Tim Tebow admits criticism 'hurts'

Tim Tebow has heard the avalanche of criticism.

He is fighting back.

In a rare show of anger, frustration and vulnerability, the embattled second-year Denver Broncos quarterback opened up to the Denver Post.

"My dream, since I was a young boy, of being a starting quarterback in the NFL seemed to be coming true," Tebow said."Then, I felt like it was grabbed back away. . . ."

It’s been a tough week for Tebow. First, he saw his chance to be the Broncos’ starter disappear when a proposed Kyle Orton trade to Miami died, then he saw his first-team snaps go away and then he became the center of a firestorm when ESPN analyst Merill Hoge expressed major doubts about whether Tebow could ever make it as an NFL quarterback.

Tebow admits hearing such criticism sticks with him. Still, he is not giving up. Not even close.

“I'm trying to insulate myself from what people in the media are saying, but I've seen some of it, and it hurts because it's coming from people who haven't seen me practice, haven't seen me play, haven't seen what I can do," he said. "I did an interview the other day with someone on the NFL Network who said last year I'd never play a down in the NFL. He was wrong. ... Others who say I won't make it are wrong. They don't know what I'm capable of and what's inside me. My family and my friends have been bothered by what's gone on, and I tell them to pay no attention to it. I'm relying as always on my faith."

Like the criticism levied against Tebow, his words won’t mean much unless he produces on the field. I’m more interested to see how Tebow reacts on the field in the preseason rather than how he reacts to the criticism with his words.