Originally posted on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 2/24/12

If you thought John Elway was too forward with his endorsement of Tim Tebow after the season ended, listen to him now. Tebow sparked a magical run for the Broncos last season, but most people equate it to clutch performing and little luck. You can’t always assume games will be that close in the fourth quarter, so it is reasonable to worry about Tebow’s inability to pass effectively and his mechanical issues. Elway either isn’t concerned about it or he’s doing a great job of pretending.

“He added a great spark for us, and we really had some good things happen to us. I was really happy with his progress,” the Broncos’ vice president of football operations said at the scouting combine Friday. “Tim’s gonna be the guy for a long, long time.”

After the Broncos were demolished by the Patriots in the second round of the playoffs, Elway assured everyone that Tebow would be the starting quarterback heading into training camp but refused to say the job would be his on opening day. If being told you will be the guy for a “long, long time” doesn’t mean the opening day starting job is yours, I don’t know what does.

Tebow is certainly young enough that he has time to develop, but even his teammates have acknowledged that he has a lot of work to do if he wants to become an effective NFL quarterback. Last month, Brian Billick ripped Elway for endorsing Tebow and said Tim needs to work on his conditioning and cut back on the muscle. Clearly, none of that talk has phased Elway. If Tebow comes out and completes 40 total passes through the first five weeks of the season and the Broncos aren’t winning, expect Elway’s tune to change in a hurry.

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