Blog Entry

John Elway now Tim Tebow's biggest supporter

Posted on: December 10, 2011 7:10 pm
Edited on: December 10, 2011 7:11 pm
Elway on Tebow: 'There’s nobody more supportive or wants him to be that guy than me.' (US PRESSWIRE)

By Ryan Wilson

Tim Tebow is 6-1 as the Broncos' starting quarterback this season. It's something nobody expected, especially head coach John Fox and team executive vice president John Elway. After starting the season 1-4 with Kyle Orton, Denver is now 7-5 with Tebow and in first place in the AFC West. There's every reason to believe that the Broncos will finish the season 9-7 or 10-6, which means a trip to the postseason, but out of range to land one of the franchise quarterbacks (Andrew Luck, Matt Barkley, Robert Griffin III) early in the first round of April's draft.

We have this theory: Denver will instead sign some veteran quarterback off the free-agent scrap heap, announce that he'll compete with Tebow for the starting gig in 2012, and the six weeks of next season will resemble what we saw this season. Namely: the conventional drop-back passer will struggle in Denver's system and by the middle of October, Tebow will return to the lineup and the Broncos will promptly start winning.

But like we said, that's just a theory. One that's based on comments Elway made last month. Comments, by the way, that have since been clarified (more on that in a second). In late November, during a weekly radio appearance on a local Denver station, Elway was asked if he was "any closer to feeling if you have your quarterback on this team."

"No," he said after a pause. "I think obviously he's making progress week in and week out. When you look at our third down numbers, those have to improve. I mean, that's the bottom line. We can't go 3-for-13 and win a world championship. Those are the type of things we have to keep improving."

The Denver Broncos have won their last five straight games and hope to make it six as they host the Chicago Bears on Sunday afternoon. Who has the advantage in this matchup? Jason Horowitz and's Pat Kirwan preview this game.

A week later, in an interview with CBS Sports' Shannon, Tebow was asked if he felt the organization was committed to him.

Sharpe: Do you believe this organization is 100 percent behind you?
Tebow: I believed that I am very blessed to play for this organization.
Sharpe: That wasn't the question I asked you -- whether or not you were blessed. I asked do you believe John Fox and John Elway 100 percent believe Tim Tebow is the guy that's going to get them back to winning championships?

A day after the interview aired, Elway spoke publicly about his remarks regarding Tebow.

"I was surprised in the fact that people took it to be a negative answer, and it really wasn't a negative answer," Elway said during a November 28 radio appearance. "That's where I was taken aback. It wasn't meant to be a strike at Timmy at all. It was just a reality check of where we were at the time, and it wasn't a negative because I tried to follow it up with all the positive things we were doing and tried to point out some things we needed to get better at."

Elway admitted that he needed to do a better job "communicating the message" and said the situation is "something I'll learn from."

And learn he has. In an interview with's Alex Marvez, Elway may still be hesitant to proclaim that Tebow is the franchise's future, but he sees enough potential in the young quarterback that he's planning to work hands-on with him during the offseason. (We're guessing no one in the organization has had such conversations with Brady Quinn.)

“Do I know where that ceiling is? I hope that ceiling is a mile high,” Elway told Marvez on Thursday from inside his executive vice president’s office at team headquarters. “It’s just hard to predict. I don’t have that answer right now. But there’s nobody more supportive or wants him to be that guy than me.”

Tebow, who has yet to utter a controversial statement publicly, said the idea of working with Elway was "exciting."

“When you don’t have a coach helping you, it’s tough sometimes,” Tebow said “Every quarterback coach you’re working with always has great things to add. But when you’re dealing with a Hall of Famer and someone who has played the game at such a high level, he’s going to give you unique points of view.

“Situational football to fundamentals to whatever it is — that’s something he’s gone through at a crazy-high level. He can share information that not a lot of other people have.”

So what does Elway think Tebow needs to work on? Surprisingly, it's not the long wind-up (think Byron Leftwich without the arm strength).

“I don’t believe you change a throwing motion," Elway said. "I do believe you can really help your accuracy by your feet. That’s where, to me, Tim has so much upside. He’s improving. It’s just a matter of getting it burned into his reactions and mind.”

And that's the thing: if Tebow can improve his accuracy and understand what he's supposed to do from the pocket (where he struggles to decipher defenses and quickly go through his progressions), he could be really good. It would also mitigate the need to lean heavily on the read-option, a successful short-term strategy that could go the way of the wildcat before long.

No, we never, ever thought we'd write the words "really good" in relation to Tebow, NFL quarterback, but he's proven us wrong. And we're okay with that.

For now, the Broncos are concerned about one thing: maintaining their lead over the Raiders in the AFC West. And we need to revise our theory.

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Since: Nov 27, 2011
Posted on: December 11, 2011 7:43 pm

John Elway now Tim Tebow's biggest supporter

Forgot to put the pertinent opinion-type stuff in my previous post.

I'm very happy that Elway has come out and committed to personally working with Timmy over the offseason.  There's not a whole lot of stuff that can compare to that for supporting a player.  Yeah, it's a bummer that Elway hasn't publicly been more strongly behind Tebow, but I tend to look on the good side; I think he means well and really does want the best for Tebow and the team.

Also, aside from all the other very exciting drama from today's game, Tebow looked much more comfy in the pocket today, even when it was collapsing around him.  That's progress from even a couple weeks ago.  Week to week, better and better... that's work ethic, and with an offseason, TT will be a much better QB.

Since: Sep 28, 2006
Posted on: December 11, 2011 11:38 am

John Elway now Tim Tebow's biggest supporter

The only way your theory works is if Goodell killed Al Davis.  No way Al Davis would have approved his team losing to an "inferior team".  What the Donkeys do have is a great defense.  As long as Tebow continues to limit his turnovers, they have a playoff caliber team in the weak AFC West.
Now don't get me wrong, their defense is great, but come playoff time, they are probably one and done.

Since: Sep 25, 2009
Posted on: December 11, 2011 11:38 am

John Elway now Tim Tebow's biggest supporter

Tebow is a winner, get over it.  You put physical talent together with a great work ethic of course that person will do very well.  Too many people get hung up on just raw talent, at the NFL level that is never enough and actually the talent levels are close enough that it's your work ethic that matters.  JeMarcus Russell and Jeff George are probably the two most physically talented passers in recent memory, but they're both lazy as shit.  Drew Brees is pretty athletic but nobody is going to confuse guys like Brees, Brady and Peyton Manning with Michael Vick in terms of athleticism.  Doesn't matter though, they work really hard and out-prepare everyone else.

I've heard Revis studies as much film as QBs do.  Sure, great physical talent, but it's that preparation that gives him that edge.  Most NFL players just don't want to put in the work.  Tebow definitely puts it in, even his dumbest critics would admit that.

Since: Nov 27, 2011
Posted on: December 11, 2011 10:44 am

John Elway now Tim Tebow's biggest supporter

So what you're saying is that somehow the NFL is a theater troupe with a casts of several hundred that puts on 15 new shows every week?  Let's take a quick look, and my apologies for this being a re-written comment from last week responding to a similarly feeble-minded commenter.

46 players at the theoretical minimum (2 offenses, 2 defenses, at least 2 kickers), and usually many more than that, have to all be on the same page, running dozens of different plays with different opponents every week.  There are theater troupes that have 46 members, and you know what they do?  One show at a time, which they practice for months on end before the premier, and then they run that same exact show sometimes for years on end.  Swap out half the personnel and give them 1 week to practice, and you get mayhem.  There's also no way that the two teams could practice together to get things to look natural, and that's a huge part of selling a fake.

These players/cast members are also supposed to be faking plays that take them to the very top of their abilities, and you are asking them to predictably make them, and do so believably.  Either a pass is completed or it is incomplete (dropped, broken up, intercepted), and the video replays it time and time again.  Either the ball passes the plane of the end zone or it doesn't.  Making a tackle or a diving catch with an accuracy of inches to match the drama involved is just not possible at the speed these guys are going.  Either a 50-yard kick makes it through the uprights or it does not - it'd be wicked hard to make it happen on cue... kickers that good don't exist.  And don't even get me started on blocking a punt or field goal or intercepting a tipped pass; that kind of thing can't be done on demand any more than Randy Johnson could hit that famous bird on purpose.

Football is a sport, and it is designed to have no preset outcome.  To have all the NFL players, owners, coaches and staff in on the secret of scripting it would be a coverup of epic proportions, requiring the expertise of the KGB, CIA and MI6 but with none of the incompetence of any of them.  Someone, somewhere would spring a leak, and Vegas would go broke with all the blown odds.  This would happen several times a year... but are we to believe that it has not happened once in the last 40?  And no disgruntled retiree or firee has blown the whistle? 

As a last note, I'm sure that from time to time dirty players throw a game or a dirty coach will sell some plays or something like that.  That kind of thing requires only a small number of people and can be covered up.  But that's a far cry from fixing an entire league.

Since: Oct 20, 2009
Posted on: December 11, 2011 8:11 am

John Elway now Tim Tebow's biggest supporter

I don't like to think negative but I firmly believe the league is fixed. There's no way the Raiders should've lost to a definite inferior team allowing Denver to reach the top of the division. Furthermore, when Tebow faked out Revis for that winning TD a few weeks ago, that was just total BS. Every week they win a dramatic thriller and it's Tebow who leads the comeback. And another thing, there's been other QBs in the league that were much better athletes and runners who couldn't win games like Tebow is doing now. He's moving the tickets, drawing a crowd and bringing in the revenue. I really like Tebow but these games are fixed.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or