I have seen Kyle Orton displeasure with the fans wanting Tim Tebow and I thought I might send the man some friendly advice from a past QB from the Broncos who wore Number 7, and it’s not who you think.
Let me say this to Mr. Orton, I get it. You are the proverbial bridesmaid and never the bride. You were brought into Purdue as a much hyped recruit to follow a legend in Drew Brees (who I still wish we had drafted or signed as an UFA, but sigh those days are long gone). You did well, but could never live up to the legend that was Brees in college. You “fell” in the draft and landed in Chicago, a project to be sure. But you got your shot due to injury and managed to post a very good win/loss record based on a Bear stellar defense and a great running game. You played well enough not to loss games. But only to see your starting gig yanked from you for a Florida Gator QB who was supposed to be able to do all those things you couldn’t, like scramble, have a big arm, and carry the team on his shoulders. You bided your time in Chicago and let the Florida QB flame out and were poised to be named a starter for the team in 2009, only to be shipped off to Denver for Cutler. You didn’t ask to be traded, I am sure you would have been happy to stay in Chicago and stay within a system you were comfortable with.
Coming to Denver, fairly or unfairly, you were immediately compared to your predecessor and expected to come in and under the tutelage of what was supposed to be an offensive master mind, develop into a great QB. Well the 2009 season started out well with you doing things similar to what you did in Chicago and playing well enough to not lose games. But as the season wore on, and the defense got exposed, you couldn’t deliver when it mattered and the season ended on a sour note and your coach decided he wanted to upgrade your position by trading for Brady Quinn and then drafting another Florida QB with off the chart intangibles that quickly became a fan favorite, despite never proving anything in the NFL. Yet you kept your cool, didn’t pout, came to the OTA’s, despite not having a contract extension, and you remained the starter again. The 2010 season must have been extremely difficult as McDaniels decided to essentially abandon any semblance of a running game and force all the offense through you. You were asked to step up and be the man, and though statistically you had a good season, the team didn’t win and the calls for Tebow became bigger and bigger. You were in a bad situation, not of your own making.
Now for the advice, there was a guy who used to play here awhile ago who wore Number 7, his name is Craig Morton. Morton had a similar career to yours in some respects, he was in many ways, always the bridesmaid and never the bride. He was the first QB to start two SB for two different teams. In fact, I was pretty mad when Elway choose his number to wear coming in from Stanford, I thought who is this arrogant kid who thinks he can wear Morton’s number. That quickly faded, but what I am getting at is that Morton was replaced by a kid named Roger Staubach in Dallas and sent to the Giants, he then was sent to the Broncos and seen as a washed up guy waiting to get replaced in Denver. But while he was here, I never saw any player get more out of less than Morton. He was as immobile a QB as you will ever see, he makes you look like Vick by comparison. He would take a beating after beating and still get up and find a way to make the tough throw or win the ball game more times than not. Like you, he had some very good WR, but a rather limited running game. He also got to play with a great defense, hopefully you will get that opportunity shortly here. But what I think drove him was the fact that people saw him as just a journeyman, a guy who was good but not great, and he wanted to prove them all wrong.
I know that the whole Tebow thing is wearing thin on you, and you may be pissed at the fans who always want the new thing or think you are a mediocre QB. Well brother, my advice is to use that frustration and prove everyone wrong. Make the fans in Denver hate the fact that we drafted Tebow, make the management regret not extending you longer than one year, take all this stuff and shove it in everyone’s face. Prove all of us doubters wrong. Show that you can rise to the occasion, that you can make those tough third down throws or redzone plays, prove that you can last as season without getting injured.
All I can say is do it, because the bottom line Orton is that like it or not, the fans at this point are right to want Tebow. You haven’t proved anything other than you can move the ball between the 20’s. You can be frustrated and mad, you can resent the fans, resent your coaches and the organization, but bottom line, winning cures all. I could give a damn about completion percentage, int/td ratios, QB ratings, Madden index, fantasy football scores, what I care about is the Broncos winning. Go prove that you can be a winning QB here, Morton proved it, now it is your time to step up and prove it.
Because here is my real feeling regarding your game and your abilities, and that is this, you are scared. You play scared and deep down you are scared that your abilities will never be anything more than what they are now, and that is an average NFL QB who will always be on the verge of being replaced or relugated to career backup. I figure that you did not want to accept a restructuring of your deal in Miami because you knew that this year will be your biggest payday of your career. Had you restructured your deal and reverted to the same Orton we have seen the past two seasons, Miami would be in the QB market next season and able to cut you without you getting paid.
I would say this, that if you are really scared, you will never succeed here or in this league. If you are truly mad and angry, then you can use that to prove all the doubters and critics wrong. Look at Morton and what he did here, use that as motivation. I will be happy to be proven wrong regarding your ability and your passion.