Elway quotes on Tebow go from damning to supportive in this timeline
Everyone has an opinion about Tim Tebow. For example, Buffalo Bills defenders likely find him to be an exceedingly generous sharer of the football. Some believe he is football Jesus and a decreasing portion of the population view him as a personal affront to professional quarterbacking. Broncos Executive VP John Elway seems to be as conflicted as the rest of us. His public remarks about the Chosen One range from damning to begrudgingly acknowledging to exceedingly supportive. Here's a somewhat thorough timeline of his thoughts:
He loves me, he loves me not.
January 5, 2011: "So, I don't believe that anyone is going to come over and say, 'I don't want Tim Tebow.'"
In Elway's introductory press conference as a team executive he took the 'If I say a whole bunch of stuff no one will remember one line,' strategy when asked about Tebow. The above quote is about the potential incoming coach and is part of a long, rambling collection or run-on sentences and sentence fragments. Enjoy the 'He's a great guy, but probably a terrible quarterback' undertones and the irony that the Broncos ended up hiring John Fox, who didn't really want any part of Tebow for the first half of the season.
"We had personnel meetings this morning with everybody -- with the whole staff -- and got through that and obviously we talked a lot about Tim. I have asked everybody if they had a chance to do the deal over that the Broncos did last year to get Tim (whether they would do it again) and they all said, 'Yes.' I think that he has been everything that everybody expected him to be as far as a person, a man, a leader, and what everybody heard about him -- his intangibles ... I don't think a coach is going to (not want to coach Tebow), to be dead honest with you. Everyone is aware of what Tim Tebow is about and so I think that there is still a question -- obviously you have guys way over here that say there is no way, you have guys over here that think (otherwise) -- there are really not a lot of guys in the middle, but I think that anybody that comes in here and is going to be around Tim Tebow is going to understand that this guy is something special as a man and a person, willing to work with him to give him that opportunity to be the player that he wants. So, I don't believe that anyone is going to come over and say, 'I don't want Tim Tebow.' If they do, then maybe they are not the right guy for the job."
January 8, 2011: "I don't think Tim Tebow is a good NFL quarterback at this time."
Three days after wishing and washing on Tebow, Elway cut to the point when talking to Sports Illustrated's Peter King. The comment made the rounds on the Internets and presumably after hundreds of Tebow supporters tweeted Elway Bible verses they claim make reference to Tebow starting at QB, Elway took to his Twitter account to backtrack.
"To clarify my thoughts on Tim Tebow," Elway said. "I think he's a very good football player, and if anyone can turn themselves into a great QB, Tim can. Myself and our entire organization think very highly of him. We are pleased with his first year as a Bronco. Any speculation that the Denver Broncos are considering moving Tim is completely false."
August 9, 2011: "...you have to win games from the pocket in this league."
After the small shit-storm Elway started by pointing out Tebow doesn't throw a football well, he took the winter off from saying interesting things. Something about a lockout. As the season approached and Kyle Orton appeared to be clearly superior to Tebow in training camp, Elway talked to ESPN's Rick Reilly for a column that's hilarious to read in retrospect.
In the column, entitled 'Tim Tebow not ready for prime time,' Elway talks to Reilly about harnessing Tebow's improvising and teaching him how to play in the pocket. It's another ironic quote because after three starts Tebow was given more freedom to work the run-pass option and, uh, improvise.
"One of the unique things about Tim is that he has that unique ability to make something happen when the play breaks down. That gives him a great advantage there ... but you have to win games from the pocket in this league. You can't rely on your improvising. That's one thing I learned. I was always going to make those plays outside the pocket, but that can't be your bread and butter."