Waaaaayyyyy back in the spring of 2010, the Indianapolis Colts entered the NFL draft fresh off a season in which they could have crafted a perfect record, and in which they did reach the Super Bowl. At the time, there were a few people in town who thought the Colts should start looking for Peyton Manning’s eventual replacement, or at least a capable backup, but we were generally willing to give Bill Polian and Company a pass and trust that they were fit to reload for the next season. To that end, the Colts selected DE Jerry Hughes with the 31st overall pick. Six slots before that, the Denver Broncos had the football world shaking its collective head by taking Florida QB Tim Tebow at Number 25. Since then, Hughes has disappeared, the Colts have collapsed, and Tebow has lifted the Broncos into the firmament. This confluence of circumstances brings up the natural question of how Tebow would have fit in Indy.
Now, obviously, the Colts couldn’t have selected Tebow as the draft played out, because the Broncos picked earlier, but Indianapolis might have been able to engineer a trade to bring the young lad to town somewhere along the line. No matter, as I’m really interested in pondering what the team, and Tebow’s career, would have looked like if a draft/trade miracle had occurred. After the jump, I’ll give you my take on Tebow with the Colts.
When Peyton Manning went down this summer with a neck injury, the choice as backup would have come down to Tim Tebow and Curtis Painter. There was never much love for Painter around Indy, and there would have been tremendous pressure for the Colts to give Tebow a chance. Owner Jim Irsay might have found the pull irresistible, as have the Broncos, so I wouldn’t have been surprised to see Tebow get a shot in the pre-season. If he showed anything at all, Kerry Collins probably would have stayed in his rocking chair.
My guess is that Tebow would have been given a much longer leash than Painter around town and on West 56th street. He was a celebrated college football hero, and his strong religious underpinnings would have been a huge plus for many Hoosiers. I can’t speak to the fervor of Colorado residents, but Indiana is covered by a very cozy Bible Blanket, and Tebow’s faith would have likely been applauded and embraced.
Would the 2011 Indianapolis Colts, with Tim Tebow at the helm, have fared better than 2-14? My hunch is that they would have, and that Tebow would have worked some of his magic in Indy. If that had happened, though, the future might have been even more cloudy than it is now. Choosing between Manning and Andrew Luck is a piece of cake compared to picking between the old hero and a new hero.
Either way, though, Irsay might be praying for some easy answers.