The quarterback conversation among Denver Broncos fans has become almost a virtual split as of late, with one side thinking Kyle Orton is the best fit moving forward, and the other feeling young Tim Tebow is the way to go. No matter what you believe, whenever one of the Broncos' quarterbacks talks, we typically listen.
Tim Tebow recently did a Q&A with the Florida Times-Union in Jacksonville, Florida, his hometown. The topics included ranged from his progression from being a rookie up to this point in time to his relationship with Kyle Orton. Not only that, but Tebow was asked if he would ever appear on the Bachelor, and the name "TMZ" also makes an appearance.
It's never a dull moment when Tebow is involved in the conversation. Follow me after the jump to see some of the key points from the conversation. You can read the full interview HERE.
How is your relationship with Orton and has it changed any since you’re now viewed as more of a threat to be the starter?
We have a good working relationship. It’s something where I always rooted for him. Every day was a competition, trying to work and improve. We tried to push each other to get better. I always hope he does his best because that’ll help the Broncos. It’s been a while since we’ve been around each other. We don’t really talk or text each other that much, but I’d say it’s a healthy working relationship.
Based on the recent comments and actions of Kyle Orton, you wouldn't expect a statement like this from Tebow, and really, there's not much to read into here. These guys are both paid professionals, so they should have a healthy working relationship. Anything else is just petulance, right?
The fact that they don't talk to each other doesn't surprise me one bit. In fact, I'd be shocked if he had said that they do text or talk on a regular basis. It's clear to me that Tebow and Orton are NOT friends, and they are just co-workers. That kind of relationship is fine for the short term, but if they don't get along very well off the field, sooner or later I think it will pop up on the field.
Even if Orton stays in Denver and the Broncos are willing to let you two duel for the starting job, do you feel you’re far enough along with your mechanics and understanding of the offense to win it?
I feel that I’m definitely ready to compete for it. I’m excited for that challenge. I’ve worked extremely hard this offseason. I’m looking forward to the opportunity to lead this team and try to win games. I don’t feel like it’s even close from last year to where I am now. In fact, it’s not even close to where I am now from the end of last season. I’m much more prepared.
This should make fans excited to see what Tebow has to offer in training camp. Last year, he "wowed" us all with his ability to scramble away from trouble and avoid the sack, but this year, we want to see how Tebow has progressed in terms of making reads, going through his progressions, and making smart decision. Of course, extending the play is something Tebow will always do naturally, and we shouldn't discourage it as a fan base.
Tebow always has been a winner, and that is one of the main reasons the Broncos selected him. His attitude is contagious, and hopefully his work ethic rubs off on the rest of the team as well. It will be exciting to see how he has progressed. He says he doesn't feel it's even "close" from last year, so we will eagerly await the unveiling of Tebow's newest progress.
You clearly formed a bond with former head coach Josh McDaniels, who was excited about drafting and developing you. How much did his firing sting and do you feel any comfort level yet with Fox?
I definitely feel a great comfort level with Coach Fox. He’s a very likeable guy. I had relationships with him through the [NFL] recruiting process. I knew him very well from dinners with him [before the draft]. With Coach McDaniels, I thought we had a great relationship. The Broncos were just looking to go in a different direction. I’m close with both of them. Coach McDaniels will be better off with everything he learned here. I think he’ll get another head coaching opportunity and learn from what happened [in Denver]. Coach Fox is what we need. He’s a players coach and a people person. He gets players to play for him. I look forward to experiencing that. He’s great, such a relaxed guy.
This is a very underrated bit of great news. The last time our coach was fired, it sparked our "franchise" quarterback, and not in a good way. Jay Cutler was making negative comments anywhere he could about the departure of Mike Shanahan and was throwing out names of coaches he demanded to be retained. Tebow knows he can only control what he does, not what goes on in the front office.
Still, it has to be difficult. Tebow and McDaniels had a great relationship, and it seemed Tebow was his "prized" recruit, so to speak. It was almost to the point of awkward, but the two had a great chemistry together. He will obviously miss Josh McDaniels, and he thinks very highly of him, but that's not going to prevent him from playing well under the new regime. It's clear from these and previous comments that he and John Fox are both on the same page, and it seems they are in the beginning stages of a good relationship. Like he said, Fox is a player's coach and a people person.
With the 2010 season opener in Jacksonville, how frustrating was it to get in on only a couple running plays in the loss against the Jaguars and not throw one pass?
It was a little disappointing. To be completely honest, I was looking forward to having a big impact on that game.
Tebow clearly carries a chip on his shoulder after not even being considered by the team in his own hometown.
This is good news for us.
Explain about the Tim Tebow Foundation and the causes/charities that are most important to you?
It’s not something I just attach my name to and ask somebody to go do it for the publicity. I care about administering to the kids. My No. 1 heart is with orphans. The foundation supports 600 orphans in different places around the world. That’s what I want to do for a long time and make it bigger. I want to support kids that not a lot of people believe in. Give them an opportunity to do good in school, play sports and get scholarships. Timmy’s Playroom at Shands Hospital [in Gainesville] was built through foundation funding. That’s very exciting. Helping kids stuck in a hospital for a long time, and have players come in from Florida or elsewhere to hang out with. It’s a room to help them get away from everything they’re going through and creates a better day for him. Sometimes, we try to find a family or group of kids and maybe bring them to Disney World. We’ll partner with different boys and girls clubs. Even though I can’t go to Shands like I did when I was at Florida, I could leave a little piece of me with that playroom. I remember going there my junior year of college and thinking of how they could be given a brighter day. It’s kind of like Make A Wish, just trying to put a smile on their face. I want to do that for the rest of my life. I have more love for doing that than winning games or scoring touchdowns. I want to use my connections with coaches, players, celebrities, whomever, and if I can take that friendshhip and use it to help someone else, I’m going to take advantage of that. I’m not going to apologize for that.
For those of you who think that Tebow puts his name out there in a positive light just to make other people look bad, think again. You can tell a person is lying when their story constantly changes. Tebow's story has never changed, all the way back to when people started covering him in his high school days.
The book, "Through My Eyes," is scheduled for release in three months. What prompted you to write a book so early in your football career instead of waiting until further down the road?
I got approached by a lot of different people after I finished college about doing a book. I didn’t think much about doing one at the time because I wanted to focus on training and accomplishing my dream of being a quarterback in the NFL. But it got to where so many books were coming out about different parts of my life. People that I had turned down about doing a book started doing them anyway. I finally got to thinking that they were doing books and not knowing the real story, I figured it was an opportunity to tell my story and how everything really happened. Even though I’m only 23-years-old, a lot of crazy, unique things have happened in my life. Winning a Heisman, almost winning another, meeting two U.S. presidents, all the scrutiny that went with being a quarterback at Florida and a first-round NFL draft pick. I thought people would find it intriguing.
Can you give a brief synopsis of what the book is about and what you hope to accomplish by it?
It’s about my life, from before I was born, all the way up to my first year in the NFL and everything in-between. It’s a lot of cool stuff. Some of it is stories that have been told, but also what isn’t told. There’s a lot of stuff in there that ESPN doesn’t report, just thoughts of mine before big games and different stories that people wouldn’t know unless they were right there with me. More than anything, I hope the book encourages kids and helps them accomplish their dreams.
I think this book sounds exciting. Tebow obviously had help writing it, so it's not like he gave football a break or anything. As we have seen from the popularity of the ESPN documentary, though, this should be a very popular book as well. Tebow's life is one that people seemingly cannot get enough of. The Broncos knew going into it that they would not only be getting one of the greatest college football players ever, they would also be getting one of the most polarizing and captivating men in the United States. Everyone seems to want to know more about Tebow, which is ironic considering how much media coverage he gets.
Do you ever see yourself following in the footsteps of former Florida quarterback Jesse Palmer by appearing on "The Bachelor?"
(Laughter) No, I don’t see myself ever doing that. I think we’re safe there.
All in all, this was a pretty casual interview for Tebow. He didn't really give a whole lot away in terms of controversial information, and he rarely ever does. It's clear though that he has been working hard at getting into top shape for training camp, and he is ready for the challenge of competing with Kyle Orton for the starting quarterback position. No matter what your stance, you've got to admire the intangibles he brings to the table, and it will be interesting to see if he can translate that to the field and show the improvements he says he has made.