O’Boyle: Let’s make the NFL more fun
Daniel O'Boyle | Monday, September 7, 2015
Pack it in boys, it’s all over. Tebowmania is finished for good this time. He couldn’t find success with the Jets, Bill Belichick couldn’t find a way to use him in New England and not even Chip Kelly — among his wave of inexplicable personnel decisions — could find a place on a 53-man roster for the former Gator. It looks like last week’s two-touchdown preseason performance against the New York Jets was the last we’ll ever see of Tim Tebow in NFL action.
But can’t there be another way? Tebow was pure entertainment: taking the Denver Broncos from 1-4 to the playoffs, displaying a complete inability to throw a football for three quarters only to make fourth-quarter comeback after fourth-quarter comeback, throwing the winning 80-yard touchdown pass in a playoff game against the league’s leading defense. Love him or hate him, everyone was talking about Tim Tebow, and I for one think it’s a shame that the NFL would just let one of its biggest talking points leave. And I think I might just have a solution to this problem.
Tebow would have been, at best, the Eagles’ third-string quarterback. The way I see it, the third-string quarterback in the NFL just isn’t that important. You can talk about Ohio State and Cardale Jones all you want, but things are different at the professional level: systems are harder to learn, and no team can recruit a stable of potentially elite QBs like you can in college. Chip Kelly chose some some guy named Stephen Morris out of Miami instead of Tebow. If Sam Bradford and Mark Sanchez go down, are the Eagles going to win the Super Bowl with Morris at quarterback? Last year the Arizona Cardinals were forced to start third-stringer Ryan Lindley, and he was awful. At least Tebow would have held your attention while playing poorly. If Lindley and Morris are sitting behind two of the most injury-prone starting QBs in the league, how bad are the rest of the third-stringers?
That’s where my idea comes in. Get rid of those forgettable third quarterbacks. If your team only carries two, then get rid of your most forgettable player. Instead, have a league-mandated “unnecessary distraction QB” on every team. And they have to be involved in at least one play per game. That’s right, all 32 teams in the NFL should be forced to carry at least one player at the quarterback position who may not be an elite football player, but makes up for it in their ability to keep the ESPN talking heads busy.
Would it hinder some teams? Probably. Would these new storylines distract from the real action? Yes. But imagine the possibilities. Every Eagles game can be Tebow Time. Aaron Rodgers joins the list of Packers casualties? Here comes a 45-year-old Brett Favre, back from his latest retirement. Peyton Manning better not show any signs of decline, or Broncos executive vice president John Elway might just take over as Denver’s QB. Tony Romo should have earned the full backing of Cowboys fans after last season, but Texas hero Vince Young might keep him on his toes. If 410-pound Laquon McGowan can play tight end for Baylor this year, surely someone can find a way to use Jamarcus Russell. Donald Trump says he can “get things done” in Washington, well let’s find out if he can win the starting job from Robert Griffin and Kirk Cousins and make the Redskins good again.
Because let’s face it, ESPN will find some way to create drama where none exists. With Johnny Manziel and RG3 set to ride the bench in Week One, Josh McCown and Cousins can’t afford to make a single mistake. Even with him out of the league, we’re probably not done hearing about Tebow. Whether my proposal is accepted or not, it’s going to be another long year of hearing every detail of these quarterback competitions. We might as well liven them up.
The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.