ENGLEWOOD, CO - JULY 28: (L-R) Tim Tebow #15 and quarterback Kyle Orton #8 of the Denver Broncos take part in training camp at the Paul D. Bowlen Memorial Broncos Centre at Dove Valley on July 28, 2011 in Englewood, Colorado. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Let me say something right off the bat. The idea behind this isn't to bash Tim Tebow, or create a flame war in the comments. I have always done my best, in the 5 years this site has been around, to give you what I think, what I feel and what I believe, regardless of how popular it is. Hell, this site was founded in August 2006, in the midst of another nasty quarterback situation you may remember.
This of course was going to be a report about what I saw at Camp. I will have some of those thoughts a bit later but I have to get this off my chest. What I saw today out of Tim Tebow is not what I saw last year at Training Camp, and definitely not what we ALL saw the final three games of the season.
Tim Tebow is hearing the voices, and worse yet, it seems he is listening to them. While I liked the fact that he responded to Merrill Hoge's attacks yesterday, it also worried me a bit. He's hearing all the criticism, and it's affecting him. It was ironic to me that LeBron James - another player that hears, listens and responds to criticism(remember the "I'm making a list" tweet?), came to Tebow's defense.
Still, I wanted to see for myself what everyone has been talking about. It wasn't a great day for any of the quarterbacks - a typical early-camp workout in an all-too untypical year. Tebow struggled. Of the 20 or so snaps in 'game' situations I saw Tebow take, he ran the ball over half of them, most designed runs. He's just not there, and in truth seems further away now that during Camp last season when he had the benefit of an entire off-season to work.
Now, before you go all crazy in the comments, I know this was one workout. I know that Tebow is a gameday player and a guy that doesn't practice well. This goes beyond that, guys. He looks to have lost some confidence. And it loks like all the talk is getting to him.
Then comes this. Woody Paige sat down with Tebow, his full column will run tomorrow. An excerpt, and a pretty telling quote, was posted tonight as a teaser to the column.
"My dream, since I was a young boy, of being a starting quarterback in the NFL seemed to be coming true, then, I felt like it was grabbed back away."
that attitude worries me. It is a defeatest attitude. This is the NFL. Plans change all the time. Certainly the on-again, off-again trade situation involving Orton did Tebow no favors, but it is part of the game.
I think we would all be disappointed in how it all went down, but we are also getting a glimpse at what might be the first adversity Tebow has dealt with on a football field. How he handles it is huge, at least in my opinion, because there is more to come!
I know FULL WELL that this is Training Camp, and that there is a LONG WAY to go. I do my best not to knee-jerk, and I want to see the Saturday practice at Invesco Field, which should include some back-and-forth scrimmage action, before really going off the deep end, but for me, the last 36 hours have been telling. The tweet, the practice, the quote, the body language.
I have said many, many times that I don't care who the quarterback is. I'm vested in the Broncos - the name on the front, not the name on the back - and will root as hard as physically possible for all Denver Broncos, but this site was started by me spewing my opinion. Right now, my opinion is Tim Tebow was the Bronco most damaged by the Lockout.
Am I wrong? God I hope so. The quarterback situation with the Broncos right now - long term - is a mess. I want nothing more than for Tebow to succeed and be the player many of us saw flashes of last year. Something is different, though, and it's inside.
I'll have more from today's Training Camp practice later and as always, GO BRONCOS!