Tim Tebow responds to remarks

Updated: November 23, 2011, 10:46 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

Tim Tebow on Tuesday told "ESPN First Take" that he doesn't pay attention to the lukewarm support from Denver Broncos chief of football operations John Elway and instead focuses on trying to get better as a quarterback.

Elway answered "no" on Monday when asked on his weekly radio show on 102.3 FM The Ticket in Denver if the Broncos were "any closer to feeling if you have your quarterback on this team?"

"I honestly don't pay much attention," Tebow said when asked to respond to Elway's comments. "I don't try to focus on anything that doesn't affect me personally and how I go out there every single day. I'm just going to continue to work hard and focus on what I can control."

Tebow called Elway "one of the best to ever play the game."

"I'm honored to play for him and try to win games for him and Coach (John) Fox and (Broncos owner) Mr. (Pat) Bowlen and everybody involved in this great organization. (Elway's) done so much to build it."

Tebow is 4-1 since supplanting Kyle Orton as Denver's starter and has three fourth-quarter comebacks. The Broncos waived Orton on Tuesday.

"I've had a blast living out my dream for the last five weeks," Tebow said. "I will continue to work as hard as I can to make this organization proud. Every time I step on the field I will give everything I have and I will leave everything I have on the field every Sunday."

Yet, the Broncos front office isn't sold on Tebow being the long-term answer at quarterback.

Elway on Monday pointed out that Tebow has to do better on third downs and improve as a passer.

Tebow I've had a blast living out my dream for the last five weeks. I will continue to work as hard as I can to make this organization proud. Every time I step on the field I will give everything I have and I will leave everyting I have on the field every Sunday.

-- Tim Tebow

The Broncos were 3 for 13 on third downs in their win over the New York Jets on Thursday night, and Tebow has completed less than half his passes since replacing Orton.

"When you look at our third-down numbers, those have to improve, and that's the bottom line," Elway said on his radio show. "... We can't go 3 of 13 and win a world championship."

Tebow also was asked to respond to comments made by former Broncos quarterback Jake Plummer to a Phoenix radio station Monday about Tebow's expression of his Christian faith on the football field.

"I think he's a winner and I respect that about him," Plummer told 910-AM. "I think that when he accepts the fact that we know that he loves Jesus Christ, then I think I'll like him a little better. I don't hate him because of that, I just would rather not have to hear that every time he takes a good snap or makes a good handoff."

Tebow, in his response to the comments, which he said he had not heard about before the interview, said he appreciated Plummer calling him a winner and compared his faith with marriage.

"If you're married and you have a wife and you really love your wife, is it good enough to only say to your wife 'I love her' the day you get married? Or should you tell her every single day when you wake up and every opportunity? That's how I feel about my relationship with Jesus Christ."

Elway, who, along with general manager Brian Xanders, has been watching some of the best college quarterbacks in person this fall, including Andrew Luck, Nick Foles, Robert Griffin and Landry Jones, sprinkled in praise for Tebow with some dollops of pragmatism.

Tebow has a 44.8 completion percentage. The silver lining is that opponents aren't catching his passes, either. He has only one interception to go with his seven TD throws.

Behind Tebow, the surging Broncos (5-5) are back to .500 as they seek to avoid their first consecutive losing seasons since 1971-72, and they've already won more games than they did last year when they went 4-12.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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