Rarely are quarterbacks who are talented or who have a massive fan following left out of training camp, yet that is exactly the case for JaMarcus Russell and Tim Tebow as we approach the start of the season, begging the question who would you rather have on your team? Both former first round picks are still theoretically young enough to grow into their prime and lead a team for many years, typically something that would make teams line up to beg for the rights to sign these players.
JaMarcus Russell has one of the strongest arms ever to play in the NFL, he can throw the ball as far as his receivers can run down the field. His size, weighing over 300 pounds before starting his NFL comeback attempt this off season, makes him Ben Roethlisberger like in how difficult he is to bring down for a sack. These two assets make him an appealing prospect and give him a shot at becoming a starting quarterback down the road. The downside to Russell is his maturity, he didn’t take care of his body and put himself above his team during his tenure in Oakland, he wasn’t ready to be a professional athlete at the time and his team suffered as a result. This is something that can be fixed with time, and he at least appears to be taking football seriously and is putting in the effort to become a quality addition to a ball club.
Accuracy and decision making issues have also proved detrimental to his success as a passer in his first run in the NFL. Poor accuracy and decisions combined to cause a turnover prone reputation to emerge for the former number one overall pick. In three years with the Raiders he amassed 23 interceptions and 25 fumbles. Numbers that would have to drastically diminish if his second run through the league is to be a successful one.
JaMarcus Russel is only half of the who would you rather have debate, Tim Tebow earned an astonishing following during his run with the Bronocs, becoming one of the NFL’s most polarizing and beloved figures at the same time. He has experienced more success than Russell, but he also had a lot more talent around him while he was in Denver.
Tim Tebow has an ability to win games. No matter how much he and his team struggled he seemingly always found a way to pull his men together and scrape together a victory. His leadership skills are well documented, and he has shown that he can be a spark in the locker room if put in the right situation. He was able to take over in Denver and save the team’s season, even winning a playoff game while he was at it. Tebow has the ability to extend a play with his legs, and has the size to act almost as an extra running back when he decides to take off and run the ball. The fan base he has is also an asset to the team that picks him up, he became such an icon that a montage of media attention was mashed into a song that went viral on YouTube. See it below in case you missed it the first time around.
The downsides to Tebow make a list just as long as that of JaMarcus however. He has an incredibly awkward throwing motion that coaches have attempted to fix since his days in Florida. The awkward motion drastically hinders his accuracy, and also damages his arm strength. Suspect accuracy and arm strength aren’t exactly things that coaches look for in the NFL. Football intelligence is also a suspect mark on the quarterbacks resume. The offense he has ran to this point in his career has almost entirely been Wildcat. This is a very basic read option offense that doesn’t put much pressure on Tebow to make a decision. This is a warning to any team that potentially would sign Tebow that he may not have the ability to pick up the complexities of an NFL offense.
Both JaMarcus Russell and Tim Tebow have the talent to make an impact in the NFL, so who would you rather have on your team? Vote in the poll below and see who you the people feel is the better NFL passer. Both of these men will probably field a job offer at some point in time this season. Quarterback is the most important position in the league and there is never enough talent available once injuries start piling up.
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The Guardian Express