Tim Tebow Gets Twitter Defense from Former Broncos Teammate Brian Dawkins

Rocky SamuelsCorrespondent IINovember 15, 2012

SAN DIEGO, CA - NOVEMBER 27:   Tim Tebow #15 and  Brian Dawkins #20 of the Denver Broncos celebrate a 16-13 overtime win over the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium on November 27, 2011 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

Tim Tebow can even make a nine-time Pro Bowl safety come out of retirement to play defense.

Brian Dawkins, Tebow's 2011 teammate with the Denver Broncos, took to Twitter to defend Tebow in the wake of a report from Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News in which unnamed Jets teammates decried Tebow's QB skills, with an anonymous (and gutless) defensive starter offering the most stinging critique: "He's terrible." 

That is the antithesis of Dawkins' feelings about Tebow:

I'll always respect & appreciate the person, work ethic & teammate@timtebow was!! #staystrong

— Brian Dawkins (@BrianDawkins) November 15, 2012

Like Tebow, Dawkins is a devout Christian, and their bond on the field took on some spiritual overtones during the Broncos' improbable 2011 winning streak with Tebow as the starting QB. 

In 2011, after the Broncos beat Mark Sanchez and the New York Jets—thanks largely to Tebow's fourth-quarter, 95-yard drive in which he evaded and ran headlong into a defense unable to corral his rumbling frame—Dawkins hinted at a supernatural swirl circling Tebow's exploits.

This is something that does not happen all the time. Myself and Tim were talking before the game and believing in something of a higher purpose and, you know, there are just some things happening that just don’t happen all the time.

After the 2011 season, while speaking at Pinon Hills Community Church, Dawkins addressed the virulently negative opinions he has heard hurled in Tebow's direction (his comments on Tebow come at the 32-minute mark of the video):

I don't know if you will ever find someone else who gets as much flack as [Tebow] gets. It's really unbelievable the ... hate that he gets. People hate the fact that he's someone that's positive. They hate the fact that the first thing he says when he gets up to do an interview is "I'd like to thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." They hate that. And for him to be able to have the people in his corner praying for him and [for him] to continue to stand strong in the midst of those things and to continue to go out and perform is a tremendous, tremendous ... it takes a tremendous person to be able to deal with what he deals with, let's just say it like that.

But did any of that negativity ever wear on the perpetually positive Tebow?

Yes, Dawkins had a behind-the-scenes glimpse at the emotional toil such sour sentiment could take on his teammate:

You know, I can see it in his face. I can see that some of these things are getting to him. You know when I would just ask him, "Tim, do you need anything? You need me to pray for you or whatever?" And we'd talk or pray or whatever but to see what he goes through and still maintain the level of consistency [he does] as far as playing when he gets a chance, it's unbelievable.

No one, including Dawkins, is suggesting that there is some kind of spiritual antagonism at play in this most recent example of Tebowphobia, but Dawkins' recent comments on Twitter and during his postseason talk at Pinon Hills Community Church are reminders of the affable young man lurking underneath all the smoke of Tebowmania. 

Dawkins and Tebow are also emblematic of the high character that is forged on the field and the locker room among so many NFL players who find common bonds for the common good.

That example of class and character is important during a week in which 11 anonymous Jets looked sorely lacking in both categories.