Jets

Tannenbaum: Tebow Will ‘Be Successful As A Pro Quarterback Or Die Trying’

Tim Tebow (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Tim Tebow (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Former Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum admitted to WFAN host Mike Francesa last month that the decision to bring in Tim Tebow was his — not owner Woody Johnson’s or head coach Rex Ryan’s.

Tannenbaum, who was fired by Johnson a day after Gang Green lost its final game of the season, said that he made the first move and called Denver.

“Basically, going back to last season, we finished 8-8,” Tannenbaum explained. ”We collectively really felt that we lost something with Brad Smith. Brad was a good change-of-pace guy, (and) good things happened when the ball was in his hands. So when Tebow became available, we got in a room (and) we talked about it. And then, with the price being a fourth-round pick, we felt like, ‘Here’s a guy that, with the ball in his hands, good things have happened.’”

As we all know, the Tebow experiment in 2012 didn’t work out. Used primarily as a personal punt protector on special teams this past season, Tebow threw just eight passes, completing six of them for 39 yards. He also rushed the ball 32 times for 102 yards. The former Heisman Trophy winner didn’t score any touchdowns.

Tannenbaum no longer has a hand in Tebow’s immediate future — it’s now new GM John Idzik’s problem to deal with.

But Tannenbaum still believes in the former first-round pick, and unlike many, he is of the opinion that Tebow could again be a quarterback in the NFL.

“I could never say that,” Tannenbaum told the NFL Network when asked if the Florida alum is finished as an NFL quarterback.  “This is a guy who was successful in high school, won championships in college, and he’s the type of person who’s either going to be successful as a pro quarterback or die trying. He’s highly competitive. Obviously there’s some skills he has to work on.

“He has to be a more consistent thrower from the pocket. We all know that — the accuracy. But with that, there are things he does bring to the table.”

Idzik won’t release Tebow before March, league sources told ESPN earlier this month, and will instead attempt to trade him.

Will Tebow ever be a quarterback in the NFL again? Sound off with your thoughts and comments below…