Tebow or Orton? Denver Broncos Players Sound Off on Quarterback Debate

DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 12: Wide receiver Brandon Lloyd #84 of the Denver Broncos celebrates his first down reception against the Oakland Raiders at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on September 12, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)


Former FOX31 and Denver based reporter Josina Anderson has taken her talents to ESPN where she has one of the more intriguing Denver Broncos stories of the day--what do the players think about Kyle Orton, Tim Tebow, and the Broncos quarterback situation?

Pro Bowl wide receiver Brandon Lloyd has had enough of the hate against Orton, and has some choice words for those who give the Broncos quarterback a short leash:

"I think it's all B.S.," Denver Broncos wide receiver Brandon Lloyd said in a phone interview Tuesday. "I think everybody is just waiting for an opportunity to move (Orton) out and play anybody other than him."

The question is, Brandon, what has everyone waited for? Orton has played as bad as any quarterback in the NFL over his last three starts, and is 11-18 as the starting quarterback of the Denver Broncos. Still, this doesn't change the fact that the Broncos have Orton's back, and we as fans of the team should as well.

 

Lloyd had some more to say in regards to his teammate Orton, who targeted Lloyd 11 times in Monday night's loss to the Raiders:

"That's the circumstances that we're in. That's the climate that we're in, and we knew we were going to be in -- so be it. There's no being patient with Kyle. Kyle is ready to go. He didn't perform maybe as well as people expected him to. Whatever. He's our quarterback, and we're going to eventually win games," Lloyd said.

 

Head coach John Fox reiterated that Orton was the team's starting quarterback, and reminded the fans and media that the quarterback was not the only issue to arise from the week one 23-20 loss at home to Oakland.

Linebacker Joe Mays also told Anderson that he doesn't think the Broncos will make a change at quarterback:

"I don't think anything is going to change with our depth chart," linebacker Joe Mays said via phone Tuesday. "I don't think that they're going to bring Tebow in. We just have to execute with what we have."

That doesn't really sound like a glowing evaluation of Orton, saying, "We just have to execute with what we have."

There's absolutely no question that Orton's play was awful on Monday night. He was able to throw for 300 yards, which I didn't even hardly believe when I saw the final stat line as it seemed the Broncos had to scratch and claw for every pass attempt, completion, and yard.

Orton turned the ball over twice against Oakland, both plays cutting short a couple of key Broncos drives. But like John Fox said, there is far more to be concerned with than just the quarterback position, and linebacker Mario Haggan doesn't seem to think any type of change is coming either.

"Do you want Kyle to complete all those throws? Absolutely," Broncos linebacker Mario Haggan said. "Is he human? Yes, he is. Is he going to make mistakes? Yes, he is, and he did. So that's what we have to live with."

So, you have Joe Mays saying that the team has to "execute with what we have," and Haggan saying, "So that's what we have to live with," regarding Kyle Orton.

While it sounds like some of the Broncos don't believe a change at quarterback is coming, it doesn't sound like they're all that pleased with it.

The Broncos have a matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday afternoon, already their second home game of the season and what you have to believe is going to be a key game for this team. The Broncos looked pretty awful in their season opener in 2009 and 2010 as well, but came back to dominate their second contest.

In 2009, Orton's opening day stat line was saved by a late touchdown to Brandon Stokley, but he and the Broncos offense bounced back in week two against Cleveland. In 2010, the Broncos struggled against the Jacksonville Jaguars similarly the way they did Monday night against the Raiders, and they came out week two against Seattle and cleaned the floor with the Seahawks. Perhaps Jason Hunter was right when he said this:

"(Kyle) is going to bounce back and everybody is going to be happy."

There's no doubt the Broncos and their fans would be happy with a 1-1 record, and this week's game against Cincinnati will be key for Orton and Denver because they need to emerge from these first three weeks playing some solid football to get ready for a tough stretch starting with Green Bay in week four.

As I watched the Broncos play the Raiders, I couldn't help but think the team was better than the way it was playing. We all watched Orton pick teams apart in the pre-season, and he was just way off his game against the Raiders. The running game was non-existent, and the injury bug once again was not exterminated from Denver, and he bit hard, taking away four of the team's best players in week one, all of whom will hopefully be back for the second game against the Bengals.

If Kyle Orton can play the way his teammates believe he is capable of playing, better days are ahead for the Broncos. If Orton continues to struggle and the coaching staff doesn't make a change, it could be another long year.

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