Denver Broncos executive John Elway gave his strongest indication yet that he believes in Tim Tebow, telling The Associated Press on Tuesday that the quarterback can transform from a scrambler into a pocket passer.
Those words meant a lot to the young quarterback, who's 7-2 as the Broncos' starter entering Saturday's game against the Buffalo Bills.
"Mr. Elway is obviously one of the best to ever play the game," Tebow said of the Hall of Fame quarterback who now runs the Broncos' football operations. "To get any compliment from him is extremely nice. He's been around this game a long time. That's nice to hear."
Tebow has become the center of the NFL universe since guiding Denver (8-6) from the brink of playoff extinction back into contention. His team leads the AFC West by one game over the Oakland Raiders and San Diego Chargers, putting the Broncos in prime position to make the playoffs for the first time since 2005.
Tebow's name and image have been popping up all over the place. He has been mentioned at the Republican debate in Iowa and spoofed during a "Saturday Night Live" skit in which the show playfully mocks his deep Christian faith.
But Tebow doesn't mind all the attention. It gives him a platform for his causes, such as the Tim Tebow Foundation's "Wish 15" program. On Sunday, he brought in Kelly Faughnan, who's dealing with tumors and seizures, to watch the Broncos' 41-23 loss to the New England Patriots.
"It gives her an opportunity to have a good time and gives her a little hope and puts a smile on her face," Tebow said. "Ultimately, that's what's important. As hard as it is to say it, that's more important than even winning or losing the game."
Darlington: Don't worry about Denver
Tim Tebow and the Broncos might be momentarily down after Sunday's defeat, but they're still far from being out, Jeff Darlington writes. **More ...**
That's right: Winning isn't everything to Tebow. His faith and foundation are just as high of priorities, too. And this weekend, Tebow will visit with Jacob Rainey, a highly touted Virginia high school player who had part of his right leg amputated after suffering a severe knee injury during a fall scrimmage, before and after the Broncos-Bills game.
Tebow's foundation is teaming up with CURE International to build a children's hospital in the Philippines, where Tebow was born. He also inspires inmates through jailhouse talks.
"Ultimately, that's taking my platform and using it for something good, more so than any 'SNL' skit or any magazine," Tebow said.
As for what he wanted for the holidays, Tebow didn't hesitate.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.