For a long time now I have tried to stay out of the QB debate going on amongst fans of the Denver Broncos. I am, by nature, non-confrontational when it comes to these things, and the arguments can get very heated and nasty. I tend to trust that the professionals getting paid to make these decisions know far more than I do. I haven’t seen enough of the players in practice or games to truly get a sense of their talents, and even if I had, I’m not knowledgeable enough to form an informed opinion anyway.
With that in mind, I rely on what others say to develop my opinions. John Elway is certainly one who should know about playing quarterback in the NFL. John Fox gets paid plenty to know about coaching football, including quarterbacks. In reading what Elway had to say yesterday about the quarterback situation I found myself thinking that he’s starting to soften a little bit on Orton being the starter. He started saying that they evaluate everyone game-to-game and week-to-week. Before he would be stauncher in saying Orton is the starting QB. John Fox today continued in his assertions the Orton is the starting quarterback. He stated it repeatedly during his press conference. Fox continues to sound annoyed (understandably) when questions were asked about Tim Tebow. As John Bena ascertained in his story earlier today, Fox sounds as if he has very little intention of giving Tebow a shot at the QB job (barring injury).
I wonder if there isn’t some disagreement developing within the Broncos organization on who should be starting. It was pondered by some during the preseason, after they failed to trade Orton to the Dolphins, if they might try again at the trade deadline. Orton certainly hasn’t helped his value in the first four games, but could some other team still be interested? Could management be hoping for this possibility from the beginning? Start Orton for five weeks and hope some other team comes knocking?
Another possibility for Elway’s softening could be related to fan pressure. Management will always say that their decisions are not influenced by fan reaction, but at some point don’t they have to listen? The fans are the ones who by the tickets, merchandise, and concessions. Ultimately that is who pays the bills for the team. Football is a business, and it may be getting to the point where starting Tebow is the better business move, even if it makes the team worse. It would generate more excitement with fans, and business would see at least a temporary upswing. Add to that the incentive of Tebow being a first round pick. At some point they need to give him a chance to see what they have. Regardless of which regime drafted him, the money has been spent.
Fox has shown strong indications that he plans to stick with Orton unless something forces his hand. Either Orton has to get injured, traded, or Elway issues an ultimatum. Play Tim Tebow or else.
P.S. First post. Please be gentle.