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Greg Orton Not Your Typical Pre-Season Acquisition

The Broncos just can't get enough Orton, can they?

We're not talking about Kyle Orton for once, we're talking about recently acquired wide receiver Greg Orton, a former All Big Ten performer for the Purdue Boilermakers. Orton and Orton have no relation, but the connections are undeniable, and hopefully these two make a connection or two sooner rather than later.

Greg Orton faced an uphill battle coming out of Purdue, and while he was with the Bengals in 2009, he didn't make the team and wound up trying out for the Arena League's Spokane Shock. To be "punny" for a quick moment, Orton was "shocked" when his coach let him know he wasn't going to make the team, one that already had a few upper-level receivers on it.

Orton was absolutely shell-shocked, and he picked up a few odd jobs including being a host at a local Holiday Inn, which you can read about in this article.

From that moment on, Orton worked his butt off to get himself into football shape, and as fate would have it, two of the Shock's top receivers went down with injuries, and Orton got the call. He had applied himself in a way that he wound up leading the team's star-studded receiver group with receptions in the playoffs on the way to a championship run.

He came back this past season and had a boatload of receptions, 34 of which went for touchdowns. From the article I referenced earlier:

Rarely taking a day off for months, Orton ran, lifted weights and studied video of Vijil, White and Arizona standout Rod Windsor. Orton caught countless passes from quarterback Kyle Rowley. He fine-tuned his route-running. He got stronger without picking up pounds. He added top-end speed and was more explosive coming out of breaks.

Getting out of his breaks and speed were the reasons Orton went undrafted, but when you watch this guy's highlight reel, he certainly appears to have speed to burn.




"It was kind of like the movie where everybody is telling you what you can’t do," Orton said. "For me, I wasn’t explosive enough, fast enough, I didn’t catch the ball with my hands enough. I worked on those things every single day. I wanted to turn my weaknesses into strengths. I see it watching myself on film.

"I had that chip on my shoulder. I sat down and made my goals. Every day I was going to take the opportunity to get better. My goal was to be the best receiver in the AFL, move up to the UFL and then the NFL."

This guy has worked his butt off, and as a result, didn't even have to make a stop in Omaha with the UFL--he was signed by the Denver Broncos and will get a second shot at the NFL.

I have to say, this is one of my favorite moves the Broncos have made. I don't know if this guy will make the team, and frankly I don't care. That highlight reel above has footage of him making plays blocking, making tackles 40-50 yards down the field on kick coverage, and I definitely see improved speed and quickness out of his breaks (granted, he is allowed a running start on some plays). 

Orton seems like a very hard worker and he was undoubtedly one of the most productive receivers at a high level of football. Maybe he can crack the Broncos' roster and somebody can make a movie about the last few years of his life.

I am excited to see this guy in uniform against the Buffalo Bills. You can follow him on Twitter @GO_21.