Tebow Next Big Thing in Denver?
Fans are ready to annoit Tebow the starter, even though Kyle Orton threw for 20 tds nine ints and 3,653 yads last season in 13 games. Tebow in three starts and nine games threw for just 50% completion rate, 881 total yards 11 tds and three ints.
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Man it’s been quite the career for Kyle Orton so far; He began as a 4th round pick with the Bears in 2005 and made the 53 man roster as the 3rd string quarterback then mostly due to an injury to Rex Grossman and poor play from Chad Hutchinson, wound up the starter. He was then shuffled out of the line-up at half during the Falcons in week 15 only and sat for week 16 only to start week 17 again totalling 15 starts that season, after all that despite having led the team to the postseason he was benched again in favor of Grossman for their one and done performance against the Panthers. Orton led the Bears to a 10-5 record in his 15 starts in 2005, only to return to the bench in 2006. Grossman continued as the starter in 2006 with back-up Brian Griese being signed to be the #2 qb. In 2007 Chris Leak was brought into compete with Orton for the 3rd qb job only to be quickly beat out by the improving young quarterback. He fought his way up the depth chart to try and make his way into the back-up job over Griese. He wound up starting 3 games at the end of the season ending with a 2-1 record. Passing for 474 yards 3 tds 2 ints during that time. With just 1 season left and momentum on the starting job for the 2008 season he signed a 1 year extension locking him up with the Bears through 2009. Despite a 9-6 record in 2008 Jerry Angelo wasn’t impressed and traded him to the Denver Broncos for Jay Cutler. Now in Denver he faces Chris Simms for the starting job which is easily won over starting the season off fast with 6 straight wins only to wind up 8-7 at the end of the season in 2009. He signed an extension with Denver expecting to be the quarterback through the 2011 season. Despite decent play in 2009 with 3,802 yards 21 tds 12 ints completing 62% of his passes. Simms the back-up was released only for the team to acquire Brady Quinn via trade before the draft, and trade back up into the 1st round to select Tim Tebow. So all of a sudden Orton has competition for the starting job again in 2010. Orton played strong again to begin with and slipped up toward the end only to be benched for the last 3 games of the season for Tebow the qb of the future.
Now that we have that ridiculous back story out of the way Orton has been declared the starter for 2011 despite the fact that his play slipped last season and he managed to win just 3 of his 13 starts. Tebow remains on roster but with Quinn’s play questioned through out the preseason and training camp and his contract expiring I wouldn’t be shocked to see them let Quinn walk in free agency and sign another veteran quarterback. Let’s not forget that people will try to trade for Orton viewing him as someone who is just warming the seat for Tebow for 1 more season unless they get a good enough offer to let him leave via trade. Meaning the Broncos could wind up letting him go sooner rather than later and throw Tebow into the fire. John Elway believes in that approach after following the same path himself with the Broncos, so it wouldn’t be a shock to see him try this method. Orton could fetch a late first round pick or possibly even 2 mid round picks something the Broncos could desperately use with a new defensive scheme being put in place, and plenty of holes on offense as well. Tebow has already won over the fan base in Denver something that has always weighed into the decisions for this team and it should lead to a rash decision at some point this season especially if we continue through this lockout. Keep in mind the team is rebuilding anyway, the offense maybe similar but going from an offensive minded coach who had his hand in the play calling all the time versus a defensive minded coach handing the reigns completely to the offensive coordinator but it’s still a new begining for both quarterbacks either way, granted Orton handles change well, this maybe the perfect instance to let him take over and throw all doubts under the bus with him. It almost makes more sense to go ahead and build the team around this guy as your franchise quarterback, then decide if you need an upgrade should the need present itself in a couple seasons when you have a solid supporting cast.