Tim Tebow isn’t the first rookie quarterback to struggle a bit during an offseason camp practice. And it probably won’t be his last poor practice.
But, the first-round pick’s every move is being watched, and he was not very accurate today. Early in practice he missed receiver Alric Arnett, then a couple plays later threw way behind tight end Riar Geer. He had a pass tipped at the line that was intended to tight end Richard Quinn. A few plays later he missed badly to Quinn on a pass that hit the ground before it got to him. Tebow himself singled out another bad pass – a crossing route to open receiver Patrick Honeycutt that was behind Honeycutt and too low, and hit the ground.
Tebow continued to be a bit wild, missing some receivers by throwing behind or low or leading them too far. He did have some very nice throws, mostly on out routes – one of the toughest passes a quarterback can make. He had a fantastic throw to Arnett in the corner of the end zone that had great velocity. He called out a blitz at the line on one play, then calmly hit Arnett on a crossing route, showing he is starting to understand the offense a little.
Brady Quinn had a couple bad passes as well, throwing a couple interceptions early in practice. Part of the quarterbacks’ struggles (Kyle Orton was excused) was working with many rookie receivers as the veterans got the day off of practice.
So it wasn’t all bad for Tebow, but he’s still got a long ways to go.
“I was probably a little bit more happy with some of the reads,” Tebow said about his day. “I still got to get more consistent with some of them. Your accuracy comes when you know where to go and when to go to.”
Critics have pointed to Tebow’s accuracy as a potential problem for him, but they also rip him for lack of arm strength and that doesn’t seem to be an issue at all. He consistently throws the ball with above average velocity. He said his new delivery has helped his arm strength, and that appears to be true.
“No issues, none at all in terms of his arm strength, velocity, anything like that,” Broncos coach Josh McDaniels said.
McDaniels did also point out some of the negatives and positives for Tebow when asked to analyze what he has seen after about a month of practices.
“Tim is progressing well in terms of understanding what the offense is asking him to do,” McDaniels said. “No issues in terms of calling the plays in the huddle or communicating with his teammates and what he wants from them.
“Right now, until you understand exactly what’s going on every play, until you have your head and eyes in the right place in every snap as a quarterback playing in our system, or any other system at this level, it’s hard to consistently look the right way.
“There’s certainly a bunch of good plays, and there’s some other ones where we have to work hard to get him right. That’s what we’re doing, that’s what he’s doing.”
Tebow said his biggest ongoing challenge is playing faster – thinking faster, and with his feet. That should come with time, but he isn’t there yet.
“Sometimes you’re still thinking, overthinking things sometimes instead of reacting and playing,” Tebow said. “I think that’s a big thing as a rookie. you’re trying to do everything right and thinking about everything. Am I doing this right? What’s he doing? How am I going to do this? Sometimes it’s just reacting and playing and playing and knowing your assignment.”