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Notebook: Fox's Thoughts on Tebow

Posted Oct 24, 2011

Head Coach John Fox talks about Tim Tebow's performance in Sundays game, about being a part of something that's never happened to him in his NFL coaching career and changes in the secondary.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Just by looking at the stats, Tim Tebow was better in the last five minutes of the fourth quarter than the previous 55 minutes of the game.

When the Broncos got the ball with 5:23 remaining in the fourth quarter Sunday, Tebow was 4-for-14 for 40 yards. From the 5:23 mark to the end of the overtime game, the quarterback was 9-for-13 for 121 yards and two touchdowns.
After having time to think about Sunday's 18-15 overtime win over the Miami Dolphins, Head Coach John Fox was proud of Tebow's play during crunch time, but said there is still a lot of improvement to be made with the young quarterback.
"We've said all along, Tim is a work in progress," Fox said. "It's only his fourth start in the National Football League. He'll just continue to get better. I think he'd tell you -- I know I'd tell you -- I liked the last five minutes better than I liked the first 55. Those are things that he knows, we know, and we feel like he'll improve."
Despite his struggles, Tebow remained confident throughout the game and believed the Broncos would pull out the win. Fox was complimentary of Tebow's poise and his ability to keep a level head when things weren't going his way.
"I think he handled it very well," Fox said. "I think he handled it during the game, otherwise I don't think he could have come back and done what he did. I think that will just get better as he develops more confidence in the offense, more confidence in his teammates, more confidence in what the opponent is doing. Like everything, the more you do it, the better you get."
Sunday was Fox's 358th game as coach in his 23-year NFL career, and going into the game, his team had never recovered its own onside kick.
That all changed yesterday, as Fox finally found himself on the receiving end of the unlikely play.
"Unfortunately in those 357 (games), I've been on the other side of it," Fox said. "But this is the first time being on the good side."
Fox said that the Broncos regularly practice recovering onside kicks, including during the bye week, and kicker Matt Prater did well to set his team up for the recovery.
"It's like a good golf shot," Fox said. "You've got to hit it right, and you've got to hit it the right distance, the right elevation. It was a great effort by our guys covering it to knock it loose because they (Miami) actually had it first. I thought it was a well-executed kick."
The Broncos made a few changes in the secondary Sunday. Rookie safety Quinton Carter started at free safety instead of fellow rookie Rahim Moore, who had gotten all of the starts until Sunday. Also, the Broncos placed cornerback Champ Bailey on Miami receiver Brandon Marshall for much of the game, which meant Bailey had to play more outside corner than he had done at times this season.
Fox said the move to start Carter instead of Moore was not a knock on Rahim, but rather he was feeling players out at different positions.
"It's not an indictment on Rahim Moore," Fox said. "They're both young players; they're both draft picks. We like them very much, otherwise we wouldn't have drafted them. We're just trying to find the right combination. Sometimes it's a week-to-week thing. Everybody has different strengths, different weaknesses, so it's more or less just trying something new."
Carter practiced and played at the strong safety position since the Broncos drafted him, but said that the coaches have had him practicing at free safety since the bye week. He said there wasn't much of a change for him as the positions are interchangeable.
"We learn all the positions," Carter said. "Our tests, we have to know what the D-line does. So we're pretty much knowledgeable at every position."
The move to put Bailey on Marshall meant that cornerback Jonathan Wilhite played more of an inside roll while fellow cornerback Andre' Goodman played the other outside position on passing downs. Rookie cornerback Chris Harris, who usually plays primarily on special teams, also got some playing time in overtime and made two crucial pass breakups.
"We've got some guys that we're finding out about," Fox said. "We threw Chris Harris in there. He had two critical pass breakups late. We're still finding out about our team. It's our sixth game together."