“When you don’t fit the mold, it messes with their heads.” – Flutie
Emmy-Nominated Series Returns with Expanded 13-Episode Season
Tim Tebow is a football phenomenon. A Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback and two-time national champion at the University of Florida, Tebow was a well-known commodity even before he was selected in the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft by the Denver Broncos. Yet when Tebow became the starting quarterback for the Broncos in 2011, engineering a run in which Denver won seven of eight games and claimed an AFC West division title with an unconventional playing style and several last-minute heroics, he became otherworldly.
On Wednesday, September 12 at 8:00 PM ET on NFL Network, the NFL Films-produced series A Football Life returns with a profile on Tebow as told by former quarterbacks who embody different aspects of his life on and off the field. Titled The Faces of Tebow: A Football Life, legendary quarterbacks Joe Namath, Roger Staubach, Steve Young, Doug Flutie and Kordell Stewart examine what makes the backup quarterback for the New York Jets so unique, and how each sees a little bit of themselves every time they watch Tebow play.
Featuring sitdown interviews with each quarterback legend, on-field sights and sounds from games and practices, and footage from various media appearances by Tebow, Namath, Staubach, Young, Flutie and Stewart, The Faces of Tebow offers a look at the person on and off the field who has captured the attention of the NFL and today’s society.
Emmy-nominated actor Josh Charles (CBS’ The Good Wife) lends his voice to the series for the second consecutive year.
Provided below are select quotes from each quarterback discussing Tebow:
Joe Namath – “Fame”
Before Tebow, Joe Namath established a new standard for the attention not only quarterbacks, but athletes in general, received from the media and public. In his own words, Namath explains how while the life he led off the field is strikingly different from the one Tebow leads, the level of fame each has achieved connects them.
“Tim’s prepared better than anyone that’s gone in there in this kind of situation. Dealing with the media, dealing with endorsements, dealing with requests for your time – he’s better prepared than I was by a long shot.” – Namath
“A younger Joe Namath would have said, ‘he can’t play quarterback.’ I would have probably been harsh on his passing ability. I promise you, I’m a fan of Tim Tebow’s. Using his strengths, and that’s being able to run and throw on the run some, as a steady diet will that work? I don’t think so. But as a mix I believe it can work.” – Namath
Doug Flutie – “The Outsider”
As quarterback at Boston College, Doug Flutie won a Heisman Trophy and was responsible for one of the most iconic plays in college football history. Yet due to his 5’10’’ stature, Flutie was consistently overlooked. Even with opportunities to start for the New England Patriots and Buffalo Bills, he was never viewed as “the guy” despite his level of success and popularity.
“I was always viewed as a guy who was unconventional, and so is Tim Tebow…When you don’t fit the mold, it messes with their heads.” – Flutie
“[Tim Tebow in Denver] was very similar to what was happening with me in New England back in the late ‘80s. If he needs to be the starter for a period of time, he’s proven that we can win that way. But he’s not ‘our guy.’” – Flutie
Roger Staubach – “Faith”
Not only do Tebow and Dallas Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach share the distinction of both being Heisman Trophy winners, but both are very strong in their religious faith. The Hall of Fame quarterback discusses his own faith and Tebow’s personality on and off the field.
“He sets a great example and he lives it. When you’re Tebowing and you’re on your knee and you’re praying, hopefully that’s who you are. I just like the guy. He just seems for real to me.” – Staubach
Kordell Stewart – “Football Player”
Nicknamed “Slash,” Kordell Stewart became an important part of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ offense due to his ability to play a variety of positions in addition to quarterback. When Stewart became the starting quarterback in 1997, he led the Steelers to the AFC Championship Game. With ability to do things on the football field that other quarterbacks can’t, Stewart sees himself in Tebow.
“[Playing different positions on offense] was the most fun ever, but it tainted the quarterback position for me a little bit. But at the same time, it gave me an in to the point where they figured, ‘Well, if he can do all of these things great, if we put him in the right situation and accommodate his skill set, it could be something special.’” – Stewart
“What he brings to the table is the heart of a lion and he wins. That’s what you have to love about Tim Tebow, and that’s what the world loves about him. He’s a fighter.” – Stewart
“Rex Ryan has seen it many times when he was in Baltimore and I was in Pittsburgh running around making that defense go stone crazy. Ray Lewis, he’s said to me many times he hated playing against myself and Mark Brunell because he was the spy; he was the one that had to catch us. That’s what they have up in New York now: that type of player that can create those types of issues.” – Stewart
Steve Young – “The Quarterback Within”
As the eighth-string quarterback while in college at BYU, Steve Young was buried on the depth chart and was given opportunities to play other positions to get on the field. But Young held firm and eventually became the Cougars’ starting quarterback. Young made it to the NFL in 1985 with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and then was traded to the San Francisco 49ers where he backed up Joe Montana. Eventually Young was given his opportunity to be the starter and became a Hall of Fame quarterback.
“You can take it as a backhanded compliment that you’re talented enough to play a number of other spots. But when you’re really focused on playing quarterback, it’s painful. I had to be very hard-headed about it.” – Young
“You cannot run around and play in the NFL. You have to throw the football from the pocket, you have to deliver it from the pocket on time. That’s the job. There is no other job. You can try to make a career running around and you might be able to do it for a little while. But if you want to do this long-term, that’s the job. Do the job.” – Young
“He can do the job. He has the natural throwing talent to actually play quarterback in the NFL, drop back 40 times, be efficient and be good at it, and then possibly great at it.” – Young
Airing throughout the NFL season, A Football Life examines the iconic individuals and subjects that have had an undeniable and profound impact on the history of the National Football League, offering an inside look into their untold stories. Forthcoming episodes include profiles of Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis, Super Bowl-winning head coaches Tom Coughlin and Jimmy Johnson, former owner of the San Francisco 49ers Eddie DeBartolo, Jr., and the late Steve McNair.
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