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Broncos Tebow pick sparks passionate debate

Patrick Saunders
The Denver Post
Vail, CO Colorado
In this photo released by the Denver Broncos, Broncos head coach Josh McDaniels talks on the telephone in the team's war room during the first round of the NFL Draft at Dove Valley headquarters in Englewood, Colo., on Thursday, April 22, 2010. The Broncos selected wide receiver Demaryius Thomas from Georgia Tech with the 22th pick and quarterback Tim Tebow from Florida with the 25th pick. (AP Photo/Denver Broncos, Eric Lars Bakke) ** NO SALES **
AP | Denver Broncos

The Broncos’ maneuvering to select Florida quarterback Tim Tebow in the first round of the draft night hit the NFL like a tidal wave.

Naturally, the national sports media is having a field day with the news.

Opinions were varied and passionate. Some predict Josh McDaniels risked his career on the pick. Others called it a bold, gutsy move.



But say this for the Broncos under McDaniels, his team creates headlines.

Here is a sampling of what football writers around the country are saying about Tebow and the Broncos:



Pete Prisco, CBSSports.com

Coach Josh McDaniels should enjoy the next year or two in Denver. Really. Soak all of it in. Enjoy being a head coach. Enjoy making all the decisions.

Your days are numbered.



When you trade away Jay Cutler, Brandon Marshall and Tony Scheffler, the key components in the Broncos passing game in a year span, and then draft Tim Tebow in the first round of the draft, you are sending a loud message.

Talent doesn’t matter.

Character does.

Why not pick the altar boys from the parish down the street? Aren’t they good kids? Or maybe you can pick all the “A” students in this draft? It doesn’t matter if they can play. Just make sure they are good “yes men.” It just doesn’t make any sense. I understand a coach wanting to have good character, but this is going past that.

Tebow is a fifth-round talent. First round? Nobody in their right mind would ever say that Tebow plays the position better than Cutler. But Cutler was shipped out for being a bad boy.

Now they have Saint Timmy to fix things.

Here’s a bet: He doesn’t even beat out Brady Quinn.

He makes Quinn and Kyle Orton, the other quarterback, look like John Elway. Tebow is raw. He doesn’t understand the passing game. He doesn’t read defenses.

Oh, but he’s a good kid.

Don Banks, SI.com

Never before has the 25th pick of the NFL Draft ever held such weight and meaning, but leave it to Tim Tebow to run his favored quarterback sneak and make it to the first-round stage after all.

Denver’s bold gambit was the headline move of a trade-filled round Thursday night, and for both good or bad, the pick of Tebow might just go a long way toward defining the still-young tenure of Denver head coach Josh McDaniels.

Then again, this is an NFL rookie head coach who had the moxie to last year trade away his Pro Bowl starting quarterback, Jay Cutler, before he ever played a snap for him. And let’s not forget about last week’s Brandon Marshall deal, which merely sent away Denver’s top receiver, himself a multiple Pro Bowl pick.

You can’t say McDaniels lacks the courage of his convictions. The man has stones, as they say.

Denver was clearly the biggest wheeler and dealer on a very busy night of action on the phone lines, and when all of the Broncos’ moves were done, they yielded a very promising young receiver in Georgia Tech’s Demaryius Thomas at No. 22, and the selection that got everyone talking in Florida’s Tebow, whose NFL potential as a quarterback inspired only slightly less debate than health care reform.

Hindsight being 20-20 and all that, Denver would seem to be an ideal spot for Tebow to serve his NFL apprenticeship. For one, the Broncos already have two quarterbacks in Kyle Orton and the newly acquired Brady Quinn (who might be the night’s real loser, come to think of it). That should give Tebow time to work on his game without even being asked to serve as an NFL backup as a rookie, let alone a starter.

And secondly, McDaniels taking Tebow makes all kind of sense given the friendship and coaching approach that has long been shared by Florida head coach Urban Meyer — Tebow’s biggest fan — and Patriots head coach Bill Belichick. McDaniels, of course, learned every bit of his football under Belichick and served as New England’s offensive coordinator before getting hired by Denver in 2009. He models himself after Belichick to such a degree that — still to this day — when Belichick sprains his ankle, McDaniels limps, too.

Clifton Brown, The Sporting News

No matter what else he does, Broncos coach Josh McDaniels will be remembered as the coach who traded Jay Cutler in 2009 and drafted Tim Tebow in 2010.

McDaniels took a Rocky Mountain leap of faith Thursday night, trading with the Ravens for the 25th pick and using it to draft Tebow. Though Tebow’s success as a college quarterback at Florida is unquestioned, there are plenty of questions about Tebow’s ability to make it as an NFL quarterback.

Bill Williamson, espn.com

Forget Jay Cutler.

Josh McDaniels’ legacy in Denver — and probably as an NFL head coach — will rest on the boldest in a series of brash moves he has made since becoming the Broncos’ coach 15 months ago.

On the day he turned 34, McDaniels rocked the NFL world by wheeling and dealing all night in a cascade of moves that culminated in taking Florida quarterback Tim Tebow with the 25th pick.

The story of the 2010 draft is in Denver.

No player in recent memory has been as polarizing as Tebow. Some NFL scouts think the former Heisman Trophy winner has the right stuff to go with his Disney-esque will and character to become a standout NFL quarterback. Others in the league don’t think he has the right mechanical makeup to succeed, especially after an amateurish performance at the Senior Bowl. Others think he could be a solid H-back.

Mark Miller, Yahoo Sports

The Denver Broncos traded up in order to snag quarterback Tim Tebow(notes) with the 25th pick last night in the NFL draft but it’s become clear that another team would have grabbed him if given half a chance.

ESPN is reporting that the Buffalo Bills planned to go after Tebow as well. The Bills had selected Clemson running back C.J. Spiller(notes) with the ninth overall pick but it may have been planning to take Tebow with pick No. 41, the ninth selection in today’s second round.

The Broncos apparently knew of the Bills’ interest and moved up in order to not lose Tebow.

Patrick Saunders: 303-954-1428 or psaunders@denverpost.com


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