Tim Tebow and Brady Quinn horse around during the 2011 preseason. (AP)Denver Broncos backup quarterback Brady Quinn must have known that his comments about Tim Tebow would go over like a lead balloon when he spoke to Yahoo! Sports' own Mike Silver about the man who helped get the Broncos to the playoffs, and became a national phenomenon in the process.
Silver's excellent article, written for GQ Magazine, explored the Tebow trend through the quotes of many involved -- coaches, front office personnel, teammates and opponents. Some comments (mostly from the opponents) were fairly inflammatory, but the quotes from Quinn were especially odd.
Early in the season, there was a game when Kyle [Orton] got hurt and the coaches were calling for me to go in, but Kyle got up and finished the game out. So I was the second-string guy. Then, a few weeks later, they decided to put Tim in. I felt like the fans had a lot to do with that. Just 'cause they were chanting his name. There was a big calling for him. No, I didn't have any billboards. That would have been nice.
We've had a lot of, I guess, luck, to put it simply.
The real zinger from Quinn had to do with Tebow's public displays of faith, which do get on the nerves of some, but this was a bit much:
If you look at it as a whole, there's a lot of things that just don't seem very humble to me. When I get that opportunity, I'll continue to lead not necessarily by trying to get in front of the camera and praying but by praying with my teammates, you know?
Well, Quinn has had that opportunity. Like Tebow, he's a first-round draft pick. Unlike Tebow, he's failed to turn that status into anything resembling a meaningful professional career. In the end, this comes off as sour grapes from a guy who couldn't beat out Tebow or Kyle Orton for the starting job.
Did the Broncos bow to the billboards when making Tebow their starter? Perhaps. But had Tebow failed miserably, and not displayed a unique ability to come up big when the situation called for it despite his frequently unimpressive stats, there's little doubt that the Broncos would have made a switch.
In any event (and one would assume after getting a fair amount of heat for his comments), Quinn sent an apology through his Twitter account:
The comments attributed to me in a recent magazine article are in NO WAY reflective of my opinion of Tim and the Broncos. Tim deserves a lot of credit for our success and I'm happy for him and what he accomplished. Most importantly, he is a great teammate. That interview was conducted three months ago, and the resulting story was a completely inaccurate portrayal of my comments. I have addressed my disappointment with the writer and have reached out to Tim to clear this up. I apologize to anyone who feels I was trying to take anything away from our Team's or Tim's success this season.
I was cool with the apology -- Quinn doesn't have a history of jerkiness -- until he claimed misrepresentation. While it's possible that some stuff was left on the floor, there's enough of what was used to question how misrepresented Quinn was, unless he was blatantly misquoted. And knowing Silver as I do, I doubt very much that this was a hatchet job -- it's not his style.
Update: I talked to Silver a couple hours after this post was first put up. He told me that he still had the audio of the December, 2011 interview, everything is accurate, and he sent a copy of the audio to Quinn, just to be a straight-up guy. Again, that's how Mike does things.
In any case, this adds to an offseason that will most certainly be filled with ancillary drama for the Broncos. As John Elway and John Fox endeavor to re-work Tebow's mechanics at the same time they meet him in the middle from a schematic perspective for the future of the team, you can bet there will be all kinds of talk about this hot-button player -- and the inevitable less-successful co-stars who reach for a piece of the spotlight.
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