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Sports Then and Now



Give Tim Tebow Some Time 5

Posted on August 07, 2011 by Dean Hybl

Though he is only in his second NFL training camp, some are already trying to rush to judgment about whether Tim Tebow can become a successful NFL quarterback.

One of the dangers in today’s era of instant communication and immediate gratification is that we want everything to happen right now. We don’t want to wait for a piece of information, an answer or for success. It is in this instant world that Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow is helplessly trapped.

After a record setting and highly successful college career at the University of Florida, most NFL experts said that Tebow could eventually develop into a capable NFL quarterback, but it would take time and patience.

Those are two words that don’t often fit into today’s sports world. With players receiving sizable salaries from the minute they enter the league, owners, coaches and fans don’t usually have patience to allow a player to mature and grow, especially at the quarterback position.

It didn’t use to be that way. In fact, the most recent example of what can happen when a team gives a young quarterback time to mature and develop was personified last February when Aaron Rodgers led the Green Bay Packers to victory in Super Bowl XLV.

Originally selected with the 24th pick in the first round of the 2005 NFL Draft by the Packers, Rodgers threw only 59 passes in his first three seasons while sitting on the sidelines watching future Hall of Famer Brett Favre.

When he took over in 2008, Rodgers was ready to be a star and in three seasons as a starter has completed 64% of his passes for more than 12,000 yard, 86 touchdowns and 31 interceptions.

In just his third season as a starter, but sixth season in the Green Bay system, Rodgers and the Packers won their first championship in 15 years.

There was a time in NFL history when stories like Rodgers’ were common.

Ken Stabler joined the Oakland Raiders as a second round selection in 1968 after playing for legendary coach Bear Bryant at the University of Alabama.

After spending his first two seasons on the taxi squad, Stabler joined the active roster in 1970 and from 1970-72 saw limited action while George Blanda and Daryle Lamonica saw most of the action at quarterback for the Raiders. Read the rest of this entry →

  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Rusty Staub: A Man For All Ages
      April 8, 2024 | 1:26 pm
      Rusty Staub

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is a former major league baseball player who came into the game as a teenager and stayed until he was in his 40s. In between, Rusty Staub put up a solid career that was primarily spent on expansion or rebuilding teams.

      Originally signed by the Colt .45s at age 17, he made his major league debut as a 19-year old rookie and became only the second player in the modern era to play in more than 150 games as a teenager.

      Though he hit only .224 splitting time between first base and rightfield, Staub did start building a foundation that would turn him into an All-Star by 1967 when he finished fifth in the league with a .333 batting average.

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