The team sought to curb the circus that's sure to surround Tebow during the offseason by declaring him the incumbent at a season-ending news conference Monday.
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"Well, I think Tim's earned the right to be the starting quarterback going into training camp next year," Broncos executive John Elway declared at the beginning of a 40-minute news conference in which 24 of the 47 questions were about Tebow.
"I think he made some good strides this year," Elway said. "He obviously played very well against Pittsburgh (in the wild-card playoff round) and played very well in a lot of football games."
Elway pledged to work with Tebow during the offseason to polish his passing game, two days after the second-year pro went 9-of-26 passing for 136 yards in a 45-10 divisional-round loss to the New England Patriots.
Elway has a willing pupil in Tebow, who said his offseason goal was "to work pretty hard and try to get a lot better."
Elway said he wants to "help Tim in every way I can, to be able to improve through what I learned," adding he's hopeful Tebow is the team's franchise quarterback.
"Obviously, we have some work to do, and he knows that, too," he said.
Tebow took over a 1-4 team in October and guided the Broncos to their first playoff berth since 2005. But the clunky dual-threat quarterback completed just 46.5 percent of his passes during the regular season and 40.4 percent during the playoffs while compiling an 8-5 overall record that included five second-half comebacks.
Sticking with Tebow as the starter doesn't mean the Broncos won't add a quarterback or two during the offseason, either through the draft or free agency. Coach John Fox didn't rule out the return of Brady Quinn. It's likely the Broncos will seek out a veteran backup via free agency, but Elway said he wasn't sure if the team would look at QBs who are stylistically similar to Tebow.
"Well, right now as we look at it, we've got two quarterbacks under contract," Elway said, noting that practice-squad QB Adam Weber signed a futures contract. "So, we've obviously got to be in the market to find some more quarterbacks."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.