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The Early Lead
Posted at 09:32 AM ET, 02/22/2012

Brady Quinn apologizes for ripping Tim Tebow in GQ

Just what Linsanity needs: an encore run of Tebowmania and an outbreak of Quinnsanity.

Brady Quinn, backup quarterback to Kyle Orton before Tim Tebow wrangled the starting job because of injury by engineering electrifying fourth-quarter comebacks that resulted in a winning streak that led the Denver Broncos into the playoffs, has apologized for critical comments about Tebow that appeared in a GQ story.

“The comments attributed to me in a recent magazine article are in NO WAY reflective of my opinion of Tim and the Broncos,” Quinn said in a series of tweets Tuesday. “Tim deserves a lot of credit for our success and I’m happy for him and what he accomplished. Most importantly, he is a great teammate.

“That interview was conducted three months ago, and the resulting story was a completely inaccurate portrayal of my comments. I have addressed my disappointment with the writer and have reached out to Tim to clear this up. I apologize to anyone who feels I was trying to take anything away from our Team’s or Tim’s success this season.”

In the story, entitled “The Year of Magical Stinking: An Oral History of Tebow Time” and written by Yahoo’s Mike Silver,” Quinn said, “We’ve had a lot of, I guess, luck, to put it simply” and attributed much of Tebow’s success to a fan campaign when the team was 1-4 with Orton as the starter.

“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,” Quinn said in the story. “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, like Tebow, is religious, but questioned Tebow’s public displays of faith on the field. “If you look at it as a whole, there's a lot of things that just don't seem very humble to me,” Quinn said in the story. “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?“

Silver told Pro Football Talk that Quinn’s comments were taped and that Quinn has a copy of the audio file. “I agree that his tone was not bitter and that the entirety of the [50-minute interview] presented a balanced perspective toward Tebow,” he told PFT.

Demaryius Thomas, recipient of perhaps Tebow’s most famous pass — the overtime completion that gave the Broncos a victory over Pittsburgh in an AFC wild-card game — tweeted his support for Tebow.

Where does this leave things in Denver? Well, Tebow isn’t certain to be the Broncos’ starting quarterback when the season opens; team executive John Elway has committed to him only as the starter when camp opens. Quinn, who hasn’t played in the two seasons since Denver traded Peyton Hillis to Cleveland for him, has an even more uncertain future in Colorado, but he didn’t need to apologize, according to the Denver Post’s Woody Paige.

Quinn has a right to be bitter at others and himself. But his comments about Tebow to Michael Silver for the March issue of GQ were not, as many claim, spiteful or negative. The observations were quite honest — especially when he was quoted as saying wistfully: “No, I didn't have any billboards. That would have been nice.”
Quinn tweeted public apologies and clarifications Tuesday, but he didn't need to. Not once while he was in Denver did Quinn cause trouble. He leaves as he arrived — a quiet, classy man. Perhaps in his next locale, Quinn won't be caught in a chaotic situation and will earn his own billboard and a chance to start again.

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By  |  09:32 AM ET, 02/22/2012

 
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