A day after scoring his first NFL touchdown in his first game action in more than a month, Tim Tebow had no interest in speculating on the future of the package of plays designed to get him involved in the offense.
The rookie quarterback, who finished Sunday’s loss to the Jets with six carries for 23 yards and a touchdown, was just happy to have been back out on the field, taking hits and playing the sport he loves.
“I’m just going to do whatever they ask me to do and try to do it with all my heart,” Tebow said with a smile.
Hours earlier, Head Coach Josh McDaniels talked about the opportunities provided by the set of Tebow plays and the possibilities it adds to the offense.
Tebow took nine snaps against the Jets with starter Kyle Orton split out wide, keeping the ball six times and handing off to Correll Buckhalter on the rest.
“I know it gave us some good plays yesterday,” McDaniels said. “We’ll probably continue to tinker with it, including his ability to throw the ball, too.”
The head coach said the package has been in play for each week Tebow has been active as the No. 2 quarterback — every game except Sept. 26 against Indianapolis. But with an opportunity to throw a change of pace at the Jets’ blitz-happy defense in a close game, Sunday proved the best time to showcase the variety of plays and formations that put two quarterbacks on the field at once.
The plays — which according to McDaniels have a variety of names in the Broncos’ playbook, such as “Trick,” “Raven” and “Blimp” — gave the Broncos an edge against the Jets as Tebow hadn’t seen the field since his two-carry-for-2-yards performance in the season opener. But McDaniels agreed that to work on a consistent basis the package will have to evolve in the gameplan.
“Now everybody has kind of seen us do different things from it and we’ve got to try to find a way to be creative and see how far we can take it and continue to make it productive,” McDaniels said. “I don’t want to just do it just to do it. If we can continue to be productive with it, then I think it makes sense to do it.”
No matter what that might entail, Tebow, who has yet to throw a regular-season pass, said he’s sure the coaching staff will put him in the best position to succeed going forward.
“I think the coaches will do a good job with whatever the game plan is, switching it up, disguising it,” Tebow said. “That’s what they’re great at, and I’m sure they’ll do a great job.”
HILL MOVES ON
With time to reflect on the 46-yard pass interference penalty that set up the Jets’ game-winning touchdown, Renaldo Hill still wasn’t quite sure what happened on the fourth-and-6 play.
The veteran safety only knew that he couldn’t afford time to spend too much time thinking about it.
“They made a call,” Hill said on Monday. “I just have to live on it and move on. I just have to move on to next week. I thought I looked back for the ball, felt a little tug and that’s what kind of got me off balance, but I don’t know that I’d do anything differently in that situation. I don’t know.”
The penalty — called after Hill got tangled with Jets wide receiver Santonio Holmes — placed the ball at the Broncos 2-yard line with less than two minutes left and running back LaDanian Tomlinson punched in the game-winning rushing touchdown on the next play.
But afterwards teammates and McDaniels focused on the missed opportunities preceding the penalty that left the team in a tough position after the flag was thrown. They also found a silver lining in being able to go “toe-to-toe” with the current top team in the AFC standings.
Hill expressed a similar optimism, saying there’s no point focusing on Sunday’s disappointing ending without looking at the Broncos’ performance as a whole.
“I think everybody is in good spirits and when we look at the film and evaluate it, we know that we’re improving each week,” Hill said. “We’re just continuing to try to get better each week so we can put a finished product on the field on Sundays.”
WILLIS OUT FOR SEASON
McDaniels also announced that wide receiver Matthew Willis will be placed on injured reserve with a foot injury. Willis sustained the injury early in Sunday’s loss to the Jets and will miss the rest of the season.
Willis, the team’s leader in preseason receiving yards, played in each of the Broncos’ first six games, notching one catch for 17 yards and adding one special teams tackle.
McDaniels did not provide injury updates on any other players in his Monday morning media session.
- Eric Detweiler, DenverBroncos.com