Everyone and their mother has an opinion on Tim Tebow’s return to the NFL. But few people (and few mothers) know Tebow as well as Champ Bailey. The retired Hall of Fame cornerback, who spent 10 of his 15 seasons with the Denver Broncos, called the former quarterback his teammate for both of Tebow’s two years as a Mile High signal-caller. On Wednesday, he joined CBS Sports’ All Things Covered podcast, co-hosted by Patrick Peterson and Bryant McFadden, to offer his perspective on Tebow’s sudden march back to the gridiron.
“He’s infectious,” Bailey said. “A great leader. I love his preparation. But I grew up with a lot of guys like that and they just didn’t have enough athletic ability to play football. He has a lot of great qualities, but he’s just not an NFL quarterback.”
This, remember, is coming from one of the Broncos’ top players during Tebow’s short-lived run as Denver’s QB. From 2010-11, Tebow captivated all kinds of fans for his tendency to start slow, play QB with unorthodox mechanics, but then turn it up in crunch time with a slew of comeback wins. However, Bailey is convinced Tebow’s move to tight end — where he’ll attempt to make the Jacksonville Jaguars this summer — should have come way back when he was still under center.
“I think something about him wanting to play quarterback … disabled him from getting the chance to play tight end,” Bailey said, “at least at a younger age. … I think he should have made that move years ago instead of forcing himself to be a quarterback.”
And now? While Bailey admires Tebow’s personality, he doesn’t foresee him lasting long in Jacksonville.
“I don’t see how he has a really good shot at making the team,” he said.
Bailey does, however, have high hopes for his old team, the Broncos. Specifically, he’s a big fan of their first-round draft pick, cornerback Patrick Surtain II, who figures to have an early role in 2021.
“I thought it was a steal, to be honest,” Bailey said of the Surtain pick. “This guy, since he showed up at ‘Bama, was a baller. And he has the size, he has the pedigree. What else are you looking for?”