Tim Tebow, the second of the Broncos’ two first-round selections in April’s NFL Draft, agreed to terms with the team on Thursday.
The timing of the agreement will allow the quarterback to join his fellow rookies and early reporting veterans including Kyle Orton and Brady Quinn on the practice field. Training camp officially begins with the first full-squad session on Sunday, Aug. 1.
“[He] obviously has all the traits that you’re looking for in terms of toughness and competitiveness,” Head Coach Josh McDaniels said of Tebow in April. “He’s intelligent and he’s won a lot of games. He’s a leader, he works hard and he’s got all the intangibles that you look for in a player at that position. He’s produced a lot of numbers and statistically — I’m not even going to talk about that because he’s one of the best in a long, long time.”
To that point, Tebow owns five NCAA, 14 SEC and 28 University of Florida records. He threw for 9,285 yards and 88 touchdowns in his four seasons with the Gators, while having also gained 2,947 yards on the ground with 57 rushing touchdowns, both school records by a Florida quarterback. In his last game in college, he set Sugar Bowl and BCS bowl records with 533 yards of total offense, 482 passing yards and a completion percentage of 88.6.
In addition to pure statistics, the Broncos are excited about the intangibles the rookie brings to the position.
“I won’t deny that he gives you an opportunity to create some un-gameplanned production,” McDaniels said. “You draw the play up there on the board and all of a sudden it doesn’t necessarily look as pretty as I thought it would, but then he makes it work some other way. There is an element to his game like that.”
Some of that un-gameplanned production with the Gators is what helped Tebow generate an SEC-record 12,232 yards of total offense in his career. He averaged 7.25 yards every time he touched the ball, which ranks third in conference history. His 145 total touchdowns broke the previous SEC record by 23 scores. He threw at least one touchdown pass in 38 of his 41 starts, completed 66.43 percent of his passes and racked up a 170.79 pass efficiency rating — an SEC all-time record.
Tebow said he hears all the people still doubting his transition to the professional ranks, even after he tweaked his throwing motion to the point that he said it has now “become muscle memory,” but the doubters add “a little fuel to the fire.”
“I love it when someone tells me that I can’t because it just pushes me that much more to accomplish that goal,” he said. “I am excited about this challenge of playing in the NFL and trying to be an NFL quarterback. I am truly blessed that I get the opportunity to try to accomplish that here.”
-Gray Caldwell, DenverBroncos.com