In his first non-game game played in Denver, Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow had a memorable night, both for good and bad reasons.
After throwing an interception that was returned to the goal line via a route-jumping fueled by that looping windup, Tebow led the team on a five-play, 76-yard touchdown drive, which included a 24-yard pass to Matt Willis and a three-yard touchdown toss to Eric Decker. (Lance Ball churned up the other 49 yards on three carries, including a 43-yard run.)
“I feel pretty good,” Tebow said after the game. “You know, just up and down out there — some good things, some bad things and a lot of things I’ve got to go work on and get a lot better at.”
Coach Josh McDaniels offered the same assessment: Up and down.
“Up and down, you know,” McDaniels said. “We talked about third down — he had two opportunities on third down to make good throws or good decisions and one ended up in an interception and the other one ended up in an incompletion to Eddie [Royal]. We’ve just got to make more of those opportunities on third down. Quarterbacks in this league — if you want to stay out on the field and continue to drive the ball, you’ve got to make good throws and good decisions, good reads on third down and those two plays kind of stood out. I thought he battled though, ran the huddle well and made some good throws. [Tebow] moved the ball and then made a good check down there in the red area on the touchdown throw to Decker. Some good, some bad — plenty to coach off of.”
Tebow said he learned a day or two before the game that he’d be playing despite a rib injury suffered two weeks earlier, which caused him to miss the team’s second preseason game. The surprise came from his insertion into the lineup before Brady Quinn, who entered in the fourth quarter. In fact, McDaniels said that Quinn possibly wasn’t going to play at all.
“[I]t was going to go in that order because Brady [Quinn] got all of [the repetitions] last week,” McDaniels said. “We weren’t even sure we were going to play Brady in this one, depending on how much time Tim [Tebow] had. And, with Kyle [Orton] not coming back out after halftime, we just felt like we had enough time to go ahead and get both of them in there and it worked out that way.”
Though McDaniels didn’t say it, it appears that Tebow has leapfrogged Quinn as No. 2 on the depth chart. And Quinn seems to know it.
“The situation is, obviously you can only
worry about things you can control,” Quinn said, per the Denver Post. “I just have to try to
get better each day.” (Some would describe that as a futile three-year effort.)
The Broncos finish the preseason on Thursday night against the Vikings. And Tebow is ready to get right back on the horse.
“It’s fun,” Tebow said. “It’s exciting. That’s what we like — go out there and get a chance to play again; so it will be fun.”
He may want to take a closer look at what the second-string Minnesota defensive line did to fellow rookie Sam Bradford before describing the prospect of playing against them as “fun.”