As Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow takes over the starting role in Denver, his former college coach at Florida remains adamant that Tebow has the skill set to succeed in the NFL. That's not the question, Urban Meyer said.
Meyer wonders whether he'll also have the players around him.
"Will Tim be a success?" Meyer told NFL.com in a phone interview Tuesday. "The question is, will the Broncos be a success? That's the question. Not so much Tim -- will the Broncos improve their play where they can go win a game?"
Meyer, who was the coach of the Gators for two national championships with Tebow on his roster, said he hasn't spoken to Tebow since last month. The two have exchanged texts.
But Meyer is "really fired up for Timmy" about his upcoming opportunity. As it worked out, the former coach will be on hand for Tebow's first start at Sun Life Stadium on Oct. 23, when the Dolphins will be holding Gator Day.
"I know one thing: A quarterback can only do so much," Meyer said. "He's a product of those around him. If everybody can play a little better, Denver could have a chance to win. Quarterbacks get far too much credit and far too much criticism. He needs to have those guys around him really step up their play as well."
That said, Meyer said he believes Tebow does possess the qualities to help rally those players around him to a certain extent.
"I'm a lover of the game of football, and football still comes down to toughness, intelligence, energy, sacrifice and getting a team to play well," Meyer said. "When it comes to all of those things, Tim is as good as anyone who has played the game."
The former Gators coach says he recalls when he was questioned by many around him while he was recruiting Tebow to Florida. Skeptics said the high school game was very different from the college game.
Now, Tebow is facing similar questions again. Meyer, for one, is a firm believer Tebow's response will also be the same.
"He's a play maker," Meyer said. "He's a play creator. There was a lot of concern about whether you can do that in the SEC, and I understand obviously the NFL is superior to the SEC. But I really believe he can also succeed in the NFL."
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