ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) - Bury the blueprints on how to thwart Tim Tebow. He can beat you with his arm as well as his legs.
The formula up until last weekend was to stack the box and dare him to beat you with all those errant passes.
But coming off his worst game as a pro, the most maligned quarterback in football morphed into a conventional quarterback Sunday in snapping out of a three-game funk and sending the mighty Pittsburgh Steelers to an early playoff exit.
Belichick insists this isn't Tebow 2.0, however.
"I think he's done a lot of those things all year," Belichick said. "He had a great game against Pittsburgh, no doubt about it. But he's played well throughout the season, whether it be managing the team, making decisions, running the ball, throwing the ball, scrambling, any and all of the above. He's a good football player."
One who's now multidimensional.
At John Elway's urging, Tebow was more aggressive Sunday, heeding his boss's advice to "pull the trigger."
"Yeah, I think I did play pretty aggressive in the game," Tebow said Tuesday after the Broncos returned to work following their exhilarating weekend win. "We were playing a very good team, very good defense. And you have to be willing to take some chances to make some big plays against them, because they have so many good players and so many good guys that are rushing, getting to the quarterback. And the offensive line did a great job and the receivers stepped up and made huge plays."
Tebow's 31.6 yards per completion Sunday were the second-most ever for an NFL quarterback in the regular season or playoffs, surpassed only by Joe Namath's 33.7-yard average against Baltimore in September 1972.
"It was big for us because in this league, you have to keep people off balance," wide receiver Eddie Royal said. "Before last week, people knew they had to stop the run. Stop the run and shut down our offense. But now, they have to second-guess themselves, `Oh, they can throw the ball and be explosive and make some pass plays."'
It was the Broncos' reliance on the run that sold the play-fake on the first snap of overtime - they had rushed on 23 of 25 first downs up to that point.
The Broncos' formula during their eight wins under Tebow had been to play stout defense and spectacular on special teams to keep the grind-it-out offense within striking distance until Tebow could pull off his last-minute magic.
Now, they're mixing in explosive plays.
And Tebow doesn't have to be pinpoint with his passes if the safeties come up and cornerbacks cover the receivers 1-on-1 because his reads will be simpler. He'll have more margin for error if players such as Thomas, who has great hands, have more room to maneuver and fewer defensive backs to get in his way.
"We were just waiting for him to come out and play the way we knew he could and show everybody," Royal said.
Over the last two months, Thomas has been one of the most dominating players in the league despite playing in a conservative offense that doesn't allow receivers to strut their stuff too much.
On Sunday, he amassed 204 yards on just four receptions.
"I remember watching him at Georgia Tech and seeing this guy," Royal said. "He didn't get many opportunities there. But when he got them, he made big plays and that's the type of player that he is. I can't imagine what he would do with 20 targets a game. The sky's the limit for this kid. I just hope he continues to get better and I know he will."
"You know, he's a very good coach and I wish him nothing but the best, and I'm very thankful for him having the confidence in drafting me," Tebow said. "But I'm very excited about the coaches that we have here."
Notes: With Decker down, the Broncos promoted wide receiver D'Andre Goodwin from their practice squad Tuesday and placed fullback Spencer Larsen (knee) on IR. ... Besides Decker, DE Elvis Dumervil (right ankle), TE Daniel Fells (unspecified injury), and safeties Brian Dawkins (neck) and David Bruton (Achilles) were held out of practice. ... Denver's coordinators Mike McCoy and Dennis Allen can interview for head coaching jobs with the Jaguars and Rams, respectively, starting Thursday afternoon.
Follow AP Pro Football Writer Arnie Stapleton on Twitter: http://twitter.com/arniestapleton