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.”