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If there was any doubt about Tim Tebow‘s ability to drive a passing offense at the NFL level, it most likely went away when the second-year quarterback made several big-time throws against a Pittsburgh Steelers defense that loaded up against the run in the wild-card win. That 29-23 upset over the Steelers was followed by a 45-10 rout in the divisional frame at the hands of the New England Patriotsin which Tebow regressed as a pure passer, most obviously because New England’s point total forced the Broncos to pass more often, and the Patriots’ defense knew it.

Anyone who worried that Tebow’s performance against the Pats would have team president John Elway and head coach John Fox looking elsewhere for a starting quarterback in the 2012 preseason need concern themselves no longer — in the Broncos’ season-ending press conference on Monday, both Elway and Fox made it very clear that Tebow is their guy going forward.

“I think Tim has earned the right to be the starting quarterback going into training camp next year,” 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.”

That the commitment was not beyond training camp may raise the collective blood pressure of the Tebow faithful, but such competitions are common. Elway pinpointed not only what he saw from Tebow after he replaced Kyle Orton early in the season, but also what he expects to see in the offseason.

“The thing that we talked about is the fact that with the way the season was last year — not having the offseason — and with Timmy being named the starter, I think the sixth week of the season, it was a tough situation for him. Obviously, we’ve talked about the improvement that Timmy needs to make with mechanics at the quarterback position, so we’re looking forward to having this offseason with him.

“There’s no question — and he realizes it too — that we’ve got to get better in that area. We ran the ball tremendously this year, [The Broncos were No. 1] in the league in rushing, but obviously, the passing game wasn’t where we wanted it to be, so those are the strides that we’re going to have to make for us to be the offensive team that we want to be. That’s what we’re looking for this offseason, and we know what kind of mentality Timmy has. 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 that area. I think he will make those improvements.”

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To that end, Elway — the greatest passer in franchise history and one of the best the NFL has ever seen — has vowed to take a personal interest in that offseason tutelage.

“I’m looking forward to spending considerable time with him as well as all the quarterbacks, along with Adam Gase, the quarterbacks coach, as well as Mike McCoy, the offensive coordinator,” Elway said. “I think that there are things that I can add. There are a lot of things that I didn’t go directly to [Timmy] with but talked to Adam Gase quite a bit about during the season. The thing is, as a quarterback, the last thing that you want is to have too many voices talking to you. I think there’s got to be one singular voice that’s talking to him — or two voices. Where I can help him, and as well as I can give my experiences to him as well as Adam and Mike, I’m looking forward to being able to do that.”

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