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Friday, July 30, 2010
Tim Tebow Watch: First-day talk

By Bill Williamson

Denver coach Josh McDaniels and rookie quarterback Tim Tebow had some interesting things to say about the quarterback and his situation after his first training camp practice Friday. Tebow, the No. 25 overall pick, signed his contract Thursday.

Here’s a taste of what they both had to say:


On how Tebow looked today: “You know, I think not rusty – I mean he’s been throwing a bunch – but he’s certainly getting the hang of some of the things we are doing and we are working on – specific reads and drills that mimic some plays we’ve installed and talked about and shown a lot of film the last few days. You know, he’s got some catching up to do in that regard, and he’ll be here late today and probably early tomorrow just to make sure he feels ready to go when the veterans actually start tomorrow (for a full-squad meeting) at 1 p.m. He can kind of keep pace with them, but you know typical – some good, some bad. It was just good to get him out here before we start on Sunday.”

On if he tries to downplay expectations for Tebow: “Our expectations for him are to just compete and try to learn and do the things that we are asking the other guys to do. What other peoples’ expectations are of him or how much he’ll play or contribute or compete to play early – I don’t really know. I’m not that worried about it. I think if he’s the best player at some point in some area, then he’ll be able to affect the team. That’s really what I think his focus is on. I think, you know like I said, our expectations for the rookies are that hopefully they can come in and learn and try to get better every day, because certainly none of them are ready to help us win right now. He has a long training camp ahead of him, and hopefully he can continue to improve each day.”

On how he has thought about using Tebow: “You know, I haven’t ever used more than one quarterback in the NFL. I don’t think that’s something that can’t be done if you choose to do it. Certainly people have speculated about, you know, how we may or may not use him in those roles, but since we haven’t really done any of it in pads, I haven’t had the opportunity to evaluate what that may do for our team. It’s hard to say exactly if we would feel that way, too. You know, there’s going to be some things that he can obviously do that the other two can’t in that regard. How much we do or don’t do will depend on how productive we are at it.”

On how much he focuses on Tebow’s throwing mechanics: “I think that’s always something that you try to refine and improve. To me, for the quarterbacks out on the field – these three days are like pitchers and catchers reporting early. There are a lot of little things that we are asking them to do in some of those periods that may just seem like we are throwing the ball and throwing the ball, but we are working on their feet, their elbows, their hips being open or square, their front shoulder being down. There’s a lot of little things mechanically that I think if you don’t stay on top of them and you kind of let them get awry – it’s kind of like a golf swing, you know, you don’t want to do that, so I think with quarterbacks in particular, we are going to talk to all of them about those little things, because once the season comes you hope that whatever you’ve created in terms of the habits, you know, you don’t have a whole lot of time to do it much during the season because everything is about the opponent and game planning and those kinds of things. So, we’ll continue to work on those things with our quarterback, hard. Tim is just one of three and certainly much has been made about that, but we feel good about the progress he’s made in terms of fixing a few things we’ve asked him to fix, and he’ll continue to work hard, I am sure.”

On what he said to Tebow about his Jockey endorsement: “I told him they passed me for him (laughing). I turned it down.”

On whether Tebow had any trouble passing the conditioning test: “Tim? (Laughing) No, no, he didn’t. He’s in good shape. I think our team is in good shape


On whether he was telling his agent to hurry and get the contract done: “(Laughing) We were definitely trying to push and get out here – I was – and I was blessed, though, with a great front office here and a great agent that handled everything and got it done, and now I’m out here and I don’t have to worry about anything except playing football.”

On whether he feels that he’s behind: “I think so, I’ve got to catch up on the installs that I missed and just keep working, but that’s something that I can control – my work ethic and just studying and trying to catch up, so I’ll look forward to that challenge.”

On whether it’s a similar feeling to when he was a freshman at the University of Florida: “Well, it’s a little bit different being an NFL player rather than being a freshman in college, but you still get that feeling of just being new to everything and trying to learn and understand it and just trying to grow as fast as you can, so there are some similarities.”

On handling pressure: “Well, I think I’ve had somewhat pressure on me the last few years and I don’t really ever think about it, because all I worry about is what I can control and that’s my attitude, my effort and my focus. Those are all things that I can control – I can’t control anything else, so I’m really not going to spend much time worrying about it.”

On the difficulty of not being able to participate in practice on Wednesday or Thursday: “I’ll tell you what bothered me – my teammates out here practicing and I wasn’t out here, and I was looking forward to getting out there and just being with the team and not being separated or not being different. I was really looking forward to getting out here.”

On his expectations for camp: “I’ve talked to a lot of veterans here, other veterans that I know around the league and different coaches and just tried to get a feel for what it’s going to be like – how to prepare myself, my body, my mind, everything, the right nutrition program, the right rest program – all those things, just to handle it the right way.”

On his conversations with McDaniels: “Well, we talk a lot, so there were a lot of conversations, but obviously he wanted me out here and I wanted to be here, so it was just a matter of everybody just finishing it.”

On whether he’s focused more on mechanics or learning the playbook: “Well, I’m definitely focused on the playbook, but I’m also focused on mechanics, my drops, my footwork, learning a new offense, the play-action fakes we’ve got, the different stuff that I’m not used to from college, and so it’s a combination of both, definitely.”

On former Broncos QB John Elway downplaying the importance of mechanics: “Well sometimes it definitely can be (overemphasized) because like he said, at the end of the day it’s if you can get it to the receiver or not and how quickly you can get it to him, so I think it definitely improves your game. It can help, but also, you've just got to be able to get it there.”

On whether he’s looking forward to contact: “(Laughing) I am looking forward to it – it may be a negative of mine is that I look forward to that and I’m a quarterback so you kind of have to stay calm, but it is fun once Sunday gets out here and everybody is hitting - I’ll get excited too.”