(Photo: Reuters/Gary Hershorn)
Pastor Miles McPherson of Rock Church in San Diego, who played defensive back for the Chargers in the early '80s, recently said that the National Football League has likely abandoned the idea of the Jets' Tim Tebow ever re-establishing himself as an NFL quarterback.
"It appears the NFL is convinced he can't play quarterback. From all I hear, they are convinced of that," McPherson told The Christian Post when asked about Tebow at the end of an interview discussing his new book, God in the Mirror – Discovering Who You Were Created to Be.
While admitting he has no insider information about Tebow's fate, when asked for his opinion about the evangelical Christian athlete's future in the NFL, he said, "It depends on what he wants. If he is saying, 'I'm only going to play quarterback,' it's very likely he will not play again. If he says, 'I'm willing to do something else (play another position)' then he will go some place because he is such a great leader, athlete, and competitor."
However, recent football-world chatter about Tebow revolves around the possibility of him playing in the Arena Football League.
Brett Bouchy, owner of the Orlando Predators, said that the former University of Florida quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner would be a welcome addition to his team, and suggested that spending some time in the AFL could help Tebow improve as a player, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
"Tim would certainly want to first exhaust his opportunities in the NFL, but we'd love to have him," Bouchy told the Sentinel. "I think he would definitely improve as a quarterback in our league."
McPherson, who offered no further opinion to Tebow's prospects, was originally drafted by the Los Angeles Rams. He was cut and went on to play defensive back for the San Diego Chargers for four seasons from 1982 to 1985. In recent years, he has worked closely with the Chargers' team chaplain and mentors several players.
According to the bio on his website, two years into his professional football career, McPherson was battling a drug problem and living an immoral lifestyle. That's when teammate Sherman Smith, now an NFL coach, asked McPherson a simple question, "If you were to die right now, would you go to heaven?"
It took more than six months for McPherson to answer that question. In April 1984, having been up all night doing cocaine and realizing that his life was empty, he gave his life to Jesus Christ.
"The change was dramatic and instant," the bio reads. He began attending Horizon Christian Fellowship in San Diego and reaching out to teenagers. McPherson also began doing motivational speaking with the Chargers' organization. In September 1986, within a week after retiring from football, McPherson went to work as a Youth Pastor for Horizon and enrolled in Azusa Pacific University's School of Theology. He received his Master's of Divinity degree in 1991.
The Rock church is known as a "Do Something Church," with close to 100 ministries that reach out to the community in many ways. The church has given hundreds of thousands of hours of transformational volunteer service to San Diego and the world since its commitment in 2009.