John Elway has had plenty to say since taking over as executive vice president of the Denver Broncos in the offseason. One player who he has been asked about – and commented on – more than any other is second-year quarterback Tim Tebow. After giving mixed signals about Tebow’s future for months, Elway on Wednesday gave ESPN’s Ed Werder what appears to be a thumbs up regarding Tebow’s long-term potential.
“Let’s put it this way, I’m his biggest fan,” Elway said. “He’s one of those guys who – if he comes out and is the player we hope he can be – then we’re in pretty darn good shape. He’s a great ambassador for us as a team. He realizes, and I’ve told him: the bottom line is, ‘You can do all those things and make all those plays that a lot of guys can’t do, and that’s something you have that they don’t – but you have to realize for us to be champions, you have to be able to win it from the pocket and make all those throws from the pocket.”
A new coaching staff appeared to put Tebow’s future with Denver somewhat in jeopardy. Head coach John Fox called veteran Kyle Orton his team’s starting quarterback if the season had already started, and Elway maintained for months that it was possible the Broncos could pick another quarterback in the 2011 NFL Draft.
However, he told Werder that Tebow is indeed his guy going forward, although there is a chance Denver could take a signal caller in the later rounds of the draft.
“There’s holes in every young guy coming out,” he said. “There’s not an Andrew Luck, a [Matthew] Stafford, a [Sam] Bradford [in 2011]. Those guys are all very good quarterbacks in my mind, but there are holes in every one of them – as there were in Tebow. I think where we are as an organization, we’re going to go with Tim.”
After conversing with the executive, Werder surmised that though “there will be competition for the starting job, Elway seemed to hint that Tebow is Denver’s likely starter this year – unless the lockout eliminates virtually all of the of the preseason in which case veteran Kyle Orton’s experience might provide him an advantage.”
Combining Elway’s new-found belief in Tebow with the player’s work ethic and attitude going into the season could result in a powerful mixture that the Broncos’ opponents may have to look out for in 2011 and beyond.
Photo Credit: Doug Pensinger/Getty Images