Tim Tebow: Former Oklahoma safety Quinton Carter's view from inside Tebowmania

COMMENTEBOW — Former OU Sooner Quinton Carter's first taste of Tebowmania came in the 2008 BCS title game from the opposing sideline. Now they're both Denver Broncos. You could say Carter's perspective has changed.
by Jenni Carlson Modified: January 11, 2012 at 5:21 pm •  Published: January 11, 2012
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Quinton Carter knew Tim Tebow as a foe not so long ago.

Now, he's a friend.

And here you thought you already knew everything Tebow could do.

Only three Januarys ago, Carter and his Oklahoma teammates chased Tebow around the South Florida sod. Didn't end so well for the Sooners. The Gators won the national championship, and their arm-chomping, always-kneeling quarterback who was praised more than Jehovah himself became a Sooner enemy.

Tebowing?

How about Tebowed? Folks around here were Tebowed out after that.

But this January, there's at least one Sooner who has nothing but praise for Tebow. Carter, now a rookie safety with the Denver Broncos, can't say enough about what the quarterback has done for the team.

“We started winning; it's really that simple,” Carter said. “He knows how to win game. He's a big-time leader on the team.

“We all rally behind him.”

Including the former Sooner safety.

Carter finds himself not only in the Broncos' starting lineup but also in the AFC divisional playoffs. Saturday night, it's Denver vs. New England. Tebow vs. Brady. Josh McDaniels' old team vs. Josh McDaniels' new team.

It's the game of the weekend.

“The way our season has been going is really like a dream,” Carter said. “To come in here and be this far and playing games like that, it's like I'm dreaming.”

And Carter knows he and the rest of the Broncos wouldn't be there if not for Tebow.

Three months ago, they were the longest of playoff long shots. They lost four of their first five games. They had little life offensively. They put more on the defense than it could handle.

It was a disaster.

Then during an off week before Denver traveled to Miami, Broncos coach John Fox adopted a survival-of-the-fittest approach. Every position was open. Every job was up for grabs. It was a desperate move by a desperate coach.

But it was during that week that Carter secured a spot in the starting lineup.

A consensus All-American who was known for his consistent, steady play at OU, he'd played since the beginning of the season but his responsibilities grew each week. He went from a situational player, being part of the dime package when the Broncos put six defensive backs on the field, to a guy who spelled the starters in the base defense.

Finally, he landed in the starting lineup.


by Jenni Carlson
Columnist
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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