Tim Tebow is loading up his Conestoga wagon and heading for the wild frontier in Denver, Colorado. Among the mountains, Balloon Boys, herds of bison and bouts with dysentery, Tebow will find a world he is not yet ready for.
Locker rooms from pee-wee to college are not much different. Get to the pros and it is suddenly a business, where the power of the purse beats power of personality. Tebow will go from being the Big Man, to the bottom of the totem pole. He could do everything right in terms of deferring to older players or toning down his locker room persona, but still get under everyone's skin.
The struggle to fit in with the Broncos I think will be Tebow's biggest problem. His mechanics have evolved over the course of his life and career, with his rookie year being another step in that process. (Although, I guess for Tebow, his throwing motion changes are a result of intelligent design.) Tebow's personality hasn't changed. He still thinks cracking his knuckles is a vice and every question is answered in a 60 second sound bite that lasts only 30 seconds. If he thinks cracking knuckles is bad, what will he think about guys with children out of wedlock or players who The Apostles are a band?
There were guys on the Gators who couldn't keep their junk in their pants or who were huge assholes. But Tebow had a support system in his family being a two hours away and siblings and friends on campus if he needed to get away. He only way Tebow can have that in Denver is if he joins Ben Roethlisberger as the only white guys with a posse. With the pressure to learn a new system, he won't have those opportunities to step back either.
The hardest struggle for any rookie is getting the guys around you to like you. Joe Flacco was successful as a rookie, but it took about eight games for the team to have his back. Eli Manning was too quiet in the huddle as a rookie. Not to mention that there are more Heisman winning QBs who go bust as a pro, than those who are successful. Tebow only has to look at the two previous Gator Heisman winners to know that.
I think Tebow will be a successful pro, but it may take maturing and breaking away from his demonstrative personality in order to get the veterans behind him.