Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Broncos Feeling Frustration Over Quarterback Controversy: Tebow or Orton?

A week into training camp, and Kyle Orton is still in Denver, running the first team offense.  However, it seems that the delay in finding a trade partner for Orton is beginning to ruffle some feathers in the Mile High City.

It doesn't help when ESPN analyst Merrill Hoge sends out multiple tweets detailing Tebow's inaccurate throws at camp and how much better Orton is.  Hoge is a bit of a blowhard, though, so I don't take his comments that seriously.

On the other hand, when actual Broncos players are complaining, then I sit up and take notice.

"It's the Tebow Thing," says leading receiver Brandon Lloyd. "They'll put Kyle on the trading block because they don't want to deal with the Tebow Thing. But it's not going to end until (Tebow) plays. The faster they get this Tebow Thing over with, one way or the other ..."
I'm sure that Lloyd isn't the only player thinking this, but one thing you have to understand is that Orton is undoubtedly Lloyd's preferred quarterback with their experience together.  In the past two years, Orton has done very well in Denver showing him capable of the kind of passing that the Chicago Bears never thought he could do.  He's thrown for 41 TDs, 21 INTs and over 7,000 yards over 29 games.
 "I spent the entire offseason preparing myself for Tim being the quarterback, because the organization put Kyle on the trading block at the end of the year … what pass plays are we going to be running?" Lloyd continued. "Are we going to be running sprint plays? Throwing from outside the pocket? Running routes is easy, especially with a pure drop-back passer like Orton. But with Tim, the ball is going to be coming from different spots and different angles. That takes getting used to."
The fans obviously want to win, and most have bought into the Tebow mystique, myself included.  I expected him to struggle some coming into this pre-season because if anyone needs coaching, it's Tebow.  He needed all those OTAs that were cancelled due to the lockout.

So what are Denver's options with this situation going forward?

  • Trade Orton, make Tebow the starter - I have to believe this is still the preferred option.  I still think that the Dolphins are a likely trade partner, especially after their first pre-season game.  Dolphins fans were chanting for Orton after watching Chad Henne struggle at a recent scrimmage, so you know the fan base there is still clamoring for a trade.  However, what happens if Broncos fans watch Orton tear it up the first pre-season game and Tebow struggles?  Will they start to let go of Tebow, or will they begin to demand he get more first team snaps?
  • Keep both players, and allow Orton to start while making Tebow a situational quarterback - While this actually might be the best thing for the team winning this year, I can forsee a lot of locker room problems.  Denver's handcuffed in this issue because they need to figure out if Tebow can actually play, and he needs playing time on the field in order to get better.  
  • Trade Tebow and sign Orton to a long-term deal - A less palatable option for Denver simply because they may not feel that Orton is their guy, and they're not going to get as much for Tebow as they would for Orton at this point.   However ticked off the fans might be in the short-term with a Tebow trade, it would be better than having the fans loudly complaining all year every time Orton throws an interception.

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