I've watched every interview McD's ever given during his tenure as head coach. I've read every quote he's uttered publicly and watched every game he's coached with the Broncos. From this, I feel I understand the guy as well as any fan possibly can. I am basing my prediction on this "perceived understanding" and certain other facts and observations. My prediction, for the most part, is based on the following:
1. McD is not afraid to adapt and shake things up if he thinks it gives him the best chance to win and we are not winning.
2. McD is a gambler and is not afraid to risk failure in order to achieve success.
3. McD loves Tim Tebow, a lot. He has always said that Tebow will be ready to roll much earlier than everyone expects.
4. Nobody expects Tebow to play a lot - the 9ers probably expect to see Tebow sparingly in a in the swamp package.
5. Our O-line has been terrible. Let's just call it what it is. Whether it's Clady trying to get healthy or Ryan Harris' injury issues, or our inexperience or whatever - we can't run the ball and we're extremely suspect when it comes to pass-blocking. When the season started, I had no inkling we'd be this bad along the offensive (emphasis on "sive") front. But, we are. This is relevant because, as good a passer of the football as Orton is, he's limited as an athlete and simply cannot escape any sort of pass rush. Tebow can.
Prediction: Tim Tebow will either start or come in the game early (or early in the second half) and get substantial work as a "real" QB. I predict that McD will have a set of plays / audibles / hand signals that will allow him to run the offense without Orton on the field. I think Tebow will run, throw and play and play well. If he moves the offense and scores points, McD will leave him in there. If it doesn't work after a couple of series, we'll go back to the neck-beard.
Do I think it would've come to this this early if we hadn't lost like we did to the raiders? Likely not. However, I think McD will take this step and I think he'll do it this week. Ordinarily, I'd worry that this would destroy Orton's confidence, but it's Orton. The guy is iron-clad. The worry I would have is whether this would shake the other players' confidence in Kyle as the unquestioned starter. This is a risky move and I'm not saying this it's right or wrong, I simply predict McD will do it.