I will say simply that Tim Tebow looked strikingly different from the quarterbacks we have grown accustomed to watching on television. He lacks those quarterback things that we love, or that we're conditioned to love by analysts such as Jon Gruden: tight footwork, efficient throwing motion, precision craftsmanship, pocket presence, predictability. Tebow is a study in the opposites: bad mechanics, slow delivery, happy feet, poor defensive-recognition abilities, wobbly balls.Obviously turning to Slate for sports analysis is like asking the set decorators at FOX to help you prep your living room for a World of Interiors shoot, but this is really too much. The football world is afraid of Tim Tebow in the same way that Marc-André Fleury is afraid of Johnny Weir's backhand; they may play on the same surface, but it is an altogether different sport. Tebow does indeed lack "those quarterback things that we love." What he does not do, unlike, say, a certain lumbering rape-yeti who, between seventeen sacks, four broken toes (fortunately, he has sixteen), and a lawsuit per game, has managed a career impressive both in analyst-statistician land and in the ledger of Superbowl victories. What I mean to say is that the problem with Tim Tebow is not his unorthodox style of play. He is not an unorthodox quarterback. He is a bad quarterback. Insofar as he strikes fear into the hearts of NFL fans, it's that we fear he represents the quality and type of quarterback coming out of the hopelessly bonkers world of college ball.
Tebow is not a Jon Gruden kind of player. Sure, he might trumpet Tebow's competitiveness and his will to win and all those intangibles, but I'd bet that a large part of him is rooting for Tebow to fail. After all, a quarterback like Tebow is a living affront to that secret knowledge, possessed primarily by a fraternity of former coaches and players who now talk on TV for a living, of what it takes to succeed in the NFL. A successful Tebow is a quarterback who craps all over the conventional football wisdom, and this has the football world very afraid.
-Nate Jackson at Slate
What gets me is that Jackson could have written exactly the same column substituting the words "Cam Newton" for "Tim Tebow" and come off as something less that a total moron. Sure the Panthers stink, but Newton looks like a real prospect rather than a regrettable but now-inescapable mistake.