Skip to content

Polamalu: Tebow ran an offense you don’t think can work in the NFL

Denver Broncos quarterback Tebow throws on the run while under pressure from Pittsburgh Steelers' Harrison during the second quarter of their NFL AFC wildcard playoff football game in Denver Reuters

Steelers safety Troy Polamalu isn’t taking anything away from Tim Tebow or the Denver team that beat Pittsburgh in the playoffs, but five months later he’s still baffled that the offense the Broncos were running with Tebow at the helm was able to beat the Steelers.

Polamalu told Jason Cole of Yahoo Sports that he’s accustomed to playing against complex offenses in the NFL, and he never believed an offense as simplistic as the one Tebow ran in Denver could be as successful as that offense was in that game.

“It was an incredibly simple offense that you just don’t think can work in this league, but it worked for them with the kind of talent they had,” Polamalu said.

Polamalu said the Broncos’ offense became so predictable that it was actually unpredictable: The Steelers would be sure the Broncos weren’t going to run the same play over and over again because NFL offenses just don’t do that, and yet the Broncos did it.

“There’s no way they’re going to run that same route again,” Polamalu says he was thinking during the game. “As a safety, part of your job is to eliminate certain routes that you don’t think they’re going to run. I would line up and say, ‘They ran that the last time, there’s no way they’re going to run it again.’ Then they did. The next time, ‘There’s no way they’re going to run that again,’ then they did.”

Whether Tebow can eventually become a quarterback capable of playing well enough to win consistently in an NFL offense remains to be seen — and the Broncos’ decision to trade him suggests that they have their doubts. But at times last season Tebow was very effective, doing things that you wouldn’t think could work in the NFL.

Permalink 69 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Denver Broncos, Pittsburgh Steelers, Rumor Mill, Top Stories
69 Responses to “Polamalu: Tebow ran an offense you don’t think can work in the NFL”
  1. sellout3871 says: Jun 7, 2012 2:54 PM

    You….got…TEBOWED!!!

  2. billsfan27 says: Jun 7, 2012 2:54 PM

    Tebow’s gonna be one helluva punt protector…

  3. citizenstrange says: Jun 7, 2012 2:57 PM

    There is nothing to be baffled about. If the Steeler defense gives up 20 points without scoring any defensive TDs it is an automatic written in stone done deal loss.

    Roethlisberger’s specialty is the 13-9 win.

  4. ilovefoolsball says: Jun 7, 2012 2:58 PM

    “Polamalu: Tebow ran an offense you don’t think can work in the NFL”

    As Polamalu says this he waves his hand across your face just like the old Jedi mind trick.

  5. eaglesnoles05 says: Jun 7, 2012 3:00 PM

    If you have a huge qb who can take the pounding and run effectively against pro defenders, sure why couldn’t it work?

  6. jjbadd says: Jun 7, 2012 3:01 PM

    As a Bronco fan, I’m super excited to see if Peyton can take us back to the playoffs & beyond. But having said that, I stand behind my opinion of Tebow, that he will succeed in the NFL, and hope like hell Denver don’t have to face him in the playoffs! He is a hard worker, and brings out the best in others!

  7. wayne1693 says: Jun 7, 2012 3:02 PM

    In an ideal NFL World, Tebow would be the starting QB on a Team where management supports him, for a full season, so we could see once and for all whether he can carry the load. Based on his performance last season, I thought that’s what he deserved in 2012.

  8. trubroncfan07 says: Jun 7, 2012 3:02 PM

    This goes to show that Pitt’s D is no where near what it used to be, The Broncos kept running the same play, we knew exactly what they were doing but just could not stop it. The Pittsburgh D from five years ago would have crushed Denver in the playoffs last year.

  9. steelernationisthepinnacleofexistenceyouarenothing says: Jun 7, 2012 3:03 PM

    6 rings and countin’

  10. billybats says: Jun 7, 2012 3:05 PM

    I guess Tebow beating Polamalu and the rest of the Steelers’ secondary when it was all on the line in the playoffs was just “incredibly simple” to do.

  11. ottograham says: Jun 7, 2012 3:08 PM

    Unfortunately alot of teams fell to this offense last season. It wasnt pretty, but Denver, Tim, and the defense got the job done. Not to take anything away from the Steelers because they are my squad. They simply got beat that day. Unfortunate, but its the reality of the situation.

  12. pftcensorssuck says: Jun 7, 2012 3:09 PM

    In other words, they still don’t know how they lost that game, do they?

    Bwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

  13. doctorfootball says: Jun 7, 2012 3:12 PM

    We get it, Troy. Tebow embarrassed your defense, and you still can’t believe it. Well, guess what? It happened. Get over it.

  14. jbaxt says: Jun 7, 2012 3:15 PM

    So instead of teams running the once trendy Wild Cat scheme. They’ll be more apt to run the “QB can’t play QB” scheme. Of course they can only do that when Tebows in the game.

  15. staugjag says: Jun 7, 2012 3:15 PM

    At least he’s honest unlike anyone else about Tebow . He’s better than anyone has given him credit for .

  16. andre2052 says: Jun 7, 2012 3:16 PM

    HAHA, wasn´t he a “smart” safety? wasn´t he a super ball hawk safety?!? well, to me he isn´t that instinctive and he should´ve picked up at least 2 times Tebow if it was that simple!

    He´s still looking for Demaryius Thomas haha

  17. sphincterorleaveher says: Jun 7, 2012 3:19 PM

    In other words, it was sooo dumb, that it was actually brilliant?

  18. Henry says: Jun 7, 2012 3:20 PM

    The thing that makes this worse for the Steelers is the way that New England totally dominated Denver the next week in the playoffs.
    That made Pitt’s performance look even more lame.

  19. boxermm187 says: Jun 7, 2012 3:22 PM

    Won’t work again! teams have video of tebow now and know how to stop him. look at the end of season, teams were cracking down on tebow and the chiefs shut them out. they were out of the playoffs with a loss to the chiefs, but the raiders lost their game putting the broncos in the playoffs. look what happened to them against the patriots D!

  20. rockthered1286 says: Jun 7, 2012 3:26 PM

    Big Ben:
    6 Cheeseburgers and countin’

  21. steelymcbeam6 says: Jun 7, 2012 3:27 PM

    Yes the steelers got beat. Let’s not forget the fact the steelers were decimated by injuries. Including Roethlisberger who could barely walk let alone play a football game. Any smart football fan knows, especially in the playoffs, that’s its not always the better team that wins, it’s the healthiest and the steelers were by far one the most injury plagued teams that made the playoffs last season. Not taking anything away from the donkeys, they played a good game but all the injuries absolutely played a factor.

  22. cmdrsmooth says: Jun 7, 2012 3:34 PM

    Tebow answers back, “we couldn’t believe we kept running the same play and it kept working.”

    Brady in Super Bowl: ” we knew the Giants were rushing the same 4 guys all game and we couldn’t stop them”

    If you have the personnel to run the same plays, every team will do it.. You’re old Troy, go get a haircut.

  23. ottograham says: Jun 7, 2012 3:38 PM

    @pftcensorssuck

    feel free to explain how we lost cause its pretty clear not many people really understand why that team beat us that day. You seem to have an insight that the rest of us lack… so take think for a second, take a deep breath, and hope that whatever comes out of your mouth is semi-intelligent. Instead of some corny one liner and your best Bowser impression.

  24. chefgl says: Jun 7, 2012 3:41 PM

    That’s whats so funny about the Donkey’s this year, they were so hard to play last year and Tebow would not/ could not be stopped on the ground. So the horse-face flushes the whole thing for a has-been with a 4-time repaired pencilneck. Can’t wait till he takes 1 shot and is done.

  25. holeinone09 says: Jun 7, 2012 3:42 PM

    @citizenstrange says:
    Jun 7, 2012 2:57 PM
    There is nothing to be baffled about. If the Steeler defense gives up 20 points without scoring any defensive TDs it is an automatic written in stone done deal loss.

    Roethlisberger’s specialty is the 13-9 win.

    * * * * * *

    Seems to me that Ben’s specialty is being one of the winningest QBs in league history for his age, nothwithstanding the relatively poor OL he had had to work with for most of his career, causing him to run for his life and make a play happen probably over 80% of the snaps. Let’s see what he does this year with a possibly better OL and a new offensive coordinator, shall we?

  26. canetic says: Jun 7, 2012 3:45 PM

    Polamalu has a haircut that I wouldn’t think would work in the NFL

  27. rdrs68 says: Jun 7, 2012 3:50 PM

    The Pats had no problems they won the game and beat the crap out of T-bow-ya don’t think other teams haven’t taken notice now do ya?

  28. eggersthejerk says: Jun 7, 2012 3:51 PM

    “It was an incredibly simple offense that you just don’t think can work in this league…”

    ………………………………………………………………………

    All the more reason to laugh at the Steelers for laying that big fat speckled egg like they did.

    “HERE WE GO SQUEALERS, HERE WE GO!”

    lmfao!!!

    Couldn’t beat (by their own admission) “an incredibly simple offense”!

    Yep, great team they got there………

  29. forthand26 says: Jun 7, 2012 3:53 PM

    Fool me 65 times…shame on ?

  30. zoidenflak says: Jun 7, 2012 3:53 PM

    citizenstrange says:
    Roethlisberger’s specialty is the 13-9 win.
    ————————————————
    That’s not even close to being true. Just make things up, why don’tcha…

  31. EJ says: Jun 7, 2012 3:56 PM

    Polamalu said the Broncos’ offense became so predictable that it was actually unpredictable: The Steelers would be sure the Broncos weren’t going to run the same play over and over again because NFL Offenses just don’t do that, and yet the Broncos did it.

    When Tebow brought that same offense to Buffalo, Nick Barnett, Spencer Johnson and the rest of the Bills D figured out exactly how to stop it. Tebow can only do so much when he is kept contained in the pocket, the exact opposite of most NFL QB’s. The Bills basically surrounded Tebow and played tons of man coverage. Ryan Fitzpatrick and his Offense were average at best that day, The Defense and Special Teams were the key to that win.

    Tebow just got the best of Polamalu and his D by playing some non-tactical run it down your throat football… Old School Ball.

  32. tennesseeoilers says: Jun 7, 2012 3:58 PM

    “Teee-EEEEE-bow … Ohhhh-WOE-OH-oh.”

  33. napoleonblownapart6887 says: Jun 7, 2012 3:58 PM

    @trubroncfan

    The Steelers Defense was #1 in the league last year in scoring defense – I don’t necessarily think it was a product of it, “not being what it used to be.”

    When you watch the tape a couple of things stuck out to me:
    1) Tim Tebow (whether it be by luck, skill, or some combination thereof) put some passes on receivers hands in RIDICULOUSLY tight coverage – thinking about the touchdown in the corner that Gay was defending where the ball was placed perfectly. There is no defense for a perfect pass
    2) Lack of offensive continuity from the Steelers forced the defense to make play after play after play – no defense in the NFL when they are on the field as much as they were can hold back everything.

    This is not to take away anything that Denver did that day, but I don’t this its fair to assign that kind of a criticism to that unit off of its performance in those circumstances.

  34. cleverbob says: Jun 7, 2012 3:59 PM

    eaglesnoles05 says:
    Jun 7, 2012 3:00 PM

    If you have a huge qb who can take the pounding and run effectively against pro defenders, sure why couldn’t it work?
    ===================================

    It’s a nice novelty, but how long will that QB be able to stay healthy? Doesn’t matter how big the player is when he’s absorbing hit after hit. There’s a reason the shelf life of most RB’s is much lower than every other position.

  35. granadafan says: Jun 7, 2012 4:00 PM

    It was a gimmick offense that teams aren’t used to seeing. NFL offenses may be complex, but they essentially run the same TYPE of offense: pro type as opposed to say, the wishbone, spread, Oregon offense, etc. When teams did take the Denver offense seriously, it was ugly for Tebow. One thing about Tebow is that the guy is relentless and never quits. That’s why he was able to engineer the come backs, especially with the running game. Plus their defense was stout and covered up for the inept offense.

  36. seahulk9 says: Jun 7, 2012 4:01 PM

    he did it by making plays and by making your defense look pedestrian….pretty simple……
    they made you guys look really really bad.simply

  37. seahulk9 says: Jun 7, 2012 4:04 PM

    you can stop counting at six for a good while. all those rings didnt seem to help vs tebow. as if rings from the past have anything in the present

  38. ndnut says: Jun 7, 2012 4:05 PM

    I believe in the K.I.S.S. Theory of running offense/defense, Keep It Simple Stupid!

  39. Steeley McBeam says: Jun 7, 2012 4:08 PM

    They did pretty damn well against one of the most intracate offenses in the league in the Pats. They were beat up and got beat. Its hard to stop a run first team when 3/4 of your DLine leaves the game with injury. It happens well see the Broncos again week 1.

  40. zoidenflak says: Jun 7, 2012 4:11 PM

    eggersthejerk says:

    All the more reason to laugh at the Steelers for laying that big fat speckled egg like they did.
    Yep, great team they got there………
    ———————————————————
    I don’t know what team you root for…but I’m pretty sure they don’t have 6 Lombardis in their lobby…and 2 in the last 6 years…

  41. lolb23 says: Jun 7, 2012 4:34 PM

    Does anyone even count the last SB the Steelers “won” vs Seattle since the refs admitted they cheated?

  42. chrisjohnston10 says: Jun 7, 2012 4:51 PM

    steelymcbeam6 says:
    Jun 7, 2012 3:27 PM
    Yes the steelers got beat. Let’s not forget the fact the steelers were decimated by injuries. Including Roethlisberger who could barely walk let alone play a football game. Any smart football fan knows, especially in the playoffs, that’s its not always the better team that wins, it’s the healthiest and the steelers were by far one the most injury plagued teams that made the playoffs last season. Not taking anything away from the donkeys, they played a good game but all the injuries absolutely played a factor.
    ———————————
    The Patriots defense was a lot more beat up than the Steelers’ defense. The Pats were playing defense with WR’s and practice squad players and still managed to cripple Denver.

  43. knowerofallthings says: Jun 7, 2012 4:51 PM

    You lost to freakin Tebow! bwa ha ha ha and the Ravens swept you too old man

  44. st1llerz1 says: Jun 7, 2012 4:57 PM

    It was a perfect storm for Denver and against the Steelers.

    First of all, why should a 12-4 team EVERY have to go on the road to play an 8-8 team? Ridiculous.

    Ryan Clark couldn’t play because of his sickle cell trait. Casey Hampton went down with a knee injury. Brett Keisel went down with a knee injury. Ben was still hobbled with an ankle. Several of Tebow’s prayers were answered that day.

    It’s over. The Steelers lost. It’s on to a new season and new opportunities.

    GO STEELERS!

  45. dougydougdoug says: Jun 7, 2012 5:13 PM

    Roethlisberger’s specialty is defenseless women in public restrooms. But, we’re talking about football here.

  46. realtimeeyes says: Jun 7, 2012 5:25 PM

    Thanks for the respect HATERS!

    Nobody hates your team when they suck.

  47. randomcommenter says: Jun 7, 2012 5:31 PM

    First, if people would actually read the article, polamalu was actually praising how well the broncos played in that game. He said that it worked because of their talent.

    Second, the broncos did win but it’s not like they lit up the defense. Denver only had 131 rushing with. 3.9 average. That’s significantly less than Denver’s season average per game.

    Tebow completed less than 50% and aside from that 1 play in OT didn’t do much Passing. He completed just 10 passes.

    What Denver proved last year was how dependent most teams are on gameplan an tricking their opponents as opposed to good execution and basics.

    All Denver did last year was play good fundamental football with a few tricks thrown in and it was enough to make the playoffs. Most teams aren’t prepared anymore for a team that honestly lines up and just tries to out block you.

  48. randomcommenter says: Jun 7, 2012 5:35 PM

    BTW, the pats defense didn’t stop tebow. Brady putting up 45 points stopped tebow.

  49. steelymcbeam6 says: Jun 7, 2012 5:46 PM

    Chris…I get that BUT Tom Brady was healthy…Roethlisberger was not….huge difference especially since the nfl is a QB driven league

  50. steelymcbeam6 says: Jun 7, 2012 5:47 PM

    Chris…aslo, When they were healthy the steelers beat the pats

  51. johntonioholmes says: Jun 7, 2012 5:54 PM

    citizenstrange

    His specialty is the 13-9 win? I seem to remember him out-dueling Aaron Rodgers (who I think is probably the best in the NFL now) a few seasons ago.

    500 yards on a Packers defense that was ranked 1st against the pass when they played each other.

    He can definitely sling the ball when he’s getting enough protection…or at least enough room to run and make plays.

  52. joewilliesshnoz says: Jun 7, 2012 5:58 PM

    I don’t see why Troy is so confused, he’s been watching Ike Taylor get burned for years . . .

  53. jaypace says: Jun 7, 2012 6:25 PM

    Reading some of the comments of steeler fans, I see why people hate steeler fans

  54. chrisjohnston10 says: Jun 7, 2012 6:44 PM

    @steelymcbeam6

    The reason Brady was able to score so much was because the pats defense got off the field. And Tom Brady’s 6-2 record against the steelers isn’t bad. :-)

  55. houstonsimpleton says: Jun 7, 2012 6:55 PM

    Ah.
    So new boss hog dog Smith has taken over as the duty Tebow basher, from Little Tree Stump or whatever his name and IQ were.
    God bless you, hog dog. God bless you.
    Who do you feel obligated to root for, in this space? You know, like Alper let on, “this one’s easy to root for”.
    Who’s your rooter duty, hog dog?

    Love to see the NFL eating itself. Unions unfailingly kill their golden goose every time and 14 times every Sunday.

    And try to blame it on concussions, that they’re not in their right mind.

    Right.

    Don’t mind at all. Happy to see it.

  56. tedmurph says: Jun 7, 2012 7:20 PM

    Steelers and their fans; the queens of excuses.

  57. Deb says: Jun 7, 2012 8:59 PM

    That’s why it’s more accurate to say we were out-Foxed than “Tebowed.” Once they decided to stop fighting against the bit and just go with the Tebow Flow, Fox and Elway did a masterful job of playing to his strengths.

    Of course, the Broncos did have moments of serendipity go in their favor last season, particularly in the Bears game. But the Steelers played right into their hands. What Troy calls confusion, I’m more inclined to call arrogance. I just don’t think my guys gave a Tebow-led Denver enough respect … and they paid for it.

  58. Deb says: Jun 7, 2012 9:05 PM

    @tedmurph …

    Thanks for another objective commentary on the Steelers and their fans. Did you even read the comments? You are some piece of work. I can’t imagine having that much hate over a football team.

  59. aglumac says: Jun 7, 2012 9:28 PM

    So funny, the only team that should be talking is the Giants, and none of their fans are on here talking smack. The Steelers lost games to all playoff teams last year, not games to jacksonville like the ravens. Denver had a good defense, how was the jaguars qb any better than tebow, he wasnt, and the ravens still lost, atleast the stllers didnt drop easy catches, and miss xp field goals. And if Troy watches Ike Taylor get beat all the time how in the world did the steelers have the 1 pass d. How horrible must the rest of the league been then. The steelers showed last year when healthy the could beat anyone, ie NE, and when hurt they showed the heart to come back from behind and take a game to ot, all while playing an away game with 4 more wins, haters keep on hating, all that counts is sb wins, and we have more than everyone else.

  60. tedmurph says: Jun 7, 2012 9:57 PM

    I don’t hate anyone, MS hysterics. It’s not about the team so much, it’s the fans. Love TP. Great player, though has lost a step and steelers letting him freelance has hurt sometimes. Pats wanted to draft him. But now its about, ‘Denver only fooled us because we couldn’t believe they were so bad. We had injuries’, like other teams in January don’t. It’s always,’we are the better team, if not for…’ . BS, I’m tired of it. How many Pats fans blogged excuses after losing to the Giants in the SB. ‘Oh, Gronk was hurt’, etc. Steelymcbeam is a perfect example. ‘We’ll, we smoked the Pats’. And they did. So what? That’s like a raven fan hanging on the fact that they swept the steelers. Meaningless, both teams watched the SB on tv. Outcoached and outplayed by Denver(not the donkeys). Better deal with it, it’s only gonna be worse for the steelers this yr.

  61. steelymcbeam6 says: Jun 7, 2012 9:58 PM

    Tedmurph have you have watched football before? Does your girlfriend (or boyfriend?) have to explain the game to you? Injuries are not excuses if you think they are you’re an idiot.

  62. vader7176 says: Jun 7, 2012 11:06 PM

    Belichik and Co. figured it out.

  63. eggersthejerk says: Jun 8, 2012 7:13 AM

    realtimeeyes says:Jun 7, 2012 5:25 PM

    Thanks for the respect HATERS!

    Nobody hates your team when they suck.

    ………………………………………………………………………

    That’s not true at all. Just another Stooler fan rationalization.

    I’ve hated the Steelers since 1977 and there have been several years during that time when the Steelers were not a good team.

    If you don’t wanna believe that, try checking out what they did in the years 1981, 1985, 1986, 1988, 1991, 1999, 2003, and 2006. All these years they had an 8-8 record or worse. I could also list other years during this span where the team went 9-7 and missed the playoffs (there were a few seasons like that) and I can honestly tell you even when they went 5-11 in 1988 I still hated them, although I was also very happy at just how bad they were, too.

    A lot of Steeler fans need to get over themselves.

  64. Deb says: Jun 8, 2012 12:09 PM

    @eggersthejerk …

    Thanks for owning your hatred. Of course, we’ve had sucky teams. I’m proud of being a loyal fan during the sucky times. Who’s pretending we’ve never been lousy?

    @tedmurph …

    You know exactly why I posted that comment, Mr. Denial. For lessons in how to own your hatred, see eggersthejerk.

  65. tlmoon2112 says: Jun 8, 2012 1:58 PM

    Hines Ward – 6 DUI’s and counting

  66. tlmoon2112 says: Jun 8, 2012 2:01 PM

    James Harrison – 6 players knocked out of the NFL and counting

  67. tlmoon2112 says: Jun 8, 2012 2:03 PM

    Many Steeler fans think the movie “Failure to Launch” is about the Space Shuttle until they see Terry Bradshaw’s naked backside….then the excitement begins.

  68. pmontague92 says: Jun 8, 2012 2:30 PM

    To all the Steeler fans complaining the loss was a direct result of injuries-go back and look at the injury report for BOTH teams. Broncos were without best OL Kuper, best DT Warren, best S Dawkins, best WR Decker (after harrison cheap shop to knee), and best RB and LB both limited with injuries (McGahee leg/hand and Miller hand). spend some time researching before you make excuses for why your team lost as this result was a lack of effort and arrogance by d coordinator to not adjust mid game. This was not a loss due to lack of healthy players.

  69. tedmurph says: Jun 8, 2012 5:00 PM

    @Deb:
    Most therapies are covered by insurance these days. Get some. Before you bring up the tragedies in your life, cause you lost another arguement.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!