New Broncos coach brings Tebow support and stability


Tim Tebow
Tim Tebow

Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow (15) celebrates with running back Correll Buckhalter (28) after scoring a touchdown on a 40-yard run against the Oakland Raiders in the first quarter of an NFL football game in Oakland, Calif., Sunday, Dec. 19, 2010. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

Published: Friday, January 14, 2011 at 10:20 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 14, 2011 at 10:20 a.m.

It was telling when the Broncos' top football executive, John Elway, said quarterback Tim Tebow is "very raw." And it is telling that Elway and the Broncos' choice to be Tebow's next head coach is John Fox.

Fox is a longtime defensive coach who prefers low-risk play from his quarterback and an offense fueled by the running game.

Tebow said he looks forward to getting down to business with Fox.




"I had a great relationship with Coach Fox throughout the entire draft process and got to know him quite a bit," Tebow said shortly after the hiring of Fox was announced Thursday. "I'm very excited for him to be my head coach, and I'm looking forward to working with him."

Earlier in the day, Tebow had posted on his Twitter account: "Welcome to Denver Coach Fox! Can't wait to get to work with you!!!"

On the hunt for a quarterback in last April's draft, Fox, then Carolina's coach, made the rounds of the top prospects at the position, including a visit to Gainesville, Fla., to meet with the Gators star. The Panthers eventually selected Jimmy Clausen with the 16th pick of the second round.

To that point, just two quarterbacks had been selected — Sam Bradford at No. 1 and Tebow at No. 25.

While the Broncos also have quarterbacks Kyle Orton and Brady Quinn on the roster, Elway has consistently spoken as though Tebow will enter the offseason as the team's starter. With only six picks in the draft, there's a good chance the Broncos will try to trade Orton for draft picks in the weeks leading up to the draft.

Fox, like most of the other candidates for the team's head coaching job, used the word "developmental" to describe Tebow's play.

"He's got a lot of intangibles I look for," Fox said of Tebow when he arrived in Denver for his interview Wednesday. "Where that goes it's hard to predict.

"He's in a developmental stage for sure, but I think he has the makings to be as good as he wants to be."

Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy is expected to remain with the team, but the playbook will likely get a makeover. Whereas former Broncos coach Josh McDaniels preferred a three-wide receiver look as the team's base formation, Fox routinely has fielded teams with more of a power look that would cocoon a young quarterback who needs to improve his play from the pocket.

In the three years Fox led the Panthers to at least 11 victories, the Panthers finished in the top seven in rushing twice and were in the top 10 in rushing attempts in all three of those years. In the four seasons the team finished with seven or fewer victories, the Panthers did not run the ball more than 47 percent of their offensive snaps in any one of those seasons.

As Elway has put it: "What I see is, (Tebow is) very raw when it comes down to drops, he's very raw when it comes down to anticipation. He's very raw when it comes down to anticipating throws. Those are the things that he has to get a lot better at. He's got the intangibles. He's going to make the plays that you can't coach. But he's got to be able to, for us to win a championship, he's got to win it from within the pocket."

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