Small Hope In The Mile High City Or: A Broncos Jets Preview

Confession: I haven’t been this excited about the Denver Broncos since this moment back in 2009:

After those famous fist pumps to the Mile High crowd, I was certain the Denver Broncos had made the coaching coup of the century. Mike Tomlin who? Bill Belichick, what? Pat Bowlen had proven his genius yet again and my Broncos were supposed to be back on their way to franchise dominance. When we put the icing on the cake with a W over the San Diego Chargers the very next week, I was positive that we could go deep into the playoffs and possibly contend for a Super Bowl. The Chargers, after all, had dominated us for the better part of a half decade before that game and had somehow surpassed the Raiders as the Broncos chief (no pun intended) rival. Philip Rivers, you may remember, taunted Jay Cutler from the sidelines after a brutal loss in 2007. Victory tasted good. I was riding on cloud nine and ready for the next chapter of Broncos dynasties.

You all know how that turned out though. The Broncos missed the playoffs in one of the worst collapses in NFL history, finishing the season 8-8. From there McDaniels would lose the locker room, make one of the most controversial draft choices of all time, and eventually get fired midway through the 2010 season.

It was a hard time to be a Broncos fan.

And it was still hard to be a Broncos fan about four weeks ago when John Fox made the controversial decision to hand over the starting job to Tim Tebow after Kyle Orton proved for the millionth time that he is merely Kyle Orton. And then, something weird happened.

In a brutally frustrating game against the Miami Dolphins, the Broncos found themselves yet again trailing in the fourth quarter. It was the type of game Kyle Orton was notorious for mailing in over the years. And look, I don’t blame him for it at all. He played with a bunch of crap teammates for a long time and I totally get why he was so easily frustrated, most especially with a defense that couldn’t keep his high octane offense in games.

But this guy Tim Tebow kept running onto the field like it was the first quarter and nothing had happened yet. His ability to completely wipe away the memory of the last three quarters was astonishing to witness. All of a sudden he was leading a late drive. All of a sudden we had a QB who didn’t get pissed off because the pressure was reaching him in the pocket. All of a sudden, the Broncos scored and had an outside shot pending an onsides kick. All of a sudden, the Broncos won a game in which they trailed by 15 with less than three minutes left.

And I can tell you that to most fans, this is the quality that attracts most of Tebow’s followers. Too often we’ve been burned by Orton giving up on games, we lived with Carmelo Anthony loafing through quarters like he was playing pickup with his buddies. To see a superstar who plays every down like it might be his last is just fine with the residents of Denver, a city that has struggled mightily in sports as of late.

The next week pretty much got ready of any momentarily relief though. The Lions did what every NFL talking head in the country predicted a good NFL team would do to Tim Tebow. He was sacked like a bigillion times, so much so that I’m almost positive they stopped keeping track. A Lions lineman did Tebow’s own pose over him after bringing him down. So much for that hope.

And then, something even more amazing happened than the Broncos comeback win in Miami. The Denver Broncos coaching staff decided to adapt to the personnel that they had rather than force an identity they didn’t have. I think this is the greatest miracle in all of this, given how stubborn NFL head coaches have become over the years and how notorious they are for resisting change. It was one of McDaniels’ biggest problems. He never was able to realize he no longer had Tom Brady on the roster and couldn’t adapt to life without him (and that Belichick fella).

They decided that they would go against all of the “wisdom” of NFL analysts and actually see if a zone read offensive attack could work in the NFL. And you know what. It works. It f—ing works. NFL defenses and all of this alleged speed that was supposed to prevent it from succeeding haven’t a clue how to stop it. The Broncos have racked up 299 and 244 yards in consecutive weeks and now find themselves one game out of first place in the division and the most improbable of playoff runs.

And all of those crazy events are exactly the reason I am so damn excited for tonight’s game against the Jets. Once again the Broncos have had to listen to a (shortened) week’s worth of criticism about how all of this is just catching teams by surprise and how it can’t work in the long-term. And tonight they have the chance to give one of the greatest middle fingers to ESPN’s “experts” in the history of sports analysis.

The Jets present the toughest of matchups for a team like Denver that has so committed itself to the run. They have excellent cornerbacks that allow their defense to quite literally put every other defender inside the box to protect the rush. And you know what? I still say the Broncos win anyway.

Here’s why.

Everyone seems to forget that the New York Jets have Mark Sanchez at quarterback. He’s awful. He forces more turnovers than Jay Leno forces awkward, unfunny jokes into his opening monologues. If Sanchez comes out and throws an early pick or three, forget about it. It’s all over. The Broncos will pound one of those possessions into the end zone, and that’s all it could take. Which brings me to point number two.

This game is going to be extremely low scoring, given the identities of both the teams. There is NOTHING Rex Ryan loves more than a game between possession-heavy, run-based offenses that really rely on their defenses to go out and win them football games. Well except for maybe all-you-can-eat buffets.

These games are usually decided by what team turns the ball over less, and if there’s anything Tim Tebow does well in the NFL, it’s that he never turns the ball over, most especially through the air. Mark Sanchez on the other hand will likely lose this game for the Jets tonight by trying to play the hero role he’s so clearly not cut out for.

Speaking of going to the air, this brings me to my next point. The NFL is all about the ability to adapt from week-to-week. You don’t really think the Broncos are going to continue to run the ball 55 times a game, do you? Tell me you’re not that stupid! The Broncos are implementing a new offense on the fly and you can count on them incorporating many pass plays into this option attack over the coming weeks that teams haven’t seen yet on tape, much like what Tebow used at Florida.

You know that defenses in college arrogantly thought the same way that NFL defenses do now and gave him single coverage all day, right? You know that either of the following two plays have the potential to happen every single down, yes?

And it is with all of these thoughts in mind that I will be making my first journey out of the house specifically to watch a Broncos game in over two years. I don’t have a Tebow jersey yet, but if we win tonight, one will be on its way to my residence before I go to bed. It’s never been more fun to be a Broncos fan. It’s exciting. It’s thrilling. We literally can’t wait to see what’s going to happen next.

And other than winning a championship, that’s the best feeling in the world as a sports fan.

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Tim Tebow Named The Starting Quarterback Of The Denver Broncos

It became official this morning.  From ESPN:

The Denver Broncos have confirmed Tim Tebow will be their starting quarterback after the bye week in a game against the Miami Dolphins.

The Broncos (1-4) say they will have two practices for him this week as the starter before taking the bye and will install training-camp like practices to facilitate the change in starting quarterbacks.

The timing of the move is unique. The Broncos play the Dolphins on Oct. 23 in Miami, and the Dolphins, who lost Chad Henne for the season with a shoulder injury, were trying to trade for benched starter Kyle Orton before the start of training camp.

Next Tuesday is the trade deadline, but it would seem unlikely the Broncos would trade Orton to Miami and have him potentially start against Tebow.

The best argument I’ve heard (beyond my own) was actually by the Rockies beat writer Troy Renck this morning.  Renck said something to the effect of players in the lockerrom support guys who make plays.  And there’s no argument that Tebow made plays while Orton did not.

[ESPN.com]

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Good Morning Generation

Hey look at that John Fox. You insert Tim Tebow into the lineup and something crazy happens. The Broncos actually start playing with a little bit of heart, a little bit of inspiration as if they actually want to win a football game.  What I honestly can’t figure out though is why Kyle Orton can’t do the same thing.  I’ve heard legendary stories of feats that the man has pulled off in practice when no one is watching.  It’s precisely why almost every skill player was vouching for him in the media prior to the season.  It’s exactly why he was named the starter in the first place this offseason over Tebow and Quinn.  But for some reason, when the whistle blows on Sunday afternoon all of that goes out the window.

It’s a cop out for me to sit here like I’m Colin Cowherd and declare some completely illogical diagnosis of what exactly it is about Kyle Orton that makes the Broncos so awful–they are now 6-22 in his last 28 starts, if you’re counting at home.  But it’s also irresponsible to not point out that we have a significant sample size now that this is not just some strange coincidence.  No one seems to have faith in the guy.  I don’t know whether that’s because he’s a dick behind the scenes, because he’s fed up with playing in a city that never appreciated him and never fully gave him a chance, or because he’s just not that good of a quarterback.  My guess is it’s probably a  combination of all three of those factors and that they started to weigh on his conscience over his time in Denver.  The breaking point finally came at half time yesterday.  And there is no going back.

This now leaves the Broncos in an excellent organizational position, in my not so professional opinion.  They find themselves in that win-win situation I described at length for you before the season started.  For those unfamiliar with it, here’s the summary.  The Broncos literally have nothing to lose by starting Tebow the rest of the way.  There’s something exciting about watching him play.  It’s going to keep the stands filled with fans and it’s going to make the Broncos relevant in a year where they have no business doing so.  Watch how much his jersey sales spike in the coming weeks as proof of this.  And so the logic follows that either a) Tebow will be horrible as everyone assumes which means the Broncos will likely finish 2-14 and hopefully find themselves the winner of the Suck for Luck sweepstakes or b) Tebow proves that he actually is a solid starter in this league and the Broncos find themselves just a few defensive linemen away from being a fringe playoff contender next year.  There is no losing for the Broncos in the long-term.

This new situation also allows the Broncos to hopefully trade Orton before the season is over, meaning they could probably net a third round draft pick to aid in the rebuilding process.  It’s ends a hostile relationship between a player that felt he was far better than anyone gave him credit for, and a city that really never gave him a chance.  It’s best for everyone involved if they go their separate ways now.

And yet I can’t help but go back to Orton.  I can tell he’s a better thrower than Tebow.  I can see that he’s a way better quarterback. It’s quite obvious after watching either of them play for five minutes.  I don’t know how else to say it though except that he seems to know he’s going to lose before he ever starts.  He’s like the cooler of NFL quarterbacks. 

Is it a lack of confidence?  Did the lockerroom turn on him?  Did he lash out at John Fox in front of the rest of the team?  Was he just so awful that he forced the head coach to deal this hand?  There’s a great book to be written one day about how all of this went down, with inside accounts from the coaches, linemen, and receivers telling the story.  Something dramatic has to have happened.

For now though, Tim Tebow is officially the starting quarterback of the Denver Broncos.

And that sounds pretty sweet to this Broncos fan.

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Here’s The Story On The Idiot Broncos Fans Who Are Intent On Purchasing Billboards

I can’t tell you enough how against this I am.  From USA Today:

Eight Broncos fans who planned on attending the Super Bowl have instead focused their resources on another cause: running QB Kyle Orton out of town.

The clan of eight die hards, led by Independence, Ky., native Jesse Oaks, have pooled the $10,000 they planned to spend on a trip to Indianapolis for the Super Bowl, and intend to buy a Denver-area billboard expressing their disgust with the team’s QB situation.

“Obviously we’re not going to the Super Bowl this year or even the next year,” says Oaks, a 24-year-old self-employed in construction management. “So we want to spend that money to better our team.”

After watching with disgust as the Broncos fell 23-20 to the Oakland Raiders in the home opener Monday night, Oaks rallied his group and took to the team forum on DenverBroncos.com with his proposed billboard idea around 1 PM ET Wednesday. The thread exploded and Oaks says he received hundreds of emails, most offering encouragement and contributions.

“We gave Orton two years,” Oaks says. “He can keep us in games, but he does not give us the best chance to win.”

Oaks says they don’t necessarily want Tim Tebow — they just don’t want Orton.

“We’re not Tebow fanatics, we think Tebow gives us the best chance to win,” Oaks says. “But if Brady Quinn or even (practice squad QB) Adam Weber can give us a chance, that’s what we want.”

Kyle Orton gives us the best chance to win right now and if they can’t see that, allow me to be the first person to revoke their Broncos fandom.

[USA Today]

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Good Morning Generation

Alright, alright, alright I’ll address the Broncos quarterbacking situation again.  In case you haven’t been bombarded by ESPN yet, Denver fans burst into a “we-want-te-bow” chant during Monday Night Football earlier this week despite the fact that Kyle Orton came pretty damn close to leading a nice comeback.  Some rogue fans from Kentucky are even going so far as to spend their savings which they had intended to use to go to the Super Bowl this year to instead post billboards in Denver stating their feelings against Orton.  That s— is weak if you ask me, by both the fans who cheered for Tebow to come in and the douches purchasing the billboard, so let me clarify my feelings on this issue.

For the twelve or so people who read the site regularly, you might remember earlier this season that I was in fact calling for Tebow to start myself.  My general feeling was that Orton will never forgive the organization for the Dolphins trade rumors and furthermore will always have a chip on his shoulder about the city and fans because of how openly they’ve called for Tebow over him.  It’s a lose-lose for all parties.  You might remember that I called for Tebow for two important reasons.  The first was that I actually believe he’s a terribly quarterback who would lead the Broncos to a dismal 1-15 record which would actually be the greatest gift of all time because it would ensure Denver gets Andrew Luck.  The second reason was that there is still the slightest of possibilities that Tim Tebow actually pans out and, if that miracle were to go down, the Broncos would instantly become one of the top three most popular franchises in American professional sports.  I even went so far as to imagine the extent to which Mile High Stadium would shake if Tebow was leading a surprise playoff berth.  I don’t believe the latter scenario is likely but my logic is solid in that the Broncos win either way.  They either put themselves in the solid position of being able to walk away from Tebow because they did give him a chance, or he actually proves he belongs in this league and endears himself to the fans and franchise forever as the true successor to Elway.  Win-win.

What I’m not doing though is joining this ever-growing legion of wack jobs who will follow Tebow to the ends of the earth like he’s a strange religous cult figure.  If you want my honest opinion on the present situation, Kyle Orton was actually money on Monday night.  Our offensive line is a disaster that gives him absolutely no time to sit in the pocket and make good passes and he still eclipsed the 300-yard mark.  He was a stupid fumble away from leading the Broncos to a victory and these lunatics are calling for his head mid-season? 

No way.  You can’ do that to the players.

I supported the move to ditch Orton in the offseason, but there is absolutely no way I’ll support the move to do it during it.  Any Broncos fan caught rooting for a drastic move like that is a fake and a phony and shouldn’t be able to call themselves a true fan.  I mean honestly Tebow-ites out there, have you watched him play lately?  Did you see how awful he was in the preseason?  The guy drops back, keeps his eyes on his primary target the whole time, and then does one of two things: fires an inaccurate pass or gets sacked from sitting in the pocket too long.  He is no where close to being ready, most especially with that disaster of an offensive line.  It shocks me that fans actually believe he’s the better quarterback at this point. 

What bothers me the most is the fan who somehow makes the connection in his brain that because Tebow is a hard worker (A), who is a nice guy (B) and is devoted to God (C) that he’s automatically going to be a success in this league.  A+B+C does not equal D in the NFL.  These Broncos fans know that John Elway was actually kind of a dick, right?  That he was notorious for sleeping around on his wife?  That he had a mean competitive streak that rivaled Jordan?  You might just call him the anti-Tebow for all it’s worth and yet he was a great quarterback despite all those character flaws.

For this upcoming NFL season it’s time to start getting used to the idea of Kyle Orton, Denver Broncos QB1.  He is the only hope the Broncos have at salvaging some kind of pride for those guys in the lockerroom and that will go a long way as the franchsie continues to rebuild.  Those players will never forget how Orton got them through the tough times when we sucked, which will make it all the more sweet when we continue to retool and eventually climb back into the NFL’s elite.

So no more of this we-want-te-bow crap all you fans who go to the games at Mile High.  At least for this season, that dream is over.  Time to support our favorite beck-bearded leader.

Generation Y, where we’d like to be the first to predict Notre Dame’s third straight loss this weekend.

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Good Morning Generation

I broke one of my cardinal rules about modern day professional football and actually attended the Broncos/Cowboys game last night in person.  My rule was that I’d never attend a game in person again and let’s just say that vow didn’t last very long.  I accepted the invitation to go in about .03 seconds (all times approximate) and was happy to get the chance to witness the Broncos quarterback (non)controversy in person.  I’ve been there three times previously, but all of those games were for college football (two Big 12 Championships and the TCU/Oregon State game last season).  Little bit different crowds between the pro and college level.

First of all, let’s get one myth out of the way real quick.  Everyone who says that modern day stadium is pricing out the blue collar fan couldn’t be further from the truth.  Well over 50% of the fans at the game last night were of the blue collar mold and I don’t think that’s because it was a preseason game.  While the modern day stadium might carry ridiculously high costs and the unforgivable concept of a PSL, all that’s happening instead is Jerry Jones is playing Ebenezer Scrooge to the Bob Cratchit lower-middle class families of the Metroplex.  Way to go Jerry, you crook!  People will try to tell you the white collar fan is the only person attending NFL games anymore, but that’s not true at all. 

Of the stadium experience itself, you can’t do much better than the deathstar, but it always puts you in the awkward position of having to choose between the world’s greatest television or watching the live action from a distance (where you can actually see the entirety of the play unfold like in a video game).  It’s the biggest pickle ever for a sports fan because although the JerryTron is badass, you find the little guy in the back of your head starting to ask why you even went to the game in the first place if you’re just going to watch it on TV.  Let’s just say I forced myself into watching the live action (begrudgingly).  One last note, the biggest atrocity the Cowboys committed in the construction of this wonder of the world was that the parking situation is criminally bad.  It’s not that there’s not enough parking.  Far from that, there’s actually way too much.  The problem is that the infrastructure cannot handle the amount of congestion and makes it impossible for the season ticket holders with parking passes to leave the game in a timely manner.  The set up can only be compared to that of a shopping mall which, in a similarly ridiculous practice, always makes it impossible for you to leave the parking lot while making it amazingly easy to get in (it’s the reason you don’t see a single stop sign on the way into the mall but then have to wait at six consecutive of them in 1/8 of a mile in order to get out).  So basically what happens is you can drive in relatively easy but then it takes you an hour to reach the interstate on the way home despite the stadium being maybe a quarter mile from I-30.

But who wants to hear me wax about the little details on the stadium itself, let’s get to the game!

Last night can best be described as the battle for the belt of the best third-string quarterback in the NFL.  The Broncos’ Brady Quinn and the Cowboys’ Stephen McGee put on a dazzling show in the second half last night and made that game about as entertaining as a pre-season game can be.  McGee of course drove the length of the field in the final four minutes and converted on a two point conversion with about 15 second left to beat the Broncos by one.  It was a great, great game, or as great as any contest can be between guys who will be stocking groceries in three weeks time.

But onto the storyline that dominated this game: the QB situation in Denver.  I made it to the game a little late so I actually didn’t get to see Orton play.  By all accounts he was typical Kyle Orton, carving up the Cowboys defense on his lone drive but failing to punch the ball in despite having first and goal at the one-yard line.  Can’t wait for another season where Orton puts up absurd fantasy numbers but leads his team to a losing record.  Ladies and gentlemen, the Denver Broncos!

But the real fun began late in the first quarter when Tim Tebow got to control the offense.  I’ve already read like five columns this morning, all of which have this same theme: “Tebow may suck in practice, but that’s because he’s a gameday quarterback!  Duh!!”  Let me tell you how it actually went down.  Tebow was mediocre, at best.  He simply cannot sit still in the pocket.  It’s like he has football ADD.  He takes every snap back, looks at his first read, and if that isn’t available he just starts churning his legs.  While one out of every five of these scrambles ends up working out, there’s also the four other ones where he took two sacks, threw a couple incompletions and a pick.  The guy cannot handle the speed of the game yet, unfortunately.  If there’s one bit of optimism to be had, Tebow is severely underestimated when it comes to throwing the deep ball.  He converted a beautiful 43-yard play action last night where he carved up a blown double coverage on the Cowboys part.  But that of course neglects the fact that he can’t hit a 7-yard out pass or find his second read.  Lots of work young ahead for that young man.

I hate to type out this next part, but it’s true.  Brady Quinn is a way better quarterback than Tim Tebow right now.  Sure, Quinn was going against the Cowboys backups’ backups whereas Tebow only had the backups, but I have to vouch for the incredible amount of poise shown by the former golden domer.  There was this awesome presence Quinn had on the field last night where you could tell the game was really slowing down for him as he exposed the Cowboys weak secondary.  He threw for 120-yards in his limited time in the second half  along with a brilliant touchdown pass where he delivered a strike to the back of the end zone.  This guy may just end up being a good quarterback in this league one day which sucks because it only furthers the QB mess of the Broncos.

All in all I was extremely pleased with the performance last night by Denver.  I fully support the move back to the 4-3 defense and you can tell Fox actually has a clue what he’s doing on that side of the ball.  The Cowboys have a couple of future players in McGee and receiver Dwayne Harris, but the defense still needs a lot of work before this team makes the jump back into contention.  Where you at Rob Ryan?

The NFL is back! 

Generation Y, where the prospect of another player winning his first major does not get our juices flowing.

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Good Morning Generation

It’s time once again to try to make any sense of the Broncos quarterbacking situation in this week’s edition of deciphering Tim Tebow.

About two weeks ago, Broncos fans everywhere seemed poised for the inevitable.   We were finally going to get rid of Kyle Orton and the painful memory of Jay Cutler and begin a new era in Colorado sports.  ESPN all but reported the trade of Orton to Miami as a done deal and the fans couldn’t get him out of town fast enough.  Tebow would surely deliver us back to the promised land…right?  Not so fast my friends!  The trade talks eventually died down after Miami stubbornly refused to give up a third round pick for the Broncos starter and now we’re left with this current mess.  Before we begin, let me mini-rant about the over-valuing of draft picks in the NFL right now.  You’re telling me a team that hasn’t had a good starting quarterback since Marino is going to balk over giving up a third round pick for the most reliable of starters?  The same team that has wasted countless picks on scrub QBs over the past decade?  Something isn’t clicking for me here, maybe I just don’t get it.  Teams seem to actually believe they can develop a third rounder out of some small school in the Sun Belt conference into the next Tony Romo or Joe Flacco.  Here’s a little reality check for you Dolphins management: ain’t….gonna….happen!

But back to the Broncos.  The first, and biggest entity that needs to be blamed in all of this is Mr. John Elway and his front office staff for the complete mishandling of this trade situation.  There’s no excuse for letting word of that trade get out if it wasn’t going to be a done deal.  It’s a huge sign of an inexperienced front office and I don’t see anyone willing to have the guts to call them out on it.  John, I love you buddy, but you messed this one up big time.  Even Josh McDaniels can’t believe how royally you screwed this one up, and that’s saying something.

This is going to result in the following things happening: Orton is no doubt going to get off to a blazing start, playing with a gigantic chip on his shoulder.  This is going to be a catch 22 situation for Broncos fans, because almost 98% of us want Tebow to be the starter and wrote off Orton weeks ago.  This is then going to lead to the Jake Plummer scenario whereby a quarterback never fully endears himself to the fans despite kicking all kinds of ass on the field, only for the simple reason that he isn’t the other guy (for Plummer, it was Elway, for Orton, it’s Tebow).  It’s not fair to any of the parties involved and Broncos management should be working the phones all the way up to the end of camp, trying to make this trade happen.

Let’s address many of the criticisms Tebow faces, should he eventually become the Broncos starter.  Merill Hoge made no secret about the biggest issue with Tebow’s future as a quarterback last week: the guy has major accuracy issues when it comes to passing.  Even the biggest Tebow supporters have to admit that much.  Example: my favorite Tebow moment thus far was last year’s comeback victory against the Texans.  Tim was his usual great self and capped it off in totally Tebow fashion by running the ball in for the game-winning touchdown.  That game also revealed though that he struggles mightily getting the ball to his receivers.  I can’t tell you how many dump passes and screen passes he missed his target on in the game, along with throwing an incredibly week pass inside the redzone that was intercepted because it was thrown five yards behind the intended receiver.  It’s definitely not a good sign when the 2010 Texans secondary was able to pick you off.  Perhaps the biggest play of the game was a 41-yard deep route caught by Brandon Lloyd that was only made possible because Tebow underthrew him by fifteen yards and the DBs were so confused by the miss that Lloyd was able to get back under the ball.  So basically what I’m trying to say is I know the dude has technical issues. 

Another issue was brought up by CBS Sports’ columnist Gregg Doyel yesterday in which he suggested, “it looks like Tebow equates his love for God in heaven with tangible rewards here on earth.”  Whether or not Tebow actually believes that, I cannot answer for you.  Depending on your interpretation of his quotes the past week or so, it is definitely possible to come to that conclusion.  I’m ready to admit that.  I’d like to give the guy a bunch more credit than that though.  He’s one of the all-time good guys, by almost every account ever written about him.  To suggest that he actually believes it is his divine right to be a quarterback in the NFL is, as Doyel writes, “blasphemous” against the fundamental teachings of Christianity.  I’m not buying that though until he comes out and says it literally.

Let’s try to conclude all of this though, from the Broncos’ organizational standpoint.  They have very little to gain by keeping Orton on the roster this year and benching Tebow.  Say it equates to a few extra wins.  All that does is move them ever closer to that dangerous world of the curse of mediocrity, made famous by former coach Mike Shanahan in the 2000s.  What this means is that they’ll miss out on the real impact players who could help the Broncos eventually make it back to a Super Bowl one day.  This team is by no means ready to make a run in the playoffs.  There’s still way too much rebuilding to do before that happens. 

Let’s say you start Tebow though.  Almost every football analyst instantly agrees that he’ll be the most disastrous quarterback in NFL history and that the speed of NFL defenses throughout the grueling 16-game schedule will no doubt make Tebow pay for his poor decision-making and inaccurate throws.  So let’s say the Broncos, in a worst case scenario, go 1-15 next year with Tebow starting.  All that would do is give Denver the number one draft pick and the rights to this young fella, you may have heard of him, Andrew Luck.  Is that so bad?  The front office could then say “hey, we gave Tebow a chance, it’s obvious he’s not ready for that kind of responsibility,” and then wash their hands in the matter to turn over the reigns to Luck. 

But let’s say Tebow makes the most of his situation.  Let’s say the Broncos go a surprising 9-7 this year and steal the weak AFC West.  You will NEVER hear Mile Stadium any louder than if Tim Tebow has the Broncos on the brink of the playoffs late this season.  Can you imagine what that would be like?  The South Stands at Mile High won’t have shaken that loudly since Elway himself was leading his famous fourth quarter drives.  Additionally, starting Tebow will lead to major merchandise sales and most importantly it’s going to sell out the stadium in a year in which the Broncos have no business doing any of that.  Why abandon fan interest in the team?  Give them a reason to keep spending their money on the Broncos.  Tebow gives them the perfect excuse to hide the fact that they’re in rebuilding mode because he distracts the casual fan from asking the tough questions they’d normally demand management address.  And like I said, if all of this fails, the Broncos get Andrew Luck, a player who Elway has made no secret about the fact that he loves him.

That’s a win-win in my book.  If anyone can give me a more convincing reason why Tebow shouldn’t be starting, I’d love to hear it.

Generation Y, where can we get the tell-all book from Steve Williams already?

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The Denver Broncos Placed Kyle Orton On The Trading Block

This news made my morning.  I couldn’t be happier about this.  Orton, while solid, is not a guy you can win with in the playoffs.  He doesn’t make many mistakes, but he doesn’t exactly go out and win you games either.  The city of Denver is more than ready for the Tebow era and this move shows the organization’s faith in him as the starter.  A great day for Broncos fans everywhere.  From the Denver Post:

To begin the business of Day One of the NFL’s 2011 season, the Broncos will place quarterback Kyle Orton on the trading block.

Welcome, coach John Fox, to the never-dull, always-changing world of Broncos football.

With the NFL trading period opening at 8 a.m. today, Orton’s days as the Broncos’ starting QB may be down to hours. The Broncos will be entertaining offers for Orton, according to two NFL sources.

Orton has made it clear that after posting the two best seasons of his pro career, throwing 41 touchdown passes against 21 interceptions for the Broncos, he doesn’t want to serve as backup to the unproven Tim Tebow.

Teams that don’t have a proven starting quarterback and therefore need one include Minnesota, Tennessee and Arizona. Seattle, Washington, Cincinnati and Miami also could be possibilities.

I used to be an Orton fan until I learned last year that he made a public effort to try to bully and humiliate Tebow at practices last year.  He’s a jerkoff who’s never done anything worth a damn in the NFL.  Glad he’ll be gone soon.

[Denver Post]

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Broncos Head Coach John Fox Names Kyle Orton Team’s Starting QB

This was one of my biggest fears about the Fox hire.  He’s had to deal with a horrible QB situation the past three years in Carolina and I had a feeling he wasn’t ready to start with another young player like Tebow.  This is going to get him off on the wrong foot with Broncos fans.  From NBC Sports:

In a somewhat surprising statement at the NFL Scouting Combine, Broncos coach John Fox named his starting quarterback: Kyle Orton.

“As far as I’m concerned, he’s under contract and he’s the starting quarterback for the Denver Broncos,” Fox said of Orton, according to multiple reporters passing along his comments on Twitter. “Kyle Orton is our starter.”

Fox downplayed the possibility that Orton could be traded.

That comment comes less than a week after Orton said he had barely heard from Fox and had no idea what his future held in Denver. Those comments suggested that Fox wasn’t overly enthusiastic about keeping Orton around.

But this week’s report that Tim Tebow doesn’t have much support in Denver suggests that Orton won’t be losing his job to last year’s first-round draft pick. Fox’s comments today would seem to confirm that.

I know the stability and consistency that Orton offers is appealing to a lot of coaches across the NFL, but we’ve seen everything he’s going to give us.  We are not winning playoff games with him under center for the Broncos.  Tebow is nowhere near as developed as a guy like Orton but his upside, by my advanced calculations, is about a million times higher than Orton. 

Let’s hope Tebow is able to earn back the job that every fan wants to be his.

[NBC Sports]

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#Broncos get owned by the #Cardinals

I figured out the problem with the Broncos: Kyle Orton is breathing through the wrong eye-lid. That is the only reasonable explanation for these problems; however, I don’t think he will be cured by rubbing a bone on his right arm or sacraficing a chicken or wearing women’s undergarments. (If you don’t get my attempt at humor here, slap yourself and go watch Bull Durham.)

This game leaves me with all sorts of questions about the Broncos:

1. Is this the low-point in franchise history?

2. When is it Tim Tebow time?

3. What coach would want to come in and take over this mess?

4. What happened to Kyle Orton?

5. What does it feel like as an NFL player to get beat single handedly by a kicker?

6. I thought coaching changes were supposed to incite better effort…?

Today was embarrassing, to say the least, as a Broncos fan. I am going to try to collect my thoughts and figure out what I really think about what is going on and what is to come. If you love the Broncos, as I do, and have any bright ideas on what might help the team, leave a comment. I think

While I try to collect my thoughts and figure out what just happened, I urge other Broncos fans to do the same.

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Broncos’ players prove more loyal than Vikings, Heat

By Nick Childs

With teams bailing on their coaches and throwing them under the bus at the first sign of adversity, I see a very unique situation in Denver: the Broncos’ players refuse to give up on head coach Josh McDaniels.

I have realized that I have had a habit of being a devil’s advocate of late, and I feel that it is time to follow that pattern and defend McDaniels. I am probably one of the few people in Denver that haven’t made a decision about this guy yet. I think he has shown a lot of promise, and it may not be time to cut his head off. Here is why.

It appears that McDaniels always has his players’ backs, and they have recognized this and done the same for their coach. What makes this unique is that it seems that an overwhelming majority of Broncos Nation wants McDaniels fired. His drafting, leadership, credentials and coaching methods in general have all gone under fierce scrutiny. There have even been websites popping up such as joshmcdanielssucks.com.

It is hard to blame everyone for looking for demanding why one of the NFL’s most successful franchise is doing so poorly, and the players are trying to give us an answer. They blame themselves.

Broncos’ beat-writer, Lindsay Jones provided several quotes from key players supporting their coach via twitter (@PostBroncos).

Brandon Lloyd: “This is not Josh’s issue. Our performance is not his issue. It’s a players’ issue. This is something that we have to take some control over and fix the outcome.”

I just want to throw this out there. Lloyd is currently leading the league in receiving. It would be very easy to throw blame away from himself, but that is not what he is doing. Great showing of character.

Eddie Royal: “We have a coach that we want to play for, and we’re playing for each other also.”

David Bruton: “We all trust our coach. We’ve got his back like he’s got ours. There is no wavering, no doubt among us players about coach. We’ve got to go out and work for him every day.”

That is about as clear as it gets if you ask me, and this is coming from players on a team that is 3-8. The players have taken accountability for their short-comings this season as has McDaniels. “I’ll be the first one to stand up and say I can do a better job of doing what I’m doing,” he said.

What stands out to me is that this isn’t happening among other teams in the league or in other sports. Just look at the what happened to Josh Childress of the Vikings and what is going on with the Miami Heat.

Unnamed players were quoted as saying how much they hated Childress, and now there have been similar happenings with the Heat, as Matt addressed in a post earlier today.

I am going to agree with Matt. This sort of activity among a professional sports team is weak, unacceptable, classless. Handle your problems like a man. Handle your problems with a little dignity, without trying to bring someone else down to bring yourself up. But what more can you expect from a guy like Lebron at this point. I can’t think of a more self-centered player in professional sports. He is in a class of his own at this point, and it isn’t a class that he should want to be in.

It doesn’t matter who you are. There are rules and expectations in sports, and one of those rules is to treat your team as family. Part of that team is the coach. No one is above another. You don’t have to like a member of your organization as a person, but you will respect them. That is what builds successful, championship-caliber teams.

You have to wonder if ‘Bron ‘Bron is ever going to figure this out or if it is going to be more of the same: pretty good regular season teams with disappointing results in the playoffs. I can say one thing for certain; there is no way Lebron deserves an NBA Championship right now.

Back to McDaniels quickly. I think he deserves more time. There has been huge turnover in the locker room since he stepped in as head coach, and the team seems to be molding into what he wants from an attitude standpoint. Unsurprisingly, it is very Patriots-esque. Give him time to fully install his way of coaching and then let’s assess where the Broncos are.

I also love McDaniels’s fire on the sideline. I will never forget last year when the Broncos defeated the Patriots, and Josh went up and down the sideline giving huge fist-pumps. It gave me the chills. This dude loves to win and absolutely hates to lose. He is going to do everything he can to win. That is the type of guy I want in my corner.

I may be proven wrong again as I was by Derek Jeter, but I’m not quitting on McDaniels yet, and I urge you to do the same.

Generation Y: where I support Josh McDaniels and talk $!*% about Lebron James. Lets hear the criticism, but bring a strong take!

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Don’t ‘release the Tebow’

By Nick Childs

Frankly, I am tired of turning on sports radio in Denver and hearing both the talk-show hosts and callers wonder when Josh McDaniels is going to let Tebow play. 104.3 The Fan is even promoting the topic by giving away “Release the Tebow” shirts. I am a huge Tim Tebow fan and truly believe in his leadership and skill set. BUT he is not ready to run the McDaniels offense AND Kyle Orton is having one of the better seasons at quarterback in the NFL.

Right now, Orton is ranked 7th in the league in passer rating at 96.4, and some of the names behind him might surprise you if not shock you. Peyton Manning (10th). Drew Brees (13th). Brett Favre (31st… Yikes). Tony Romo (8th). Joe Flacco. Donovan McNabb. The list goes on. Aren’t these guy supposed to be top tier quarterbacks? But Kyle Orton and his neckbeard are ahead of them all and people are chomping at the bit to give Tebow a try? Please! Orton is the MVP of the Broncos right now, and deserves every minute he gets on the field.

Lets look a little deeper at Ortons year and where it ranks among the NFL’s elite. He has thrown for 2,806, 2nd most in the league. He has thrown 16 TDs, tied for 5th in the league. He has thrown only five interceptions.

Orton has proven to be one of the better quarterbacks in the NFL this year, and there are very few people giving him credit for it. It’s about time people start to give credit where credit is due and stop talking about Tebow being the starter. The package that they have used Tebow in has worked very well. He is getting on the field and getting more acclimated with everything. His progress is nice to see, but we all knew that he was going to be a project when he was drafted. Give it time.

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