Now that former Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow has apparently received his initiation into the Denver Broncos organization and is steadily gaining the trust, acceptance and respect of his veteran teammates, attention turns to what he will – and will not – be permitted to do on the field in 2010.
ESPN‘s Chris Mortensen visited Broncos training camp recently and had the opportunity to speak with Tebow and some of his teammates about his NFL progression:
Tackling the issue of the “Tebow factor,” ESPN’s Bill Williamson discussed Wednesday how he is being folded into Denver’s offense this season:
The question is how his work in camp will affect the team on the field. The former Florida star quarterback has operated in short-yardage situations and he will likely be used in the Wildcat formation and in the red zone. That likely means Denver will keep quarterbacks Kyle Orton, Brady Quinn and Tebow on the 45-man roster on game days. In June, [head coach Josh] McDaniels said he was leaning away from that.
But it is clear that Tebow is being groomed to be active as a rookie. Unless Tebow completely leapfrogs Quinn in training camp and in the preseason, Denver could be using three quarterbacks on game days, which will take away from another position.
Another option for the Broncos, which Williamson failed to mention, is that McDaniels could simply assign Tebow the No. 2 quarterback role and make Quinn the emergency signal caller on game days. Should Orton be injured during the game and McDaniels choose to replace him with his true No. 2 in Quinn, Tebow simply would not be able to re-enter the game. The Miami Dolphins used a similar tactic last season with Chad Henne as the starter, Pat White as the game day No. 2 and Tyler Thigpen as the emergency quarterback.