Former Florida Gators head coach Urban Meyer, now a college football analyst on ESPN, was asked on SportsCenter Thursday evening if he had any problem with NFL analyst Merril Hoge’s criticisms of his former player and now Denver Broncos second-year quarterback Tim Tebow. Meyer agreed that Hoge had every right to criticize him but did note that the analyst’s was relatively “harsh.” He also said that he believes part of the reason so much vitriol is thrown at Tebow is because of the immense success he has achieved and the non-stop coverage of him at every level of his career.
Tebow, who was interviewed by Denver Post columnist Woody Paige on Wednesday, expressed angst and uncertainty about his role on the team going forward this year. Below are excerpts from the one-on-one interview, which can be read in its entirety as a feature story in the Denver Post by clicking here.
On Orton not being traded: “My dream, since I was a young boy, of being a starting quarterback in the NFL seemed to be coming true. Then, I felt like it was grabbed back away.”
On if learning of the change affected him: “I didn’t have a good day on the field (last) Saturday, but I think in the other practices I’ve thrown well and improved each day.”
On blocking out the critics: “I’m trying to insulate myself from what people in the media are saying, but I’ve seen some of it, and it hurts because it’s coming from people who haven’t seen me practice, haven’t seen me play, haven’t seen what I can do. I did an interview the other day with someone on the NFL Network who said last year I’d never play a down in the NFL. He was wrong. Others who say I won’t make it are wrong. They don’t know what I’m capable of and what’s inside me. My family and my friends have been bothered by what’s gone on, and I tell them to pay no attention to it.
“I’m relying as always on my faith. I’ll always use the negativity as more motivation to work even harder and become even stronger. I’ll practice as good as I can, but I know that I play even better, with the qualities I have — leadership, my ability to make something happen in games, winning. And I know there are a lot of people who believe in me as a player and a person, and I don’t want to let them down.”