John Elway named Tim Tebow the Denver Broncos’ starting quarterback.
Entering training camp 2012.
That’s as far as Elway would go. One network carrying a championship game Sunday, however, wants him immediately for his ratings clout. CBS, which used Detroit Lions stomper Ndamukong Suh in broadcasts Sunday, has invited Tebow to participate. The network, USA Today reports, expects to hear by midweek whether it’s a go.
As for Tebow’s playing gig, Elway made his evaluation as the team’s vice president of football operations and as a Hall of Fame quarerback. Tebow, the fan favorite and cultural touchstone who led the team to the playoffs, deserves that much, he stressed Monday.
“Tim's earned the right to be our quarterback going into training camp next year,” Elway said. “He made some good strides this year. He obviously played very well against Pittsburgh [in the wild-card game] and played very well in a lot of football games, so he made great strides.”
Tebow, however, is going to have to fight for the job. “We have to be in the market to find more quarterbacks, either through free agency or the draft,” Elway said. “We'll look at both those options.”
Tebow will have a couple of advantages. He’ll have an offseason of study with Professor Elway and he remains a fan favorite, despite his poor performance in the divisional playoff game against the New England Patriots on Saturday. Elway acknowledged that the decision was tricky.
“Obviously, he's got a great following and there's a lot to Tim Tebow, not only what he is as a football player but what he is as a man,” Elway said. “And I think that's why he has such a great following, is both, because he's a great role model. But the bottom line is ... to put the best football players on that field that give us the best chance to win.”
What are the chances Tebow can become the franchise quarterback Elway is seeking?