Tim Tebow, like Jeremy Lin of the New York Knicks, has been right up there in front of all the headlines for the past year. Whether he's on the bench, winning games, or even being traded, Tebow has grabbed headlines no matter where he's at. The one constant amidst all this 'Tebow-mania' is how many believe that Tebow doesn't have what it takes to be a starting quarterback in this league.
Tebow runs too much. He can't make reads or deliver the ball accurately. The throwing motion of Tebow is so slow that the United States Postal Service could deliver the ball faster.
Apparently though, those things aren't what has caught the eye of Tony Sparano, the Jets offensive coordinator. In fact, it's the improvement that Tebow has made that has the O.C. gushing over possibly his biggest weapon.
Sparano, speaking to reporters Thursday, said he was "completely on board" with the Tebow trade. He spoke glowingly of Tebow, saying the quarterback has made "eye-opening" improvement as a passer since Sparano last coached him two years ago in the Senior Bowl.
At the time of that Senior Bowl, Sparano told assistants that after watching Tebow during practices, he was less than impressed. Now, however, he sees a marked improvement over the guy he saw two years ago.
"Fundamentally, Tim has gotten much better," he said. "You could see the amount of time he spent at it … He's completely different now than he was when he came out of college."
When asked about how he was going to use Tebow, Sparano became somewhat cagey, dancing around the topic without giving away to much. He settled on saying that while his first goal is improving the quarterback play of Tebow, he wouldn't be adverse to using his other running gifts as well.
"Obviously, our first goal here is to turn Tim into … uh, to continue to work with him and to have him mature as a quarterback," said Sparano, perhaps changing direction when he realized he was about to say something that could feed a potential controversy.
"That's what we're trying to do here. With that being said, he comes with a different skill set, obviously, from college. That's a good thing for us. He has the ability to do a lot of different jobs. At the game, that's what you really want."
Sparano also addressed the concerns of a potential quarterback controversy between Tebow and starter Mark Sanchez, saying that there is no controversy and that the competitive nature of the two men will make both better in the end.
"I'm not concerned about that, honestly," Sparano said. "At the end of this whole thing, it's about trying to find good football players. Mark Sanchez is one hell of a player … and Tim Tebow is a good football player, too.
"When you put both of those guys in a room, if they're playing checkers, they're going to compete and they're going to go like heck to win. I think the more of these people you can get around your football team, the better off your team is going to be … I don't think there will be a problem managing it."
Overall, Sporano was upbeat about nearly every topic, including praising Sanchez for the offseason work he has put in so far.
"I'm excited about where he is," Sparano said. "The only thing I can tell you right now is he's had a tremendous offseason. He's gotten himself into good shape. I've been really impressed with him."
Hopefully, this optimism bleeds into the regular season because once the pads come on, the vultures will circle and there will be blood to pay.
Photo Credit: AP
James LeBeau is a sports contributor for CraveOnline Sports and you can follow him on Twitter @JleBeau76 or subscribe on Facebook.com/CraveOnlineSports.