|Instead ot letting Orton stew on the bench, the Broncos granted his wish and released him. (US Presswire)|
There's another side to the story that was presented by a source with knowledge of the situation. Orton is laid-back and friendly but he's also a competitor and he stewed after being benched for Tebow. He didn't brood or turn into a crappy teammate, but privately became increasingly frustrated with his position as bench warmer.
When a rash of injuries hit the quarterback position around the NFL -- from Chicago to Kansas City -- the Orton camp went to general manager John Elway and begged for his release. I'm told the argument was made to Elway about the fairness to Orton sitting on the bench when there were teams with openings that could claim him off waivers. Elway was sympathetic and released him.
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Is someone spinning me? Sure, that's possible. But it makes sense and even if what I'm being told isn't accurate, letting Orton go was the right thing. It was the decent thing.
I'm not saying I feel sorry for Orton. No, he's a very rich man, but he was royally screwed in Denver. He was caught up in the Tebow buzzsaw, but this is the interesting thing. Long after Tebow goes the way of the Wildcat (gimmicks always pass), it will be Orton who will still be standing because Orton can, you know, pass the football.
So, good for Orton. He begins a new future and for the first time in a long time someone in football did the compassionate thing.
The capsules were formerly used to help wake unconscious players (but some medical professionals stopped utilizing them because the capsules caused a player's head to snap back violently upon waking). Now, players all across the league use them by sniffing them.
Some players take a bunch of them, snap them open, and then put them in a cup. Then mix in some sort of other power liquid like pure ammonia and sniff before the game begins. Jacksonville players several years ago did this before every game. It should be noted there is nothing illegal or against NFL rules using the capsules in that manner.
3. Former New England wide receiver Troy Brown went on a Boston radio station to discuss the struggles of the Jets' Mark Sanchez. "Typical USC quarterback," Brown said. He also suggested Sanchez should bench himself. Ouch.
4. Last Patriots note. The team is utterly amazed –- and extremely happy for -- Rob Gronkowski. Privately, one veteran said he has never met a player so ego free and happy to be in the NFL while also maintaining his passion. The player said he calls Gronkowski's season "the Chronicles of Gronkia" after the Narnia series.
5a. Champ of the week: Jim Harbaugh. He's a bit of a smartass and semi-punk, but what he's doing this year is simply remarkable. I'm beginning to think -- short of Mike McCarthy's Packers going unbeaten -- he's got to be coach of the year.
5b. Chump of the week: Rex Ryan: good coach, potty mouth, $75,000 fine.
6. While baseball seems to have a plan for HGH testing, as I've written before, the NFL and its union likely won't have their plan in place this season. I'm beginning to wonder if the beginning of next season is doable.
7. Giants coach Tom Coughlin is catching massive heat –- again –- from fans and media over another potential Giants collapse. Coughlin is an excellent coach and he deserves the benefit of the doubt. But speculation in league circles is that he won't survive if the team falters again late in the season.
8. I hear privately that Tony Dungy would indeed consider coaching Penn State for a short period to help guide them through this horrid time. Publicly, Dungy says he's done with coaching.
9. Ndamukong Suh on the Packers: "By all means, do I think our team is at their level, to be able to play against them. I don't see them as a golden-perfect team. Everybody has flaws in this league, but everybody has great things they do. It's just a matter of eliminating mistakes on our time and on our team and causing them to make as many mistakes as possible."
Fair enough but I'd like to see Suh win a Super Bowl before he outs himself on the level of the Packers.
10. Team officials, many out of curiosity, some before facing him, have scoured film for reasons Tennessee runner Chris Johnson has been struggling. No one can find a single reason. The common consensus seems to be that, indeed the offensive line play has slipped slightly, but not drastically. They see Johnson running with effort but struggling. "No one can figure it out," said one general manager.