Broncos QB Tebow expresses faith in young receiving corps

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Tim Tebow isn't fretting over losing his top target in a trade this week or the idea that another one of his receivers also wanted out of Denver.

The Broncos' new starting quarterback said he has faith that Eric Decker, Matt Willis, Demaryius Thomas and Eddie Royal will do just fine following the trade of Pro Bowl wideout Brandon Lloyd to the St. Louis Rams.

Thomas hasn't played a down this season, and Royal has been out for a month with a strained groin. But both are expected to play Sunday at Miami when Tebow makes his first start of the season.

Lloyd said earlier this week that his desire to leave Denver had nothing to do with Tebow's promotion. And on Wednesday, Tebow wished Lloyd "nothing but the best."

"I know he's going to have a great career there in St. Louis, but I really believe in our receivers here." Tebow said. "I think we've got a lot of great receivers, and I know any of them can, at any time, step up and make big plays, and I know they're going to."

Royal said he's happy to be in Denver after reports surfaced over the weekend that he also wanted to be dealt by Tuesday's trade deadline.

Royal said he was excited to play with Tebow, and the former University of Florida star said the feeling was mutual, suggesting all this trade talk didn't harm his relationship with the most experienced receiver remaining on the roster.

"It's not uncomfortable at all. Eddie is a great guy. We're great friends," Tebow said. "I know he loves being here as a Bronco, and we love having him. I know he's going to be a great asset coming back out here and working with us, and I know he's going to be a great asset for the rest of the season."

The Broncos dealt away their best deep threat in Lloyd, and they're hoping Thomas, last year's top pick -- taken three spots ahead of Tebow at No. 22 -- will fill that role once he gets up to speed now that he has recovered from a broken left pinkie and a torn right Achilles tendon.

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That leaves Decker, who figures to face opponents' top cornerback now that Lloyd is gone, and Willis, who could stretch the field and keep defenses from stacking the box to stop the scrambling Tebow and running back Willis McGahee, who has three 100-yard games in the last month.

Aside from Thomas, the rest of Tebow's versatile targets also can play in the slot.

"I think the defense has to be honest because all of them are deep threats, all of them have the ability to catch and run, and they all, I believe, have great competitive excellence," Tebow said. "When their number's called, they can all step up and make big plays at important parts in the game."

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

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