Four games into the 2011 season the Denver Broncos record sat at just 1-3. In game five, with the Broncos down 23-10 to the Chargers in the second half, Tim Tebow came in to relieve Kyle Orton. Tebow and the Broncos made a comeback that fell short 29-24 that day, but Tebowmania had officially begun. Tebow started for the Broncos the rest of the season going 7-4, and led them into the playoffs including a dramatic first round playoff overtime win against the Pittsburgh Steelers before coming down to earth against the Patriots the following week.
One of the details often forgotten is that Brady Quinn beat out Tebow for the second string spot behind Orton and was blindsided when he was passed over by head coach John Fox as Tebow was given the reigns. You’ll recall in a thoroughly reported feature by Yahoo! Sports NFL writer Michael Silver, in the March issue of GQ, Quinn stated,
Early in the season, there was a game when Kyle [Orton] got hurt and the coaches were calling for me to go in, but Kyle got up and finished the game out. So I was the second-string guy. Then, a few weeks later, they decided to put Tim in. I felt like the fans had a lot to do with that. Just ’cause they were chanting his name. There was a big calling for him. No, I didn’t have any billboards. That would have been nice.”
Quinn went on to demystify Tebow’s late-game prowess:
The entire game, the defensive line is chasing the quarterback around, and that wears down the pass rush. Meanwhile, the defensive backs are chasing receivers, but you only throw eight passes, so they start to feel lazy. It only takes that one play, that one big pass, for a touchdown.”
By his comments, you may have sensed that Quinn isn’t exactly a fan of Tim Tebow the football player or Tim Tebow the person. If that wasn’t clear enough for you, here’s what Quinn had to say about Tim Tebow the person.
If you look at it as a whole, there’s a lot of things that just don’t seem very humble to me. When I get that opportunity, I’ll continue to lead not necessarily by trying to get in front of the camera and praying, but by praying with my teammates, you know?”
Quinn’s comments as you might imagine didn’t sit well with Tebow and speaking to a comforting and supportive pro-Gator crowd at an event in Winter Park, Florida, in June, Tebow fired back at Quinn.
As originally published by Gator Zone (and since taken down) -
I had a teammate at Denver who played the same position as me and he went to the University of Notre Dame. He would brag about his university, how great it was. Most of us in the locker room were like, ‘C’mon, we all had opportunities. We chose not to go there.’ … But he talked so much about his university that it became easy. I’d say, ‘Your whole team had one guy who ran under a 5.0 40 [yard dash]. Our kicker ran under 5.0.”
Ok, so we’ve established that there is no love lost between these two fine gents. It’s been more than a week since McElroy was named the starter over Tebow, and we were finally able to get Brady Quinn’s candid thoughts on Tebow being passed over on the depth chart by Greg McElroy; an eerily similar situation to Tebow leapfrogging Quinn last season.
On Tebow being passed over - Now that he’s been on both sides, he can appreciate what I went through. To be honest, I don’t see why he would have been surprised though. They never had any intentions of him playing the traditional quarterback position. No one would. If he was too naive to know that before, he knows it now.
On Tebow’s dig at Norte Dame – We’ll see how they do against his SEC in a few days. I think Tim knows Jesus is a Notre Dame fan…
On Tebow’s ability to throw – All I know is that when Tim was third on the depth chart he was supposed to run the scout team so our defense could practice against something resembling the opposing offense. They had me do it though because Tim couldn’t make many so many of the throws.
On Tebow’s future as an NFL QB – In Jacksonville they have MJD, so they might be able to run the read option somewhat effectively, but that will only work for quarter or two. After defenses get to see specialized personnel run an offense like that for themselves, they’ll make adjustments and force him to throw. Come talk to me after you see that.
On Tebow having a better NFL record than Quinn – Look, he’s 7-4 as a starter and I’m what, 4-15? It is what it is, but all I know is that I’ll be playing in the NFL long after Tebow and his fad are gone. And there is a reason for that.