Denver Broncos quarterback Brady Quinn said Tuesday that GQ magazine inaccurately portrayed him as being critical of Tim Tebow.
In the article, which includes quotes from numerous players and coaches, Quinn appears to be downplaying Tebow’s effectiveness as a quarterback and criticizing his overt religious displays.
Quinn, who will be an unrestricted free agent, also suggested he may have lost his spot as the second-string quarterback to Tebow due to fans clamoring for the former Florida Gators star to play.
A billboard even went up in Denver in late September pleading with coach John Fox to replace Kyle Orton with Tebow.
"Early in the season, there was a game when Kyle got hurt and the coaches were calling for me to go in, but Kyle got up and finished the game out. So I was the second-string guy," Quinn is quoted as saying.
"Then, a few weeks later, they decided to put Tim in. I felt like the fans had a lot to do with that. Just ’cause they were chanting his name. There was a big calling for him. No, I didn’t have any billboards. That would have been nice."
But Quinn took to Twitter on Tuesday afternoon to emphatically deny any bitterness toward Tebow or ill will toward the Broncos organization, arguing the magazine presented his statements out of context.
"The comments attributed to me in a recent magazine article are in NO WAY reflective of my opinion of Tim and the Broncos. Tim deserves a lot of credit for our success and I’m happy for him and what he accomplished. Most importantly, he is a great teammate," Quinn wrote.
"That interview was conducted three months ago, and the resulting story was a completely inaccurate portrayal of my comments. I have addressed my disappointment with the writer and have reached out to Tim to clear this up. I apologize to anyone who feels I was trying to take anything away from our team’s or Tim’s success this season."
Several other players, including Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs and Bills linebacker Shawne Merriman, said they did not understand all of the attention given to Tebow during the Broncos’ late-season surge to the AFC West title.
Suggs said Tebow was "terrible" much of the time, and both said Tebow received more of the credit than he should have for the team’s hot streak.
But the most surprising part of the story was Quinn’s apparently frank comments about his teammate, which were in sharp contrast to other members of the Broncos organization, including Fox and John Elway.
Quinn said, "We’ve had a lot of, I guess, luck, to put it simply," in reference to a comeback victory over Chicago.
On an earlier win at Kansas City in which Tebow completed only two passes, Quinn noted, "The entire game, the defensive line is chasing the quarterback around, and that wears down the pass rush. Meanwhile, the defensive backs are chasing receivers, but you only throw eight passes, so they start to feel lazy."
The article also quotes Quinn as criticizing Tebow’s public displays of his Christian faith.
"If you look at it as a whole, there’s a lot of things that just don’t seem very humble to me. When I get that opportunity, I’ll continue to lead not necessarily by trying to get in front of the camera and praying but by praying with my teammates, you know?"
The Broncos are expected to add two quarterbacks to the roster to compete with Tebow in training camp, though Tebow will still be the starter. It is unclear whether the team will opt to re-sign the 27-year-old Quinn, who has not thrown a pass in the last two seasons.