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Associated Press
Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow warming up prior to the Broncos NFL football game against the San Diego Chargers Sunday, Nov. 27, 2011, in San Diego.
Then there's this guy, the 6-foot-3, 245-pound bruiser who throws like an ironworker and runs like a fullback.

Just look at Tim Tebow. He's all wrong for an NFL quarterback. His throwing mechanics are little league. His passes are wild and inaccurate. His release is pedestrian, more suited to pitching than passing.

He's a technical disaster area. Purists avert their eyes when he's throwing a football. It's like watching Chuck Norris with a script. High school quarterbacks should not be allowed to watch this man play football. He's a clinic on what not to do as a passer. He is to passing what Roseanne and Paris Hilton are to singing.

And yet somehow he wins.

Tebow has won five of six games, including the last four. But it's the defense and running game that are winning games, you say? The Broncos had the same defense and running game while they were losing four of the first five games before Tebow took charge.

How does Tebow do this? No one knows. It's a complete mystery.

The modern NFL is nothing if not a passing league. The winning formula requires golden-armed, drop-back quarterbacks able to throw 30 to 40 times a game (please see Brady, Brees, Rodgers, and Manning).

Then there's this guy, the 6-foot-3, 245-pound bruiser who throws like an ironworker and runs like a fullback.

Tebow is — how should we put this? — a horrible passer. From the first quarter through the third quarter, he can't hit the ocean. In six games, he has completed only 45 percent of his passes. He has never completed more than half his passes in a single game since becoming a starter. Of the 32 quarterbacks on the NFL's list of leading passers — Tebow hasn't thrown enough passes to qualify — not one of them is below 54 percent. Brees and Rodgers are over 70 percent.

I wanted to know what a coach thinks of Tebow as a passer and quarterback, so I called Brandon Doman, the BYU offensive coordinator and quarterback coach who played quarterback for BYU and the San Francisco 49ers.

"When you throw the football, the elbow is supposed to be in front and above your shoulder at the same time and the football follows the lead of your elbow," says Doman. "He never gets his elbow above his shoulder. There is no natural follow through. All the (NFL) guys were trying to fix that at the combine. It would help him get the ball out quicker. He has a slow throwing motion. By the time he delivers, he's wound up like a pitcher on the mound. It just isn't real clean."

Doman continues. "This is what creates inaccuracy, but here's the deal: It isn't always due to throwing motion, although it contributes. It's decision-making and timing. For a young quarterback, if he's got an unorthodox throwing motion and any question in the timing of his throws, it really enhances the inaccuracy. The throwing motion, the hesitancy, the timing — you're going to see wild throws."

The Broncos don't even want Tebow to throw the ball. He spends most of his Sundays handing off the ball or running with it. With Kyle Orton at quarterback, the Broncos threw the ball an average of 30 times a game in the first five games. They have averaged 14 passes in the last four games — or about what Drew Brees throws in one quarter.

The Broncos tried to use Tebow like a normal pro quarterback. It was brutal. In his second start, Tebow threw 39 passes against the Lions and completed just 18 of them. He also had a fumble and an interception returned for touchdowns and was sacked seven times. It was his only loss, 45-10. After that, Denver coaches retooled the offense, turning it into the Florida Gators-West. They added the read-option, a high school and college offensive gimmick previously considered ill-suited for the NFL.

"If we were running a regular offense, he'd be screwed," Broncos coach John Fox said of his quarterback.

Since then, Tebow has become the oddest phenomenon to hit the NFL since, well, Michael Vick and, before that, Bo Jackson. This is what Tebow has done in the last four games:

Broncos 38, Raiders 24. Completed 10 of 21 passes for just 124 yards, two of them for touchdowns, and ran 13 times for 118 yards.

Broncos 17, Chiefs 10. Threw just eight passes and completed two, one of them for a 56-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter. He also ran for 43 yards and a touchdown.

Broncos 17, Jets 13. In the closing minutes of the game, the Broncos trailed 13-10 with the ball on their own 5-yard line. They had punted their previous eight possessions and Tebow had rushed for just 11 yards. No problem. Tebow drove the Broncos 95 yards by completing three passes and running six times for 58 yards, including the game-winning 20-yard run with less than a minute to play.

Broncos 16, Chargers 13 (OT). With the ball on their own 26 and trailing by three, Tebow completed passes of 39 and 23 yards to set up a tying field goal with 1:34 to go in regulation. A 12-yard run by Tebow helped set up the game-winning field goal. Tebow rushed for 67 yards on 22 carries — the most by a quarterback since 1960.

"There are what I call codifiable things you can measure a quarterback with," says Doman. "You can chart them, draw them, explain them and tell exactly what they did wrong and right. Then there are the intangibles, or the non-codifiable. Tebow is one of the best ever to play the game with the non-codifiable. His heart and grit and determination and will to win and leadership and willpower — those have separated him even in the NFL. On top of all that, he is big, strong and fast and can run. He can get himself out of a lot of problems by tucking and running. He creates a significant challenge for the defense.

"I would suspect that if you interviewed his teammates, you'd find that they love him. On the field they feel empowered, like they're being led by a guy who's giving everything he's got, and that they have a chance to win. No matter how good or bad you're playing, they believe."

Maybe Tebow, along with Vick and others, will force NFL coaches to reevaluate the stodgy, outdated, narrow way they view and utilize quarterbacks. Instead of turning athletic, mobile college quarterbacks into wide receivers — a la Eric Crouch, Josh Cribbs, Brad Smith, Matt Jones, Antwaan Randle-El — maybe they should adapt their offenses to those players' unique abilities. It's worked for Tebow and the Broncos.

Email: drob@desnews.com