Thu. Jun 30th, 2022

Desperation has taken on a new identity in the midst of the 2013 NFL Season. The St. Louis Rams are one of the few teams in the NFL that have suffered major casualties to their offense. For the first time in years, the St. Louis Rams were 3-3, on stride to spoil the playoff aspirations of the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks in the NFC West race. That all changed when the Rams’ offense took an immense blow from one of the NFL’s stout defenses.
Starting quarterback, Sam Bradford, tore his ACL in a Week 7 match-up against the Carolina Panthers. An MRI confirmed that Bradford would be placed on injured reserve for the remainder of the season. In a code red alert, the Rams auditioned several free agent quarterbacks, but unfortunately for the Rams, the options were less than pretty.
In fact, the Rams made a horrendous effort selecting their helmsman for the remainder of the season, choosing New York Jet castoffs, Brady Quinn and Austin Davis. Neither option seems adequate for the talent of second-year head coach, Jeff Fisher, who mentored successful quarterbacks such as Steve McNair, Vince Young, Kerry Collins, and Billy Volek during his far-reaching tenure with the Tennessee Titans.
After all the usual suspects unveiled their grim faces at Edward Jones Stadium, it was abundantly clear that the Rams were still treading in murky waters. To add even more media exposure to the Rams’ glaring needs, legendary Green Bay Packers quarterback, Brett Favre, popped up in the news recently. In the comfort of his own home in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, Favre unexpectedly received an urgent phone call from the Rams’ front office begging the former Southern Mississippi gunslinger to return to the NFL. Favre has not taken a snap since his uninspiring run with the Minnesota Vikings in 2010, and likewise did not take the Rams’ offer seriously – Who could blame him?
It’s silly and implausible to believe a 44 year- old retired quarterback would accept another opportunity in the NFL after withstanding massive contusions to his body. Regardless, the consideration of signing a former NFL quarterback three years into retirement is nothing short of laughable. Even more dumbfounding is the Rams’ inability to look beyond the usual suspects such as Brady Quinn and Tyler Thigpen.
If the Rams are so eager to win why not look into the media circus known as Tim Tebow? The “Mile High Messiah,” a Florida State superstar hailing from the luscious Phillipines, Tim Tebow was once a hot commodity in the NFL – at least in the state of Colorado. Selected by the Denver Broncos in the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft, Tebow exploded onto the scene in 2011 after then-starter, Kyle Orton, led the Broncos to a dismal 1-4 start. In an unorthodox style of play, Tebow rallied the Broncos in the fourth quarter of several games compiling an 8-5 record as a starter. The Broncos later finished 8-8 under Tebow, seizing the AFC West divisional crown and winning their first playoff game since 2005 against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Wild Card round.
Despite the Broncos’ success, Tebow was largely inconsistent and led the league with the lowest passer completion rating. Questions arose whether Tebow could continue to play in the league at a professional level as his stock plummeted towards the end of the 2011 season. The Broncos quickly replaced Tebow with Peyton Manning, trading the national sensation to the New York Jets for a fourth and six round draft pick. The dysfunctional Jets who were embroiled in a highly publicized quarterback quarrel never gave Tebow a chance to compete with an incumbent Mark Sanchez. Tebow rarely saw the field in 2012 and the lack of field time led to Tebow’s timely release in spring of 2013 in which he flirted with the New England Patriots over the course of the offseason.
Tim Tebow cannot be happy, lying around all day waiting for his answering machine to go haywire for the past nine months. He witnessed the Buffalo Bills, Minnesota Vikings, Cleveland Browns, and the St. Louis Rams nab quarterback replacements without any audition or tryout. Perhaps “Tebowmania” was merely a footnote in the NFL’s extensive history. Now, the NFL has cautiously avoided Tebow at all costs, almost as if the whole league decided to move on, returning to a more traditionally pass-happy offense. The decision, though wise in its own way, results in blackballing a player who has not has not had a proper second chance.
While Tebow may not be a prolific passer, he certainly retained his athleticism and speed that made him a lion among men in Florida State. At the very least, he should be a back-up quarterback option for any of the NFL’s 32 teams, and as for the Rams’ predicament, what do they have to lose? Kellen Clemens is certainly not the answer and neither is Brady Quinn. Why not provide Tebow with a fair opportunity?
Currently, the Rams are sitting at 3-6, mathematically still in playoff contention. Their defense sacked Seattle Seahawks quarterback, Russell Wilson, and their offense, consisting of rookies Tavon Austin and Zac Stacy, has shown signs of life in recent weeks. Installing an audible quarterback such as Tebow would keep the Rams under the shadows, adding mystery to their sporadic offense.
Tebow may not be an elite quarterback, but his talent is very visible even if he lacks accuracy. The Rams can truly do no harm adding him to their 53-man roster because at the end of the day a quarterback is serviceable. Tebow may not be the long term solution to the Rams’ ever-growing quarterback dilemma, but the former Gator could serve as a stopgap for the organization. Sam Bradford will likely not return to St. Louis in the 2014 season as he has been plagued by injuries in his four seasons with the Rams. The Rams are currently in the sweepstakes for a top quarterback prospect in the 2014 NFL Draft, so Tebow’s acquisition could strengthen one of their weakest positions when the team pursues its franchise player. Tebow may not be as athletically appealing as Kyle Orton or Jason Campbell but if there’s anything this young man has done, he has persevered. Tebow knows how to win. If the Rams want to experience the sweet taste of victory, Tebow awaits at the Gateway Arch.
Drew Mattiola is a second-year student majoring in communication studies. He can be reached at RM814408@wcupa.edu. 

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