It’s been a trying year for polarizing quarterback Tim Tebow. Last season, he was guiding the Denver Broncos to an 8-8 finish, which was good enough to win the AFC West and earn Denver a home playoff game. Despite winning that game before being throttled in the next round by the New England Patriots, Tebow was sent packing during the offseason to the New York Jets when Denver acquired the services of Peyton Manning, which has worked out pretty well for the Broncos.
Tebow, meanwhile, has been stuck toiling away as the backup quarterback to Mark Sanchez, occasionally seeing the field in the wildcat-formation and as a personal protector on punts. This week, Rex Ryan finally benched Sanchez because of his poor performance, but Tebow was inactive because of injured ribs, which allowed Greg McElroy to come in and play the hero and possibly push Tebow further down the depth chart.
Now, to add insult to injury, some of Tebow’s former teammates in Denver are anonymously piping in with their assessments of Tim Tebow as a quarterback. Spoilers: they’re less than complimentary.
According to Mike Freeman of CBSSports.com, several Denver players stepped up to tell him how happy they were to have Tebow out of the Mile High city, though they declined to attach their names to the comments. One player said “When Tim was here was saw the issues up close. The Jets didn’t, and now they’re seeing the problems, too.” Another player added “I feel really, really bad for Tim. He’s a good person, just not an NFL quarterback.”
The Denver players are a little biased, however, as they are comparing Tebow’s stumbles last season to the efficiency of the Peyton Manning-led offense this season. Obviously, Tebow isn’t going to be Peyton Manning, and the players are frankly quite happy to be a part of this Broncos team over the team from last year.
One of the players told Freeman: “If Tebow was here, we’d still be squeaking out wins, or losing games we shouldn’t be losing. The division would be coming down to the last game,” rather than clinching the division with four games to go as Denver did on Sunday.
The Denver players don’t wish Tebow any ill will, however, saying: “Everyone here, I think, wants the best for him. He’s a good guy. But you can’t turn Tim into something he’s not, and he’s not really an NFL quarterback. He’s more of a gimmick player.” Another player chimed in: “I’m watching Tim and wishing him well but glad I’m here with Peyton.”
Overall, the locker room has a sense of relief that Tebow is gone and gratitude towards John Elway for orchestrating the moves that sent Tebow to New York and brought Peyton to Denver. It’s been a tough year for Tebow since leaving the team and it feels like these are just a few extra kicks while the guy is down.
These “anonymous” players, if they actually exist, will be brushed off as “cowards” who couldn’t attach their name to their own words. But the talk will still be out there, and while the discussion will likely focus on who these shadowy former teammates are, the more important question is: Are they right?