A vote of confidence can often be the virtual death sentence for a struggling coach or quarterback in the NFL. If the person in charge has to use words to emphasize what isn’t clear on the field, someone is in trouble.
This is not one of those cases.
The Denver Broncos have found their quarterback of the future, and his name is Tim Tebow. Just ask Pat Bowlen.
As Elway all but sprinted through the winning locker room, his chest bursting through his suit jacket, he said, “Just give him a chance to win the game.” Asked what it was like to watch Tebow perform an endgame act he himself had mastered, Elway said, “It was great. Awesome.”
Broncos owner Pat Bowlen was heading for a different exit door when he stopped long enough to declare that Tebow would be his man for many moons to come.
“He’s a quarterback, and believe me he’s going to learn,” Bowlen said. “I believe he’ll be a great one. Better keep him around.”
Just like that, the direction in which this franchise is moving is clear. The Broncos will rise or fall with Tebow. They will put up with 55 minutes of terrible stat lines and erratic passes now to capitalize on the magic he produces in a game’s final minutes. They believe those 55 terrible minutes won’t always be part of the equation; they believe that Tim Tebow will get better. They will let him learn, they will mold an offense to his strengths, and they believe he will flourish.
Thursday night was a pivotal moment for this franchise. If Tebow’s 95-yard comeback truly changed the course of Broncos history, it is indeed worthy of Broncos lore. We just witnessed The Drive 2. The Experiment is over. The Investment has begun.
The Broncos of today are different from the Broncos of yesterday.