Elway: Broncos are no closer to finding quarterback


Tebowmania has taken over the greater Denver area, just not the Broncos front office.

Broncos executive vice president of football operations John Elway continues to be lukewarm about Tim Tebow’s future as the starting quarterback of the Broncos.

Gary Miller asked Elway the following question on his weekly radio show on 102.3 FM, via the Denver Post.

“Any closer to feeling if you have your quarterback on this team?”

Elway flatly answered “no.”

“I think obviously [Tebow is] making progress week in and week out. When you look at our third down numbers, those have to improve. I mean, that’s the bottom line,” Elway said. “We can’t go 3-for-13 [on third downs] and win a world championship. Those are the type of things we have to keep improving.”

Sure, this is tough love. But it’s not the type of tough love we’d see if Elway had drafted his own quarterback in the first round that fits Elway’s image of what a franchise quarterback should be.

Elway did praise Tebow’s ability to work late game magic, saying he wasn’t surprised Tebow could make plays in tough situations.

Still, it’s clear that Tebow has a lot of work to do to convince his bosses that he should be the team’s starter next year. Tebowmaniacs point to the media for unfair criticism of their hero.

But it’s clear that some of the biggest doubts regarding Tebow’s long-term viability reside at Broncos headquarters.

100 responses to “Elway: Broncos are no closer to finding quarterback

  1. As long as they when, who really cares what they do on 3rd down? I’m a fan of a 3-7 team. I’d take the Broncos record and QB any day.

  2. The fact that Tebwo is receiving that type of criticism is because he deserves it and Elway doubts he’ll progress enough beyond that.
    If Elway believed he would then yes, his opinion would be different. Great article….

  3. There’s no questioning that Tebow has some magic and can find ways to win.

    But anyone who truly thinks he’s a legit QB is delusional. NFL defenses will adjust quicker than Tebow will. He may have his luck for a while, but eventually it will run out.

    A lot of teams were caught off guard when the Wildcat made it’s appearance, but a few seasons later, it rarely has any success in the NFL. Same deal here with Tebow and his gimmicky offense.

  4. I’m not a Tebowmaniac or a Broncos fan, but I would agree that most of the media seem ready to pounce on him for his failures. I would rather have a QB that has been a factor in winning games than Cam Newton who has stats and is losing. Not that Cam won’t be a winner or Tebow could keep the magic afloat, but the guy is winning and don’t we “play to win the game?”

  5. Anybody else think Elway looked less than enthusiastic on camera after Tebow ran in the go ahead TD

  6. Smart Broncos fans should be happy that Elway doesn’t buy into the hype and heroics.

    It may be too late for John Fox, though.

  7. Well you know what they say…faith is believing in what you can’t see….clearly the Broncos don’t see a viable QB….but who can deny that maybe, just maybe there’s reason to have faith that deep underneath that inaccurate arm, is the QB of the future…Faith

  8. good

    so please trade him,

    bc a lot of us like tebow but dont like the broncos, and were tired of Merril Hodge and people who never won SB rings talking so greasey about him for the wrong reasons,

    trade him so he can succeed elsewhere bc no one wants to root for denver and john fox,

    i can assure you

  9. You don’t win many games with a 1950’s era offense. You just don’t.

    The Cult of Tebow can continue to experience their Rapture, but it’s the truth.

    Denver needs a QB of the future.

  10. He should not be in the position he’s in. I think he’s not qualified to make these judgements.

  11. This comes as no suprise and should be good news for Bronco fans. What it means is that the people in charge see what everyone that doesn’t view the world through blue and orange colored glasses see, a guy that simply cannot throw a football.

  12. I have a scenario I wish to present:

    Lets say for a moment that Tebow continues playing the way he was with only modest improvement. However in the process he also keeps winning games late in the 4th quarter.

    Now suddenly the Broncos win the AFC West but go out in the first round of the playoffs.

    If a situation like that occured, how the hell could Elway justify to Denver fans who have been so terrible for so long, and yet have had plently of monster stats from their QB’s (See Cutler/ Orton) getting rid of Tebow?

  13. Shame on Elway, for giving a realistic, accurate portrayal of his team’s current QB situation. Doesn’t he know the whole wide world is swept away with a Tebowmania-induced euphoria?

    Come on everybody, chant it with me, with fist-pumps, on three: 1, 2, 3 ….

    Tee-bow, Tee-bow, Tee-bow, Tee-bow!

  14. Tebow has a some good games, but trust me teams will study his strengths, and take those away. I say the option play will work a handful of times a game, but teams will shut it down and make tebow beat them by throwing the ball, which we really has yet to show he can decently

  15. Elway is the boss and he can say whatever he wishes. Notice that he focused on criticism of the results and not the players themselves. Shows that he is only concerned with the bottom line (wins and losses) and not caught up in whomever the personnel ends up being.

  16. What happens to Renowned when he faces a QB that can throw? Rodgers, Brady, Brees, Rivers, Cutler, a healthy Schaub…They are gonna throw a few TD’s every game. What then, you can’t keep running down the clock, eeking out field goals. You will be down, and you will have to pass, and that’s where this whole Tebow-mania gets stupid for me. Ill take Tebow over any non throwing qb, or any team that has a weak passing game. AKA The Cheifs, and Mark Sanchez. Denver will get destroyed by most good teams until they have a qb who can throw. end of story.

  17. Elway is a smart man,he knows tebow is not the future for them and that he will never be the type of Qb that he wants,well all NFL teams want.Based on what we have saw of tebow so far,if the draft were to start tomorrow there is not one team that would draft tebow in the 1,2,3,4,5,6 round draft…not that he is not a good football player,just not a NFL qb.I listen to terry bradshaw on the nfl show sunday ,rave on why he thinks tb can be a nfl qb,now those were the same things he said about cam and why he could not be a nfl qb…

  18. Sure, this is tough love. But it’s not the type of tough love we’d see if Elway had drafted his own quarterback in the first round that fits his image of what a franchise quarterback should be.

    The image that John Elway see’s when thinking about what a Franchise QB should look like…..

    Jim Kelly

  19. of course…what executive of any business would base his future on someone with the limited talents of Tebow?….the fact that people support Tebow and think he can actually be good speaks to the sad state of our population and how they can see something “red” and claim that it is “blue”. Our population is getting dumber by the week!

  20. Wow. He’s putting all the blame on Tebow for the Broncos’ 3rd down conversion rate. As if good play calling, pass blocking and route running have nothing to do with it.

    Good thing Tebow has a lot of faith in himself because it is hard to excel when coaches and management have so little faith in you.

  21. Elway is over-rated. If not for TD (the real reason he has 2 rings), no one would think he was better than Marino.

    I also think he’s in over his head in the front office.Bowlen hired him for purely sentimental reasons, to play off fan’s emotions, after Shanahan was fired.

    Urban Meyer would do a better job than Elway, he would commit to a spread offense, and try to draft RGIII to boot.

    (Last time I checked, Tebow had success against SEC defenses. While none of them would be ranked first in the NFL, I don’t think they’d be ranked last either. I think you could have success in the NFL with the spread. )

  22. Tebow picked this team up off the crap heap and pumped life in them and the coach calls him out and now the ‘Prez of Football’ still won’t get behind him. Classless bunch.

  23. I have to agree with Elway and the Broncos front office. Tebow is a novelty act. The Broncos can’t keep winning the way they have been lately. He’s God awful for 55 minutes, then puts on a great drive at the end to win it. It’s worked so far. Few teams have a quarterback as bad as Mark Sanchez. Tebow’s days as a starting NFL quarterback are numbered.

  24. Well, at least he’s honest. I still think Tebow should have a spot, as a Rb, WR,? Too much talent to not be utilized, if he can’t improve as a passer. I still like Tebow, he is a football player that gives you all he’s got & thats all u can ask from him!

  25. As a Raiders fan I hate all things broncos, but I have to admit it’s hard not to root for Tebow. With that said I don’t know how long they can sustain that zone read offense. The dolphins a few years back reached the playoffs running the wildcat with Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams but couldn’t sustain it, really.

    If Tebow gets hurt and you’re sold on tailoring the offense to his unique skill set, you’ll be left with players who will not have the same ability as Tebow, and then you’ll have to start over. Not a good situation.

  26. Broncos fans can be mad All they want but Elway is right. If this type of offense worked against good Nfl teams everyone would be doing it

  27. considering that Tebow is playing with a 3rd string running back and generic wide receivers that scare no one, I think the kid is doing a great job. Tebow has made the entire Denver team better, offensively and defensively. Elway and Management need to build around Tebow and see what the kid could do with real talent behind him. If Denver cuts ties with Tebow and drafts a quarterback in the draft, they will be fools. Tebow’s numbers his first 8 games bury Elway’s first 8 games. I hope that Elway is not dumb enough to hit the reset button on the franchise again.

  28. Elway needs to remember this is a business, and not a personality contest. Tebow has put Denver on the map throughout the USA, and is generating money nationwide for the team like no other individual since Elway himself. Oh, and Tebow is winning games. Unfortunately just because Elway was a quarterback, it does not make him an “expert” in the business side. Elway is making himself look like a egotistical idiot for not at least pretending he is behind his team members. He has a lot to learn in business…

  29. I don’t think having your organization say that you’re a week to week starter is a good way to ensure long term success, especially with a guy who’s trying to do it in an unconventional manner. If you don’t like the guy, ship him off somewhere that he can sit or be supported in developing the skills he doesn’t have right now. I hope Tebow develops into a Superbowl winning quarterback on another team.

  30. Tebow’s throwing motion reminds me of a third-baseman winding up from deep in the hole and firing across the field.

    It’s just a shame the NFL won’t let the Broncos receivers wear first-baseman gloves to dig those throws out of the dirt.

    It’s just not right.

  31. He’s just mad because ESPN keeps comparing the stats from Tebow’s first 8 games against Elway’s first 8 games. That’s embarrasing, John.

  32. Elway and the whole organizaton, including the team, should go out and get smashed. Play some pool and talk about the good old days. Then go back to the orange crush for good. That is all.

  33. Its funny how the biggest choke artist in the history of the league (remember how Denver had to cheat the salary cap and use illegal players to finally win despite Elway) doesn’t think the best clutch player in the league can win.

  34. Very interesting seeing Elway half heartedly clapping at the end of that game winning Tebow drive. Elway obviously knows that each time Tebow pulls out some victory, it just makes his replacement strategy that much harder.

  35. I doubt most “tebow” fans ever watched football til he started playing….

    There is just no way any functional brain watching football fan can justify tebow as an NFL qb…

    and the whole jesus thing, every lockerroom in the NFL are filled with good guys with christian believes, yet you never see any of them get as much Hype as this tebow clown.

  36. I guess Elway just isn’t getting the Tebowner that alot of you folks are. I don’t see it either. He’s Brett Favre without the talent.(okay, obviously not morally).

  37. Of course the biggest doubts are at Donkey headquarters…they run the team and are intelligent enough to know that Heblow isn’t a real quarterback.

    Only the stupid delusional Donkey fans haven’t figured that one out yet.

  38. Here’s my question about this, can Denver win a superbowl WITHOUT an elite QB? It’s been a few years, but the Ravens won it with Dilfer & the Bucs with Johnson. Those teams had killer defenses, granted.

    That could be the template to follow if you’ve got Tebow. Have John Fox build up the defense to something truly formidable, and let Tebow grow into a game-manager who can occasionally pull a game out of his butt with last minute heroics.

    I just wonder if Elway is focusing too much on his own QB experience to see that Tebow + an elite defense might be the way to go to a superbowl.

    And having said all that, I’m with Jake… shut up about religion, Timmy!

  39. Elway knows that style of offense isn’t going to work long-term. He also will realize it can be used as a change of pace at times. His mechanics are near irreparable, so his strategy may just be to let the season play out and see if another QB with a similar skill set but more accuracy will opt for the draft; Robert Griffith III, for example.

    Or he just may stick with Tebow for the fan base sake. How ironic, if this guy ends up being a winner…..the frustrating thing is Andrew Luck is PERFECT for the style of offense Fox wants to run.

  40. Hater in the house

    Tim’s not any closer to winning a Super Bowl then John was before he had Terrel Davis, Shannon Sharp, Rod Smith and a Legit Defense.

  41. You have to love Elway’s honesty.

    I heard Mark Schlereth say that, in training camp and even in practice, Tebow’s completion percentage in drills with only a QB and WR or TE is about 50 percent or less. The man just can’t make the throws, even in drills.

    I love watching him nevertheless because of his heart, his athleticism, his determination, and the mediocrity that is the lower tier of teams in the NFL.

    Tebow won’t be on the Broncos roster for 2012 and won’t be on any NFL roster for the 2014 season.

    But, hey, it’s fun while it lasts.

  42. They are winning mostly on their play on defense. They are winning despite poor play by Tebow. They aren’t going to beat a great play with their offense as it stands on most sundays.

  43. Love or hate Tebow, Elway is right. You’re going to have a hell of a hard time getting to the superbowl (let alone winning it) when you can’t convert on third down.

  44. Brady. Quinn.

    Will tear it up next time he gets an opportunity to play.

    Who’s going to be the smart team that signs him as an FA next season?

  45. Lots of Raiders fans jumping at the bit to take a shot at the Broncos QB. I don’t have an interest in either team, but I would rather Tebow than the king’s ransom of draft picks you have invested into that Palmer/Campbell/Pryor mess.

  46. You can’t go 3/13 or worse on 3rd down and win a Super Bowl. Unless…

    You are Troy Aikman (Super Bowl XXX) 2/10
    Brett Favre (Super Bowl XXXI) 3/15
    Trent Dilfer (Super Bowl XXXV) 3/16
    Tom Brady (Super Bowl XXXVI) 2/11


  47. Oh come on Elway. Tebow is now 8 games in, and let’s just revisit your stats in your first 8 starts…. Yep, tebow is still better than you in every category. (yes, even completion %)
    So Mr. Elway, until we reach a point where your stats out produce tebows, I don’t think you have a lot of merit saying he isn’t the qb of the future. What if they had tossed your hall of fame ass that early because your numbers were even more pathetic than Tebows?????

  48. Good. Elway is smart enough to not get wrapped into the media fabrication that is that Tebow is the long term answer.

    There is NO WAY Tebow’s play and the Broncos philosophy as a whole is sustainable. Zero.

  49. It was pretty apparent when Tebow walked into the end zone against the Jets the camera showed John Elway begrudgingly celebrating the win. That was hilarious.

  50. Seriously Tebow fans? You say it’s not Tebow’s fault but the lack of talent around him? Look – I like the kid too but let’s get real here.

    Have you seen all of those wobbly lame duck off-target passes he throws? Doesn’t matter if Megatron is your WR, they can’t do anything if the ball doesn’t reach them. And don’t blame the o-line, it’s not their fault that he has poor throwing mechanics.

    Yes, he can throw a good pass every now and then. But so can Jamarcus Russell.

    When NFL defenses inevitably adapt to his play style then he is toast – UNLESS he can develop into a real QB. Elway knows this and is smart to not buy into the hype.

  51. renaissanceman87 says: Nov 21, 2011 3:38 PM

    Elway is absolutely right. You can give Tebow credit for helping them get victories, but you also have the right to tell him he needs to seriously improve.


    I agree. Even better if you don’t tell him to improve in front of and while performing for….The Media. If he was sincere his criticisms would be a Tebow and a Team matter. Saying it in public calls into question his motivations. It also puts John Fox in a no win situation.

  52. The expression on Elway’s face is immediately after he saw the stats of his first eight games as a starter when compared to Tebow’s first eight.
    NFL network posted those a couple days back. Tebow led in all but completion percentage. More wins, more passing yardage, more touchdowns, more rushing yards.
    Oh, Elway’s rookie picture with his golden locks and broad smile was better than Tebow’s all serious Lord of the Rings look. . .

  53. another thing about elway’s first 8 games… 16 or 32…

    denver was a good team that needed a qb. for the first couple of years that team carried elway.

    the broncos tebow has to deal with are bad. the defense isnt good. but the extra rest they are getting with the tebow offense is helping them out. and they werent winning with a decent, established “normal” qb.

  54. Tebowmaniacs need to point to third down conversion stats and completion percentage and explain to me how this guy is going to be a long term success.

    The Jets shut down the option last week in part because they know we can’t throw it. They brought in their base 3-4 look with a lot of substitution packages and shut the Broncos down most of the game.

    Just being a nice guy who goes to church with him Mom every Sunday isn’t enough. Tebow needs to mature as a QB, and big time. Maybe it will happen, and maybe it won’t.

    But the Broncos are drafting a QB next year, and whoever he is, Tim Tebow will have to outplay him.

    As a QB, not as a FB who can kind of throw, but not really.

  55. So, Elway is honest and people have issue with that? Seriously? This kid, a good kid, can win, but does have issues throwing. Elway said as much. He’s progressing. That’s what is happening. He’s progressing. Allow him to progress.

    Tired of all the “you must be a hater” if you tell the truth about Tebow. Stop being so defensive Tebowmaniacs.

  56. I think Denver has their quarterback of the future. Tebow is going to take the Bronco’s all the way to the Superbowl next year and for many years to come!!
    Jesus Saves……but not the Broncos

  57. Its spelled “win” and considering your ability to spell I’m not surprised you’re a fan of losers

    bigvinnyinjax says: Nov 21, 2011 3:32 PM

    As long as they when, who really cares what they do on 3rd down? I’m a fan of a 3-7 team. I’d take the Broncos record and QB any day.

  58. Did u see the pregame, Elways just mad cause they compared his stats at the same point to Tebows and Tebow’s were better in almost every catagory – passing percentage ( i was shocked) even w/ that throwing motion, more Tds, less Int, better QB rating, more rushing yards and of course more wins. Elway only had more passing yards. most young QBs suck.

  59. I remember Elway’s rookie season, the Raiders threw him around like a rag doll and then watched him cry like a little girl.

    Everybody is a rookie in their first year, John, not just you.

  60. Elway had better hope that Tebow fails this season – it’s pretty obvious that Elway does NOT want Tebow in Denver. If Elway gets rid of him anyway, not only will the organization have lost the fan base, but the team as well.

    This team PLAYS for Tebow unlike anything they did for Orton. If you trade Tebow away, John, you might as well trade all the players.

  61. would john elway be viewed in the same light if terrell davis hadnt carried the broncos to 2 world championships. seems to me if you give tebow some real playmakers around him, his quality of play would also improve. Aaron rodgers has weapons, Brady has weapons, brees has weapons, name me one guy on the broncos offensive team that would start for other top teams. Tim has to improve but so does the entire roster, which is elway’s job. he should focus on those positions as well.

  62. John Elway is SO transparent….he doesn’t want Tebow to be successful (obvious from the sour-puss face he made in when Tebow had that 95 yard game winning drive). Is it because: Elway’s upset the Bronco’s won’t suck enough for Luck? Because Elway does not want to be wrong in his evaluation of Tebow? Because Elway is jealous? Because he’s stubborn? Who knows, but that look on Elway’s face said it all.
    Tebow is giving his all for the Bronco’s (and it shows in the “Win” column), the least the organization could do in return is support him. I’m sure one of the other 31 teams would love to have a player like Tim Tebow and be willing to take a chance on developing him as a QB.

  63. “considering that Tebow is playing with a 3rd string running back and generic wide receivers that scare no one, I think the kid is doing a great job.”………Geez

    Again….cover your eyes and wish……….LOL…it doesn’t matter how good or bad you think the talent around him is….when you have ANYONE running simple patterns and you cannot get the ball there because you cannot throw………you AREN’T AN NFL QB……….wake up and watch the game

  64. This is a stupid article. Of course Elways answer is correct. It’s the only answer he could give. Tebow has not yet proven he is the QB of the future, neither has Cam Newton. Sure, Cams looking good, but if he stops progressing and never gets better than be us right now, he’s gone in another year or two. Tebow needs to get better. There is no question. I have not seen anyone say Tebow is the QB of the future. I’ve only heard people say given him the opportunity to prove whether he is or not. I think even Tebowmaniacs agree with that.

    BTW, Luck is not the QB of the future either. There will be at least 3 QBs in this draft who have better NFL careers than Luck.

  65. The two “Johns”(Elway and Fox) are the creators of the “Orton is our best chance of winning” slogan. Now, are we supposed to have any confidence that they know what they’re doing?
    Tebow deserves better coaching and organizational support. Carolina supports Cam Newton, and how many games has he won ?
    Elway and Fox still believe the world is flat.

  66. 1983
    Elway, 10 games started, 4-6 record, 123/259 completions/passes, 47.5%, 1663 yards, 7 TD, 14 INT, 54.9 rating. 28 rushes, 146 yards rushing, 1 TD.

    Tebow, 8 games started, 5-3 record, 97/207 completions/passes, 46.9%, 1363 yards, 12 TD, 4 INT, 79.8 rating. 99 rushes, 615 yards rushing, 9 TD.

  67. First off I don’t think John Elway believes for one minute that Tim Tebow is going to usurp his place in pro football history or in the hearts and minds of Denver fans.

    Second, if Tebow does take this team to the playoffs and improves his passing game along the way, it makes Elway’s job to rebuild this team even more of a challenge. The highest that Denver would be able to draft without trading up would be the 21st spot. Each win by the Broncos puts them farther away from a real shot at the “next John Elway”. Right now there are at least 7 teams in addition to Indy that have need of a franchise QB. Will any of them be willing to give up their shot at taking one of the so called elite QB’s in the draft? I don’t see the Colts getting screwed by Elway for a second time by giving up Andrew Luck or the rights to draft him. Remember, even though Elway doesn’t need the job he has right now, he does like to succeed at whatever he does. Giving away an entire year of draft picks or whatever the Colts would demand would not be a wise move for someone trying to make his mark as a player personnel guy who wants to build through the draft.

    Third, Elway has repeatedly said that Tim Tebow is a good football player. If he finishes out the year taking Denver to a playoff spot or an 8-8 record and starts to improve his abilities in the pro style offense, then one would think that Tebow would be the starter until proven otherwise. Orton showed that he is not the guy. Quinn never showed what he needed to in starting the last pre-season game. If Tebow falters down the stretch, how willing will he be to let the coaches create a position for him? A hybrid of QB/WR/TE perhaps. A defensive coordinator having to game plan for a Bronco team with a guy that could pull up at any minute and throw if the play is there has to be a concern. I have never heard Elway talk bad about Tebow on a personal level. Yes, he needs to work on his passing and 3rd down conversion rate. No great newsflash on that one.

    Fourth, in the final 3 games of last season, Tebow looked pretty good for a rookie. The lack of an offseason really hurt him. And I am sorry to disagree but the informal workouts that some players did are not the same as ones where a QB coach is there. Overall I think Tebow brings some degree of leadership to a team that has been adrift ever since their last playoff appearance. You can’t help but like him and root for him.

    John Elway has acknowledged that this is a 3 year plan. Let us see what he drafts this upcoming year and the following before we pass judgement on him and let the people who are paid the big money make the decisions.

  68. @tebowelway – again, more delusion………when Tebow takes 2 mediocre teams to the SB that have no reason being there, than 2 more to SB victories, than maybe a comparison can be made………and Elway proved he could throw the football early on….gee, why don’t you say Tebow’s better because he never lined up under guard???? LOL

  69. Did Elway get hazed for being a ‘rookie’ GM?

    He looks like a member of Flock of Seagulls in that photo.

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