Column: The Rise and Fall of Tim Tebow

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I wrote this piece for B/R a few weeks ago. It details how Tebow got to where he is today, from his miraculous birth to being on the back pages of New York tabloids.

I have never been a fan of the attention Tebow gets, but I enjoyed spelling out the complex story of who was the most popular man in American sports.

Click here to give it a read.

Latest at B/R: Sanchez Will Ultimately be Jets QB in 2013

I just did an extensive piece about the Jets QB options in 2013. What I found was, no matter what avenue the Jets take, keeping Sanchez as the starter just makes more logical sense.

The only hope for Sanchez to not be the Jets starter is for either a) he plays badly enough over the next month to start one of the backups or b) Mike Tannenbaum is fired. Even if Mr. T is fired, it still makes more fiscal sense for the Jets to keep no. 6.

Here’s why.

No One Wants to Get Drafted by the Browns

According to Bleacher Report draft guru Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout), many of the top players in this draft have no interest in going to Cleveland.

It comes as no suprise that Cleveland is a team players want to avoid. They don’t win many games, and a lot of good careers have gone unnoticed.

However, Cleveland has a top-five pick. Whoever is picking in the top 5 is going to be a bad team. You could argue that the Rams have had no more success in the past five years or so than the Browns, but no one is avoiding them.

The answer lies in how much money the Browns are spending. At least the Rams are trying, by signing guys like Cortland Finnegan and hiring a proven coach in Jeff Fisher. The Browns seem more interested in bringing back the west coast offense at all costs than winning games.

DeMeco Ryans to Philadelphia Eagles for a 4th Round Pick?

In a surprising move, the Houston Texans traded ILB DeMeco Ryans to the Eagles for a 4th round pick and a swap of 3rd round picks. Ryans was taking up a fair share of cap room, and he only played about half of defensive snaps last year as his pass coverage skills went South.

He is also a much better fit in a 4-3, and should be an immediate upgrade over anything the Eagles have.

I expect Boston College ILB Luke Kluechly to still be in play in the first round fr the Eagles. He may be a better fit as a WILL backer anyway, and he’s just a damn fine football player to just pass on.

Clearly, the value of veterans is deteriorating, and quickly. The NFL is becoming so much about pure athleticism that age is becoming a bigger factor every year.

Greg Schiano Gets Buccaneers Job: Is it the Right Fit?

In a somewhat surprising move, former Rutgers head coach of Greg Schiano was given the head coaching job of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, left vacant by Raheem Morris.

The Bucs took a lot of time in making their decision, interviewing everyone from Marty Schottenheimer to Chip Kelly before finally agreeing to terms with Schiano. When you look at some of the guys they brought in for an interview, it was clear that the Bucs had a clear vision for what they wanted in their new head coach: someone with experience as a leader of men.

By the end of Raheem Morris’ tenure, Tampa Bay’s team was far to undisciplined to produce a winning product on the field. The team was exceptionally young at key positions, players were getting into off-field problems, and their coach, who turned 35 in September, could not demand enough respect from players that were often not much younger than he was.

Morris was hired after the 2008 season, which he started as the defensive backs coach before being promoted to defensive coordinator in the same year, and was eventually given the head coaching job after Jon Gruden was fired after the season.

That same off-season, the Buccaneers began their purge of veteran leadership to start afresh, showing legends guys like Derrick Brooks the door. They hired a young Morris in hopes that he would grow with his young team and be there for the long haul.

However, it did not play out as smoothly as they hoped. Tampa learned, the hard way, that combining young players with an inexperienced coach is not a recipie for success.

Which is where Greg Schiano comes in.

Schiano took over a Rutgers program that was among the worst in college football. He had a slow start, but finally, the team started to go in the right direction in the 2005 season, finishing 7-5 and making a bowl game for the first time since 1978. In 2006, Rutgers was ranked in the top 25 for the first time since 1976, and finished 10-2. Quite a remarkable turnaround for a program that has been dormant for so long.

A man with a defensive background, Schiano favors a “power football” mentality while still generating big plays from his offense. In the 2009 and 2010 drafts, Rutgers has had three players go in the first round: Devin McCourty, Anthony Davis, and Kenny Britt – a defender, offensive lineman, and a big-play wide receiver. He also produced great players like Ray Rice and Gary Brackett.

For a Bucs team that lacks mental toughness and disipline, the move seems like a natural fit.  Jim Harbaugh’s success in his first season as coach of the 49ers and erasing some of the stigma that comes with college coaches making the transition to the NFL, there is more reason to believe that Greg Schiano can have immediate impact.

What does this mean for the Bucs this off-season? You can expect them to get another running back, as Schiano has always used a back-by-committee at Rutgers. Expect them to get bigger on defense and start to get more diverse and multiple on defense and emply more man-coverage schemes.

Still, this is a bit of a gamble by the Bucs, as going from college to the professional ranks is hardly a fluid task. But if there is to be a “second coming” of Jim Harbaugh, Schiano is the man for the job.