One of the best parts of Tim Tebow‘s inspiring, ugly, and numerous come-from-behind victories have been the TV reaction shots of Broncos VP John Elway.
Elway is a Broncos legend, going to nine Pro Bowls, winning two Super Bowls, and throwing for 51,475 yards during his storied 16-year career. He is the epitome of the word “quarterback,” a couldn’t-miss prospect out of Stanford who didn’t miss: at the time of his retirement in 1998, Elway was, statistically, the second most prolific passer in NFL history.
He’s now the Executive Vice President of Football Operations for the team, and when he watches Tebow — perhaps the most mechanically unsound starting quarterback in the NFL — win game after game in stunning fashion, he seems a bit… conflicted.
Without fail, the second Tebow scores a game-winning touchdown, TV cameras go right to Elway — and his facial expressions are classic. Watch this video and you’ll see what I mean.
That look is a mixture between “Wow, we won!” and “Oh, shit, I’m going to be stuck with this guy for years.”
This isn’t just me reading too much into a guy clapping in an owner’s box. Publicly, Elway has never sounded too jazzed about Tebow being the Bronocs quarterback of the future. Here’s what he said the morning after the Jets game you see above.
After Tebow had improved to 4-1 as the starter, host Gary Miller asked Elway on 102.3 FM in Denver if he was “any closer to feeling if you have your quarterback on this team?” Elway paused and answered, “No.” He then pointed out that Tebow had to do better on third downs and improve as a passer.
That was from week 11. Since then, Tebow has rattled off three more come-from-behind wins, the Broncos are leading the AFC West, and they have a good shot at making the playoffs. And whether its Tebow’s dogged insistence on winning games, or the fact that he had perhaps his best game as a passer last Sunday against the Patriots, Elway has finally decided to back his quarterback.
“Tim Tebow’s not going anywhere,” he said in an interview with the Associated Press. “I mean, he’s going to be a Bronco and we’re going to do everything we can and hopefully he’s that guy.”
Furthermore, Elway promised to work with Tebow in the offseason, something he couldn’t do last summer because of the lockout. We imagine Elway’s emotions during these workouts will be a lot like his emotions when watching one of Tebow’s comebacks: happiness (because of Tebow’s work ethic and willingness to learn) and horror (because of, you know, the whole “mechanically unsound” thing).