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The real deal: Broncos teammates believe Tebow is genuine

Is Tim Tebow for real, or is Tim Tebow a phony?

It's the question that seems to weave its way into every discussion about the lightning rod Broncos quarterback. Tebow is difficult to characterize as a football player. Defining the deeply religious Tebow as a man can be downright polarizing.

Everyone seems to have an opinion, but Tebow's Broncos teammates are in agreement that the QB who has led Denver to four wins in five games is who he says he is.

"He really is genuine, and the emotion and the passion that you see him out there playing with, he has the same passion off the field with those type of things, the charity things and the missionary things," receiver Eddie Royal said. "He just lives that way. Like I said, there's nothing fake about Tim Tebow."

Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey doesn't understand what Tebow has done to garner suspicion.

"You know the thing is, there are reasons that people could dislike other athletes," Bailey said. "Like, say for instance, a lot of people could love T.O. But there are reasons for people not to like him, and you can understand why people don't like him. But when people don't like Tim, you try to understand why, you don't."

Safety Rahim Moore agrees.

"People may think he's faking or he's not telling the truth, but that man walks the walk and talks the talk," Moore said. "Look at the guy. He's not a guy who's out clubbing and doing this and that."

Former Broncos quarterback Jake Plummer criticized Tebow in a radio interview this week, saying Tebow's consistent religious references are grating and unnecessary. Punter Britton Colquitt sees an ugliness to criticism like Plummer's.

"It's a shame that all people want to do is see people screw up and not portray good. But that's just the world we live in, I feel like," Colquitt said. "It's an evil world now, but he's a good guy.

"People like to see people fail because it makes other people feel good. He does a really good job with that and he keeps himself out of situations where he could stumble."

We tend to agree with the punter, which usually isn't something we'd confess. Tebow rubs many people the wrong way with his beliefs and willingness to express them, but his actions -- at least in the public eye -- back up his words.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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