Tebow the bully?

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Tebow the bully?

Tim Tebow is a bully. In all the nicest NFL ways. He picks on the little people.

Hell try to punk the smaller people, said Bears safety Major Wright, a Florida teammate of Tebows and who was occasionally a Tebow punkee at Gators practices.

His big thing is trying to stay in bounds. When hes going against a DB, he tries to run them over.

Tebow does more than try. He is averaging 5.7 yards per carry, highest of any player with the qualifying minimum of rushes, and that is with a longest run of a modest 32 yards. He already has netted more rushing yards (46) in 12 games than any of the previous four franchise highs for quarterbacks (all by John Elway) in 16 games.

Meaning: Tebow is punking a lot more than just DBs. And the reason is because at this point of his NFL development, he is as much a running quarterback who will throw as a passer who will run, much as Michael Vick was early in his career.

I would say hes a runner at heart, Wright said. He wants to beat you with his feet. If hes scrambling, we feel like hes scrambling to run the ball, like Vick used to do.

Dangerous assumption

But in life one is always better served to overestimate rather than underestimate ones enemies. The suspicion is that the Minnesota Vikings did a little of that, categorizing Tebow as a running threat, not a passing one.

And why not? Tebow has completed only 47.5 percent of his passes and thats with a 10-for-15 game at Minnesota in which he posted a passer rating of 149.3, second-highest in the NFL this season by a quarterback with at least 15 attempts.

He gets better as the game goes along passing the ball lately, said defensive end Corey Wootton.

Indeed, Tebow is the NFLs No. 3-rated passer in fourth quarters, which shouldnt be all that surprising given that he has engineered five fourth-quarter comebacks, tying the record for a quarterback in his first 10 starts.

Therein lies Tebows real danger.

He has good quickness and speed, not as much as Michael Vick, Wootton said, but his strength and ability to win a game, youve seen that for five weeks.

Nasty attitude

If Tebow seems to be running with some malice aforethought if not in his heart, then in his legs then doubters have no one to blame but themselves.

With naysayers, I want to prove them wrong and it fires me up a little, Tebow admitted. And the people that support me, I want to prove them right. Im not going to lie and say that doesnt fire me up, people saying Im not an NFL quarterback.

Thats been my dream since Ive been a little boy and I want to have fun living my dream.

Wright said Tebow was having exactly that, fun, when they were playing at Florida.

And hes really a good guy off the field, humble, definitely a good teammate, Wright said.

Even if youre a smaller people.

Good or better? Why offseason moves are making 2017 Bears better

Good or better? Why offseason moves are making 2017 Bears better

Improvement typically comes in incremental steps, not leaps. And the Bears of 2017, based on what they have done at a handful of positions, the latest being Thursday’s signing of wide receiver Victor Cruz, fit that template.

The clear organizational commitment is to build through the draft, even if injuries have undermined some otherwise apparent upgrades to starting lineups on both sides of the football. But if there is a “theme” to what GM Ryan Pace is doing to muscle up a sluggish roster, it is that the Bears are willing to take flyers on veteran players – with additions like four veteran wide receivers with injury and issue histories – that arguably point to a win-now mindset while draft picks develop and contribute.

Jaye Howard and John Jenkins. Make the defensive line “better?” Than Jonathan Bullard and Will Sutton, probably. But “good?” Mmmmm…..

The game-one tight ends last year were Zach Miller-Logan Paulsen-Gregg Scruggs. Now they’re Miller-Dion Sims-Adam Shaheen (based on a second-round draft choice). “Good?” Maybe, maybe not. “Better?” Obviously, based on Sims alone.

Mike Glennon-Mark Sanchez-Mitch Trubisky. Bears “better” at quarterback? Than Jay Cutler-Brian Hoyer-Matt Barkley, probably. “Good?” Mmmmmm…..

The decisions to sign Glennon and Sanchez to the quarterback depth chart have sparked their shares of understandable cynical skepticism. But Kirk Cousins and Jimmy Garoppolo were not available in trade, so the Pace decision was to gamble on upside with Glennon over the known quantity of Brian Hoyer (the preference of some coaches) and certainly Jay Cutler, for whom “potential” and “upside” no longer applied.

Add in the aggressive draft of Trubisky and the result was three possibilities of hits on a quarterback (Sanchez and Connor Shaw being combined here as a pair entry in the hit-possibility scenarios). All three were deemed an improvement over Cutler and/or Barkley.

The results may not vault the Bears all the way up to “good” at the pivotal position for any franchise. But “better” is sometimes all you can realistically manage.

Taking a wider-screen look at wide receiver in this context… .

Coach John Fox has cited the need for the Bears to establish the ability to get yardage in bigger chunks. Accordingly, all four of the veteran wideout signings this offseason – Cruz, Rueben Randle, Markus Wheaton, Kendall Wright –  have posted yards-per-catch seasons of 14 or longer.

All four won’t be on the opening-day roster, but all four offer the promise of major impact. Cruz, Randle and Wright have had seasons of 70 or more receptions, and Wheaton topped out at 53 in 2015 with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Randy Moss, Terrell Owens and Jerry Rice weren’t available, so “good” was hard to achieve in an offseason in which Alshon Jeffery and Eddie Royal were expected departures long before their exits. But are Cruz, Randle, Wheaton and Wright, with Kevin White and Cameron Meredith, a “better” starting point than Jeffery, Royal, White, Bellamy, etc. of a year ago?

Obviously. But players with even moderately established NFL “names” (like Cruz, Randle, etal.) are typically available for a reason; teams do not routinely give up on talent. And none of the four come without significant shadows on their NFL resumes, whether for injury or other questions.

Cruz missed most of 2014 and all of the 2015 season, and hasn’t played a full season since his Pro Bowl year of 2012.

Randle was described as a head case by scouts and was so bad that he was let go in the Eagles’ cutdown to 75 last year, followed by disparaging comments from those in and around the organization.

Wheaton flashed promise in his 2014-15 opportunities as a part-time starter but played just three games before a shoulder injury landed him on IR last season.

The Tennessee Titans thought enough of Wright, their 2012 first-round draft choice, to pick up his fifth-year option going into las season. But by week 14 he was benched for tardiness and was a healthy DNP in game 16, announcing after the game that he already knew he was not in the Titans’ plans for 2017.

The prospect of the Bears going from 3-13 to “good” borders on fantasy. But if being among the NFL’s busiest this offseason hasn’t propelled the Bears to that level, the results point to “better.” At this point, that’s something,.

How big of an impact will Victor Cruz have on the Bears?

How big of an impact will Victor Cruz have on the Bears?

The Bears inked Victor Cruz to a one-year deal on Thursday, adding another receiver to an already crowded corps.

But it never hurts to add a veteran one to a young group, especially with a new starting quarterback.

Cruz is 30 years old and isn't the same Pro Bowl-caliber player he was before missing the entire 2015 season with a calf injury, but he surely has a lot left in the tank and can serve as a great mentor for the Bears receivers.

Just how big of an impact will he have on his new team? See what the SportsTalk Live panel had to say in the video above.