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John Elway: 'Tim Tebow's not going anywhere'

December 21, 2011 | 11:20 am

John Elway seems to have warmed up to Tim Tebow and now says he thinks the popular player can turn into the pocket passer he wants to lead the team for years to come
Everyone has an opinion on Tim Tebow. But the opinion that matters most probably is that of John Elway, who is not only a Denver Broncos legend but also Tebow's boss as the team's vice president of football operations.

That's why it was such a big deal when Elway seemed to suggest as recently as a few weeks ago that Tebow may not be the Broncos' quarterback of the future -- and an even bigger deal that Elway seems to have warmed up to the popular player and now thinks Tebow can turn into the pocket passer he wants to lead the team for years to come.

"Tim Tebow's not going anywhere," Elway said in an interview with the Associated Press. "I mean, he's going to be a Bronco and we're going to do everything we can and hopefully he's that guy."

With the unorthodox quarterback as their starter, the Broncos have recovered from a disastrous start and hold a one-game lead in the AFC West with two games remaining. But even after Tebow had improved to 4-1 as a starter a few weeks back, Elway was noncommittal when asked on Denver radio if he was "any closer to feeling if you have your quarterback on this team?"

Elway paused before answering, "no," and then pointed out that Tebow needed to do better as a passer and on third downs. But now Elway feels that answer "was probably a little bit too blunt."

"I think the big picture with Tim is we've got to see the whole body of work," he said. "And so really what you want to see with him is the improvement that's going to happen over time.

"Because, he's done what we knew he could do, and where we've seen his progress is what he does within the pocket. What we've said, and I said it when I first got here, was we know Tim's a great player and what we've got to do is make him a great quarterback, and what I've learned is you've got to be able to win from within the pocket."

Elway added: "Do I think he'll get there? Yeah, I do."

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-- Chuck Schilken

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Photo: Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow says a prayer as John Elway applauds him after a 16-13 overtime win over the Chargers. Credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times

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