ENGLEWOOD, Colo. --After compiling an 8-5 record as a starter and leading the team to its first playoff berth since the 2005 season,
“I think Tim has earned the right to be the starting quarterback going into training camp next year," Executive Vice President of Football Operations John Elway said. "I think that he made some good strides this year. He obviously played very well against Pittsburgh and played very well in a lot of football games."
At a season-ending press conference Monday, Elway, Head Coach John Fox and General Manager Brian Xanders met with the media, touching on a variety of topics, including the importance of this offseason for Tebow.
Entering 2011, Tebow wasn't able to work with his new coaching staff as the NFL went without a typical offseason.
Now that Tebow will have a chance to take in Organized Team Activities and other workouts as the leader of the offense, Elway said he's excited to see what the soon-to-be-third-year signal caller can do.
"We know what kind of mentality Timmy has," he said. "He’s a great worker, and we know he’ll work his tail off this offseason. We’re looking forward to this offseason to be able to see him improve in (the mechanics of the passing game). I think he will make those improvements."
Those mechanics range from his drop-backs and footwork to timing and decision-making, and Elway believes he can help Tebow with that improvement.
The Pro Football Hall of Famer said he anticipates spending "considerable time" with Tebow, alongside Offensive Coordinator Mike McCoy and Quarterbacks Coach Adam Gase, as he prepares for the 2012 campaign.
"Your feet and your time clock – to be able to tie those things together, those will be the things we work on," Elway said. "There will be some film study, too, as far as different reads and where he’s looking on different plays. He’s going to be more comfortable having worked with this offense now in his second year and he’s going to be more natural with the reads and the things that he sees when he drops back.”
Fox said he saw Tebow's comfort within the offense improve even as the 2011 season wore on.
"To step in and all of a sudden become the starting quarterback, and you’re a second-year player that’s got about three games under your belt, you need some time," Fox said. "I saw excellent growth in him and expect growth moving forward."
With two quarterbacks under contract with the team -- Tebow and
But the club is excited -- and hopeful -- about Tebow's future as he enters his first full NFL offseason as the starting quarterback of the Broncos.
"We know, obviously, that we have some work to do, and he knows that, too, but he made great strides this year," Elway said.
"Anytime you can get a franchise guy and a quarterback that can be your guy for 10 to 12 years, that's what you want as an organization. We're hopeful that Tim's that guy."