Sam Wyche compares Tebow to Montana, Esiason

Former NFL coach Sam Wyche is one of the people who’s been tasked with teaching Tim Tebow how to transform himself from a spread-option quarterback at Florida to a pro-style passer in the NFL. And Wyche says that while Tebow has work to do, he’s got a similar mental makeup to two of the quarterbacks Wyche coached in the NFL, Joe Montana and Boomer Esiason.

“He’s as smart as anyone,” Wyche said of Tebow, per the St. Petersburg Times. “I was around Montana and Boomer, and they would be at the top of the list of understand theory coming out of college. They understood concepts. This guy is right with them. I hope he gets a good coordinator and a good quarterback coach. If not, he’ll be smarter than they are.”

Wyche was the 49ers’ quarterbacks coach for Montana’s first four seasons and the Bengals’ head coach for Esiason’s first eight seasons. He says that if he were still in coaching, he’d love the chance to do with Tebow what he did with Montana and Esiason.

“Would I draft him?” Wyche said. “Absolutely. Sure. If he’s not taken early, somebody is going to be called a genius for taking him wherever he goes.”

Wyche acknowledged that Tebow left Florida without the passing mechanics that NFL teams want to see, but he pointed to Randall Cunningham as an example of a quarterback who overcame similar problems in the NFL. According to Wyche, it’s possible to overcome the things Tebow does wrong because, “So many things are right about this guy.”

60 responses to “Sam Wyche compares Tebow to Montana, Esiason

  1. I don’t see anything wrong with making mental comparisons. The kid is obviously very intelligent and has great character. That has never been in question. Why is this a big deal?

  2. If everyone has to spend this much time hyping someone, maybe he is not that great. Ryan Leaf anyone?
    Tebow is no Montana. Montana got the concepts and did what he had to do to improve without waiting for someone to tell him he had to do so.

  3. Wyche should gush a little less about Tebow, lest he be proven a jackass somewhere down the line. As far as Tebow is concerned, underpromise and overdeliver should be the strategy here.

  4. Tebow is a doucher his only goal is to serve as something for the media to talk about, and it is working well.

  5. Anybody out there think they’re smarter than Sam Wyche? I suppose he now has reason to say positive things about Tim, but i’m sticking with Tebow will be a successful QB in the NFL. Maybe not a HOF QB, but a good one that may make a Pro Bowl or two. Think Mark Brunell type success.

  6. Everyone said Rivers had horrific mechanics coming out of college and it turns out he’s pretty damn good. You can succeed in the NFL without the traditional throwing motion. Tebow’s motion seemed worse than most with the same issue. I’m not sold on him, but I’m not a scout or GM so what do I know? (Nothing. I know.)
    Its great that Wyche thinks he’s smart enough but he aint Montana. And after finding an open receiver you still got get him the ball and thats where most have issues with Tebow. Its not his brain. Its his left arm.

  7. Look i like Tebow, he’s definitely a football player. I just don’t see this guy making it in the NFL as a QB. Hey best of luck to him. Now as far as comparing him to Montana, please DO NOT DRINK THE BONG WATER!

  8. And this is why Sam Wyche never won anything, and isnt relevant, or ever heard from. That is until he makes stupid statements like these.
    Go away Sam!

  9. Florio do you plan to write a post every time someone associated with football makes a comment about TeBlow?
    There are hundreds of kids trying to make it into the NFL maybe you could branch out a little bit….you know do a little investigative journalism on someone besides…..
    Tim ” the second coming of Christ” TeBlow

  10. I hated Tebow last year at florida just because I was sick of hearing about him. However he seems like a good kid and one that doesn’t seem to think hes better than he is. He is actually willing to say “my form sucks, I need to make it right”. Gotta love that. Hope he does well. Hell I wouldnt mind the Browns picking him up and letting the Quinn train wreck go on for a year or 2 till Tebow is ready to be the next QB we ruin.

  11. As a QB coach and OC, Wyche has some credibility. As a head coach, not so much. So he may know some things the great unwashed out here in let’s-trash-everyone-and-everything land don’t know.

  12. Oh yeah. I’m taking QB advice from Mr. Career Pine Rider.
    Boomer Esiason did not make Wyche a genius. Craig Erickson would have made him a genius, but we saw how all that turned out.
    I wish Tebow all the luck in the world, but I’d not go above a mid-third rounder for him.

  13. First we have to listen to idiot pundits telling us that Opie Manning might be the “best ever”, putting him on a pedestal above Montana, even though he’s short 3 rings and has an overall crappy track record in the postseason. Now Wyche wants to compare Tebow to Montana? Wow. I didn’t know that dizzy broccoli could have such a profound effect on brain cells.

  14. Birdman. Wyche compared Tebow to Montana, not Mark Brunell. And last time I checked, Joe had 4 Super Bowl wins under his belt.
    Now, to be fair, Joe was also a mid third rounder if I recall correctly.

  15. Yes shannscott200, the haters have had their comeuppance thanks to Sam Wyche’s opinion. There’s no way Tebow passes for less than 4k yards and 30 td’s now!

  16. What the heck is Sam smokin, must be some really good sheet to make that statement.
    Tebow at best is a full back if he changes position maybe a line backer with some weight gain, he does have a toughness about him and I think he can learn to play a few positions and be a back up/ special teamer with the right help but he will never be a QB in the NFL, THEY DON’T HAVE ON THE JOB TRAINING IN THE NFL.

  17. Come on MDS, the title is so misleading, he compared his football intelligence to Montana and Esiason; not his skills. Everyone knows that Tebow is a smart guy and has a very high football IQ, the question is whether or not he can become a starter at the NFL level. Smarts doesn’t always cut it.

  18. Nothing really earth shattering here. I don’t think anyone has ever denied that Tebow was smart. Urban Meyer said, and I think it is probably true, that he would make a great coach someday. I also believe he will have a long, Jon Kitna-ish career as a back up who is a great locker room guy.
    It also doesn’t change my feelings that he will never be a pro bowl QB in the NFL. The coaching ranks are full of former players who learned the hard way that it takes more than football smarts to make it big as a PLAYER in the NFL.
    And the Cunningham comparison falls a little flat, too. Randall may have had mechanical issues, but he could also throw the ball 75 yards from his knees. Dude was a freak.

  19. Proof positive that 50 percent of the yahoos commenting here never read the article. Wyche is talking about football smarts coming out of college. Tebow’s up there with Montana and Esiason at the same point in their early careers. This is so hard to grasp?

  20. The comparisons to Philip Rivers do not work in Tebow’s case – Yes Rivers has an odd delivery, but his release was always quick and accurate, with appropriate zip (the same could be said about Colt Brennan). While proper mechanics should improve quickness, accuracy, and zip, if a QB already possesses those qualities coming out of college regardless of what it looks like, coaches are less likely to tinker with it at the next level.
    To be cliche, if it aint broke, don’t fix it. For Rivers it was never broken, but the same cannot be said for Tebow.

  21. Wyche is a pretty shrewd evaluator of talent, but I can’t help but wonder if his fundamentalism isn’t behind his ardent support of the bible thumping Tebow?

  22. Montana was a 3rd round draft pick, and the last pick of the 3rd round as well. He slipped because of concerns about his arm strength. He spent a year and a half behind Steve Deberg learning. Comparing Tebow to Montana coming out of college is not a reach, as long as you realize that no one could see the future when Montana was drafted.

  23. Chitown says:
    February 24, 2010 10:28 AM
    Is this the same Sam Wyche that personally tutored JP Losman?
    ==========
    You beat me to it!

  24. Nothing really complicated here folks. Like Tebow, Wyche wears his religion on his sleeve. He wants Tebow to make it in the pros because of Tebow’s personal beliefs. It has nothing to do with football. Down deep Wyche knows Tebow doesn’t have NFL QB skills, but because he WANTS him to be successful, he tells people that he WILL be successful. Same with Tony Dungy. Just google a little bit and it is evident.

  25. @sociofan –
    He compared his mental game to Montana. It’s hard for any of us to make any comments disputing or agreeing with that since we haven’t worked with the guy. The Brunell thing is just my prediction. I don’t claim to be an expert, i’m just throwing my two pennies in. I’m rooting for him.
    @Hosstyle in Tampa –
    You mean the Super Bowl winning QB Trent Dilfer? If you listen to most of these yahoos on here a Super Bowl is all you need to be a great QB.

  26. enough already of the tebow bashing! so he doesn’t fit the experts definition of what a pro qb should be,he has flaws and is working to fix him and that’s a bad thing?do you realy think wyche and the people working with him are just doing it for the money?they have reputations and are staking them on this kid making it. as for what he did in college and why he and his coach did not make the changes to make it in the pros,what he was doing worked and he won alot of games for florida which is what he and his coach were suppose to do. and finaly with all the players getting in trouble off the field why would you not want a guy who with his character not to succed? maybe you want kids to look up to guys who beat their women,get busted for drugs and dui’s and living the thug life but I would prefer they look to a guy who practices what he preaches. you may not agree with his beliefs and that’s fine but he has the right to them and he lives it and not just talks it.

  27. Reading these post makes me think most of you read the headline and post a comment. It clearly says his mental make up not his abilities as a player.
    He could have said that about the ball boy for the team and still been on target. I hope this kid goes out and proves all these haters he can play. Even if he isn’t the best in the league he deserves a chance to prove he can become a NFL QB. He seem like a good person with a good head on his shoulders.

  28. OK, I live fairly close to Gainesville and if there is something that most people understand it’s that Tebow isn’t the brightest crayon. His college entrance testing scores were extremely low as well. I’m not blaming his home schooling throughout high school, just saying brains are not one of his better traits as Wyche is pointing out. I get most players aren’t potential rocket scientists, but comments like this can only shed more light on an area than should be. Otherwise seems like a good kid.
    I guess the point of this is that Sam Wyche is a complete idiot and it’s no wonder he’s not involved in coaching.

  29. @tombrookshire:
    Wyche should gush a little less about Tebow, lest he be proven a jackass somewhere down the line. As far as Tebow is concerned, underpromise and overdeliver should be the strategy here.
    Funny…I was thinking the same thing about all the Meyer & Tebow haters around these blogs, lest they all be proven jackasses somewhere down the line.
    Oh that’s right….these people are just all “nameless bloggers” who can’t be villified later for being idiotic & WRONG, where Wyche can be if he is proven incorrect!!!
    If Tebow IS successful half the idiots on here will swear that because Tebow had all the “intangibles” THEY knew he would be successful on the NFL level….lol…

  30. What makes me laugh are to so-called QB experts here. While some of you are laughing at what Wyche said, it’s amazing how YOU are the experts and the man who got paid to help QBs and did a damn good job, isn’t. The fact is that if you take away the arm and the legs, what you have is the most important part of a QB and that’s his head and that’s what Sam is talking about. A QB has to be able to absorb a lot of information and he’s got to be willing to go out and do that, day after day. He also has to be willing to do MORE than just show up for practice – like working on his weaknesses. People talk about the heart but the heart is just an organ – the head is where it’s all at. If the guy isn’t willing to go out and work on his bad mechanics or try to absorb even the simplest playbook then it wouldn’t matter if he had a cannon for an arm.
    What separates Peyton Manning and Tom Brady from JaMarcus Russell aren’t their physical talents, which are FAR below his but the fact that even from the very beginning, they put in extra time to learn their responsibilities in the offense (as well as what others did on each play). At the same time, they worked on their weaknesses and were eventually able to make the throws that they COULDN’T when they came out of college.
    Tebow is not an NFL starter coming out of college BUT that doesn’t mean that he can’t be. Face it, the guy never made mistakes in college and that’s no an accident. His biggest problem was that he didn’t work in a pro-style offense and his mechanics aren’t what you’d want but that doesn’t mean that a team couldn’t take in outside of the first round and invest some time in him. Heck, the Bengals took Palmer in the first round and let Kitna take the pounding for the first year and that didn’t turn out that badly, did it.
    What Sam stressed was the the guy is smart and he can grasp concepts. This is THE most important part of the QB puzzle and it’s one of the reasons why I laugh at QBs going to the Combine for anything other than the interview. When a QB KNOWS the play then when it breaks down, he isn’t going to panic because he knows what’s next and what’s after that and what’s after that. There are QBs with all the gifts in the world who KNOW that they have them and they rely on that instead of learning their responsibilities and they end up screwing up because they’ll try to compensate with their talents instead of going to their second or third options. With the right team, I see Tebow as an NFL starter but a lot has to go right but I don’t see that as being a problem on Tim’s part because he seems to be more than willing to work out his problems NOW which is better than you can say of other guys who never made it in the NFL.

  31. Would it not be prudent to ask if Tebow is paying Wysche to train him?
    Why would you pay someone and allow them to say anything BUT you are the best?!?
    If you asked anyone who is training someone for the draft they would say how great they will be????
    Not saying Tebow will be bad…
    But think about tge source!!
    Wysche was hired to train him, but he was also hired to up his draft stock based on his credentials!!
    COME ON NOW….WHY WOULD YOU NOT NENTION THAT AT LEAST AS A POSSIBILITY??!

  32. I wouldn’t doubt that Sam Wyche is right. As far as understanding theory, Tim Tebow might be as great as Joe Montana. However, being a quarterback at the NFL level is about much more than “understanding theory”. You have got to be able to read defenses in a split second. Your progressions begin from the moments before you take the snap and each step you are taking backwards. Not just seeing it…but processing as a high speed computer would. And this is just a small percentage of a quarterback’s job. We have yet to talk about foot placement, accuracy, wind-up and delivery, timing, making the deep throw, ball placement, recognizing coverages, and blitz recognization.
    You can understand theory in a classroom, but when the rubber hits the road can you do the same. I remember a scene frmo the movie ‘Glory’ where a guy was sitting around blasting cans with his rifle. There was no pressure and he looked like the best shot in the world. However, when his commander started firing his pistol as the guy was firing and reloading the guy got unnerved. Or my favorite clip from Steve Mariucci when he coached the Lions. He started saying that the team they were playing had a better team on paper. Then he balled up the paper and threw it on the ground and said, “But they don’t play this game on paper”.
    Theory and reality seldom have the same outcome. The world we live in doesn’t live in theory.

  33. The question is about Wyche as a talent evaluator and whether or not he has the credibility to make such a comparison.
    Montana is arguably the greatest QB ever. And I would suggest that he did it with less athletic ability than most QBs. That means he was an incredibly smart QB. The field is littered with “great” college QBs who were never able to cut it in the NFL. Tebow is a great athlete–no question. But he has played 4 years in a “college system”. Montana played for Dan Devine at ND who had just come from a coaching stint in Green Bay. His system was much more NFL ready.
    Guys like Dan McGwire, David Klingler, Heath Schuler and Alex Smith are clearly very smart men who rewrote record books as QBs in college, but never translated that into professional success. All were first round busts.
    None of us know how Tebow will fare in the NFL, but to begin comparing him to Montana (mentally or otherwise) before he has ever taken a snap in the NFL is ludicrous.

  34. Hosstyle In Tampa says:
    February 24, 2010 10:39 AM
    This from the guy who drafted Trent Dilfer…
    ___________________
    Super Bowl Champion Trent Dilfer

  35. Tim is so smart he knows how to point the finger at his coach instead of himself for not learning the basics or pro-QB mechanics.
    So he’s got the pro-style deflecting blame thing down already.
    He’ll be a fine pro.

  36. lololnpnp says:
    February 24, 2010 12:16 PM
    OK, I live fairly close to Gainesville and if there is something that most people understand it’s that Tebow isn’t the brightest crayon.
    Living close to Gainesville gives you the insight you need to judge Tebows football IQ? I think we may have found Sarah Palin’s running mate in 2012.

  37. godofwine says:
    However, being a quarterback at the NFL level is about much more than “understanding theory”. You have got to be able to read defenses in a split second. Your progressions begin from the moments before you take the snap and each step you are taking backwards.
    **********************
    Wow, a lot of words and so little understanding. Look, if you don’t understand the play, you could have the quickest mind in the world and it wouldn’t mean a thing. Knowing the progressions isn’t something that you get from just looking at the playbook once and then going to the field and applying that theory, it’s about looking at the play and breaking it down against each defense and doing it over and over and over. Split second decisions aren’t made by the unprepared, they’re made by the ones who ARE prepared. I would like you to name me one successful NFL QB that goes out there and plays without putting in the effort in the film room or being BAD at the “theory” of the game.
    BTW, Glory is a movie and the fact is, it has a lot of factual errors but in the REAL military, you are taught what to do in an emergency and you drill on it over and over so that doing it will become second nature and when the time comes, you’re NOT unprepared because if you are, you will kill more than just yourself. Without theory, you can’t have application of that theory. Now, maybe you believe that being a QB is as easy as drawing Xs and Os in the turf but the fact is that every day, teams work on one or another part of their playbook so that it becomes second nature to them and they don’t have to take an extra split second to remember what they should be doing when things go horribly wrong. They watch film over and over to see what their next opponent might do against a certain play and then they go out on the field and apply that knowledge so what you think is as easy as 1-2-3 appears to be that way when it took a lot of hard work to get there.

  38. You guys dissing Coach Wyche have no respect for the history of the game.
    He forgot more about ball than you will ever know.

  39. Tim Tebow is the biggest bust in the history of the NFL!
    ….oh wait, he hasn’t played in the NFL yet has he? I could have sworn by all the comments that he already played in the NFL and was a bust.
    Hmmmm, interesting.

  40. I like Tebow but Sam Wyche is officially an idiot for making these comparisons. No wonder this guy hasn’t had an NFL job this whole time.
    Montana and Tebow in the same sentence? WOW!

  41. I didn’t think Wyche could talk? My guess is that Wyche’s pay I’d tied to the amount of money Tebow makes.

  42. I guess there are some comparisons between Tebow and Montana/Esiason… but then again, Montana is 53 and Esiason is 48.

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