ENGLEWOOD, Colo. --After last weekend's loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow was questioned about not being more assertive in the passing game. The second-year quarterback completed just six passes in 22 attempts for 60 yards, and sometimes held the ball for an extended period of time before scrambling around in the backfield and firing a pass.
Wednesday, Tebow acknowledged that trait and said he needs to start attacking defenses more through the air. He noted that there were a few instances late in Sunday's game where he should have tried to force the ball into some spaces.
"I think that's definitely true especially the more you get into tighter games, playoff games, you have to be aggressive," Tebow said. "You also have to be smart but be aggressive and pull the trigger at times. It's something that we'll have to do."
Tebow and the Broncos know there's a fine line between being aggressive and reckless in the passing game.
With the Pittsburgh Steelers -- and the top-ranked defense in the league -- coming to town this week, Head Coach John Fox said that the onus in the passing game falls on everyone -- coaches and players.
"We're all in this together," Fox said. "We have to put him in positions where he can succeed, but he's the one out there throwing the ball. At the end of the day, we'll try to give him some better pass plays to operate, and we still have to execute."
There will be some chances for Tebow to go for an assertive pass Sunday, and others where he can be more conservative.
It's all about finding the right balance.
"That's just a feel thing," Tebow said. "It's something that I think you get more comfortable with over time. You have to be aggressive, but at the same time you have to be smart. It's something that for a while, we did a really good job with that. We got away from it the last few weeks, but it's something that we'll have to be really good at on Sunday."
That's something that has largely been lost amongst the observation and discussion of Tebow and the Broncos. Tebow has less than a full season of starts under his belt, with just 14 career starts in his two years in the NFL. That puts him behind only Houston quarterback T.J. Yates in terms of least amount of NFL experience among starting quarterbacks for playoff teams.
But Tebow doesn't let that get to his psyche. He knows what he can do and how he can help the team win.
"Probably more than anything, it's trying to be smart and not put our team in a bad position because that's the quickest way to get your team out of a game," Tebow said. "Sometimes I do need to be more aggressive with certain routes and throws."
Tebow, his coaches and teammates have said it's not about any lack of confidence on the quarterback's part and they don't need to have him throw a bunch of short passes to get on track.
"I think he's got all the confidence in the world," receiver Matt Willis said. "He doesn't need to throw a slant or a hitch. He can come out and make the big play right away, and if he's most comfortable with that -- and if the coaches are most comfortable with that -- then that's what we'll do to win the game."