The celebrity of Tebow has started to grow beyond the talent, and the only question is whether we will tire of the Tebow brand once the athletic performance fails to keep up. If the last nine months are an indicator, we have a long way to go before we hit that point.
The only backup quarterback in NFL history to have a press conference upon signing with a new team is the unequivocal "good guy" of professional sports. America loves to root for the underdog and Tebow has been doubted and discounted every step of the way.
It's tough to find anything to not like about Tim Tebow the person, but as fans of the game of football we're starting to run out of excuses and poor justifications for why he is a legitimate NFL quarterback. He has great character, is a solid leader, and has been under center for a decent amount of victories.
The truth, however, is that good character is something people talk about when other skills or numbers are lacking. And wins are something that a quarterback gets too much credit for considering the number of players who factor into the outcome of a football game.
During his short career, Tebow has thrown for seventeen scores to nine interceptions. His completion percentage hovers at a lackluster 47.6% to go with his 73.9 passer rating. His rushing ability, however, is his true strength as Tebow has piled up twelve rushing scores but has also fumbled seven times.
He is touted as someone who deserves serious playing time, but here are ten backup quarterbacks who are better than Tim Tebow for the 2012 NFL season.
10. Chad Henne- Jacksonville Jaguars
Throughout his four-year career, the former Michigan quarterback has thrown for 31 touchdowns to 37 interceptions. Henne isn't much of a threat with his feet, but has a respectable completion percentage of 60.7% for his career. His quarterback rating of 75.7 makes him a solid backup option for any team looking for a pocket passer.
9. Vince Young - Buffalo Bills
There are many parallels between Young and Tebow when it comes to the ground threat and the ability to win. The new Bills backup has quickly slipped through six seasons while passing for 46 scores to 51 picks. Young has impressed on the ground with twelve rushing touchdowns as well. His inconsistencies and off-field personal issues have been his biggest obstacle.
8. Kirk Cousins - Washington Redskins
The mysterious 2012 draft choice of the Washington Redskins is fresh off a strong career at Michigan State. Cousins led the Spartans to a birth in the inaugural Big 10 Championship game and was honored by receiving the 2011 Senior CLASS Award. I like the potential and skill-set of the 6'3" pocket-passer and expect great things as a backup to RG3 in Washington or as a starter in the future.
7. Derek Anderson - Carolina Panthers
2007 will go down as a year to remember for Anderson as he threw 29 touchdowns en route to amassing 3,787 yards through the air -- enough to tally an 82.5 passer rating on the season. For his career he's tossed 53 scores to 55 picks with a 52.6 completion percentage and 68.8 quarterback rating.
6. Dan Orlovsky - Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The de facto interim quarterback of the Indianapolis Colts in 2011, Orlovsky did a respectable job with a cupboard that was barely half-full of talent. During his short career he has built up a 75.9 passer rating with fourteen touchdowns and twelve interceptions through twenty games.
5. Rex Grossman - Washington Redskins
It's hard to argue with a guy who once led his team to a Super Bowl appearance. The former Florida Gator has put together a respectable pro career over nine seasons. Grossman has completed 55.3% of his passes including 56 touchdowns to 60 interceptions. His passer rating, however, has dropped to a pedestrian 71.4.
4. Jake Locker - Tennessee Titans
The young gunslinger of the Tennesee Titans played a limited but impressive schedule as a rookie in 2011. Appearing in five games, Locker threw for four scores -- connecting on 51.5% of his passes. Incredibly, the former Washington Huskies star built up a 99.4 passer rating thanks to zero interceptions on the year.
3. Kyle Orton - Dallas Cowboys
It's not hard to put Orton here. After all, he was the starter ahead of Tim Tebow during his time in Denver. Unappreciated in Chicago and with the Broncos, Orton is a man who has led with great numbers when given a chance. Throughout his seven-year career he has tossed 70 scores to only 57 interceptions -- connecting on 58.3% of his passes. Orton's two strongest years came in '09 and '10 -- he passed for 3,802 yards, 21 TD and 12 INT in '09 and 3,653 yards 20 TD and 9 INT in '10. Worthy of a starting job, Orton's 79.4 career quarterback rating leaves the Dallas Cowboys with an excellent backup for the 2012 year.
2. Jason Campbell - Chicago Bears
Much like Orton, the former Auburn Tigers star has put up very solid numbers but the inconsistency of his teams has led to front office impatience. Campbell owns a career passer rating of 82.8 and has completed 60.8% of his throws. Over his six-year career he's thrown only 50 interceptions while connected for 74 touchdowns. During his time in Washington, Campbell had two seasons with over 3,000 yards passing. He also has thrown more touchdowns than interceptions in every season of his career.
1. David Garrard - Miami Dolphins
It's easy to understand why Garrard is such a forgotten player when you consider the crux of his work was done as the quarterback of the Jacksonville Jaguars. Throughout his ten seasons Garrard has thrown for over 16,000 yards including 89 touchdowns to only 54 interceptions. His healthy 61.6 completion percentage is only trumped by his 85.8 passer rating. If those numbers aren't good enough, Garrard also has been a threat with his feet, accumulating seventeen scores.
*Player stats and team info courtesy of ESPN.com
Love the list? Hate the list? Leave your comment below.
Justin Mikels is a staff writer for Operation Sports. You can follow him on Twitter @long_snapper.