Denver Broncos release official statements from John Elway and John Fox on Tim Tebow

Minutes after the Denver Broncos completed a trade with the New York Jets for quarterback Tim Tebow, the organization released a pair of lengthy statements from two of the team’s top decision makers regarding the former Florida Gators signal caller.

The following statements come courtesy of The Denver Post.

Executive vice president of football operations John Elway:

“Tim Tebow deserves an enormous amount of credit for what he accomplished and how he carried himself during his time with the Broncos. From taking over a 1-4 team and leading it to the playoffs to energizing our fans and this community, Tim left an extraordinary mark on this organization. His time in Denver will always hold a special place in Broncos history.

“As a former player, I know the last two weeks were not easy for Tim. He was put in a difficult situation, and I commend him for how he handled it with the same first-class manner he displayed throughout his career in Denver.

“Our goal was to do the best thing for Tim and the Broncos, and I believe the opportunity that presented itself with the New York Jets accomplishes that objective. Tim made a lot of strides last year and has a very promising career ahead of him. If anyone is willing to put the work in to be great, it’s Tim Tebow.

“I have a great deal of respect for Tim and the positive impact he makes both on the field and in the community. He has a bright future in this league, and I’m hopeful he will enjoy continued success with the Jets.”

Head coach John Fox:

“Tim Tebow brought an incredible spirit and spark to our team that helped us turn the season around. Along the way, he earned the trust of his teammates and coaches while inspiring our fans. His competitiveness, clutch performances and will to win played an instrumental role in our team earning a division title and advancing in the playoffs.

“Tim works as hard as any player I’ve ever coached, and that work ethic will continue to serve him well with the Jets. He goes out to practice early, stays late and comes in on his day off. Tim does everything in his power to get better. He’s not afraid to work, and we saw the results of his commitment last season.

“For good reason, Tim has always had a great following. He handled that aspect exceptionally during the amazing run we had. The poise and focus Tim displayed were remarkable and speak volumes for the strength of his character.

“A player and person like Tim don’t come around very often. He is real and he walks the walk. I’m looking forward to watching him continue his career with the Jets, and I wish him the very best.”

OGGOA RELATED: New York Jets get over stumbling block, acquire Tim Tebow for fourth- and sixth-round picks

Tags: , , , , ,

Tebow’s future a hot topic at Manning’s presser

At a 3 p.m. press conference staged by the Denver Broncos to introduce Peyton Manning as the team’s new starting quarterback, former Florida Gators signal caller Tim Tebow remained a subject of high interest and much discussion.

After being introduced by owner Pat Bowlen and executive vice president of football operations John Elway, Manning spoke about his decision and then answered a number of direct questions including two in particular about Tebow.

Manning first said that he did not have any conversations with the front office about the entirety of the quarterback position even though he knows “there are decisions to be made.” Then he added on his own:

Let me just say this: I know what kind of player Tim Tebow is and what kind of person he is. I’ve gotten to meet him personally one time. What an awesome year he had this year. If Tim Tebow is here next year, I’m going to be the best teammate I can be to him, and he and I are going to help this team win games. If other opportunities present themselves for him, I’m going to wish him the best. He’s going to be a great player wherever he is. Those are decisions that have to be made by other people. Those are not my decisions and those conversations never did come up with me. This is the place where I wanted to come and play football and to help this team win in whatever role or capacity that is.”

He also noted that he did not specifically have anything to say to Tebow’s fans that may prefer him instead and will obviously still support him going forward.

“I don’t know what to say to them. I think they’re fans of his for a great reason,” he said. “He’s a great player and a great guy. I think they can still be fans of his. I’m a fan of his, too. He’s a great player, great guy, great respect for what he accomplished last year. That was pretty impressive.”

Elway then took the podium and answered a number of specific questions regarding Tebow and his future (or lack thereof) with the franchise.

“We’re going through that process now,” Elway said in regards to Tebow’s future. “We’re going to look at that obviously. Coach [John] Fox and I called Tim [Monday] night and talked to him about it.

“This is a tough business. The toughest thing about this whole thing is Tim Tebow because of what I think about Tim Tebow. The things he did last year were tremendous. [He] helped turn this organization around from a 4-12 team to a playoff team and winning the division. And I’ve got a great deal of respect for him as a person and the things that he does.

“But that is no question the toughest thing about this business – the personal side. We just had to make a decision as an organization – myself, Coach Fox, the personnel department, the coaches. What would be the best opportunity for the Denver Broncos to be competitive for a world championship? And Peyton Manning was that so that’s why we chose to go that direction.”

Continue Reading » Tebow’s future a hot topic at Manning’s presser

Tags: , , , ,

The Silver Lining: Broncos hoping to rid Denver of both Tim Tebow and Tebowmania

March 19 will forever be known as Victory Monday in the Denver Broncos’ front office as executive vice president of football operations John Elway and head coach John Fox got one step closer to reaching their offseason goal – ridding Mile High of quarterback Tim Tebow and perhaps more importantly “Tebowmania.”

Despite comments to the contrary in the offseason, it is a badly kept secret that Elway and Fox do not believe Tebow could become a viable long-term starting quarterback in the NFL. As if Elway’s stone-faced expressions every time Tebow threw or ran for a game-winning touchdown during the 2011 season were not proof enough.

But with a fan base in love with their star signal caller and the team finding unexpected levels of success behind the former Heisman Trophy winner, Denver only had one move to make if they wanted to get Tebow out of dodge.

The Broncos had to sign the one man, the one quarterback that would make Denver fans cast Tebow aside and unite behind an organizational decision to get rid of the guy who led their team to their first playoff victory since 2005-06.

That man is Peyton Manning and Elway did everything he could to get him to supplant Tebow including offering him what is expected to be a five-year contract worth approximately $95 million if all incentives are reached.

(No one can or should blame Elway for making a play for Manning – any good front office executive would have. At this point in his career, Manning is the far better quarterback and can bring the team to a higher level of success sooner than Tebow could.)

Even if Elway did not secure Manning this offseason, the plan was already in place to spend a high draft pick on a quarterback. Reports out of Colorado had Oklahoma State’s Brandon Weeden extremely high on Elway’s radar.

It was not just that Elway and Fox do not believe in Tebow and his future in the league. The Broncos as an organization have already bled every dollar they could out of the Tebowmania phenomenon.

Continue Reading » The Silver Lining: Broncos hoping to rid Denver of both Tim Tebow and Tebowmania

Tags: , , , , ,

Manning chooses Denver, Tebow on the way out?

The chase for Peyton Manning lasted two weeks and in the end it was the Denver Broncos that wound up at the front of the line as Manning decided Monday to finish his career in Mile High. With a new quarterback headed to town, the question in league circles now becomes: What becomes of former Florida Gators signal caller Tim Tebow’s future with the team?

Released by the Indianapolis Colts on March 7, Manning met with representatives from five teams over the ensuing week. Arizona, Miami, San Francisco and Tennessee all had an opportunity to land the Super Bowl XLI MVP and 11-time Pro Bowler but in the end it was the Broncos that won the sweepstakes.

Now the focus of the national media and football fans everywhere turns to Tebow and where he will play football in 2012 and beyond.

Denver picked Kyle Orton to start the first five games of the 2011 season and began with a paltry 1-4 record. Tebow was installed as the Broncos’ starter against Miami and rallied the team to win seven of their next eight games including three in overtime and six in which Denver was either tied or losing at some point in the fourth quarter.

He also helped the Broncos advance to the playoffs for the first time since 2005 where he fueled a 29-23 overtime victory of Pittsburgh in the wild card round. Tebow threw for 316 yards with two touchdowns, ran for 50 yards and another score, and posted a quarterback rating of 125.6 in the contest. He also completed a game-winning 80-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Demaryius Thomas just seconds into overtime to send the Mile High faithful into a frenzy.

With the offseason in full swing, Denver executive vice president of football operations John Elway and head coach John Fox both spoke kindly of Tebow though neither showed a high level of enthusiasm in his future.

“Hopefully, he can be the franchise guy for a long time, but those are things we don’t know at this time,” Elway said on Feb. 24. “He made tremendous strides last year, and that’s without an offseason. He’s our starter going into training camp, and we have great expectations for him.”

The Broncos were always planning to bring two more quarterbacks in to compete with Tebow even has he held the starting job, but signing Manning obviously changes that dynamic. Tebow will no longer be the “starter going into training camp” and now may not even be with the team next season.

Since the Manning derby began, multiple reports have stated that Elway and Fox intended to trade or release Tebow should they land their horse. Others noted that Elway saw bringing in Manning as the only way to escape “Tebowmania” and give the team an opportunity to move on from a player they invested from a previous regime and were obviously not comfortable with from jump street.

In addition to his presence with the club, Manning expected to sign a three- or four-year deal and finish his career in Denver. Tebow, finding success after being thrust into the starting role to conclude each of the last two seasons, undoubtedly believes he is capable of being a starting NFL signal caller.

Though he probably would have been content to sit and learn the ropes from a player of Manning’s caliber in the short-term, Tebow’s contract (set to expire after the 2014 season) makes that situation unlikely. He will not want to languish on the bench behind Manning only to see his contract run out and the Broncos fail to re-sign him to be the heir-apparent to his replacement.

And Denver’s front office, which never fully bought into Tebow’s ability to be a starting NFL quarterback despite his success on the field in 2011, will likely prefer to draft someone better suited to their philosophy and allow him to develop behind Manning.

All eyes now remain in Colorado but shift from Manning to Tebow and his agent Jimmy Sexton. Unless there is a miracle in Mile High or at least a change of heart by Broncos management including a peace offering to Tebow, the former Heisman Trophy winner will likely be looking for a new place to call home sooner than later.

Photo Credit: Associated Press

Tags: , , , , , ,

FOUR BITS: Muschamp, Dillman, Donovan, Tebow

1 » Florida Gators head coach Will Muschamp is set to make 10 appearances at local Gator Clubs (nine in the state of Florida and one in Atlanta, GA) as part of the team’s six-week 2012 Gator Gathering schedule. The events are open to the general public; however, tickets are sold for each speaking engagement with proceeds benefiting the individual Gator Clubs and the university. You can check out the entire schedule here.

2 » The Gators opened up the Griffin-Oakley Strength & Conditioning Complex to the media on Thursday making new director of strength and conditioning Jeff Dillman as well as a few Florida players available for interviews and to talk about how training is going heading into the 2012 season. UF released a video recap of the event, which you can view below, through their GatorVision.tv service.

ESPN explained his philosophy further:

Dillman described Olympic-style lifting as weighted plyometrics — essentially exercises with fast, powerful movements while lifting weights. It’s designed to provide a total-body workout and a cardiovascular workout in a short period of time. It includes numerous variations based on three main lifts: the power clean, the snatch and the split jerk.

Because Olympic weightlifting movements are done quickly with heavier weight, and require significant coordination and muscle control, they can help athletes with such quick movements as sprinting, jumping or firing off the line of scrimmage. They also develop a strong core, better conditioning, and better balance.

3 » Head basketball coach Billy Donovan told the school’s website on Wednesday that sophomore forward Will Yeguete was “pretty crushed” when learning about his broken foot and how he will miss the remainder of the season. Donovan also said that the Gators have an opportunity to prove how good of a team they are and that “everybody has a chance to step up” and fill in for Yeguete. “I think with a great belief and a great commitment and an incredible focus, with guys wanting to step up, a lot of those special things can happen in the midst of people not thinking they can happen,” he said. “Now, I’m not saying they’re going to happen. I’m saying we need to try to make them happen.”

4 » At the 2012 NFL Combine on Thursday, Denver Broncos head coach John Fox said that he was not worried that the comments about starting quarterback Tim Tebow from backup Brady Quinn would be an issue heading into the season. “Knowing their relationship, knowing both Brady and Tim very well myself, you know, sometimes things get lost in translation,” he said, according to NFL.com. “I know their relationship is very close, they have a lot of respect for each other. They’re very good teammates to each other, so, that’s kind of what I know.” Fox made it sound like he wanted Quinn to return to the team in 2012, but the player is not under contract with the club and is a free agent this offseason.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

NFL teams learning “Tebow time” is plenty real

Neither the statistics nor the production nor the results can be denied at this point. The fact of the matter is that something special happens to Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow when the fourth quarter rolls around.

2011 StatisticsQuarters 1-34th Quarter / OT
Comp./Att. (%)43/111 (38.7%)53/87 (60.9%)
Passing Yards514770
P-TD / INT5 / 16 / 1
Att. / Rush Yards53 / 30141 / 216
Rushing TD12

Not only is Tebow more productive near the end of games, he is more efficient and makes the most out of every opportunity he touches the ball because he realizes there are limited chances remaining to pull out a victory.

That is one reason why five of Tebow’s seven wins in 2011 have come via late fourth-quarter comebacks (three were completed in overtime).

However, there are other factors at play here. Tebow’s numbers are also higher later in games because head coach John Fox and offensive coordinator Mike McCoy are giving him the opportunity to be more productive through the air by going away from their run-first game plan and calling more passes.

Tebow has thrown the ball 80 times in the fourth quarter this year compared to just 111 through the first three. In other words, more passing plays are being called for Tebow in the final 15 minutes than in any other 30-minute stretch of a game.

One reason for this is that he is keeping drives alive longer by playing better (completing more passes), which partially indicates why his rushing attempts follow a similar pattern. However, Tebow’s coaches are also lining up more passing plays because Denver is often playing from behind and needs to catch up, which makes one curious as to what would happen if they were nearly as aggressive throughout the entire contest.

The abundance of passing plays being called late in games is allowing Tebow to find a groove that he is seemingly unable to establish earlier partially due to the concentrated run effort. He usually starts by completing some short passes and dump offs (taking advantage of the prevent defense) before spreading teams out and throwing down the field for long completions and the occasional bomb.

Denver takes on New England next week, a team that features the worst passing defense in the league (310.0 yards per game) and the 10th-best rushing defense (102.1 yards per game). Considering QB Tom Brady has led his team to 30+ points in each of the last five games (and in 10 of 13 contests this year), Tebow’s best chance at succeeding on Sunday may be to throw early and often.

Should Fox agree and Tebow deliver another performance like he did against Minnesota in Week 13, “Tebow time” could start earlier and last longer than the final 15 minutes.

Photo Credit: Doug Pensinger

Tags: , , , ,

FOUR BITS: Finley, Marotti, Tebow, Brewer

1 » Former Florida Gators linebacker Dee Finley confirmed to OGGOA Thursday night that he has chosen to transfer and finish his collegiate football career with the Division II North Alabama Lions. Finley, who decided to leave Florida on Oct. 12, will return to his home state and attend a school just four hours north of his hometown. Gators cornerback Janoris Jenkins transferred to play for the Lions after being dismissed before the season by head coach Will Muschamp and has done very well during his time at North Alabama this year.

2 » Two former Florida players have told OGGOA over the last couple of days that Gators strength and conditioning coach Mickey Marotti is indeed headed to Columbus, OH to team up once again with head coach Urban Meyer at his new post with the Ohio State Buckeyes. Despite reports that Meyer was also after linebackers/special teams coach D.J. Durkin, OGGOA has learned that Durkin plans to stay put and remain with Florida for 2012. However, as the Columbus Dispatch noted on Thursday, Meyer is also interested in bringing over UF wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator Aubrey Hill. Hill joined the Gators staff under Muschamp after Meyer left.

3 » Former Florida teammates quarterback Tim Tebow and wide receiver Percy Harvin will do battle this weekend when their respective teams – the Denver Broncos and Minnesota Vikings – do battle this week on the NFL gridiron. Harvin, who obviously has plenty of experience playing with Tebow, has been helping Minnesota game plan this week for the Heisman Trophy winner. The Vikings are using backup QB Joe Webb as a Tebow clone in practice in an effort to stop the Tebow train and (5-1 as a starter this year) and lead Minnesota to just its third victory of the season. The Vikings, however, have the ninth-ranked run defense in the league, so Tebow and broncos head coach John Fox may have to use his arm to succeed this week.

4 » After bouncing around between a number of teams of last season, former Gators forward Corey Brewer hopes to have found a more permanent home with the NBA champion Dallas Mavericks. While head coach Rick Carlisle told Brewer that he is pleased with his effort, rebounding and ability to attack the basket, he pointed out that Brewer must improve his jump shot going forward. “We were shooting a lot trying to get my jump shot to be consistent,” Brewer said in mid-November, according to ESPNDallas.com. “All the other things I do well, but I need to be a consistent jump-shooter, especially in our offense. The way we pass the ball you get a lot of open shots.” Brewer may not have done much to help Dallas win last season, but he hopes to be an integral part of the team winning its second title in 2011-12. “I always felt like this was a good move for my future. We have a lot of guys that are aging and I feel like I’d get a chance to come here and help,” he added. “I was happy to be on the team last year and I helped as much as I could, but I knew I wasn’t going to get much time. But now, it’s a new year.”

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

FOUR BITS: Lochte, Miller, Tebow, Cooper

1 » Former Florida Gators student-athlete Ryan Lochte, a six-time Olympic medalist who is arguably the best male swimmer in the United States, received Kelly Anderson’s nomination for Sports Illustrated’s Sportsman of the Year award, which will be announced by the publication on Dec. 6. “Lochte may soon leave a mark on the sport that’s far more permanent than fading footprints on the pool deck,” Anderson wrote about her nomination. Lochte is the second former Florida athlete to receive a nomination for Sportsman of the Year. Former Gators striker Abby Wambach, the leader of the U.S. in the 2011 Women’s World Cup was touted by SI’s Chris Mahr on Nov. 1.

2 » Former Florida forward Udonis Haslem, one of two ex-Gators on the Miami Heat last season, told reporters Thursday that teammate guard Mike Miller had hernia surgery a few days ago and will miss at least two months of action. “I know Mike. He’s a strong guy, he’s going to stay positive and he’s going to get back as soon as he can,” Haslem said, according to the Associated Press. “The key with Mike is, we’ve got to fight him not to get back too fast. He’s going to want to be out there. He’s going to want to play. He’s got to just pace himself and get healthy.” Miller, who was supposed to be a key part of Miami’s team but only saw action in 41 regular season games last season due to a number of injuries, may have sealed his fate with the Heat. He could be a victim of the NBA’s new amnesty clause, which allows each team to waive one player and not have his contract count against their salary cap.

3 » One night before the Denver Broncos captured their fourth consecutive win, quarterback Tim Tebow addressed the team at the request of head coach John Fox. The Denver Post reports that Tebow’s speech included a quote from the Bible: “Iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” This hit home with his teammates, notably rookie linebacker Von Miller, one of the team’s best players this season. “He said iron sharpens iron and men sharpen other men. And I think that’s totally true,” he said. “He gave us a great speech. We came out fired up. And that was a wrap.” Tebow told the paper that he was honored to be asked by Fox to speak to the team. “It was a powerful speech. It was motivating. You had guys cheering by the end of the speech,” tight end Dante Rosario told NFL Network.

4 » Wide receiver Riley Cooper is set to make his third-straight start for the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday in place of injured starter Jeremy Maclin and has performed quite admirably during his first two appearances., catching eight balls for 146 yards and a touchdown. He spoke to NFL Network a few days ago about how comfortable he has become in the offense catching passes from QB Vince Young. “Being the fourth guy, I was with Vince a lot, especially during training camp because I ran with the twos,” he said. “We have a lot of chemistry. We were in the huddle a lot together. He’s one of my really good friends, and I love the fact that he keeps throwing the ball up to me and allowing me to make plays.” You can watch the rest of Cooper’s “Around the League” interview by clicking here.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

 Page 1 of 4  1  2  3  4 »