Denver Broncos veteran cornerback Champ Bailey may not have the responsibility of choosing his team’s starting quarterback, but he knows plenty about signal callers after facing them in the NFL for 11 years and bringing in 46 interceptions while defending 107 passes. As a Broncos team leader and future Hall of Famer who has faced some of the best passers in the game, Bailey’s glowing impressions and early evaluations of former Florida Gators QB Tim Tebow hold a lot of water.
“See that?” Bailey asked while watching Tebow get in extra practice on his own a few fields away. “That’s Tebow. It’s long after practice and he’s still out there. That’s what he does. That’s not for show. He’s not just doing that because the media is here today. He does that every day.”
Bailey told ESPN that Tebow’s work ethic is unmatched and that, while his reputation precedes himself, he is already impressing teammates.
“We’re all interested in it,” Bailey said. “He has the team behind him. We heard so much about Tebow before he got here and he’s a big story. But everything he has shown shows that he can succeed. The guy just works at his job so much. [...] I’m impressed. I like what I see so far.”
Tebow, who said upon being drafted by Denver that his first goal was to win over his teammates, was happy to hear what Bailey said about him afterward.
“That’s what I want ,” Tebow says. “It means so much that my teammates believe in me and know that I’m working hard. That’s why I’m here. […] It’s 24 hours football. I love it. This is how I’m going to spend my summer.”
He may be third on the depth chart at this point, but it is widely believed that Tebow will see the field plenty in 2010 – potentially as a third-down specialist or in a role similar to that which he played on Florida’s 2006 National Championship team.
Photo Credit: Ed Andrieski/Associated Press