It was only a matter of time and the time is now for Tim Tebow to take the Broncos' reins as their starting quarterback.
Tebow, drafted in the first round last year, backed up Kyle Orton for the first 13 games of the 2010 season before starting the last three games and exciting fans with his electrifying play.
While Orton enjoyed his best season as a starter last year (3,653 yards, 20 TD and 9 INT) he was never better than a pedestrian player. Orton was anti-clutch—remember late game fumbles, especially the one against the Jets as Denver was driving towards a possible winning score—he's not a quarterback that can be relied upon to win games for his team.
Of course, EFX (Elway, Fox, Xanders) couldn't come right out and say they would be trading Orton in favor of Tebow, it would have ruined Orton's already interestingly low trade value, so they waited until the lockout was resolved to put him on the market.
Although there were rumors that Kyle Orton would be traded before the 4 p.m. team meeting, it didn't happen. Yet, Orton and the Dolphins were negotiating a new contract today according to Bill Williamson of ESPN.
With Orton(nearly) gone, the door has been opened for Tim Tebow.
Maybe it was earlier though, with Champ Bailey calling for him to play last year and Brandon Lloyd telling the press at the Broncos' Media BBQ today that he'd been preparing this offseason expecting Tim Terrific to be the starter this season.
Lloyd told the media, "I've been spending most of my brain power on how to get Tebow better and what I can do to help him develop as a quarterback...I think Tim's ready and it's going to put a lot of pressure on us veterans to make him (Tebow) better."
He also talked nicely of the departing Orton saying, "Kyle's going to be awesome wherever he goes. He's a really good qb and he's going to be fine."
It seems Tebow has already won over his teammates, his coaches and he's won over the Broncos' behemoth fanbase.
The come from behind victory that Tebow led in Week 16 versus the Texans brought back some Mile High Magic and since Tim was mic'd up, we know he certainly wants the ball in his hands when the game is on the line.
Now all he has to do is live up to all the hype and actually prove himself as an NFL-caliber quarterback.
Tebow has proven a few things—he's got a great attitude and will listen to whatever coaches want, he's a truly tough competitor that won't give up on himself or his team and he's proven he can be incredibly effective when running the ball—but T-squared has much more to show coaches, fans and critics.
Tebow had better been working on throwing the ball in the offseason, tweaking his trowing motion/quickening his release and improving his accuracy which left much to be desired last year. And Tebow now has to learn a new offense (or at least a tweak on last year's system geared more towards running) while searching for open receivers by progressing through reads.
Yes, Tim Tebow is really raw as far as his football talents are concerned, but he's also genuinely gifted physically and surely special when it comes to rallying his team and rallying the fans behind him.
And beyond being bigger and faster than (nearly) every other quarterback, beyond his great character and wonderful work ethic, this is the perfect time to give a young QB a chance.
Face it Broncos fans, this team isn't competing for a championship this season, even making the playoffs is a long shot, so why not give the kid a chance to prove himself and get some games under his belt?
Denver has brought in some stunning talent though the draft this year and trading Orton away will likely open up the gates for more trades and free agent signings to follow as the Broncos lose his $8.8 million salary, so it seems to make sense that this year be a primer—a season for the team to gel and learn under their new head coach—setting up for future football success in Denver.
So get ready Broncos Country, it's Tim Tebow time!
Other Broncos moves today
Denver traded WR Jabar Gaffney to the Washington Redskins for DE Jeremy Jarmon. Jarmon is entering his third year in the NFL, he's played in 16 games with 11 tackles, .5 a sack and one forced fumble in his career to this point. Jarmon is 6'3" 286 pounds and is a project player at this point.
Gaffney joins Mike Shanahan in Washington along with ex-Broncos' WR Brandon Stokley who was added to the Redskins' roster today.
Also, the Broncos will be bringing in Brandon Mebane to discuss possibly signing the beastly defensive tackle. Mebane is 6'1" 311 pounds and is entering his fifth season this year. Mebane had 31 tackles in 12 games started last season with one sack and he's amassed 10 total sacks in his career.
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