As polarizing as Tim Tebow is, we've been wondering if the quarterback would crack "The Top 100: Players of 2012" list. Well, we got our answer during the show's premiere Saturday night on NFL Network.
NFL players voted Tebow 95th-best in the league, much to his satisfaction -- not to mention much to the chagrin of this writer (but whatever).
"As a player, when you put in all that hard work, you just want to be respected by your teammates, your competitors, the people that you go against every single week," Tebow said during "The Top 100: Players of 2012 -- Reactions" show. "It truly is an honor for me to be on this list because there are so many great players in the NFL, and for just a few of them to respect me enough to put me on this list, it really means a lot."
Tebow's numbers were terrible, specifically his terrible 72.3 passer rating and his terrible 46.5 completion percentage. We can give him (some) credit in the wins department, leading the Denver Broncos to a 7-4 record -- including six consecutive wins -- after becoming the starting quarterback in Week 7. The Broncos finished 8-8 and won the AFC West, and in thrilling Tebow fashion defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers in overtime in the wild-card playoffs.
But let's not forget the dumb luck (see: Marion Barber fumble) and stellar defense that played an equal role in the Broncos' success. Clearly, Tebow must improve if he wants to remain on this list -- and if he wants to be the New York Jets' starter at some point next season. He seems to know it, too.
"I think the No. 1 thing that I've been working on and will continue to work on to develop as a player and as a quarterback is my fundamentals," Tebow said. "Obviously, you and I agree the No. 1 thing with a quarterback is decision making -- that's huge. But then fundamentals are big as well. From your drops to your footwork to the fundamentals as a passer, all those things are huge in getting better every single day and every single year."
We couldn't let Tebow off the hook without talking about Peyton Manning, the quarterback who booted him out of Denver. Does Tebow think Manning, who didn't even play a single snap last season, will make the list? Not surprisingly, we got a politically correct answer from Tebow, complete with grin and chipper tone.
"Peyton Manning is one of the best quarterbacks to play this game," Tebow said. "I think he's going to have a great year. He's someone that, as a young quarterback and for the last decade, I have been watching Peyton Manning and how he performs and how he handles himself and how he gets his team in and out of the right place, and there is so much to learn from a guy like that.
"I believe that he's a great quarterback, and he'll continue to be a very good quarterback, and I think he'll go down in the Hall of Fame as one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play the game."