Dungy's Diary

Tim Tebow Reminds Me of Bill Russell


The Denver Broncos head to Minnesota this weekend with a chance to win their sixth game in seven weeks. If they win and the Oakland Raiders lose at Miami, the Broncos will be tied for first place in the AFC West. In early October, it looked like the Broncos’ season was over when they made a change and went to Tim Tebow as their starting QB.  As they have begun to turn things around, the debate is raging. How much credit should Tebow get?

I think that credit has to go to a lot of places.  The Denver coaching staff has done a great job of continuing to tweak their offense by putting in plays that take advantage of Tebow’s strengths. The defense has been outstanding, holding opponents down and creating field position for the offense.  The special teams have contributed big returns, good coverage, and timely field goals.

But the amazing thing is, none of this was taking place before Tim was inserted into the lineup.  I know the detractors will say, “Look at his low completion percentage, the poor third down conversions, and the lack of passing yardage.” All of that is true and those are areas in which the Broncos are going to have to improve going forward.  But the fact is, they are WINNING. And Tebow has been the only significant change in the lineup. They are winning because they BELIEVE they can win.

That’s the point that people are missing. Winning is tied to confidence and expectations, and that’s what makes Tim Tebow special. He expects to win and that rubs off on other people.  Winners have that quality. It’s hard to explain, it’s hard to quantify, but it’s real. Some people are winners and there is no other way to explain it.

Some of my colleagues and I were having a conversation at NBC last weekend about Bill Russell. Russell is the greatest winner in the history of basketball, having won two NCAA titles, an Olympic Gold Medal, and 11 championships with the Boston Celtics.  He was similar to Tebow in that his individual statistics weren’t overwhelming, but in the clutch moments he always found a way to get the job done.  And, more importantly, his teammates knew they always had a chance when he was playing.

I believe Tim has had that same effect on the Broncos.  How far will it go?  I’m not sure, but they are a very different team than they were eight weeks ago, and I do believe Tebow should get credit for that.

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  • Unrapt2000

    Just goes to show what is possible when you have your priorities in order.  I love the fact that Tebow gives all the glory to God and how his show of faith produces such discussion (and grudging acceptance) of the power of faith.

  • Anonymous

    Tebow even has a verb named after him. If you are a linguist azami (as am I, Will Shatner, Price Line) that is amazingly hard to do. Tony come to Jax and get Our Hero down here we need the dynamic duo in this City worse than you could possibly imagine. I once rode on an elevator with you. I was so amazed it was one of the rare occasions I found myself without anything to say. Love you and keep being awesome!

  • trich333

    I couldn’t agree more!

  • Anonymous

    Foursquare Tebowing

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Delinda-Wills-Thomas/100001063971376 Delinda Wills Thomas

    Beautiful said Tony, YES,.. Confidence and Expectations go Hand in Hand, however, I would add his STRONG “Spiritual Thinking or Beliefs”, play a major role in his athletic ability or gifts !! Tim Tebow recognizes his GIFTS and Tim actual SHARES the GIFT on THE FOOTBALL FIELD, WHILE HE INSPIRE HIS TEAMMATES TO INCREASE THEIR  GIFTS !! YES, WE enjoy this to the GLORY OF GOD….!!!! Thanks Tony for the FILLING THOUGHTS….!!!!

  • http://www.lincolnparks.com Lincoln Parks

    I love how everyone is saying They don’t know how this is happening. Its so funny to hear that because we know GOD has his hand on that young man, and he just needs to continue to push through everything and everyone that doubts him. Who says he can’t? GOD says he can, and he will.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Joe-Walker/100001137771299 Joe Walker

    Agreed, Preach on Tony, and God bless you and yours…


    phil 4.13 That is Tim tebow. GO DENVER……

  • Stowemerrie

    Well said!

  • Krumms

    I once heard a story of an experiment where scientists took a chimp, put him in a cage with a ladder. Above the ladder was a bunch of bananas and everytime the chimp would climb to get the bananas, they would spray him with cold water. This went on for several days until the chimp no longer climed the ladder. They introduced another chimp into the cage and everytime he would climb the ladder the original chimp would severely slap at his new roomate until he would climb back down……. I think of that story everytime I hear someone criticizing Tebow. Everyone wants to ridicule him because he doesn’t do things the way they think it should be done. He doesn’t fit “the mold”. I have a question though…… Who decides what a “quarterback” should look like? Isn’t he the one who leads the team to victory? Drew Brees is 5’10”. Doug Flutie was shorter than that. What’s immeasurable is the heart of a champion. I’ll take that guy any day. My son’s are now Broncos fans because they see someone living out their life passionately with integrity. I couldn’t ask for a better role model for my sons. I pray God will give him the strength to maintain this journey he is on. We definitely need more men like that! Go Tebow!

  • jeromy darling

    great points Tony. I do think the knocks on his accuracy are a little off base. His game last weekend was a great example. 2 dropped passes on 3rd down and a few key throwaways – all of which just show up as QB incompletions on the stat chart. I don’t think a lot of pundits actually WATCH his games as the broncos have been plagued with drops (nearly 5 a game) while Tebow has started. And his INTs are so low precisely because he’ll throw the ball away if there’s no other option. On top of that, the Broncs inexplicably never throw a screen pass (which have a high completion rate) and are constantly calling big shots down the field (which have a low completion rate). My theory: Tebow’s more than an average passer. He had a few great passing games last year which everyone seems to forget. They’re just calling different plays this year that don’t lend themselves, at all, to good passings “stats”. Am I way off here?

  • Jbiddingerjr

    WOW, someone who actually watches the games and then analyzes. What you said is exactly whats happening. Maybe if they start to let him throw on 1st down a little more will help to keep the defense off balance a little bit as well.

  • Jbiddingerjr

    WOW, someone who actually watches the games and then analyzes. What you said is exactly whats happening. Maybe if they start to let him throw on 1st down a little more will help to keep the defense off balance a little bit as well.

  • Trip Griffin

    God plus one has always been a majority.

  • http://www.freelancewritingdreams.com Samantha Gluck

    I don’t know much about football — even though I was a cheerleader/drill team– the works in high school, but I’ve come to really appreciate many aspects of the sport. Your take on Tebow is right on and although orange is one of my least favorite colors (aren’t the Broncos orange?), I think you’re right! 

    Loved seeing all those sweaty players with pink towels and sneakers during breast cancer awareness, by the way. Pink IS my favorite color!

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