Nearly as compelling as the final minutes of Thursday night’s game between the Broncos and Jets was the post-game interview of Denver quarterback Tim Tebow with the NFL Network crew.
Tebow said all the right things, and he projected throughout the nearly 12-minute session the poise and demeanor of a winner. The full interview is available at NFL.com.
Mixed in with the expected Tebow worship were some tough questions from Marshall Faulk regarding the simple fact that, at times, Tebow isn’t an accurate passer.
“There’s times out there that it’s not pretty,” Faulk said. “I want to know what goes through your mind when you hear maybe the fans not satisfied. You look at that receiver, you know he was open, and you didn’t get the ball there. What goes through your mind, that keeps you going and keeps you fighting?”
“Well, one, we know in practice we gotta go get a little bit better. But in the game you can’t focus on it, you can’t worry about it. You gotta worry about the next play. And just find a way. Keep believing. Because it’s never gonna be good. You know, people aren’t always gonna like you. But you have to believe in the people around you and keep fighting, because you’re gonna get knocked down. But it’s not how many times you get knocked down, it’s how many times you get back up. And that’s something my parents always preached to me, and I believe.”
Faulk smartly shifted the focus from rhetoric and onto practicality. “What are you saying to your receiver when that ball isn’t there?” Faulk asked. “What are you saying?”
Said Tebow: “You know, ‘I’m gonna get it there. Next time I’m gonna get it there for you. And we’re gonna continue to get better. And let’s just go find a way on this next play.'”
Faulk later inquired about the changes to the offense aimed at suiting Tebow’s skills. But Tebow surprisingly insisted the offense hasn’t really changed.
“We still have our same offense that we ran all training camp,” Tebow said. “What we did was we implemented a few new things. A few new things to try to keep defenses off balance.”
Compare that to the recent remarks from Broncos coach John Fox. “We decided if Tim [Tebow] is going to be our guy, we can’t do that other crap. We had to tweak it. . . .
“Do whatever the hell it takes. I mean, what the hell? You don’t get points for style in this league. Let me tell you something: My man is really good in this offense. You know what I mean? If we were trying to run a regular offense, he’d be screwed.”
Overall, Tebow nevertheless handled himself very well, as he always does. And while it’s impossible to know whether the too-good-to-be-true Tebow routine is indeed the true Tebow, he tends to say and do all the right things, all the time. And that’s good enough for me.
Even if he’s falsely polite, he’s polite. Even if he’s falsely humble, he’s humble. Even if he wears his many charitable acts on his sleeve a bit too much, he nevertheless engages in many charitable acts.
So while I’m not yet a full-blown Tebowmaniac, Tebow is a guy whom I’d like my son to respect, admire, and emulate. And that’s probably the best compliment I can ever give Tebow, or really anyone.