John Elway: Tim Tebow disappointed but understood Broncos adding Peyton Manning

As one friend told me, signing Peyton Manning was the perfect “get out of Tebow free” card for the Broncos. Between Elway refusing to name Tim Tebow the team’s franchise quarterback for most of the season, and John Fox saying Tebow would be screwed in a normal offense, it was pretty clear Denver had reservations about Timmy. Signing Manning allowed them to get out of the situation because they now plan to trade him.

Many people have been wondering what Tim Tebow thinks about being bumped out by the Broncos. Elway answered that as well as possible during the team’s press conference introducing Peyton Manning Tuesday.

“Obviously he was disappointed, I’m sure he was disappointed,” Elway said. “He didn’t come out and say he was disappointed. I think it was a typical Tim Tebow response in that he was very positive and he said ‘Well, we’re talking about Peyton Manning … and I understand exactly what you’re doing.’ The response was exactly what we know of Tim, and that is being very very positive.”

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John Elway: ‘Tim Tebow is going to be the guy for a long, long time’

If you thought John Elway was too forward with his endorsement of Tim Tebow after the season ended, listen to him now. Tebow sparked a magical run for the Broncos last season, but most people equate it to clutch performing and little luck. You can’t always assume games will be that close in the fourth quarter, so it is reasonable to worry about Tebow’s inability to pass effectively and his mechanical issues. Elway either isn’t concerned about it or he’s doing a great job of pretending.

“He added a great spark for us, and we really had some good things happen to us. I was really happy with his progress,” the Broncos’ vice president of football operations said at the scouting combine Friday. “Tim’s gonna be the guy for a long, long time.”

After the Broncos were demolished by the Patriots in the second round of the playoffs, Elway assured everyone that Tebow would be the starting quarterback heading into training camp but refused to say the job would be his on opening day. If being told you will be the guy for a “long, long time” doesn’t mean the opening day starting job is yours, I don’t know what does.

Tebow is certainly young enough that he has time to develop, but even his teammates have acknowledged that he has a lot of work to do if he wants to become an effective NFL quarterback. Last month, Brian Billick ripped Elway for endorsing Tebow and said Tim needs to work on his conditioning and cut back on the muscle. Clearly, none of that talk has phased Elway. If Tebow comes out and completes 40 total passes through the first five weeks of the season and the Broncos aren’t winning, expect Elway’s tune to change in a hurry.

Brian Billick Criticizes John Elway for Endorsing Tim Tebow, Says Tebow Should Cut Back on Lifting Weights

As many of you know, John Elway recently gave Tim Tebow his official stamp of approval.  Although the season ended with an embarrassing 45-10 loss in Foxboro, Tebow went 7-4 during the regular season as a starter this year and led the Broncos to a playoff win over Pittsburgh.  Did Elway really have a choice?  Current analyst and former NFL head coach Brian Billick believes he did.

“To me, that was a little weak to say, ‘He is going to be the starter when we go to training camp,’. I think we’re gonna have a whole bunch of liar’s poker between now and the draft and free agency and beyond,” Billick said Monday night on NFL Total Access, noting that he believes the Broncos will acquire a quarterback who could challenge Tebow for the starting role.

The problem with Billick’s theory is that the fans would go completely berserk.  Tebowmania has captured the hearts of fans in Denver and everyone else across America.  The Broncos’ players want Tebow under center.  Not only did he do a tremendous job of winning games for the Broncos this season, but he is a marketing machine. Elway needs Tebow to start for the Broncos as much for business as he does team confidence.

Billick wasn’t done there.  Like everyone else, he also criticized Tebow’s mechanics and physical makeup, saying a lot of changes need to be made over the offseason.

“I think the No. 1 thing Tim Tebow has to do, I don’t think he can lift the way he’s lifted before,” Billick explained. “There’s three people that can’t lift the way Tim Tebow does: pro quarterbacks, pro tennis players and golfers. He has got to cut back on that rigid, thick (frame). I know it keeps him alive as a running quarterback, but it does not bode well for his passing, the fluidity that he has to have. So that’s, to me, job one in the offseason, he’s got to change his (conditioning) mindset.”

I think it’s safe to add Billick to the list of those who believe that Tebow’s accomplishments this season were a complete fluke.

Tim Tebow Had Much More Success Than John Elway in First 10 Starts

John Elway is one of the best quarterbacks of all time. He’s a Hall of Famer who won two Super Bowls and an MVP. Tim Tebow is a second-year quarterback who hasn’t even played 16 games. His throwing motion is shaky, and he runs the ball a good amount of the time. The funny thing is his numbers blow away Elway’s through their first 10 respective starts.

There really isn’t a whole lot to deduce here, and this isn’t an argument that Tebow is better than Elway. There are so many things you could say that affect the conversation.

Elway’s first 10 starts came in his rookie year; most of Tebow’s first 10 starts have come in his second year. It’s also widely recognized that Elway played his best football later in his career. Still, it’s just funny how ugly Tebow’s style is perceived to be, yet how nice his stats are (overall). If he can continue to improve as a passer, and that’s a big if, he should continue to have success.

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John Elway Praises Tim Tebow: He’s a Winner

Former Broncos legend and current team executive John Elway praised his team Saturday in a series of tweets.

Proud of how our team has continued to battle and believe. Showing a great will to win!!” Elway tweeted from his phone.

Tim’s doing a great job leading our offense, coming through when we need him the most. He’s a winner who gets better every day.

Defense playing at a high level – disruptive and forcing turnovers! Spec. Teams winning field position. Proud of all 3 phases!”

Denver has won four of its last five (all with Tim Tebow at quarterback) and is now 5-5 on the year. While most people (including us) will focus on the Tebow praise, it’s important to note that Elway also recognized the defense, which many people feel has carried the team during Tebow’s successful stretch.

What makes the praise notable is that Elway reportedly was not a fan of Tebow before the season began. Both he and coach John Fox supported Kyle Orton as the team’s starting quarterback and were reluctant to put in Tebow. Some conspiracy theorists (read: me) believed Elway was holding Tebow back because he was worried about the Florida legend breaking all his franchise passing records. But much like it changed John Fox’s opinion, Tim’s winning has turned Elway into a fan. For now.

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.

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John Elway Planning to Interview ‘Mark Mularkey’ for Broncos Head Coach

Some big news was announced over the weekend in Denver, but because of the holidays it didn’t receive a ton of national attention. Three days later, the sports world got its first glimpse of John Elway: Broncos exec. Elway, who won two Super Bowls with the Broncos, met the media Wednesday for the first time in his new role as VP of Football Operations.

One of Elway’s first responsibilities will be hiring a new head coach. Number seven recited the names of coaches on their list to interview, but gave fans reasons for concern. Though he was highly inspirational and persuasive in his news conference, he kept getting the name of one of the coaching candidates wrong. Elway kept calling Mike Mularkey, the former Bills head coach and current offensive coordinator for the Atlanta Falcons, “Mark Mularkey.”

Either John was brain cramping in the moment, has a mental block with Mularkey’s name, or is so unfamiliar with the man he didn’t know his name. Let’s give Elway the benefit of the doubt and hope the screwup was due to reason one or two. Here’s how it sounded:

Here are two problems that I have. One, he wants to bring in coaches for interviews just to get their opinion of the team. That’s like the tutor asking the student to teach him the subject. Two, he hasn’t exactly picked out people he thinks will make good head coaches, but rather the guys the rest of the pro football world has ordained as the top candidates. Not exactly an expression of ingenuity from Elway. Let’s hope for the sake of Broncos fans he can turn things around. Thanks to Pro Football Talk for pointing out the Mike/Mark thing.