Tebow Verbally Blindsided
Two days after a 45-10 thrashing in the divisional round of the NFL playoffs by the New England Patriots, the Denver Broncos held their end-of-season press conference. Our analysis of comments made during the conference by John Elway, Denver’s president of football operations, indicates that despite Elway’s apparent endorsement of Tim Tebow, it’s unclear that Tebow will be the Broncos’ starting quarterback next year.
Most of the questions at the press conference were fielded by Elway and by head coach John Fox. It was no surprise that one of the first questions related to whether or not Tebow will be the starting quarterback going into next season. Demonstrating his mastery of the art of how to spin (an answer, not a football), Elway appeared eager to field the question.
“I think Tim has earned the right to be the starting quarterback going into training camp next year,” Elway said. “I think that he made some good strides this year. He obviously played very well against Pittsburgh and played very well in a lot of football games and so he made great strides and he earned the right to be the starter going into training camp next year.”
While that response might appear to Tebow supporters to be an indication that Elway has finally seen the light and is jumping on the Tebow wagon, it actually failed to answer the question. Going into training camp as the starter is a far cry from taking the helm on opening day. Elway’s failure to specifically address opening day, coupled with several convincing statements and anchor-point movements, strongly suggests to us that at minimum, Elway lacks confidence at this point that Tebow will be the starting quarterback on opening day.
It is also likely that Elway’s response was very carefully crafted to convince Tebow fans that the front office and coaching staff are solidly behind Tebow. Our assessment of Elway’s behavior, however, indicates they are not. Any doubts about that conclusion were eliminated later in the press conference when Elway admitted that Denver would look to both the draft and free agency to identify and sign additional quarterbacks.
Look for the Tebow controversy to continue through the off-season and right into training camp.