First off, I want to take a brief moment to thank Kaptain Kirk for the outstanding training camp reports he puts out. When you take a second to think about it, it's truly amazing the stuff that he does. He gets to TC early to get a good spot, spends the entire practice writing down as much material as possible, goes back to his hotel, and then spends a couple hours typing up all the notes he wrote down. On top of that, he doesn't even do this for his own enjoyment. He does all of this for MHR so that people like me who can't be at TC, are able to read what happened each day. He has got to be one of the most selfless people in the entire world. So I want to thank you Kirk for all the hard work you put in for all of us. I hope one day I can come to training camp and thank you in person. A big mile high salute to you, my friend.
Now it's time to get down to the nitty gritty. It's time to talk about Tim Tebow. It's time to talk about Kyle Orton. It's time to talk about the media and how everything that has been said up to this point is totally and completely worthless.
Bronco Country is in an uproar right now and it's almost embarrassing to watch. I don't think the fans of any franchise in the history of the NFL have ever gotten so riled up about quarterback drills in a training camp. It seems like every time someone mentions an incomplete Tebow pass or an Orton touchdown, a flame war starts. Why is Bronco Country so sensitive these days? We are all afraid.
Last year was absolutely brutal. It really tested the patience and love of Bronco fans to witness such a disgusting season. It truly was torture to watch. None of us want a repeat of last year. We will do anything to prevent another season like that. This is where Orton is at a disadvantage. Unfortunately for him, Kyle Orton was the quarterback for one of the worst Denver Bronco teams of all time. Fans associate him with that horrible season. A lot of fans blame him for that season. Some of that blame is justified, but some of that blame isn't.
The fact of the matter is that Kyle Orton was not the reason why the Denver Broncos were 4-12 last year. The defense of the Denver Broncos was awful last year. In fact, it was pitiful. If Denver had a better defense, we might have won a couple more games. If we had a better running attack, we might have won a few more games, but we didn't have a better defense and our run game was terrible. So we struggled and Kyle Orton was at the helm as we went 3-10.
Now, I'm not saying that Kyle Orton should not be held accountable for last year. While we might have won more games if we had a better defense and run game, Kyle Orton struggled in his own ways. There were 5 games where he struggled by throwing interceptions, fumbling, or simply throwing incomplete passes as Denver was trying to mount a comeback win (Jaguars, Cots, 49ers, Rams, Chiefs). I would also argue the Jets game, but people like to blame J.D. Walton for the fumbled snap and place no blame on Orton so I'll move on from that one. Additionally, regardless of the running game, he did struggle inside the red zone and on 3rd downs. The worst possible thing that happened to Kyle Orton last year was he got hurt. He got hurt and Tim Tebow got a shot. Even worse, Tim Tebow got his shot and did a good job. Sure Tim showed a lot of flaws during his 3 game stint as the starter, but nothing could take away from the feeling he gave us after we came back and beat the Texans.
Tim Tebow gave us hope during our darkest hours as a franchise. He ran onto the field during the Texans game, took the ball in his hand, and willed the team to victory. It was unbelievable and the best moment of the season by far. Fans remember that. That is a big reason why fans want him to get his shot this year. Kyle Orton was the starting quarterback for the team that had a 3-10 record including the most embarrassing loss in franchise history against the Raiders. Tim gave us hope at the end of the season and he became the symbol of our hope. He became a reason to believe the Broncos could get back to their winning ways and get back to the Super Bowl one day.
Tim Tebow entered the off season with unbelievable support from the fans. Fans wanted him to be the starter and most of them still do. However, Tim is a victim of a terrible circumstance this year. Tim Tebow is trying to beat out Kyle Orton as the starting quarterback of the Denver Broncos in an off season that got severely depleted because of the lockout. Did you know that from the day Tebow has become a Bronco till now, he has only had 3 weeks of working with the team's starting offense and game planning against a 1st team defense. Those 3 weeks were the last 3 weeks of the season when he was the starter. Sure he worked with some of the receivers over the off season, but Tim was unable to go through his reads, assess defenses, or any of the stuff that he needs work on. It's not his fault. Since he couldn't work on reading defenses, he spent all off season working on his drops and his throwing motion. I've read numerous training camp reports and while his throwing motion is not normal, it's definitely improved from where it was last year. So when the lockout was finally lifted, Tim was heading into Training Camp without a chance to improve the things he needed to improve on.
Fast forward to the start of training camp and all the reports are saying that Kyle Orton is passing better then Tim Tebow. Everyone is saying how things seem to flow easier for Kyle then Tim Well, gee I wonder why. Guys, Kyle Orton has been in the NFL for 7 years and has started 4 of those years. If you expected Tim to enter Training Camp and look better passing the football then Kyle Orton then your expectations were way, way too high. Tim is just now getting to work on his reads, progressions, etc. Every day in Training Camp, he is working on those things. So does this mean that Tim shouldn't be the starter this year? No, not necessarily.
The question of who will be the starting quarterback this year will begin to be answered next Thursday against the Dallas Cowboys. That is when the real test begins. It really doesn't matter how good Kyle is in training camp and it really doesn't matter how good or bad Tim is in training camp. Training camp means nothing in this competition. The real test will be the pre season games. How does Tim look running the offense next week? Does he make good throws? Does he make good reads? It really doesn't matter if he hit an out route in practice if he can't make that same throw in the game. Tim will have to convince John Fox next week that he is capable of being the starting quarterback for this team and he is going to have to do it through his play.
So, please Bronco Country. Stop over analyzing what Tim, Kyle, and even Brady are doing in training camp. It doesn't matter what is going on in training camp. Orton could go 5/5 tomorrow in his red zone drill, but if he goes 1/5 next week against Dallas, he is going to be graded down. Similarly, if Tim goes 2/5 tomorrow in practice, but goes 5/5 in the game next week then he is going to be graded up. So take a deep breath and relax. Kyle Orton may be the starting quarterback of the Broncos this year. Then again, he might not be. This competition is far from over. In fact, it's barely even started.