Tim Tebow is a bully. In all the nicest NFL ways. He picks on the little people.
Hell try to punk the smaller people, said Bears safety Major Wright, a Florida teammate of Tebows and who was occasionally a Tebow punkee at Gators practices.
His big thing is trying to stay in bounds. When hes going against a DB, he tries to run them over.
Tebow does more than try. He is averaging 5.7 yards per carry, highest of any player with the qualifying minimum of rushes, and that is with a longest run of a modest 32 yards. He already has netted more rushing yards (46) in 12 games than any of the previous four franchise highs for quarterbacks (all by John Elway) in 16 games.
Meaning: Tebow is punking a lot more than just DBs. And the reason is because at this point of his NFL development, he is as much a running quarterback who will throw as a passer who will run, much as Michael Vick was early in his career.
I would say hes a runner at heart, Wright said. He wants to beat you with his feet. If hes scrambling, we feel like hes scrambling to run the ball, like Vick used to do.
But in life one is always better served to overestimate rather than underestimate ones enemies. The suspicion is that the Minnesota Vikings did a little of that, categorizing Tebow as a running threat, not a passing one.
And why not? Tebow has completed only 47.5 percent of his passes and thats with a 10-for-15 game at Minnesota in which he posted a passer rating of 149.3, second-highest in the NFL this season by a quarterback with at least 15 attempts.
He gets better as the game goes along passing the ball lately, said defensive end Corey Wootton.
Indeed, Tebow is the NFLs No. 3-rated passer in fourth quarters, which shouldnt be all that surprising given that he has engineered five fourth-quarter comebacks, tying the record for a quarterback in his first 10 starts.
Therein lies Tebows real danger.
He has good quickness and speed, not as much as Michael Vick, Wootton said, but his strength and ability to win a game, youve seen that for five weeks.
If Tebow seems to be running with some malice aforethought if not in his heart, then in his legs then doubters have no one to blame but themselves.
With naysayers, I want to prove them wrong and it fires me up a little, Tebow admitted. And the people that support me, I want to prove them right. Im not going to lie and say that doesnt fire me up, people saying Im not an NFL quarterback.
Thats been my dream since Ive been a little boy and I want to have fun living my dream.
Wright said Tebow was having exactly that, fun, when they were playing at Florida.
And hes really a good guy off the field, humble, definitely a good teammate, Wright said.
Even if youre a smaller people.