Thanks to Tim Tebow, the center of the football universe for much of 2011 was Denver, Colorado. And now, thanks to another world-famous quarterback, it looks as though that will again be the case for the remainder of the 2012 offseason. Peyton Manning is the new QB in Denver, which of course means that Tebow might have to take his talents elsewhere.
It also means that Tebow’s Denver teammates will be forced to cater to the specific requirements of a very unique pivot for the second year in a row.
Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas joined KKFN in Denver to discuss the dramatic adjustments he and his teammates will have to make to adapt to an offense run by Peyton Manning. Thomas was also asked about what this means for Tim Tebow, and whether he felt bad for the quarterback who he had developed quite a rapport with in 2011.
On his initial reaction to the news that the Broncos had signed Manning:
“I just heard over text message — I was excited to be able to get a quarterback like that. You know, Peyton is probably the best or one of the best in the league. And to hear that, I was excited. Just looking forward to start working with him.”
On if it’s bittersweet due to his relationship with Tebow:
“Oh yeah … I came back from injury and I was his main target. I finished the year with about 800-plus yards and I feel like that was a good season for me — missing six games and to come out and do what I did to get a connection with Tim and have a good year like that, you know?”
On when he’ll reach out to Manning:
“Yeah, because I know Peyton just from watching him when he was playing, he’d go to the line, he’d change a lot of things up. And it’s just gonna be different because I haven’t really played with a quarterback at the potential that Peyton has since I’ve been in the league or since when I was in college. So I’m looking forward to it and hopefully get a chance to hook up with him before the season starts.”
On having to learn a whole new offense with Manning:
“It’s so tough to learn because I’ve never been in this type of offense that — I don’t know what we’re going to do — but I’ve never been in that type of like a hurry-up offense, and just being the receiver I am I know it’s gonna be different for me now. I’m gonna have to come back and — I feel like I’m gonna have to come back in better shape and ready to learn more from what I already know. I’m just looking forward to it. And I think the tough thing about defending it is you never know what you’re gonna get, especially with a quarterback like Peyton because just watching him from growing up and seeing the things that he can do, it’s tough to defend him.”
More on that adjustment:
“I went to school with one of his old teammates and … he was just telling me the things that he did when he was with the Colts healthy, and sounds like it’s gonna be tough. There’s a lot of things to be excited about but I know he’s gonna be a very competitive dude and he’s gonna want stuff right and want stuff different. And I’m just looking forward to just trying to get on the same page with him.”
On how it would be a daunting adjustment:
“Everybody’s been happy about it, I’ve been hearing congrats and stuff. You know me — I’m looking at it like, man, this is gonna be tough because I know he’s gonna be on our head at the same time about what he wants and how do we need to do this. I’ve been working hard still but I know it’s gonna be like a different type of thing because, you know Peyton, I’m pretty sure he’s gonna want things his way. So I’m looking forward to it.”
On if he allowed himself to be on the roller coaster ride that was Manning’s free-agent tour:
“I’m gonna tell you the truth, I wasn’t even on the roller coaster, because I thought he a guy that liked to play in a dome. So I was like, ‘He’s gonna go to Arizona.’ And then I was thinking to myself, then I thought — he went down to Denver and Tennessee — I was just going by what people were saying, he might go to Tennessee because he never won a national championship at Tennessee and he wanted to go back there. But I wasn’t on the roller coaster that much and I was like, ‘If we get him, that’ll be a great thing.’ But from coming up this year with Tim I was like, ‘Either way, if I can get that connection with him then it’ll be a good thing as well.'”
On if he feels sorry for Tebow:
“I actually do, because Tim, he’s a hard worker. Everybody talk about him about he can’t throw and all this. I feel bad about him, he’s a hard worker and competitive dude, and I feel like he knows how to win. I don’t know what it is, but he always — there’s something about him that he knows how to win and I don’t know what’s gonna happen with him but I wish him the best of luck and everything.”
On if the Broncos should trade Tebow:
“If they didn’t trade him I think he could learn a lot of things with Peyton, if he just wanted to sit back and learn some stuff. And with what Peyton’s done, I feel like he can learn from Peyton and be the quarterback from there. But I really don’t know.”
On if Tebow can be utilized at other positions on offense:
“I believe so but I feel like Tim wants to play quarterback. I don’t think he’ll wanna play no other position. I feel like he wanted to play quarterback, he just wants to prove to people that he can play quarterback. So I couldn’t tell you.”