Sports

Elway quotes on Tebow go from damning to supportive in this timeline

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October 12, 2011: "Tim adds a great spark for us, so we're looking forward to seeing what he can do."

After Tebow replaced Orton in a Week 5 loss to the San Diego Chargers and led an almost comeback, Tebow received the starting job and a 'Go get 'em, Tiger!' from his boss. Elway went on the NFL Network's NFL Total Access and talked about his new starter.

Elway surely had no idea the spark Tebow, and his sidekick, JC, would provide for the team. He also seemed to have no idea just how inaccurate a passer Tebow is. Elway said he expected Tebow's accuracy to improve. In his ten starts, Tebow has completed more than 50 percent of his passes twice. He also had a 2 for 8 day.

Full quote:

"I think one of the great things is Timmy's got that work ethic to get better, and I think that we've seen tremendous improvement this year compared to last year in his ability to throw the football and his accuracy. So we expect that just to continue to get better and better. And obviously when we have an offseason this next year, I'll get a chance to spend some more time with him."

November 22, 2011: "No."

As in, "John, do you have a better feeling now about whether your quarterback of the future is on the roster now?"

"No."

Elway went on his weekly radio show on 102.3 The Ticket the Monday after Tebow led a 95-yard game-winning drive against the New York Jets and told everyone that Tebow's 4-1 record as a starter had done nothing to convince Elway that Timmy is the long-term solution at quarterback.

At this point Tebow had led three fourth quarter comebacks and clearly shown himself as a miracle worker by winning an NFL game while completing only two passes. But Elway also apparently noticed that Tebow was 3 for 13 on third down conversions in the game against New York or that to that point he had completed 44 percent of his throws or that he had as many rushing attempts as passing attempts or that many of his throws looked like they were haphazardly shot out of a poorly designed cannon. Full quote:

"No."

November 29, 2011: "I was surprised in the fact that people took it to be a negative answer and it really wasn't a negative answer."

A week after telling everyone Tebow wasn't ready to fill his shoes, Elway went on the same weekly radio show and was all like, 'What's the big deal?'

Elway said he was surprised that a group of irrational fans (Tebowites), who stand out as particularly irrational in a nation of irrational football fans, would take his previous answer about Tebow as a negative. Because, you know, telling someone who believes he has moved closer to his dream job he's actually no closer to his dream job is positive. Elway backtracking:

"I was surprised in the fact that people took it to be a negative answer and it really wasn't a negative answer. That's where I was taken aback. It wasn't meant to be a strike at Timmy at all.

"It was just a reality check of where we were at the time, and it wasn't a negative because I tried to follow it up with all the positive things we were doing and tried to point out some things we needed to get better at."

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Kyle Garratt
Contact: Kyle Garratt