Saturday, May 16, 2015

3 comments You May Not Believe This, But Skip Bayless Makes Tim Tebow's Return to the NFL about Skip Bayless

You may not have heard, but Tim Tebow has signed with the Philadelphia Eagles. This news did go under the radar, so I understand how a lot of people may have missed it. Naturally, since he is the chief waver of pom-poms for Tebow's NFL career, Skip Bayless has some thoughts on Tebow's return. Even more naturally, Skip Bayless makes Tebow's return to the NFL just a little bit about himself and his interactions with Tebow. Skip's point is that Tim Tebow could play well as an Eagles player next year. He has to make the team first, of course. Tebow COULD play well (or "fly high"...vomit) as an Eagle, but he also could play the same way he played as a Jet and Patriot. Skip thinks other head coaches haven't utilized what Tebow does best, which is analyze football games (seriously, he was pretty good last year). I have nothing against Tebow as a person, but as a football player what he does best (which I'm still not sure what that would be) requires an offense be so limited that I'm not sure it's worth having Tebow around. But, maybe he can be useful in certain situations. It always annoys me (and the starting quarterback) when the backup gets put in the game for certain offensive packages. If Tebow is used as a goal line QB, then I could see him succeeding. Anyway, Skip says Chip Kelly is the best coach for Tebow, which just so happens to be something he also said about Bill Belichick when Tebow signed with the Patriots.

Funny how the smartest coach in football couldn't figure out a way to use Tebow, but now Skip decides that Chip Kelly is the new smartest coach in football. I almost root against Tebow just to hear Skip Bayless and his next excuse for why Tebow didn't succeed in the NFL.

Before college football's national championship game in January, Tim Tebow joined us on the "First Take" set in Dallas to discuss Ohio State vs. Oregon and the NFL playoffs.

I imagine this was one of the highlights of Skip's career, next to repeatedly calling Troy Aikman a homosexual and never really having solid proof this statement is true.

I thought about asking Tebow why he thought the NFL had rejected him for a second straight season, but that seemed like old news about an old wound. Tebow was an ESPN analyst now and we treated him like one.

Except Skip clearly didn't want to treat Tebow like an ESPN analyst, because he was more obsessed with proving Tebow could play in the NFL than Tebow was.

Backstage after the show, I felt a tap on the shoulder and turned to see Tebow.

Here is exclusive video of Skip's reaction when Tebow spoke with him. 

I don't know him well - in fact, the few times I've been around him in groups, I've sensed a coolness

Yes, Tebow has always come off as just really super-rad.

and wondered if Tebow shared the view of my on-air debate partner Stephen A. Smith.

And here we go. Skip Bayless believes that his words have an effect on pro athletes. It's one of the most self-centered beliefs that I can recall any human being actually holding. Skip gives himself credit for when LeBron plays well, when a team responds to play well after criticism from Skip and now he believes all NFL teams did not sign Tim Tebow because Skip advocated for Tebow too hard. This is a real thing that Skip believes. He's the type of person who gives feedback when it's requested and then assumes his counsel and only his counsel was heeded if changes are made. The fact NFL front offices, LeBron James or any sports figure could give two shits about what Skip has to say or believes never crosses his mind at any point.

"You helped ruin Tebow's chances in the NFL," Stephen A. often has said on our show. "You supported him so hard [against an onslaught of on-air ctitics] you helped create a lot of the hype that did him in."

This is a real thing that Skip and Stephen A. Smith think? Smith really thinks that Skip Bayless and his opinion on Tebow created so much of the hype around Tebow that NFL teams couldn't see past the hype to fairly evaluate him? Really? This isn't a joke? The Eagles are Tebow's fourth NFL team. At this point he's been on the roster of 12.5% of the NFL teams and been coached by head coaches who have combined been to eight Super Bowls, but it's the hype of Tebow by Skip Bayless that caused them to unfairly evaluate Tebow? This is madness.

Also, what are "ctitics"?

Stephen A. always adds, "That, and the fact he just can't throw."

It was more 98% the fact Tebow couldn't throw and 2% everything else around Tebow that couldn't be ignored because he just can't throw.

But now, backstage in Dallas, Tebow surprised me by saying: "Why didn't you ask me about wanting to continue my playing career?"

Not that Tebow wanted to keep his playing career in the forefront of people's minds even while he was collecting a paycheck from ESPN to not play football. Eyes on the prize.

The truth was I didn't want to further shame him or set him up to seem delusional.

Of course Skip Bayless plays favorite. Would Skip ever worry about asking any other pro athlete a question that would shame him or make the athlete look bad when on "First Take"? Of course not. But this is Skip Bayless and this is ESPN, so of course in the process of "Embracing Debate" it's fine for Skip to also play favorites and antagonize certain professional athletes Skip doesn't like and coddle other athletes that Skip likes better.

But I stammered back something about wishing I'd known and I would've asked.

Simply starstruck.

I must admit I felt sorry for Tebow, who just couldn't come to grips with the end of his football life.

Honestly Skip, I think most people feel sorry for you because you seem to lead a very empty life that mostly revolves around gaining attention for yourself through whatever means possible. Tebow comes off as a much more fulfilled person in his life than Skip comes off as being. Skip is a child who grabs pigtails to gain attention, while Tebow is good at being an analyst and could easily have a career in broadcasting.

At that point, I had no idea Tebow had faithfully returned for 18 straight months (at least twice a month) to Los Angeles to work with throwing guru Tom House, who has refined the mechanics of Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Carson Palmer and many big-league pitchers.

Bottom line from Skip's point of view: Tom House will turn Tim Tebow into Tom Brady. 

Nolan Ryan credited House (who pitched for eight big-league seasons) with helping extend his career when House was pitching coach for the Texas Rangers.

And the difference in Tebow and Nolan Ryan is that Nolan Ryan was already a great pitcher when he started working with Tom House. Tebow...not so much a great quarterback.

He told me Monday he has never seen anything like the commitment Tebow made to improving his passing "when he didn't even have a team or the prospect of being on a team. He just kept busting [his tail] and busting it and busting it."

Hard work is great and hard work is how Tim Tebow got to the NFL. Sometimes hard work isn't enough though.

That same week in Dallas, an NFL insider told me about a conversation he had with Eagles coach (and former Oregon coach) Chip Kelly, who insisted he didn't pick a quarterback for his system - but that he could play to the strengths of (and win with) any quarterback.

I have nothing against Chip Kelly and his wisdom, but this is insanity. I've lived through the Jimmy Clausen era in Carolina. I feel very, very certain Chip Kelly couldn't win with Jimmy Clausen as his starting quarterback.

Typical Chip, I thought. He doesn't just think he's the smartest man in every room he's in, but in every stadium, no matter the opposing coach or staff.

Kelly succeeding with Tebow may be the ultimate test that he can win with any quarterback. Okay, maybe not the ultimate test, but a pretty big test to prove he can win with any quarterback.

If conventional NFL wisdom says, "That won't work," Kelly sniffs

Apparently Skip thinks that Chip Kelly does a lot of cocaine.

and says, "Watch this."

But in January, Kelly had been given total control of Eagles' personnel moves. Little did I know how that was about to impact Tebow's NFL future.

It's a good thing that Skip had stopped talking about Tim Tebow in December, because otherwise all of the hype Skip gave Tebow would have affected Tebow's chances of making it in the NFL. Skip has the power to affect Tebow's chances of signing with an NFL team of course.

When Kelly heard Tebow, only 27, still wanted to play and continued to work fanatically on his throwing after two years out of the NFL, Kelly invited him to Philly for a tryout.

This, remember, was before Kelly dumbfounded the NFL in mid-March by trading Nick Foles (27 touchdown passes to only two interceptions in 2013) for an immobile Sam Bradford, the former No. 1 overall pick who has constantly battled injuries through his University of Oklahoma career and his five pro seasons

Clearly the only takeaway from this is that Chip Kelly trading Nick Foles so that he could clear room to sign Tim Tebow a month later. That's the only logical conclusion that can be drawn. Skip had to be very careful not to hype Tebow too much or else cause Kelly to change his mind and sign a different quarterback instead. Because, you know, the hype would drive Kelly's mind crazy to where his opinion of Tebow would be affected by Skip Bayless. Again, this is a real thing that can happen.

Speaking of jokes, a week before the Bradford deal, many Eagles fans considered this trade inexplicably laughable: LeSean McCoy to Buffalo for former Oregon linebacker Kiko Alonso. Kelly had acquired so many Oregon players that the Eagles might as well be renamed the Philadelphia Ducks.

Kelly was a sitting duck for criticism,

This is just terrible writing. I don't want to say Skip should stick to doing television instead of writing for ESPN, so I think Skip should stick to just going the hell away.

The head-shaking turned to belly-laughing on Monday, March 16, when Kelly brought Tebow to Philly for a workout. Kelly was impressed enough he wanted to sign Tebow immediately, but first wanted to maintain leverage in completing a trade for third-string QB Matt Barkley, hopefully to Miami.

Kelly was so impressed that he was going to trade every player on the Eagles roster to ensure Tebow would have a roster spot, but later decided against this.

Tebow's last NFL stop just might be the jumpstart his career needs. Finally, he's playing for a coach who actually wants to utilize what he does best.

Which is what Skip said when Tebow went to the Patriots. How soon he forgets.

That could've been Josh McDaniels, who drafted Tebow 25th overall - then got fired midway through Tebow's rookie year in Denver.

Because Skip is a journalistic clown and only serves to troll others without providing any useful information, he of course leaves out the little fact that Tebow's offensive coordinator when he was briefly with the Patriots was........................Josh McDaniels. So Josh McDaniels could have utilized what Tebow does best with Denver, yet he didn't do this when he coached Tebow in New England. Weird how that works isn't it? The excuses keep coming. Skip keeps saying, "This is the guy who can utilize Tebow best," as if the problem is coaching and not Tebow. Yet, McDaniels had a chance to utilize Tebow in New England and it didn't work out. Tebow even had the advantage of being coached by Bill Belichick while working with Josh McDaniels. We know how that ended.

So Skip always blames the coaching for not utilizing Tebow correctly, but because he has no regard for facts, he doesn't realize how ridiculous he sounds. Skip doesn't deal in reality, I think that's the main issue he has.

It quickly became clear to Tebow that the Jets were more interested in using him as an occasional gimmick to win only New York's back-page tabloid headlines from the Giants.

Of course, the Jets had no interest in winning games. They only wanted to win the headline game. This is how Skip Bayless believes the NFL world works. Skip Bayless gets paid a lot of money to comment on professional sports by the way.

A brittle Bradford, a shaky Sanchez: Is it possible Kelly will give Tebow a legit shot at competing for the starting job? Several NFL sources have predicted to me he will.

Those NFL sources are probably as real as the "facts" that Skip spits out on "First Take" everyday.

Wouldn't Chip Kelly like nothing more than to say "Watch this" to his buddy Belichick?

No. Chip Kelly wants to win fucking football games, not get into a childish pissing contest with another NFL coach to see who can take the most mediocre quarterback and win games with him. Does Skip really believe the sports world works like this? He believes the Jets just want more headlines than the Giants, Chip Kelly would sign a quarterback to show Belichick he can succeed with that quarterback or his own comments about Tebow affects the evaluation of NFL teams? Skip Bayless is better served being an idiot caller on sports talk radio if these are real beliefs he has.

In Kelly's two seasons in Philly, his offense led the NFL in read-option plays with 514. Next was Russell Wilson's Seattle with only 235. In 2011, often running the read option, Tebow took over a 1-4 Denver team and turned it into the NFL's top rushing attack. Tebow runs the option with gut instinct and rare will, and now he'll be playing the ride-and-decide game with the NFL's reigning rushing champ, new Eagle DeMarco Murray.

He'll be playing the ride-and-decide game with Murray for the 10 games that Murray is actually healthy during the 2015 season.

Tebow took that 1-4 team to a divisional title and home playoff win over Pittsburgh.

I don't know how long this is going to be mentioned. Yes, the Broncos were 8-8 and beat the Steelers in overtime on a slant where the safety (the same backup safety I believe that replaced Ryan Clark, who couldn't play in the game due to his sickle cell disease...obviously God wanted Clark to have sickle cell so Tebow could win a playoff game) took a bad angle and Demaryius Thomas took the pass to the house. Funny how Skip doesn't mention what happened in the next playoff game on the road against the Patriots. This always seems to be left out. Tebow was 9-26 for 136 yards in a 45-10 loss. Heck, he didn't even complete 50% of his passes in the epic, never-to-be-forgotten win over the Steelers.

He has always thrown a pretty good deep ball, always a Kelly staple. Hmmm.

I don't know if this is true or not.

All I said before the draft was: If you take him at the bottom of the first round and let him run the read option and throw off its run fakes, he will win games in the NFL. Did he ever.

Yes, but then Tebow didn't win games in the NFL. I've always enjoyed how Skip has completely ignored the failures Tebow has had in the NFL and chalked it up to simply bad coaching. Of course it is bad coaching. Let's just focus on the times Tebow was good and ignore the bad.

He began losing confidence with the Jets, and though House worked briefly with Tebow before he went to camp with the Patriots and raved Tebow was throwing "beautifully," Tebow crumbled under the pressure of sharing a camp field with Brady. He pressed. He choked. He regressed. He gave Belichick (and coordinator McDaniels) no choice but to cut him.

So the lesson to learn is that as long as Tebow doesn't have an NFL-quality starter in front him, then he can be an NFL starter? Just surround him with shitty quarterbacks and Tebow can compete.

Now, no doubt, those who do not believe in Kelly are thinking, "Tebow will get him fired."

Yeah, Chip Kelly isn't going to let Tebow get him fired. Rest assured about that. Tebow will be gone long before Kelly gets fired for hanging on to Tebow for too long.

All I know for sure is, that day in Dallas when Tebow was on our show, I should've asked him about his playing career.

It is all about you, Skip. But think about it. If you had asked Tebow about his playing career it would have only contributed to the hype and then Tebow would not have gotten a chance to play in the NFL again. NFL teams hang on your every word, so they would have gotten lost in the hype of Tebow and only paid attention to the fact that three really good coaches have already given Tebow the boot. 


Chris said...

It's a minor miracle that any article about Tim Tebow didn't make some annoying cutesy reference to how religious he is. It's one of the things that annoys me about sportswriters and their need to fawn over the personal lives and thoughts of athletes away from the field. I don't care that Tebow is a Christian or that Gronk likes to party. I wanna see them perform. To me the most egregious was the reporting after Lebron wore an I Can't Breathe shirt. Lebron is free to wear whatever shirt he pleases and good for him I guess for taking a social stance although again I don't particularly care about Lebron's opinion on police brutality. What annoyed me was how the media reported on it as though Lebron was the first player to ever take a vocal stand on a social issue, which is insulting to someone like Muhammad Ali who went to prison because of his stance on social issues.

Anonymous said...

Agreed Chris. The media went bananas over Lebron wearing that shirt. I respect his taking a stance, but I dont agree with sportswriters that he BRAVELY SET THE TONE.

Bengoodfella said...

Chris, I can't add too much to that other than to say I think many times the media likes it when athletes stand for social issues, but only social issues the sportswriters care about. They generally don't come out with "It's so nice he cares about social issues" if it's not a progressive social issue. I'm with you, I could care less about the personal lives of these athletes. Genuinely. I don't care if Cam Newton is gay and has slept with half of Charlotte. I want to see him play and win games.