I figured a good follow up post that was mostly an irate rant I wrote the night before Kyle Orton mayhem. I ended up delaying that post until this morning. In the meantime, I set out to figure out why John Elway might be getting hammered so much by the fans.
One thing I felt has always been important to Elway was his image to the fans. I'm not talking about ego-driven image either. I think he genuinely cares about what kind of person he is in the public's eye. I assume it comes from being the most scrutinized human being in Colorado since the moment he moves here in 1983, at least until Tim Tebow came to town. Now he has the unpleasant job of implementing a vision for the Denver Broncos, not simply being a legendary iconic player. The two are obviously at odds.
Elway appears to be talking out of both sides of his mouth regarding Tebow, but why? It's obviously hurting his image, so why would Elway being less concerned about his image to the fans now? I think its because he is building his reputation as a top guy within the Denver Broncos organization. John Elway is a rookie VP in the NFL and he has yet to earn the respect of his peers. His priority should be focusing on representing the Broncos organization with class and stability and so far it appears to be that way. It just seems like there is a purpose behind Elway's actions, but I just can't seem to pinpoint what that purpose is.
Of course this is all speculation on my part as is every conclusion in this post, but still, my mind is wandering and I am taking you all with me through the rabbit hole.
First off, I do not believe John Elway is against Tim Tebow now. Not only because Tebow has so much fan support, but because Elway has to know how special the kid is from a competitive standpoint. The real question is, why the secrecy and misdirection towards the media? Here is what I've seen that goes contrary to the carefully managed response to media interviews.
From the outside, we get "I'm all business" John Elway. I first caught a glimpse of these when Tebow scored that winning touchdown on Thursday. Watch this highlight reel and look at Elway's facial expression at the very beginning and then notice he looks at something away from the field (a monitor of his ugly mug perhaps?) and he closes up and goes expressionless.
Then on The John Elway Show, he is asked what was going through his mind after that touchdown. It's as if Elway wasn't sure what the answer was, as if he wanted to see how well he playacted that whole sequence of events. Of course Vic and Gary told him he was thinking about the time on the clock and Elway stammered like it wasn't what he was doing, but went with it anyway.
The public John Elway is purposely misleading and always holding his cards close to his vest. I am beyond curious to know what he really thinks. The main reason for this is that once you see John Elway from the inside, you get quotes about Tim Tebow like this one:
As Elway all but sprinted through the winning locker room, his chest bursting through his suit jacket, he said, "Just give him a chance to win the game." Asked what it was like to watch Tebow perform an endgame act he himself had mastered, Elway said, "It was great. Awesome."
That is the real Elway, with his fellow insiders, unconcerned about his image to the public. Elway is candid as well, so any critiquing of Tim Tebow shouldn't be seen as a vote of no confidence by the fans, but rather an honest assessment of where the young quarterback is.
From where I sit, there are really only two options for Elway. The first is to go all in with Tebow from the very beginning and work on developing him on the fly like how it is being done right now. The second option is to bring in a veteran to mentor him. I'm not talking a Kyle Orton vetern, I'm talking someone with the clout to shut the fans up about Tebow for a year or two and allow Tebow to concentrate fully on becoming a quality passer. The only guy that really fits the bill is Peyton Manning. It would be interesting, especially considering the $20+ million in cap space the Broncos have appeared to save this year.
The problem with this entire situation really is the media anyway. They do not report the great words of encouragement he gives to Tebow, they only report any negatives he has to say. They are generating a story out of thin air for the singular purpose of gaining revenue.
In the end, we all need to remember we're on the outside looking in and the best option is just to let this thing play itself out. Who knows what the future may hold...