymous 1:39,

If Denver gets Luck it will mean two things, #1 John Elway is making the draft picks and #2 that Fox will waste him!

I have no idea whether or not Tebow can be a successful NFL QB but I was pretty sure that with John Fox on the scene we weren't likely to find out.

Craig Morton said...

This decision was made by Elway and let's face it the fans love him and Orton, although he has a great arm, is not the leader that Tebow will become. Players seem to respond favorably when Tebow is at the helm. His positive attitude is contagious. Tebow, like Newton, rates in the top 20 in the NFL in terms of jersey sales. It is about winning games but also about the overall dollar purse. It's time for Tebow to get a chance. Good luck Fox, managing the situation!

Anonymous said...

I wish Tebow well and think he'll do better then the so called experts are predicting.

If Tebow succeeds it will be in spite of Fox.

Fox is the Broncos version of when George Seifert came to the Panthers.

At the end of his career, with plenty of F U money in his pocket.

They need to fire him soon before he ruins Tebow.

ps3arbi said...

You forget - He has Mc Coy as offensive co ordinator. Fox knows why he was kicked out of here.. he wont make that mistake Twice.
In other news..

CAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAmmmm <- read this like Deion Sanders would in the NFL network

Anonymous said...

Fox is a good coach and I'm betting he made this decision.

par said...

NFL.COM website indicates that Orton being traded to Miami and Clausson going to Denver for Brandon Lloyd.

Anonymous said...

Hello, I lived in Colorado Springs after 20 years in Charlotte.

What is being unsaid is that Tebow is the only QB under contract next year. Both Orton and Quinn are free agents. The Broncos HAVE to find out if Tebow can be a starter in the NFL.

The other issue is that McLoser (McDaniels) traded three draft choices (that is right three) to get Tebow


Anonymous said...

Under the new union agreement that the local fishwrap bragged about Richardson signing in their own ignorance, a contract is not worth the piece of paper it is written on anymore.
Everybody is a free agent and can be bought out anytime by any team.

When Newton is bought out in 2012 for 3-4 times the loot then all these fans of his will be crying like babies.

Like others have said, if Newton were white he would be the most hated in the QC and the Carolinas right now at 1-4 after all that bogus hype and 26 million, kind of like Clausen Jake Fox Hurney Anderson and JR were hated 24/7/365by the haters for yrs. Double standards.

Wonder how JR feels about wasting that 500 million to these 1-4 bums not counting their share of the billions the union bandits robbed? JR has a bad heart so he cant get upset with these sorryass players stealing him blind.

Anonymous said...

They had no mercy on Heisman winner Weinke or Siefert who had 5 Super Bowl rings inventing the West Coast defense for the San Fran 49ers. Both got all the blame for that 1-15 season in 2001 and both were canned. This was in spite of the fact that CW was the
2nd best rookie in NFL history behind Peyton Manning.

Sportsdon said...

If you read this and took the time to comment on it, then you answer your own question about who cares by looking in a mirror.

I'm loving Fox's pain, loving it!

Fox doesn't have the imagination to use a QB beyond play action style pro sets. I'm guessing Elway told him to stay out of the offensive coordinator's way and deal with it.

Joe F. said...

@ par

Are you serious about this?? Brandon Lloyd for Clausen? I would take that and throw in a draft pick as well!

This makes no sense for Denver. I'd love to see Jimmy get a fresh start, but trading one of their best players for a guy Fox never really liked to begin with? Especially with this Tebow thing going on. Are they collecting Notre Dame bust QBs in Denver or something?

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