Elway supports Tebow, but says he needs work as a pocket passer

John Elway, left, says the film he's watched shows Tim Tebow to be "very raw."

Published: Thursday, January 6, 2011 at 2:58 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 6, 2011 at 2:58 p.m.

John Elway has watched enough of Tim Tebow to come away thoroughly impressed with the Broncos' 2010 first-round draft pick.

As a person, at least.

Elway, the best quarterback in Broncos history, sounded Wednesday like he still needs more convincing about Tebow's future as an NFL quarterback.

"We all agree on one thing: Tim Tebow is a darn good football player," Elway said. "What we have to make him is a darn good quarterback, and that is what we have to figure out."

Elway met with assistant coaches on Wednesday for year-end player evaluations, and Elway said everyone he spoke with said it was the right decision to draft Tebow last spring. But it will be up to the Broncos' next head coach to decide if Tebow truly is the team's quarterback of the future.

Tebow started the final three games of the season for the Broncos, leading the team to a come-from-behind victory over Houston. But he still made plenty of mistakes — such as his two first-half interceptions Sunday against San Diego — and has some mechanical flaws with his throwing motion. Tebow completed 50 percent of his passes as a rookie, with five touchdowns and three interceptions. He also rushed for 227 yards and six touchdowns.

Elway said the film he's watched shows Tebow to be "very raw," especially when it comes to the fundamentals of being a pocket passer and "anticipating throws."

"Those are the things that he has to get a lot better at," Elway said. "He's got the intangibles. He's going to make the plays that you can't coach, as he did against Houston. He's going to make those plays, but he's got to be able to, for us to win a championship, he's got those intangibles, but he's got to win it from within the pocket."

Tebow and Elway have met and spoken several times since Tebow was drafted, and Tebow said Monday that he was excited about Elway assuming an official role in the front office.

"I think he'll do great things for us. I'm very excited," Tebow said. "Looking forward to the future."

Elway said he'll leave it up to the next coach to decide if Tebow is the starting quarterback — adding, however: "I don't believe that anyone is going to come over and say, 'I don't want Tim Tebow.' If they do, then maybe they are not the right guy for the job."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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