ENGLEWOOD, Colo. – It’s been a noteworthy week for Tim Tebow, but few of the notable events have taken place on the practice field.
From offering a four-word Twitter response to ESPN analyst Merril Hoge’s criticism to being quoted in a Denver Post column claiming that his “dream” of being an NFL starting quarterback was “grabbed back away,” Tebow hasn’t shied away from responding to the growing buzz over remaining with the second team during the Broncos’ first eight days of training camp.
When Tebow was asked whether he was told the starting job was his prior to camp, his answer was direct:
“Absolutely not, and they (the Broncos’ coaches and senior staff) never would have said anything to me like that, at all,” he said. “The whole time it was, ‘Come in and compete,’ and that’s what you want and that’s what I love doing.”
Tebow didn’t deny making the sentiments he expressed to the Post, but maintained they were taken out of context. As they were presented in the story, they could have been interpreted as conveying a sense of entitlement — the last sentiment one would want floating around the locker room.
“Sometimes when you’re doing interviews it doesn’t come out exactly (right), and I don’t feel like it’s exactly how it came out,” he said. “I don’t feel like anything was taken from me and I don’t want anything given. I want to work for anything I get, that’s for sure. And I’ve always been like that.
“It was not how it was meant,” he added. “One hundred percent I said my dream was that I wanted to be a quarterback since I was six years old. I’m out here working as hard as I possibly can and doing my best and I think … it was a little bit out of context.”
Tebow, to his credit, answered questions for several minutes after his usual post-practice work. This followed a session that was arguably his best of training camp.
During the seven-on-seven period, he went 4-of-5 with a touchdown and an interception. In the red-zone periods later in practice, he flung touchdown passes to Mark Dell and David Anderson. On the Dell touchdown, he rolled left and threw a pass across his body that went 40 yards in the air; on the Anderson play, he fired a modified jump pass that was more like a half-hop, much to the delight of many fans in attendance.
But Tebow also found himself splitting the second-team repetitions with Brady Quinn during the practice. Until the last two days, Tebow had taken all of the second-team repetitions.
“Well, we’re evaluating,” Broncos coach John Fox said. “You’ve got to remember, this is our eighth day as a staff, so we’re getting to know the players; the players are getting to understand us,
“Brady deserves an opportunity and we’re going to see what we have.”
For the most part since coach Fox came here and (John) Elway took the (executive vice president) job its been, ‘Compete and you go out there and practice and you earn your job,’” Tebow said. “That’s how it was all along and that’s how I took it.
“That’s what I was looking forward to and that’s the way its been the whole time.”
And how he hopes it can be in the future — assuming that the booming national chatter can be reduced to a dull roar.