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Tag:Brady Quinn
Posted on: August 26, 2011 1:45 pm
 

So Tim Tebow really does have a future in Denver?

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Tim Tebow has hit a rough patch. After an offseason in which it seemed he would ascend to the starting job, he's plummeted down the Broncos' depth chart and currently finds himself behind Kyle Orton, Brady Quinn, and, impossibly, maybe even Adam Weber.

ESPN analyst Merril Hoge has been scathing in his criticism, and earlier in the week, CBS analyst Boomer Esiason spoke frankly about Tebow's prospects as an NFL quarterback. "He can't play. He can't throw," Esiason said, according to USAToday.com. "I'm not here to insult him. The reality is he was a great college football player, maybe the greatest college football player of his time. But he's not an NFL quarterback right now. Just because he's God-fearing, and a great person off the field, and was a winner with the team that had the best athletes in college football, doesn't mean his game is going to translate to the NFL."

An unofficial Broncos PR campaign on Tebow's behalf followed, and talk of the 2010 first-round pick getting cut or traded has since subsided.

Earlier this month, Broncos Executive VP of Football Operations John Elway told ESPN, "[Tebow's] a great young man who is really working hard. But he didn't get an offseason to work on [playing from the pocket]. He didn't get much of that in college. And it's a completely different thing than the shotgun. Plus, he's only had the one season. But he's an amazing football player. I'd never give up on Tim Tebow."

At the time it sounded like a pretty crappy consolation prize for Tebow, who weeks before figured to open the season under center. But there's a very real chance that 2012 could provide Tebow with an opportunity to win quarterback job.

The nuts and bolts: Tebow is the only Broncos' quarterback under contract beyond 2011. In fact, he just cashed a $6 million bonus check from the organization so it's unlikely he'll be anywhere but Denver for the foreseeable future. Also helping his case for the starting gig, as explained by the Denver Post's Jeff Legwold:

"Failing to convince Orton to redo his current deal was one of the reasons a trade with the Dolphins fell through. Quinn is in the last year of the contract he signed as a rookie with Cleveland, and with his improved play he is itching for a chance to be a starter.

"Orton and Quinn are relatively young, with a chance to go into the open market in 2012. They would need pretty compelling reasons to pass up that potential financial windfall, which means the Broncos would likely have to dangle more-than-market value to them before that. That doesn't seem likely given the team's controlled approach in free agency. … The Broncos appear to be positioning themselves to let him learn this season and see what they can do with him in an offseason that doesn't include a lockout."

This means that our Tebow Tracker wasn't in vain, and more generally, the Broncos have every intention of bringing him along slowly and giving him an opportunity to be Denver's franchise quarterback. It's just not happening this year, which is for the best. Orton is clearly the better quarterback, and Tebow doesn't appear ready for full-time duty. If Philip Rivers can sit on the bench for two years, so can Tim.

And who knows, maybe by then his critics will have come around on the idea.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: August 22, 2011 7:24 pm
 

Tracking Tebow: Preseason, Week 2 -- Bills



Posted by Ryan Wilson

That's right, we're tracking Tebow's performance throughout the preseason because, well, like a slow-motion train wreck we can't look away. And who knows, maybe this experiment doesn't derail and it has a happy ending. Wait, what's that? You don't care about Tebow? Then what are you doing here?

Wow, that didn't take long, did it? After a decent showing against the Cowboys in Week 1 of the preseason (documented in great detail here), Tebow was relegated to mop-up duty behind Kyle Orton and Brady Quinn against the Bills in Week. Incidentally, Orton and Brady both played well (10/13, 135 yds, 1 TD, 0 INT and 10/16, 130 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT, respectively). Tebow, meanwhile, was 1 of 2 for a whopping 10 yards. He didn't get in the game until the fourth quarter and played just two series.

Now the conversation isn't about whether Tebow will be the Broncos' starter, but if he can beat Quinn out for the No. 2 job -- and perhaps most amazing -- if the team would consider trading or cutting him weeks after it appeared they were ready to install him as their franchise quarterback.

But hey, this in the NFL where fortunes can change in a hurry. As the old cliche goes, the backup is only one play away from being the starter. Which means that, as it stands, Tebow is two plays away from realizing his dream. With that in mind, it's the latest installment of the Tebow Tracker, where we chart every one of his preseason snaps, the result, and what it all means for him and the Broncos in 2011.


                                                   Play by Play



Preseason, Week 2: Buffalo Bills
Situation Down/Distance Result
Comment
1st series, 10:59 left in 4th qtr. 1st & 10, DEN 20 Tebow handoff to B.Minor up the middle to DEN 24 for 4 yards.  (Note: you can see the entire play-by-play log here.)
  2nd & 6, DEN 24 Tebow pass short left to B.Minor to DEN 34 for 10 yards This would be Tebow's only completion of the night.
  1st & 10, DEN 34 Tebow handoff to B.Minor up the middle to DEN 37 for 3 yards.  
  2nd & 7, DEN 37 Tebow pass incomplete deep right to D.Rosario.  
  3rd & 7, DEN 37 (From the shotgun) PENALTY on DEN-Tebow, Delay of Game, 5 yards, enforced at DEN 37 - No Play.  
  3rd & 12, DEN 32 (From the shotgun) Tebow sacked at DEN 26 for -6 yards.  
  4th & 18, DEN 26 PUNT  
2nd series, 4:08 left in 4th qtr. 1st & 10, DEN 6 Tebow handoff to  J.Johnson up the middle to DEN 6 for no gain.  
  2nd & 10, DEN 10 Tebow handoff to J.Johnson up the middle to DEN 10 for 4 yards.  
  3rd & 6, DEN 10 Tebow scrambles left end to DEN 17 for 7 yards.
 
 
  1st & 10, DEN 17 Tebow handoff to J.Johnson up the middle to DEN 22 for 5 yards.  
  2nd & 5, DEN 22 Tebow handoff to J.Johnson right tackle to DEN 21 for -1 yards.  
  3rd & 6, DEN 21 Tebow handoff to A.Sylvester up the middle to DEN 22 for 1 yard.  
  4th & 5, DEN 22 (From the shotgun) Tebow pass short right to M.Willis to DAL 24 for 7 yards.  By the time this is over, he could be the greatest handoff specialist the league has ever seen.
  4th & 4, DAL 24 PUNT  


                                                          Quotes



CBSSports.com's Mike Freeman: "The consensus in speaking with a handful of team personnel executives when it comes to one Tim Tebow is this: A trade could happen, but it's becoming increasingly likely the Broncos will keep or cut Tebow because the trade interest is dwindling rapidly. The executives portray the Tebow situation as a complicated one. They believe that while the Broncos are not openly trying to trade Tebow, they say that when teams have recently inquired about him, the Broncos haven't been saying he's off the trading block, either."

CBSSports.com's Gregg Doyel: "[Terrelle] Pryor strikes me as another Vince Young or Tim Tebow, and we all see what kind of success Vince Young and Tebow have had, so far, as NFL quarterbacks."

ESPN Analyst (and vocal Tebow critic) Merril Hoge, as paraphrased by ESPN.com blogger Bill Williamson: "On 'SportsCenter' Monday, NFL analyst Merril Hoge (who has been highly critical of Tebow’s ability this summer) said Denver should cut Tebow if it can’t work out a trade with St. Louis. Former Denver head coach Josh McDaniels, who drafted Tebow with the No. 25 overall pick last year, is now the Rams’ offensive coordinator. With budding star Sam Bradford quarterbacking St. Louis, Tebow wouldn’t be more than a backup and special-package player in St. Louis."

ESPN.com blogger Bill Williamson, in his own words: "Don’t expect Quinn to give up his backup spot in the coming days. Tebow played late and he didn’t do much. The fact that Quinn threw 16 passes and Tebow tossed just two shows the team is much more interested in seeing Quinn play than seeing Tebow at this point. Tebow’s arrow is simply not pointing in the right direction as we approach the start of the season."

Denver Post columinst Woody Paige: "Tim Tebow will be the Broncos' starting quarterback this season. ... But The Tebow Thing won't happen until Dec. 11."


                                                   Action Shots*



*Last week, there were real, live action shots of Tebow playing in a real, live preseason game (proof here). Against the Bills, Tebow did a lot of standing around, and when he got into the game he was either handing off or getting sacked. We think that is pretty well reflected below. We like to call it: "standing, standing, handoff, sack, fin."

Assuming Tebow is still in the league, please join us next week for another installment of "Tracking Tebow." You know you want to.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: August 22, 2011 3:36 pm
Edited on: August 22, 2011 3:39 pm
 

John Fox: Kyle Orton to be Broncos starter

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

So much for Tim Tebow as the Broncos starting quarterback. So much for Denver trying to trade away Kyle Orton. While perhaps those were decisions former coach Josh McDaniels would have made, those scenarios didn’t interest John Fox.

Which is why he told reporters today, via the Denver Post, that Orton will be his starting quarterback for Week 1 of the regular season.

Broncos and Quarterbacks
This shouldn’t be a huge surprise, because it’s been clear since the first practice of training camp that Orton was many levels ahead of Tim Tebow when it came to performing as a legit starting NFL quarterback (and, you know, when Fox called Tebow “a work in progress,” that wasn’t great news for him either). In the second preseason game, Orton completed 10 of 13 passes to seal his spot.

Meanwhile, Fox said he wasn’t going to name a second-string quarterback any time soon, though it’s clear that it very well could be Brady Quinn, who played well in the second preseason game after he replaced Orton.

Another sign that Quinn could be No. 2 was when the Denver Post’s Jeff Legwold wrote, “The feeling is that if Orton got injured in a regular-season game, it would be Quinn who would go in for him because of his experience. Quinn has shown big-time improvement over last season when previous coach Josh McDaniels rarely worked him in practices -- Quinn called 2010 a 'very, very tough year' -- and may have the most raw arm strength of any Broncos quarterback."

For now, it seems like Tebow has fallen to third on the depth chart, and he’s got many miles to go to catch Orton.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: August 19, 2011 4:30 pm
Edited on: August 19, 2011 4:31 pm
 

Could Brady Quinn win Broncos' No. 2 QB job?

Posted by Ryan Wilson

We joked about it on Friday's NFL podcast and at this point it's almost a cliche: you can't go more than a few hours without mentioning Tim Tebow. Sure, we sometimes bring it on ourselves (take this, for example), but most of the time Tebow news is thrust upon us.

Here's the latest in the unending melodrama that has become Tebow's life, courtesy of the Denver Post's Jeff Legwold: 

"The feeling is that if [Kyle] Orton got injured in a regular-season game, it would be [Brady] Quinn who would go in for him because of his experience," Legwold wrote Friday. "Quinn has shown big-time improvement over last season when previous coach Josh McDaniels rarely worked him in practices — Quinn called 2010 a 'very, very tough year' — and may have the most raw arm strength of any Broncos quarterback."

Tebow must reminisce about those halcyon McDaniels days, back when he was still considered the Broncos future quarterback. The problem: almost every personnel move McDaniels made was the wrong one, and that, along with all the losing, cost him his job.

It also cost Tebow his place in the QB pecking order. And now, weeks after it appeared Orton would be shipped out of town and Tebow would move to the top of the depth chart, there's a chance he could find himself at the bottom looking up.

In fact, Quinn's performance -- not only in camp but in the Broncos' first preseason game against the Cowboys where he outplayed Orton and Tebow -- hasn't gone unnoticed.

"I don't know why it is, or exactly how to explain it, but Brady is much better this year than he was last year," Broncos star cornerback Champ Bailey said, according to the Post. "He just seems much more confident."

Can Tebow make it as an NFL QB?

Obviously, the coaching change has had something to do with that. It also helps that he's out of Cleveland where, let's be honest, quarterback are buried not born (although Colt McCoy could be the guy to buck that trend).

To help right what has been a disappointing career, during the offseason Quinn consulted longtime NFL and college offensive coordinator Paul Hackett.

"Paul went through process of where I was, what had happened, and why it happened," Quinn said. … "[He] believes in developing a quarterback first as a human being. How you live off the field is as important as what you do on the field. He was really good as far as helping me with the psychology of playing quarterback."

If living right is a critical ingredient to making a successful NFL quarterback then Tebow's halfway there. But Quinn sounds like he's up for that fight. And he's not the only one. David Lee, a noted quarterbacks coach who has worked previously with Tony Romo, and Peyton and Eli Manning, is wholly impressed. "I'm telling you what, I don't care what's going on up there, but Brady Quinn is ready," he said. "He's ready to play. Brady Quinn is not going to go away. He is hungry."

Depending on how the rest of the preseason plays out, the Broncos could elevate Brady to the No. 2 job. Stranger things have happened. Like, say, Denver drafting Tebow in the first round.

The saga continues Saturday when the Broncos host the Bills.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: August 13, 2011 8:21 pm
Edited on: August 13, 2011 10:02 pm
 

Tracking Tebow: Preseason, Week 1 -- Cowboys



Posted by Ryan Wilson

That's right, we're tracking Tebow's performance throughout the preseason because, well, like a slow-motion train wreck we can't look away. And who knows, maybe this experiment doesn't derail and it has a happy ending. Wait, what's that? You don't care about Tebow? Then what are you doing here?

When the Broncos selected Tim Tebow in the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft, the plan, presumably, was to eventually make him the franchise quarterback. Even with his unconventional style and unorthodox throwing motion, Tebow arrived in Denver a Heisman Trophy winner and national champion. Plus, successful NFL teams aren't in business of drafting backups in the first round.

So it wasn't wholly surprising when word leaked over the summer that the Broncos would trade incumbent QB Kyle Orton as soon as the lockout ended, and the gig would be Tebow's to lose.

And then something happened. Not only was Orton still with the Broncos, he was outplaying Tebow in training camp and ultimately named the starter. In less than a week, Tebow went from "the guy" to "the guy battling Brady Quinn for the honor of holding a clipboard on Sundays."

But Tebow is no quitter. He'll unleash every cliche that pops into his brain when describing his love for the game and his hopes and dreams for the future. With that in mind, we've fired up the Tebow Tracker, which will chart every one of his preseason snaps, the result, and what it all means for him and the Broncos in 2011.

We've also added quotes, videos and photos because, really, you can never have too much Tebow. So let's get to it.

First up: a play-by-play breakdown of Tebow's performance against the Cowboys in the Thursday night preseason opener. He replaced Orton late in the first quarter, during the Broncos' second series. Tebow played the rest of the half and ended the night with some pretty impressive numbers: he completed 6 of 7 throws for 91 yards, and rushed two times for 15 yards.

Sometimes, however, there's more to the story than the box score

Preseason, Week 1: Dallas Cowboys
Situation Down/Distance Result
Comment
1st series, 4:07 left in 1st qtr. 1st & 10, DEN 14 Tebow handoff to L.Ball up the middle to DEN 12 for -2 yards.  (Note: you can see the entire play-by-play log here.)
  2nd & 12, DEN 12 (From the shotgun) Tebow pass short left to D.Anderson to DEN 25 for 13 yards. Worth pointing out that this was a screen pass. The ball traveled five yards in the air.
  1st & 10, DEN 25 (From the shotgun) Tebow up the middle to DEN 27 for 2 yards. This was the patented Tebow Sneak made popular at Florida. The difference: he ain't playing Vandy. 
  2nd & 8, DEN 27 Tebow handoff to L.Ball to DEN 28 for 1 yard.  Perfect form on the handoff, for what it's worth.
  3rd & 7, DEN 28 (From the shotgun) PENALTY on DAL-B.McCann, Defensive Pass Interference, 12 yards, enforced at DEN 28 - No Play.  Yes, it was PI, but it was an awful decision by Tebow to throw the ball as he got hit. It was a fluttering duck -- he should've taken the sack.
  1st & 10, DEN 40 Tebow handoff to L.White to DEN 42 for 2 yards.  
  2nd & 8, DEN 42 Tebow sacked at DEN 32 for -10 yards.  Bobbled snap and about 2.8 seconds later, Tebow was crushed. Timing thrown off from the start but he didn't have a chance.
  3rd & 18, DEN 32 Tebow handoff to L.White up the middle to DEN 36 for 4 yards.  
  4th & 14, DEN 36 PUNT  
3rd series, 11:19 left in 2nd qtr. 1st & 10, DEN 10 Tebow handoff to  L.Ball left guard to DEN 15 for 5 yards.  
  2nd & 5, DEN 15 Tebow pass deep middle to M.Willis to DAL 42 for 43 yards. Pass complete off play action on a "Go" route. SEE VIDEO BELOW! Nice play-action fake and Tebow's throw beat three defenders.
  1st & 10, DAL 42 (From the shotgun) T.Tebow pass short left to L.Ball pushed OB at DAL 30 for 12 yards.
 
Another screen pass. (The throw didn't even make it to the line of scrimmage.)
  1st & 10, DAL 30 Tebow handoff to L.White to DAL 29 for 1 yard.  Just wanted to point out that LenDale looks less chubby standing next to Tebow.
  2nd & 9, DAL 29 Tebow handoff to L.White up the middle to DAL 26 for 3 yards.  
  3rd & 6, DAL 26 (From the shotgun) Tebow scrambles up the middle to DAL 21 for 5 yards. PENALTY on DEN, Illegal Shift, 5 yards, enforced at DAL 26 - No Play. Tebow drops back and promptly tucks and run. Takes a good lick from a Cowboys defender. 
  3rd & 11, DAL 31 (From the shotgun) Tebow pass short right to M.Willis to DAL 24 for 7 yards.  One-step drop and he hits Willis a little low and behind him. Not awful, not great.
  4th & 4, DAL 24 FIELD GOAL  
4th series, 4:34 left in 2nd qtr. 1st & 10, DEN 13 Tebow handoff to L.Ball right tackle to DEN 14 for 1 yard.  
  2nd & 9, DEN 14 Tebow handoff to L.Ball left tackle to DEN 17 for 3 yards.  
  3rd & 6, DEN 17 (From the shotgun) Tebow pass short right to D.Anderson to DEN 27 for 10 yards. Pass complete on a curl.  Tebow stands tall in the pocket, steps into it, takes a hard hit but completes the pass. Best throw of the night.
  1st & 10, DEN 27 Tebow handoff to L.Ball right tackle to DEN 28 for 1 yard.  
  2nd & 9, DEN 28 Tebow pass incomplete short right. PENALTY on DEN-L.White, Offensive Holding, 10 yards, enforced at DEN 28 - No Play. Pass was thrown away out of the bounds.  
  2nd & 19, DEN 18 Tebow handoff to L.Ball left tackle to DEN 21 for 3 yards.  
  3rd & 16, DEN 21 (From the shotgun) Tebow scrambles left end to DEN 34 for 13 yards.  Three-step drop, goes through progressions, and runs up the middle. Reminiscent of halcyon college days.
  4th & 3, DEN 34 PUNT  
5th series, 1:00 left in 2nd qtr. 1st & 10, DAL 7 (From the shotgun) Tebow left end for 7 yards, TOUCHDOWN NULLIFIED by Penalty. PENALTY on DEN-C.Clark, Offensive Holding, 10 yards, enforced at DAL 7 - No Play.  Another Tebow Sneak. He walks into the end zone untouched but it's called back.
  1st & 17, DAL 17 Tebow pass incomplete short left to B.Davis. Pass incomplete sideline.  Play-action fake, he sits in the pocket for a few beats, rolls left and throws a 14-yard out route 12 yards. Pretty ugly short-hop.
  2nd & 17, DAL 17 (From the shotgun) Tebow handoff to L.Ball left tackle to DAL 14 for 3 yards.  
  3rd & 14, DAL 14 (From the shotgun) Tebow pass short right to B.Davis pushed OB at DAL 8 for 6 yards. Penalty on DEN-J.Thomas, Illegal Block Above the Waist, declined. Penalty on DEN-T.Tebow, Illegal Forward Pass, declined. Penalty on DEN-M.Ramirez, Illegal Receiver Pass, declined. Doesn't give play a chance to develop. Tucks and runs, bounces off a few would-be tacklers, and then tries to throw a pass. He's called for illegal forward pass. This play is a microcosm of his night. 
  4th & 8, DAL 8 FIELD GOAL  


                                                   Audio & Video



Tebow is a lot like Tiger Woods in that no matter how he's playing, he's always the story. Tebow's diametrically different from Woods in that he's never accomplished anything professionally, much less dominated his sport. But golf fans -- and even Tiger supporters -- will tell you that the media coverage can be a bit much. And that mentality (of which we are most certainly guilty) explains why we at CBSSports.com recorded not one but two Tebow-centric podcasts last week:
Here's Tebow's 43-yard completion to Matt Willis, during the Broncos' third series. We saw this play live and our first thought was that Tebow fans will be talking about this throw 20 years from now. "Remember than BOMB Tebow threw against the Cowboys in preseason? Man, that was awesome."



                                                          Quotes



NFL Network's Albert Breer: "One scout, charged with studying the Cowboys-Broncos game, texted that Tebow 'looked like a No. 3.' He went on to compare Tebow to Charles Barkley. Not Barkley the basketball player. Barkley the golfer. The scout explained, '[Noted golf teacher] Hank Haney couldn't help Chuck's swing. Hell, Johnny U couldn't help Tebow's throwing motion."

Cowboys television announcers before the game: "We were watching Tebow in warmups and I don't know that I've ever seen a guy throw the ball more inaccurately at this level. And I'm not talking starters, I'm talking (No.) 1, 2, 3, 4 (on the QB depth chart). I'm not being unkind here but he was throwing the ball against air. Just receivers, throwing routes, and skipping balls, and high ... his accuracy is really in question."

CBSSports.com's Mike Freeman: "Now, I don't think Tebow is an NFL quarterback, but to rip him for his throws during freaking warmups is pretty insane. The Tebow bashing has reached DefCon levels when that happens. But again, he's not a pro quarterback, and based on what I've seen, he won't be anything more than a backup, if that. It's easy to see why and it leads to a difficult truth and problem: Tebow was extremely ill-served by his college offense and coach."

And to refresh your memory, here's what ESPN analyst Merril Hoge tweeted about Tebow back on August 3 (all sic'd):

"Sitting watching tape off bronco offense from last year! Orton or Tebow? It's embarrassing to think the broncos could win with tebow!!" ...

"QB play is not just about who works hard gives rare rare college speeches or who is a good guy!! Because orton works hard And is a good guy as well. It's about who can play!! I just watched Tebow throw 5 out routes to a wide open WR! He was 1 for 5!" ...

"College credentials do not transfer to NFL raw raw speeches do not work! You must poses a skill set to play! Tebow struggle with accuracy!"

And just so you know that Tebow has supporters in the media…

ESPN analyst and former NFL coach Herm Edwards: “Personally I hope so because I think he’s good for football [with] everything he brings to the table. What he has to do is help himself and become a better player inside the pocket. As rugged as he is, as tough as he is, the leadership skills he has, you have to play inside the pocket because if you continue to play outside the pocket you’re gonna get hit and these are big guys hitting you defensively. He showed some things last night you liked. He moved the team, he moved the chains, and at times he looked like a rookie. And that’s what he is, a rookie quarterback with not a lot of experience.”


                                                   Action Shots



(click on images to enlarge)

Please join us next week for another installment of "Tracking Tebow." You know you want to.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: August 8, 2011 7:30 pm
Edited on: August 9, 2011 5:56 am
 

As expected, Tim Tebow not Denver's starting QB

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

The Broncos will face the Cowboys on Thursday in both teams’ first preseason game, and since we’re only a few days before kickoff, we get to see the official depth chart. As we expected -- based on the reports that Kyle Orton is playing well above Tim Tebow in practice -- Tebow is not the starting quarterback.

Tebow's journey
Instead, as the Denver Post writes, Tebow sits second on the depth chart behind Orton (but in front of third-stringer Brady Quinn!!).

Somewhere, Merril Hoge has his feet up on a desk, his hands crossed behind his head, and he’s smiling a winner’s smile.

By the way, first-round pick Von Miller is listed as a starting strong-side linebacker.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.


Posted on: July 17, 2011 4:33 pm
Edited on: July 17, 2011 4:59 pm
 

Is QB job Tim Tebow's to lose in Denver?

Posted by Ryan Wilson

The Josh McDaniels era began in 2009 with a 6-0 start, but a 5-17 finish sealed his short tenure in Denver, and he was fired with a month left in the 2010 season. The Broncos now have a new coach, John Fox, but many of the problems that happened on McDaniels' watch remain. Chief among them: the offensive backfield. Specifically, who will be the team's starting quarterback in 2011.

Since coming to Denver from Chicago two seasons ago, Kyle Orton has started 18 games and thrown for more than 7,400 yards. He ranked 12th in both 2009 and 2010 in QB efficiency, according to Football Outsiders, yet indications seem to point to Tim Tebow winning the job for 2011.

McDaniels drafted Tebow in the first round of the 2010 draft, and opinions varied widely about not only what type of NFL player Tebow would be, but where he would play. Some thought of him as a wildcat specialist, others suggested he should move to tight end or H-back, and a few teams wanted him to stay at QB. Denver was one of those teams.

NFL.com's Steve Wyche, speaking on the Cover Two Podcast (via Rotoworld), says that "…unless [Tebow] gets hurt in training camp or is absolutely awful," it'll be his job to lose. And a previous report from NFL.com's Jason La Canfora suggested the Broncos will "hold firm" on their second-round price tag for Orton, though Wyche believes the organization would settle for a third-rounder. Denver will then look to sign Jake Delhomme as a mentor once he's released by the Browns.

This isn't the first time we've heard the Delhomme-to-Denver rumors; he was close with Fox when both were in Carolina, and appears to be at the point in his career where he'll happily serve as a backup and mentor to a young quarterback (which is what he ended up doing the second half of the 2010 season in Cleveland, when injuries forced rookie Colt McCoy into the lineup).

It also means that what Fox said last month -- the QB job is wide open among Tebow, Orton and Brady Quinn ("I've said it before and I mean it: It'll be a competition.) -- may still be technically true, but if Orton is traded, Tebow would have to have a miserable training camp for the Broncos to go into the year with Quinn under center. In fact, we don't think Tebow could play poorly enough to lose the gig. Worst case: you put him out there and let him learn by doing. It's not like Denver can do much worse than their 4-12 effort in 2010.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: June 21, 2011 9:04 am
Edited on: June 21, 2011 1:10 pm
 

Fox: Orton, Tebow, Quinn will compete for QB job

Posted by Ryan Wilson

New Broncos coach John Fox may not have access to his players, but he's used the lockout to watch film of every game of each player on Denver's roster.

"I like the guys on our team right now, but I can't tell you how much yet," Fox told the Denver Post. "I've only spent one day with them. You find out how much you like them when you get on the field with them. There's nothing like seeing them with the naked eye."

And despite the rumors that Kyle Orton could end up elsewhere when the 2011 season starts, Fox still contends all three quarterbacks -- Orton, Tim Tebow and even Brady Quinn -- will compete for the starting job.

"I've said it before and I mean it: It'll be a competition," Fox said. "Competition is what this game's about, whether if it's an opponent or a depth chart. It's been this way as long as I can remember."

Fair enough, but Tebow seems to be the favorite; Orton appears destined to be traded; and Quinn, as has been the case for most of his NFL career, could be the odd man out.

Not that it means anything because players from around the league often work out together in the offseason, but Orton trained with Larry Fitzgerald recently. That the Cardinals are in the market for a new quarterback only fuel the rumors.

Depending on when the lockout ends, there's also the slim possibility that Fox might want to acquire veteran QB Jake Delhomme (they were together in Carolina) to serve as a mentor. And since Orton is entering his seventh year in the league, it's safe to assume Delhomme would be working with Tebow. That's another sign that Orton might not be long for Denver. But that's less surprising than Fox saying Quinn has a legit shot at the starting job.

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