Howie Long, the former Raiders defensive terror, spent many a Sunday chasing John Elway around. He sees some of Elway's magic in Tim Tebow, but believes the current Broncos quarterback occasionally drives the old one nuts.
"He's an impressive guy," Long said of Tebow Tuesday on "The Dan Patrick Show". "I'll tell you one thing he has, he has John's will to win. But John, I think, in some ways, is up in that suite, and there's a little padded section to the room -- and he's banging his head off the wall."
Elway's steady stream of lukewarm praise for his starter might baffle Tebow's ballooning fan base. When asked Monday about Tebow's status as starting quarterback post-2011, the executive vice president of football operations remained vague/distant: "I know everybody wants to know, but our future's right now."
It's unclear what more Tebow -- 6-1 as a starter during a feverish run to first place in the AFC West -- must do to earn genuine praise from his boss.
Perhaps Elway, like others within the NFL community, still struggles with the long-term viability of a Tebow-led offense. Or is it that Elway, who's owned Denver's heart since the mid-1980s, still is adjusting to seeing his own star dimmed by the frenzy of Tebowmania.
Whatever the reason, Elway can't halt this train if Tebow continues to do what the Hall of Famer did 162 times in his decorated career: win the game.