Tebow brushes off injury concerns over read-option offense

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- In the three weeks since he took over as the Denver Broncos' starting quarterback, Tim Tebow has been sacked an NFL-high 14 times.

He was sacked just once in Oakland last week after the Broncos installed the read-option as a major component of their unorthodox offense. But Tebow was hit 17 times by the Raiders, including a helmet to the chin that split his lower lip.

However, Tebow brushed off concerns that the read-option is hazardous to his health.

"Those plays weren't necessarily ones (where) you take big hits," Tebow said. "I think that's a little bit of a myth, too. You don't necessarily get hit as much on read plays as people would think. I'd say your hits are more just sitting in the pocket."

Tebow probably was the best college quarterback ever to operate the option during his time at the University of Florida, but NFL defenders are bigger, faster, stronger, quicker -- and hit harder. That's led to questions about how sustainable the read-option can be for Tebow.

Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy suggested the read-option was the way to go against Oakland and will be sprinkled into future game plans, but week to week, he's going to adjust the offense for specific defenses. The one thing he's trying to do no matter the plays that are called is help Tebow avoid big hits.

"Sometimes when you sit back in the pocket, you don't see some of those things. And if it's your blind side, you might (get) a guy Scott-free who you thought was supposed to be blocked," McCoy said. "I think when he's in the open field, he has a good feel for where guys are coming from and you'll see some things."

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"But, hey, when you play that style of football, you're going to take your shots and it's part of the game and he's going to learn," McCoy added. "And he's learned already since last year, there's going to be an opportune time for him to take a hit and (he knows) when he needs to slide, get down, get out of bounds and protect yourself because you're going to take so many hits."

Tebow knows more long passes would keep teams from stacking the box and help to dial back the pressure.

"I think we have to stay balanced is my opinion," Tebow said. "When a defense doesn't know if you're throwing it or running it, I think that's when you're most effective, and that is where we need to be."

Notes: Broncos safety Rahim Moore practiced for the second consecutive day after recovering from a concussion he sustained at Oakland last week when he ran into a teammate. "I thought I died for a second," Moore said.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

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