In January 2012, Tim Tebow led the Denver Broncos to a 29-23 playoff win over the Pittsburgh Steelers, throwing for 316 yards and accounting for three touchdowns (two pass, one rush), including the game-winning 80-yard touchdown pass to Demaryius Thomas on the first play of overtime.
Tebow’s reward? There was none. The Broncos signed Peyton Manning and released Tebow that offseason.
Somehow, Tebow isn’t bitter about that.
“No, I don’t have any bitterness,” the former Heisman winner said on CBS Sports Radio’s The Doug Gottlieb Show. “Bitterness is terrible thing. Bitterness is like drinking poison and thinking the other person is going to die. That’s a horrible thing. I don’t want to live with bitterness in my life. I was very blessed to have two awesome years there, and I still have a bunch of friends (I made there). I think it’s a great organization. It’s a great city. I loved my time there. There’s no bitterness. I root for them. I root for Von (Miller) and Demaryius and all those guys that I played with.”
Tebow, 28, signed with the New York Jets in 2012 but was never given a true opportunity to play quarterback. He spent that season as a backup to Mark Sanchez and only saw the field, more or less, on gadget plays.
Tebow says he wouldn’t change anything about that experience.
“I’m a believer that everything happens for a reason and you just try to handle it and be the best you can and learn from every single experience,” Tebow said. “That’s something that I’ve tried to do is improve and learn and not look back and say, ‘Man, I wish I could change something.’ It’s (all about) the next opportunity I have, how can I do that better.”
Tebow tried to make the Patriots’ roster in 2013 and the Eagles’ roster in 2015, but he came up short both times.
“I still feel like I’m in the best shape of my life,” Tebow said of a potential NFL comeback. “I love what I’m doing for ESPN and SEC Network. I love it because I’m around ball. I love talking it. But I’m also in pretty good shape. We’ll see.”
Tebow seemed like an ideal fit for Chip Kelly’s offense in Philadelphia and had a solid preseason, throwing for 189 yards, two touchdowns and one interception in a 24-18 loss to the Jets.
Kelly cut him anyway.
“I think he’s a great football coach,” Tebow said. “I think he runs a really good offense. I think he is someone that tries to be – and has been – on the cutting edge of offense, on the cutting edge of trying to take care of his players.”
Kelly, of course, was fired in Philadelphia this past season but signed with San Francisco just a few weeks later.
“He’ll do it just like we all do it,” Tebow said. “We learn from every experience that we’re in and improve from it.”