Denver Broncos head coach John Fox believes those who label Tim Tebow as a "gimmick" quarterback will be proved wrong.
Fox said Thursday that he expects Tebow to continue evolving into more of a traditional-style NFL as he enters his third season.
"He is going to be a great quarterback in this league," Fox told myself and co-host Bill Polian on Sirius XM NFL Radio at the NFL Scouting Combine. "How long it takes (and) when? I can’t tell you. But he’s going to be that guy in a regular NFL offense.
"I’m not saying we’re going to totally abandon some of those things that present problems for the defense. But it’s going to be important (he grows as a quarterback). He’s going to get the opportunity to improve and show he can make those strides."
Tebow’s scrambling ability, clutch fourth-quarter performances and leadership skills helped the Broncos win the AFC West and reach the second round of the playoffs. Tebow, though, completed only 46.5 percent of his passes in an unconventional NFL offense that featured option plays and quarterback draws. Most top-tier NFL quarterbacks complete at least 60 percent of their passes.
"Tim made great progress this year," Fox said. "It’s not just playing quarterback. It’s leading. Tim did an outstanding job. Like any young player, I think he has areas to improve. He knows that."
Tebow already has started working to improve his mechanics and footwork this offseason by hiring UCLA offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone as a private quarterbacks coach. Under rules of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement that have shortened the length of offseason workout programs, Broncos coaches are prohibited from working hands-on with Tebow until April 16.
As first reported by FOXSports.com, Broncos executive and Hall of Fame quarterback John Elway is planning to help Denver’s coaches provide on-field tutoring to Tebow. Until then, Fox said the Broncos are “totally comfortable” with Tebow receiving guidance from Mazzone for a second offseason.
"The fact he’s out there working, I think that’s helpful," Fox said. "He’s not sitting on some couch or traveling all over the world. He’s working on football."