Originally written on Denver Post  |  Last updated 11/16/14
John Leyba, The Denver Post

Broncos executive vice president of football operations John Elway.

Broncos executive John Elway said quarterback Tim Tebow showed improvement in Sunday’s 38-24 win over Oakland, but added that he needs to be better throwing the football.

Elway spent most of his half-hour segment answering questions about Tebow during his weekly radio show with Vic Lombardi and Gary Miller on 102.3 The Ticket this morning.

Tebow finished the game with 124 yards and two touchdowns, but only connected on 10 of his 21 passes.

“I think (Tebow’s completion percentage) has to get higher,” Elway said. “I don’t think you can win consistently throwing 50 percent. (But) Tim made some really good throws yesterday.

“It really comes down to consistency,” Elway added. “Bottom line is, when guys are open, you’ve got to be consistent, and you’ve got to hit them. I think Tim’s throwing the ball better.”

Still, Elway said later, “Tim made some improvement yesterday, and made some really good throws.”

A lot of Tebow’s success yesterday — namely, 118 yards rushing — came from the read-option, a college offense where the quarterback decides between keeping the ball or handing off to his running back. Elway said the play that was so successful against Oakland wasn’t new to the playbook.

“It’s really pretty much been in there week-in and week-out, we really just did a better job of execution,” Elway said. “Everybody’s getting more comfortable with it.

“The play’s been in,” he added. “I know it looked like it was a new play because we had so much success with it.”

The read-option also led to Tebow, who carried the ball 12 times, absorbing his fair share of hits. Elway was asked if he thought Tebow’s style lends him to taking a higher amount of “cheap” shots than the typical NFL quarterback.

“I haven’t had a chance to review the whole film, but there’s no question he got hit underneath the chin a couple times,” Elway said.

“I’m not sure he’s going to get as much protection as those other guys,” Elway added. “I think it comes with the style of play.”

Later, Elway was asked about Tebow being the type of player who makes his teammates better.

“I think he’s got that mindset,” Elway said. “The bottom line is that all comes from performing in tough spots. Timmy’s proven that he can do that. … That position’s so important, it kind of raises everyone. … If they have confidence in him, there’s no question it gives other guys on the team hope, or belief.

Elsewhere from his show on 102.3 The Ticket, Elway on …

  • Tackle Ryan Clady, who was flagged for multiple holding calls against the Raiders: “He did struggle a little bit. Obviously, that’s not Ryan.”
  • Defensive end Elvis Dumervil, who had 1.5 sacks yesterday — his first of the season: “I think he’s starting to get back in the flow of things. Not only did he get a sack and half, he collapsed the pocket a few times, too.”
  • Third-down efficiency. Denver finished 3-of-12, which was an improvement from 2-of-14 against Detroit two weeks ago. “We did a better job on third down, but it’s still not good enough.”
  • Brady Quinn being an option at QB, had Tebow struggled: “I think that (Broncos coach) John (Fox) was patient with it and wanted to see how things were going. If we’d have seen what happened the last couple of weeks, we might have seen a change.”
  • Willis McGahee, who ran for 168 yards and two scores: “He’s come in and he’s done a tremendous job. … It’s like he’s reborn.”
  • The AFC West standings: “Being a game out of first and having played the way we played (early in the season), hopefully we can hit our stride.”
  • The decision to accept a roughing-the-kicker penalty near the end of the first half that ultimately took three points off the board: “At the time, you never know how it’s going to happen. When you have a chance to possibly get a touchdown, plus when you have a real good kicker like we do, you have the confidence that you can kick it again if you don’t get it in the end zone.”
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