Tim Tebow Was ‘Enabled’ By Denver Broncos When He Was Quarterback

Tim Tebow Champ Bailey Scout Team

Tim Tebow isn’t playing in the NFL anymore, but that hasn’t stopped former players from taking shots at him.

Champ Bailey, the Pro Bowl cornerback of the Denver Broncos for many years, was a guest of The Herd with Colin Cowherd when he was asked which players he remembered as being awful practice players, but good in games. Without hesitation, Bailey responded with Tim Tebow.

“I heard he was horrible,” Cowherd responded to Bailey’s comment. Champ then went on to describe a practice situation where the coaching staff protected Tim in practice.

“He was not great in practice. When you tell the scout team to back off a guy, let him make some plays, let him make some throws, that is not a good practice player. Most players in practice want to be challenged like it was a game. You had to let him get in a rhythm because he was not a good passer.

“The run game, that’s where he excelled. And we know, in this league, you can’t succeed as a running quarterback. So we tried to enable that, help him along.”

Denver Broncos Enabled Tim Tebow
It wasn’t all bad reviews for Tebow’s performance, however. Champ also painted a scenario where come game time, Tim emerged as the competitor he became known for at the time.

“When it was game time you never knew what to expect, because he hadn’t practiced well all week. But this guy’s a gamer and he just turned it on in games,” Bailey said.

It’s no mystery that Tim Tebow struggled behind the scenes when it came to the fundamentals of pro football. As reported by Inquisitr, Tebow was almost replaced on third downs by then-backup QB Brady Quinn during the infamous Denver Broncos playoff victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers back in 2011.

“I was going to be going in on every third down in that game,” Quinn mentioned in October on the CBS Sports Eye on Football podcast. “People don’t know this, but because we we’re throwing the ball so poorly on third down, we basically worked in packages where Tim and I were together in the backfield. He was playing wide receiver. I was coming in to purely just throw drop back passes on third down.”

But much like Champ Bailey’s comments about Tim Tebow, when it came to game time, Tebow was more than ready for the challenge.

“When we got to the game, we had so much success on first and second down — kind of moving the ball — that when we got to third down, they were kind of like, ‘We can’t pull him, he’s doing all right.’ “

Tebowmania swept the NFL that year, with Tim pulling out seemingly miracle victory after miracle victory en route to an 8-8 finish and a playoff win over the Steelers. However, the very next year, Tebow was shipped off to the NY Jets in favor of free agent quarterback signing Peyton Manning.

Tim Tebow Return To Philadelphia?

Ironically, there’s talk of a Tebow to Denver reunion now that Manning will be out a few weeks with a foot injury. There’s also talk of Tebow surfacing in Philadelphia following quarterback Sam Bradford’s shoulder injury, as well. Philadelphia was the last place Tebow had a legitimate shot at making an NFL roster with head coach Chip Kelly praising Tim at the time for his abilities.

However, Tebow’s return ot the NFL was cut short when Kelly released Tim on the final day of preseason, despite trading away his competition in Matt Barkley the night before. If and when Tebow sniffs an NFL roster again remains in question, though with the rash of injuries around the league, don’t rule out a Tim Tebow comeback just yet. Just don’t expect him to practice well, either.

[Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images]