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Clearing Up the John Elway ‘Not a Tim Tebow Fan’ Misinformation

There was a misleading story that came out over the weekend and it wound up taking a life of its own. Because of the way information spreads so quickly, many people have ended up hearing the last few words in a game of telephone and got the message completely mixed up. Thankfully LBS is here to set everyone straight.

On Saturday, SI/NBC NFL reporter Peter King wrote on twitter: “Elway tells me “at this time” he doesn’t think Tebow’s a good NFL quarterback. I said on NBC that if McD gets job in spot that needs QB …” On NBC, King did a segment saying that if Josh McDaniels gets hired as an offensive coordinator somewhere, he’ll likely try to convince that organization to trade for Tim Tebow (as long as that team doesn’t already have a quarterback). Given that McDaniels traded up to select Tebow in the 2010 NFL draft, the report made plenty of sense.

Now here’s where things got out of hand. Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio, who generally does a dynamite job, read King’s tweet and turned it into the headline “Elway’s not a Tebow fan.” Florio got the story completely wrong and his assertive headline captivated people’s attention, but it was incorrect.

Think about it: just because John Elway told Peter King he did not think Tim Tebow’s a good quarterback right now does not mean he’s not a fan. In fact, the opposite is true; if you saw any of Elway’s introductory press conference on Wednesday (which I saw the whole thing putting together this story), you would know he was praiseworthy of Tebow and a big believer.

In fact, Elway said that the next Broncos coach will have to believe in Tim Tebow as a quarterback otherwise he won’t get the job. Elway said Tebow is a very good football player, but that they need to make him a very good quarterback, which he’s not right now. That was a completely honest assessment of Tebow’s current status in the NFL, and if you isolated that quote alone, you think he’s not a fan. But if you examined the entire press conference and context, you realize that he is.

The problem is Florio took one small tiny comment and turned it into a charged headline that grabbed people’s attention and warped the real story. I’ve made the same mistake before, so it’s not like I’m above the error. The problem is Pro Football Talk wields incredible amounts of power, so much so that the Florio report went buzzing around twitter and other sports blogs, to the point that Elway had to take to his own twitter account to defend his point of view.

So now that we’ve cleared things up, let’s establish the facts of the case:
- John Elway has made it clear he’s a Tim Tebow fan
- Elway thinks Tebow has a lot of work to do to become a good NFL quarterback but believes he will get there
- Josh McDaniels is a huge Tim Tebow fan
- Josh McDaniels would likely want to acquire Tim Tebow if he gets a new offensive coordinator job
- John Elway would likely listen if McDaniels’ new organization inquired about Tebow

Got it? Good.



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