ORLANDO, Fla. -- All the praise, and all the potshots, are aimed squarely at the new No. 15 on the Denver Broncos' depth chart.
Tim Tebow will emerge as the new rock star in the Mile High City, or he will be dismissed as an American Idol whose throwing motion was always off-key.
We wait and wonder.
But there's another legacy at stake here. It belongs to the brash young coach who has found a kindred spirit in Tebow. He sees the passion. He feels the fire. He craves the same success.
Josh McDaniels, the wunderkind disciple of Bill Belichick, is officially his own man.
And just like Belichick, ego is in play. Big-time.
McDaniels will fix Tebow. He will make his critics cringe in shame. He will join forces with Tebow, and together, they will torch the NFL.
McDaniels was smitten by Tebow at first glance, when they met during the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. The conversation only lasted 15 minutes, but it was love at first sound bite.
"I was jacked leaving that room," Tebow said. "I didn't even want to visit another room. It was not enough time. We were excited, we were enthusiastic. There was passion. It was just intense, and it was ball, and it was juice. The juice level in that room was high, and it was awesome."
McDaniels clearly has a lot of juice in Denver. He leveraged three draft picks, moving them here and there, to get Tebow at No. 25 in the first round.
McDaniels has moved a lot of furniture around since he arrived in Denver last season, and he's left a lot of scratch marks. The relationship with quarterback Jay Cutler imploded when McDaniels tried to swing a deal with New England to get Matt Cassel and it didn't work out. Cutler's ego was bruised, and Cutler got jettisoned to Chicago for Kyle Orton.
Orton and McDaniels became best buddies, riding together in McDaniels' car to games while the rest of the guys slouched in a bus. McDaniels has always been a quarterback guy. He helped nurture Tom Brady in New England, and then helped develop Cassel. Orton was next, but he clearly had deficiencies. It wasn't all on Orton of course, but the 2009 Broncos became only the third team since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger to miss the playoffs after a 6-0 start.
Forget the depth chart, which lists Tebow as the fourth quarterback behind Orton, Brady Quinn and Tom Brandstater. McDaniels will find room in his car for Tebow, even if it's riding shotgun for a while.
Is it a coincidence that the franchise dumped the previous No. 15 on their roster, malcontent Brandon Marshall, for the consummate team guy? All that's missing with Tebow is the pom-poms and the leather helmet.
"The football traits he has is the stuff you die for," McDaniels told Peter King of Sports Illustrated.
No matter how much blind faith McDaniels has in Tebow, it's still a reach. The NFL does due diligence when it comes to translating college stardom into pro potential. Before Tebow, the last four Heisman Trophy quarterbacks from this state were quickly identified as marginal prospects. Miami's Gino Toretta, Florida's Danny Wuerffel and FSU's Chris Weinke had short NFL shelf lives. FSU's Charlie Ward dropped football and went to the NBA.
McDaniels is telling the world that Tebow will be different, that the Heisman Trophy won't just be another fancy albatross.
Tebow is one of the most polarizing players in college football history.
McDaniels is the offensive guru who has polarized the fanatical Denver fan base. Why else would there be a Facebook page titled "Josh McDaniels is a Power-Hungry Ego-Tripping Circus Clown"?
McDaniels will show them.
He is the unconventional coach. Tebow is the unconventional quarterback.
It's the perfect marriage of ego and righteousness.