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Tag:John Elway
Posted on: March 7, 2012 8:41 pm
 

Report: Broncos to gauge chances with Manning

Tebowmania isn't enough to keep Denver from inquiring about Manning. (Getty Images)

By Ryan Wilson

The Cardinals, Dolphins and Redskins are the early favorites for Peyton Manning's services, but there are other teams in the running, too. The Jets and Seahawks have expressed interest, and the Broncos, fresh off a season's worth of Tebowmania, could do so as well.

Manning era ends in Indy
Details via the Denver Post's Mike Klis:

"The Broncos are expected to place a phone call to Manning's agent, Tom Condon, to gauge their chances, according to an NFL source close to the situation. If Manning's contract can be structured so that the team would be protected in case Manning's troublesome neck becomes an issue, the Broncos could well be players."

Put differently: we were right to be skeptical when John Elway and John Fox proclaimed after the 2011 season that Tim Tebow would head into training camp as Denver's starter. That could still hold, of course -- landing Manning is a longshot, particularly given Fox's run-run-run-punt offensive philosophy.

And the other free-agent QB options aren't particularly appealing: names like Matt Flynn, Chad Henne, and Jason Campbell are either unproven or not an upgrade over Tebow. Not only that, what quarterback looking to start would step in front of the buzz saw that is Tebow's rabid fan base? They ran Orton out of the lineup after a 1-4 start, and eventually out of town. Plus, it would mean revamping the offense again, something that would only make sense if the Broncos landed someone like, say, Manning.

Klis points to two other reasons why Manning-to-Mile High doesn't seem likely:
His age, he turns 36 later this month, coupled with the fact he didn't play last year because of multiple neck surgeries makes him an enormous risk.

And the risk will be financially huge by the time Mike Shanahan's Washington Redskins, as well as the Miami Dolphins, Seattle Seahawks, New York Jets, Arizona Cardinals and possibly the Kansas City Chiefs engage in a bidding war.

Another reason the Broncos might not get in a serious bidding war would be the presence of Tebow. By wobble or by will, Tebow took the worst team in football — and that's exactly what their 7-24 record dating back to Nov. 1, 2009 made the Broncos, the NFL's worst team during that span — and helped lead them to the playoffs and a first-round upset of Pittsburgh this past season.
Whatever your thoughts on Tebow, prototypical NFL quarterback, there's no denying what he helped the Broncos accomplish last season. That, and tepid interest from Manning as other teams clamor for his services, means that Tebow's job is safe … for now.

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Posted on: February 24, 2012 11:29 am
Edited on: February 24, 2012 12:16 pm
 

Elway: Broncos open to 'either' kind of backup QB

John Elway and Denver haven't made a decision about Tebow's potential backup quarterbacks. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

INDIANAPOLIS -- John Elway has a tough task in front of him when it comes to filling out his quarterback depth chart. Logic dictates that the Broncos would like to get backup quarterbacks for Tebow that can run the read-option offense, or at least a version of it.

But Elway said the Broncos haven't made a decision on what kind of backup quarterbacks they'll seek out, and that be believes either a "ordinary" quarterback or "one like Tim" could work in the Broncos offense.

"We're going through that process now," Elway said Friday at the combine. "We kind of have to let it happen. I don't know if we're looking for one like Tim, or your ordinary dropback or somewhere in between. Until we find out the interest out there, it's going to be hard to fill those spots. But I think that when I look at Tim and our offense, we can go with either one, whether it be a guy like Tim or if it's more of a dropback guy. We feel like either one is going to fit."

We'd probably disagree with his assessment here, at least based on what we saw from the Broncos in 2011. Their offense worked well at times, but it's impossibly difficult to ask the rest of Denver's personnel to switch back-and-forth from a read-option-type offense to a "normal" NFL offense.

Additionally, there's are different personnel requirements for each type of offense; obviously everyone "wants talent" and whatnot, but if you're constructing the ideal offensive line for a Tebow-style offense, by nature it's going to be different than the type of line you'd construct for a "normal" offense.

The Broncos could still end up grabbing one of each -- how does a Chad Henne/Russell Wilson combo strike you? -- but it may be harder to effectively fill out and organize the quarterback depth chart than Elway could possibly ever expect.

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Posted on: February 23, 2012 10:55 am
Edited on: February 23, 2012 12:30 pm
 

John Fox says Tim Tebow, Brady Quinn are 'close'

Fox says Tebow and Quinn have a "close relationship."(Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

INDIANAPOLIS -- If you read the headlines relating to Broncos quarterbacks over the past few days, you'd think that Brady Quinn and Tim Tebow are mortal enemies. Quinn was quoted in a GQ article as saying that some of the things Tebow does in public; he later backtracked on the comments via Twitter, claiming they were taken out of context. (Michael Silver, the author of the article, points out that both he and Quinn have a copy of the audio file.) 

Broncos coach John Fox was asked about Quinn's comments Thursday at the NFL combine in Indy.

"Knowing their relationship, knowing both Brady and Tim myself, sometimes things get lost in translation," "I know their relationship is very close. They have a lot of respect for each other. They're very good teammates to each other. That's kind of what I know -- it's hard for me to stay up on all the comments, but I kind of know what I know."


Fox also said that Quinn's comments wouldn't impact whether or not the Broncos were interested in bringing back Quinn, a free agent on March 13, in 2012.

"Oh no, I know their relationship, I know he was a great teammate to Tim," Fox said. "I know Tim knows that. We still like Brady Quinn."

Fox said he was glad Quinn apologized and pointed out that "sometimes that happens." (That, we took him to mean is "saying something you immediately regret while a camera or tape recorder is running.")

We think it's still a long shot that Quinn returns to Denver. He's seen the sideshow that comes with Tebow and he knows what happens to anyone who gets playing time ahead of Tebow. There's a decent opportunity for playing time in Denver -- Tebow could get injured or struggle -- but it comes with the hefty cost, as Quinn's already learned this offseason.

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Posted on: February 21, 2012 2:28 pm
Edited on: February 21, 2012 5:04 pm
 

Quinn backtracks on Tebow 'humble' comment

Quinn and Tebow: Not BFFs after all? (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

Broncos quarterback Brady Quinn will be a free agent on March 13. While he didn't make our list of top free-agent quarterbacks (although he was honorable mention!), he'll likely end up landing a backup job somewhere for the 2012 season.

Just don't count on it being Denver, at least based on the quotes he gave Mike Silver for an oral history of Tebowmania in the latest issue of GQ.

"Early in the season, there was a game when Kyle [Orton] got hurt and the coaches were calling for me to go in, but Kyle got up and finished the game out," Quinn said. "So I was the second-string guy. Then, a few weeks later, they decided to put Tim in. I felt like the fans had a lot to do with that. Just 'cause they were chanting his name. There was a big calling for him. No, I didn't have any billboards. That would have been nice."


This is a harmless quote. You don't have to be a backup quarterback to want billboards pulling for you all over the town you live in.

But Quinn's comments took a different tone as his comments continued throughout the article.

"We've had a lot of, I guess, luck, to put it simply," Quinn said, recalling the Broncos memorable overtime win over the Bears.

Again, more or less harmless. Marion Barber running out of bounds and then fumbling is the definition of luck. It's not the greatest thing in the world to say about your (former?) teammates, especially if you want your job again in 2012, but it's not incendiary. But how do you feel about the way Tim acts off the field, Brady?

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"If you look at it as a whole, there's a lot of things that just don't seem very humble to me," Quinn said. "When I get that opportunity, I'll continue to lead not necessarily by trying to get in front of the camera and praying but by praying with my teammates, you know?"

Annnnnnd ... scene. At least on Quinn's career with the Broncos. Remember, they shipped Kyle Orton out of town because he was going to be a pain in the locker room. And they already know what they've got in Quinn (read: a guy who can't beat out Tebow for the backup job).

The Broncos said they want to bring in two more quarterbacks to generate some competition, but they're unlikely to bring in (or back) anyone who might truly try and undermine Tebowmania in Denver. If you're coming out to Mile High, you've got buy into the idea that you're going to get pelted with foam crosses should you win the starting gig.

But maybe Quinn's comments in the magazine aren't as bad as represented. Quinn released a statement on Twitter Tuesday afternoon refuting the nature of his comments in Silver's article.

"The comments attributed to me in a recent magazine article are in NO WAY reflective of my opinion of Tim and the Broncos," Quinn tweeted. "Tim deserves a lot of credit for our success and I'm happy for him and what he accomplished. Most importantly, he is a great teammate. That interview was conducted three months ago, and the resulting story was a completely inaccurate portrayal of my comments.

"I have addressed my disappointment with the writer and have reached out to Tim to clear this up. I apologize to anyone who feels I was trying to take anything away from our Team's or Tim's success this season."

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Posted on: January 30, 2012 1:53 pm
Edited on: January 30, 2012 1:55 pm
 

Elway: Broncos in the market for more QBs

This much we know: Tebow's got the starting gig heading into training camp. (Getty Images)

By Ryan Wilson

Back on January 17, three days after the Broncos' 2011 season ended with a playoff loss to the Patriots, executive vice president of football operations John Elway said that Tim Tebow "has earned the right to be the starting quarterback going into training camp next year." It's a curious comment in that Elway acknowledges Tebow's against-all-odds accomplishments in 2011 but with the clear understanding that should he struggle early, the Broncos are free to find a starter elsewhere.

Cornerback Champ Bailey, one of Tebow's biggest supporters during the season, even admitted that the former Heisman Trophy winner "still has a lot to prove."

“He’s proven he can win some tough games," Bailey said shortly after the Broncos lost in the playoffs. "Now it’s just being consistent. One thing about him, he’s going to work at it. And I’m behind him 100 percent.”

Whether Elway is that committed to Tebow beyond training camp is another matter. Either way, Denver has quarterback on the to-do list; Kyle Orton was released during the season and Brady Quinn will be a free agent in March.

"We will be in the market to find more quarterbacks," Elway said according to the Denver Post's Jeff Legwold. "That's our approach with Tim being our starter as we go to training camp, that we'll look at free agency and the draft."

We've written previously on the available free-agent quarterbacks who could piqued Denver's interest, but this is about more than sheer talent. There's also the little issue of public opinion; Tebow is insanely popular among Broncos fans and as Orton found out, working conditions can quickly deteriorate for those who get between Tebow and the starting job.

That reality aside, Elway is insistent that there will be competition at every job -- including quarterback -- leading up to the 2012 season.

"Anybody who comes in at any position is going to think they have a chance to compete," he said. "Any free agent or anybody that comes in here when we start training camp is going to be competing for jobs. Obviously with Tim's reputation, if the guy is afraid to come in and compete for that job, then maybe he's not the right guy."

Just ask Orton.

For now, Tebow's the guy although the depth chart appears to be written in pencil. If recent history has taught us anything, however, it's that we should never ever underestimate the Power of Tebow.

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Posted on: January 19, 2012 10:15 am
 

Champ Bailey: Tim Tebow 'still has lot to prove'

T. Tebow and C. Bailey (US Presswire).

By Josh Katzowitz

One reason the run of Tim Tebow this year was so surprising was because, even though Tebow obviously has major flaws with his mechanics, that didn’t seem to matter to his teammates. The Broncos seemed to elevate their play late in games, and even veterans like cornerback Champ Bailey looked to Tebow as a team leader. Like Tebow’s belief in God, his teammates simply had faith in Tebow.

But now that the season over (after a Broncos playoff victory, nonetheless), at least one of Tebow’s teammates said he needs to see improvement in his quarterback.

“I think Tim has a lot to prove still,” Bailey said Wednesday on Jim Rome Is Burning (H/T to PFT). “He’s proven he can win some tough games. Now it’s just being consistent. One thing about him, he’s going to work at it. And I’m behind him 100 percent.”

That’s the thing. His teammates are supposedly behind him 100 percent, but before the playoff games vs. the Steelers and Patriots, they also supposedly were OK with the report that Tebow wouldn’t necessarily have a long leash with the coaching staff if those games weren’t going well. When Brady Quinn is the backup, that doesn’t speak well of the confidence the coaching staff ultimately had in Tebow.

Even when John Elway says the following: "Tim has earned the right to be the starting quarterback going into training camp next year,” you still have to wonder if the Broncos front office and coach John Fox truly believe that.

One aspect of his game that Tebow must improve -- at least in Bailey’s eyes -- is his arm strength and accuracy. Plus, you know, his ability to stay in the pocket and be effective.

“I think at some point he’ll have to be if he wants to play a long time,” Bailey said. “That’s one area he’s going to have to improve to be elite in this league. But the things he does running the ball -- he can make some throws, it’s just being comfortable doing it. He’s got to get better at it, and when he does, the sky’s the limit for him.”

Even so, the Broncos almost have to bring in a veteran quarterback to compete with Tebow for the starting quarterback spot. But if you look at this list of potential free agent quarterbacks put together by CBSSports.com’s Ryan Wilson, Tebow might be the best bet after all. As long as his teammates continue to believe.

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Posted on: January 16, 2012 8:54 pm
 

Who would want to compete with Tim Tebow?

Who would even want to compete with Tebow? (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

On Monday, John Elway said at his season-ending press conference that Tim Tebow "earned the right" to go into the Broncos 2012 training camp as the starter. He also said that the Broncos will "obviously be in the market" for more quarterbacks.

But here's my question: Who wants to come to Denver and compete with Tebow?

That's not to say it's impossible to beat Tebow out for a starter's role, of course. It's not -- Kyle Orton did it in 2010. And Elway believes someone will be willing to compete against Tebow. Or at least that if there isn't anyone willing to do so, then he shouldn't be in Broncos camp.

"If he’s afraid to come in and compete for that job, maybe he’s not the right guy," Elway said Monday.

Here's the problem though: the deck is absolutely stacked against any of the available free agents that could come in and reasonably and/or rationally be considered a starter for Denver.

For starters, the would-be competitor has to be willing to consent to life as a backup. Even though they will be technically be involved in a competition, whoever signs in Denver is going head-to-head with a quarterback who just won a division title.

That quarterback happens to be a fan favorite, and therein lies the biggest problem: the fans.

Elway and John Fox can preach about ignoring what their constituents say all they want. The fact is that after relegating Tebow to third string, a 1-4 start and an enormous fan outcry (including the purchase of billboards instructing Fox how to do his job) prompted them bring in Tebow and give him run as a starter.

How'd that run work out for Orton? Not well -- he was routinely booed and generally reviled by Broncos fans. That he played poorly isn't even beside the point. It is the point, especially if you're the guy looking to compete with Tebow in 2012.

Win the job out of training camp because you play the quarterback position better than Tebow? Welcome to the shortest leash of your life, not to mention the most unfriendly homefield circumstances in NFL history. No one wants that, especially if it comes after the success.

And that's without pointing out how hard it'll be for Denver to even get someone decent into camp: the list of free-agent quarterbacks this offseason is abysmal at best.

Alex Smith, Matt Flynn, Jason Campbell and Orton are the headliners. Maybe someone beatdown and desperate like Chad Henne or Kyle Boller makes sense, but those guys have had their chance and they weren't as effective as Tebow, on teams with better weapons.

The Broncos aren't within range of grabbing an elite quarterback prospect; if they could trade up to grab Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III or even Ryan Tannenhill, it'd be a clear indication they're moving away from Tebow.

They're not doing that. No one thinks they are anyway.

Although the way that Elway and John Fox continually backpeddle, use vague language and strive not to support Tebow might lead some observers to believe they're actively rooting against him.

Whatever, if they want him to fail that's fine. Whether or not Tim Tebow succeeds has no bearing on the Broncos ability to land another viable quarterback for 2011. It's just not going to happen.

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Posted on: January 16, 2012 10:11 am
Edited on: January 17, 2012 5:09 am
 

Elway: Tebow 'earned the right' to start in 2012

Denver backs Tebow as its QB on Monday. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

It's no secret that people were curious what the Broncos -- or, more specifically, John Elway and John Fox -- plan to do with Tim Tebow going forward. We mentioned the Denver problem in Sorting the Sunday Pile and early word out of Denver is that Tebow will be the starter in 2012.

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Elway said so himself on Monday, and also added that he wants to work closely -- and personally -- with Tebow to improve during the offseason.

"Tim has earned the right to be the starting quarterback going into training camp next year," Elway said at his press conference Monday. "He made some good strides."

We mentioned this on the podcast: the Broncos are kind of stuck between a rock and a hard place with their quarterback situation. They might not love Tebow and his "pure passing skills" (or whatever), but he led them to a division title in 2011.

Plus, there are no real viable options for Denver to upgrade. Look at the list that CBSSports.com's Ryan Wilson put together, and tell us who exactly the Broncos are going to get to come to Denver who is a better option than Tebow. But because they currently only have two quarterbacks under contract, they will be shopping for another one in the offseason.

"Right now we've got two quarterbacks under contract," Elway said. "We have to obviously be in the market to find some more quarterbacks in free agency or the draft."

They certainly need to sign a veteran, but one of the best options out there (Brady Quinn -- no, really) was already Tebow's backup in 2011. And what veteran is going to want to come to Denver and have to compete with Tebow? Did you even see the Broncos fans last year? They're insane.

Drafting a quarterback isn't out of the question, but it's unlikely that there'll be anyone worth taking out there when Denver makes its first-round pick. It's just a terrible market to need a quarterback if you're sitting in Denver's spot.

So they did the smart thing and put all their support behind Tebow right now, minimizing the questions that will be asked over the next several months. Next up? Try to develop him as much as possible.

"There are things that I can add," Elway said. "Where I can help him ... I'm looking forward to it."

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