ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- John Elway, barely into his first weekend as the Denver Broncos' new chief of football operations, already is in damage-control mode.
Elway took to his Twitter account Saturday to deny speculation that he would trade quarterback Tim Tebow.
Elway has said on several occasions since being hired as the Broncos' new vice president of football operations that Tebow is a good football player, but he has to become a good quarterback. Elway also has said Tebow's famous work ethic will help him make the transition and that the next Broncos coach should be as big a believer in Tebow's promise as he is.
In response to King's report, Elway tweeted: "To clarify my thoughts on Tim Tebow... I think he's a very good football player, and if anyone can turn themselves into a great QB, Tim can."
"Myself and our entire organization think very highly of him. We are pleased with his first year as a Bronco," Elway added in a second tweet.
His third was his strongest yet: "Any speculation that the Denver Broncos are considering moving Tim is completely false."
Tebow, selected by McDaniels with the 25th overall pick in the NFL draft last April, played only sparingly in goal-line or short-yardage situations before the coach's firing Dec. 6. Interim head coach Eric Studesville installed Tebow as his starter after Kyle Orton sustained bruised ribs and endured two poor performances in a row.
Tebow went 1-2, rallying the Broncos from a 17-point halftime deficit to a 24-23 victory over the Houston Texans and nearly pulling off a fourth-quarter comeback against the San Diego Chargers one week later in the season finale.
Elway said he was impressed with Tebow's play, especially considering he had such a paltry number of practice snaps during the season and threw only one pass until he supplanted Orton.
"Tim Tebow is a darn good football player," Elway said at his introductory news conference Wednesday. "What we have to make him is a darn good quarterback, and that is what we have to figure out.
"If there is anybody that is going to give himself a chance to be a darn quarterback or a great quarterback, it is going to be Tim Tebow because that is how devoted he is to it and how important it is for him to be a great football player," Elway added. "I want to tell you this: He loves the Denver Broncos. I have had a chance to talk with him, and he is everything about what we like in a football player as a Denver Bronco."
A three-time All-American, two-time national champion and Heisman Trophy winner at the University of Florida, Tebow has proven enormously popular in the NFL, too. His jersey was the third-best seller this season, and he has a number of national endorsements, including one with Jockey.
Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press