Fox Owes McDaniels A Big Thank You

Josh McDaniels knew he needed a playmaking QB, and he got one in Tim Tebow.

Then he got fired the ensuing season after his team failed to even meet the “mediocre” bar.

Enter Eric Studville for the remainder of the season, which saw Tebow in his first meaningful action, including a 40 yard TD run and a miracle comeback win over the Houston Texans.

Then along came John Fox, who promptly announced that Tebow was benched- in February. This was after he resurrected a dead franchise and its fan base and gave the fans hope that their team might be able to compete in the future.

As Ryan, I, and other fans with a grain of intelligence expected, Kyle Orton was horrible- so bad that he actually got yanked right in the middle of a game.

Tim Tebow Quarterback Tim Tebow #15 of the Denver Broncos drops back to deliver a pass against the Houston Texas at INVESCO Field at Mile High on December 26, 2010 in Denver, Colorado.

The Broncos were 1-4 heading into the San Diego game, when Tebow was shoved into the fire and ordered to clean up the mess that Orton started. He nearly did, bringing the Broncos back from 26-10 down before eventually falling 29-24.

All he’s done since then is go 2-1 as a starter, including two more comebacks with his team down at some point in the second half.

He threw for 124 yards and ran for 118 more (including a 32 yard run) in the Oakland win this weekend, and threw for two TD’s.

What it all comes down to is this: the Denver Broncos are winning with him at QB.

Sure, it would be nice if Tebow improves. He’s got a lot of work to do mechanically, and I don’t think even the biggest Tebow fan will deny that.

What nobody can deny is that Denver is right back in the hunt for the AFC West, thanks in large part to Tebow. He’s done more than ressurect the team, however; he’s ignited a fire behind the Bronco fan base.

The fans are believing in him, and in their team as a whole. It’s not just Tebow who’s improving- it’s the rest of the Broncos, too. Tebow just has this strange and remarkable gift for making his teammates around him play better.

Willis McGahee in particular had done nothing spectacular prior to the Oakland game. He averaged 88 yards per game- certainly nothing to be ashamed of, but nothing unbelievable, either. Since Tebow took the reins in the San Diego game, he’s averaged 122 yards per game. Call it a coincidence, but he was 34 yards per game better with Tebow than with Orton as the starter.

Tim Tebow Quarterback Tim Tebow #15 of the Denver Broncos warms up before taking on the Houston Texans at INVESCO Field at Mile High on December 26, 2010 in Denver, Colorado.But even beyond McGahee, this Broncos team is far improved with Tebow over Orton. Perfect proof of this is the comparison of the two games the Broncos played against Oakland. These teams are bitter rivals (not quite like Florida-Georgia, though) and in the first game in Denver, the Broncos lost three turnovers, the running game never got on track, the defense allowed Darren McFadden to run for 150 yards, and lost 23-20- in Denver, with Orton at the helm.

Fox put Tebow at the controls in a hostile environment at Oakland, but despite throwing an early TD the Broncos trailed 17-7. Tebow threw another TD, but Oakland scored again to make it 24-14.

Then Tebow had enough.

He pulled his team together, yelled at them, and the Broncos suddenyl began playing like a playoff team. Darren McFadden, who had burned the Broncos, was suddenly shut down. Eddie Royal returned to Denver with a bang in a punt return TD. Willis McGahee ran wild for TD runs of 24 and 61. Oakland, led by Carson Palmer, never scored again and Denver won 38-24.

I’m willing to bet that Tebow had an impact on the rest of the team’s performance.

So John Fox, you owe Josh McDaniels a thank you and Tim Tebow an apology. How you could honestly believe that your team is better with a human energizer bunny built like a Mack truck on the bench is beyond me, but make another mistake of that level of insolence and it could cost you your job. I haven’t forgotten that you announced that he was benched 7 months before the season started. You’re just lucky that McDaniels drafted this warrior. Seriously, you’re taking over a franchise that needs even the smallest spark- just a hint of life, and- oh, lookie here!- you’ve got this guy.

But you’re too old to have emotion. You like your team to play with the vigors of tired old grandmas on a hot summer day. You, much like Steve Addazio, love to take the fun, the spark and the energy out of your team. Maybe you don’t run dive plays, but your teams all played like they didn’t want to be there. That’s the level of intensity the Broncos had… until you inserted Tebow.

Now, boom! Your team is playing with a purpose, like they want to win. Once again, they’ve won two out of the three games that Tebow started, and they’re back in the AFC West hunt. I keep repeating this for fear that you won’t understand.

Say it Fox: Thank you Josh McDaniels.

One thought on “Fox Owes McDaniels A Big Thank You

  1. Now I’m as big a Tebow fan as the next Gator. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. For the same reason we bitch at ESPN for incessantly ragging on him, thinking “give this guy more than one bad game before you write him off”, we can’t all of a sudden after one decent game require thank you’s and I told you so’s. Lets give him a season or two under his belt before we ask anyone to eat crow.

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