Posted Wed Oct 13th by Kris Burke
Kris Burke covers the Denver Broncos for Bleacher Report and NFLTouchdown.com. This is his first piece for BroncoTalk — let him know what you think in the comments. Follow Kris on twitter at @KBurkeNFL.
Desperate times call for desperate measures.
Knowshown Moreno, Laurence Maroney, and Correll Buckhalter all could not get the Denver Broncos running game going. The team ranks 32nd in the rush while ranking No. 1 in the pass. Kyle Orton is on pace to smash Dan Marino’s single season passing mark, but coach Josh McDaniels knows that moving the ball through the air alone will not get the team very far come winter time.
So what can the Broncos do? They tried bringing in Maroney, McDaniels’ old back from his days in New England, and had no success. It seems like Moreno gets hurt too often to do any good and Buckhalter hasn’t done much either.
Could the answer be…Tim Tebow, running back?
Now, McDaniels has gone on record saying that Tebow will be a quarterback in the NFL and a quarterback only, although he has experimented with putting the rookie in short yardage Wild Horses formations in the red zone. Tebow has only attempted two rushes all season and has not seen the field since the opening game at Jacksonville.
With a lack of quality running backs available, save maybe DeAngelo Williams in Carolina, McDaniels may have no choice but to turn to the rookie from Florida to help get the Broncos running game moving and help propel the team to a possible playoff berth.
Here’s why it may not be such a crazy idea after all:
1. Tebow‘s athleticism
You can’t say enough about Tebow‘s unique athletic abilities. His height combined with his speed and sheer power provide a challenge for even NFL linebackers to bring down. His garbage time rushing touchdown against the Bengals in the preseason where the lineback tackling Tebow came up lame comes to mind.
2. It creates a whole new playbook for McDaniels
Even with all his skills running the ball, let’s not forget Tebow possesses an incredibly strong left arm as well. His jump passes that he pulled over regularly in college could easily work in the NFL even if Tebow lines up at halfback instead of under center. Adding the threat of a halfback pass to every play will confuse some defense and allow McDaniels and Orton even more flexibility in an already explosive passing attack.
McDaniels could also utilize reverses, double reverses, and flea flickers here too. A reverse via Orton to Demaryius Thomas to Tebow for example would be enough to make a defensive coordinator’s head spin.
3. He isn’t afraid to run up the middle or outside the tackles.
Along with Tebow‘s skills come his whatever-it-takes, never-say-die attitude. His willingness to lay it all on the line for his team. Tebow is not afraid to run it through any of the A, B, or C gaps or even take it to the perimeter to get yardage. Wherever this is a hole, Tebow will run through it.
Is McDaniels willing to subject his prize pupil to some potential punishment with the Broncos already wounded in so many areas? Perhaps that is the question keeping the coach from even trying an idea like this.
4. Oh those intangibles.
It was well documented this preseason how well Tebow endeared himself to his teammates. Anyone willing to publicly display a Friar Tuck-style haircut is brave in my book. If Tebow is able to bring his leadership skills over to the pros, this will take some pressure off of Orton to be THE locker room leader. An Orton-Tebow two-headed monster could be enough to propel the Broncos to the top of a very weak AFC West.
To some fans, this idea may seem anywhere from crazy to downright stupid. To them, I would say why not try it? Nothing has worked so far. The worst that can possibly happen in this situation is that it doesn’t work. Tebow in the backfield can not possibly perform any worse than the Broncos already have.
There is of course the injury risk to Tebow, but with Orton now locked up through 2011, it would provide Tebow time to heal.
Then there is the argument that this could possibly hinder Tebow‘s development as a quarterback. To that I would say that this would be a bonus for No. 15 because he would be able to see how Orton directs the offense up close and personal. It’s the closest thing to getting reps as he can, and it sure would beat studying pictures on the sideline.
McDaniels may go with this option eventually and then again he may not.
The choice is his, but as I figure it, it’s worth a shot.