TEBOW PROVES CHARACTER IS KING

Alex Marvez is a senior sportswriter for Fox News covering the NFL. Yesterday he posted these comments, which I am excerpting here. He expresses my personal sentiments exactly. Tebow (and similar men of Christian character in particular) has been vilified too often by a media and a public that thinks that character is a counter-cultural threat. Fortunately, not everyone agrees. I applaud Marvez for his anaylsis here.

NEW YORK
In today’s NFL, character counts.

Dez Bryant and Jimmy Clausen learned that the hard way during Thursday night’s draft. And on the flip side, Tim Tebow’s squeaky-clean reputation and leadership skills helped push him into the first round.

Bryant was a top-10 talent who dropped all the way to No. 24 until picked by Dallas. He wasn’t even the first wideout selected. That distinction was garnered by Georgia Tech’s Demaryius Thomas, a Boy Scout in comparison, who was selected by Denver two slots earlier.

The Broncos had just traded one head case in Brandon Marshall. They weren’t about to tempt the fates by messing with another.

Clausen must be feeling cursed. He was long touted as this draft’s second-best quarterback prospect. Instead, the Notre Dame standout will have to wait another day for his name to get called.

This, too, isn’t a question of on-field ability. Even with damaged toes, Clausen did more than enough during his junior season to justify a first-round selection. He thrived in a pro-style system under esteemed offensive mind Charlie Weis. It would be hard to bash a team with quarterback needs like Oakland, Buffalo or Jacksonville had they used a top-10 pick on Clausen, let alone traded back into the late stages of the first round.

But Clausen can’t shed the ongoing questions about his maturity and leadership skills that began even before his ballyhooed arrival at Notre Dame. One franchise I spoke with that had strong interest in taking a first-round quarterback soured on Clausen because it didn’t like his attitude. Clausen may now become the fourth quarterback taken if a team likes undersized Texas standout Colt McCoy more.

Get the latest reactions, news and rumors from the Scout.com draft blog.

That fourth slot was once believed to be reserved for Tebow, whose college throwing style wouldn’t have worked in the NFL despite his achievements at Florida. It’s much too early to tell whether Tebow’s pre-draft attempts to overhaul his release and motion will work.

Tebow, though, couldn’t ask for a better situation. He can spend at least one season learning behind Kyle Orton and Brady Quinn before making a push to start. Tebow also gets to work with a quarterbacks guru in Broncos coach Josh McDaniels, who helped mold Matt Cassel into a starter while both were in New England.

McDaniels fell in love with Tebow and his intangibles this spring, conducting one final private workout Monday on the UF campus. Tebow left that session immediately for a speaking engagement at a Christian college in Tennessee. Unless his heavily religious lifestyle takes a 180-degree turn, McDaniels knows he won’t have to worry about Tebow getting into a bar fight like Clausen did last November at Notre Dame.

Nor will McDaniels ever fret Tebow pulling a Ben Roethlisberger.

In a prime-time embarrassment for the NFL, fans at Radio City Music Hall loudly chanted “She said no!” as commissioner Roger Goodell and a young Make-A-Wish Pittsburgh Steelers fan approached the podium to announce the team’s first-round pick. The jeers were in reference to sexual assault claims that led to Roethlisberger’s four-to-six game NFL suspension.

The punishment Goodell administered Wednesday proved just how much character means to him. The draft fate of Bryant, Clausen and Tebow shows most teams feel the same way. ”

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