The Broncos host the Bills Saturday in their second game of the preseason, and as has been the case for almost the entirety of training camp, Kyle Orton will likely be the starting quarterback. Orton gives Denver the best chance to win now, although this doesn't preclude Tim Tebow from maturing into a capable NFL quarterback down the road.
(Obviously, ESPN analyst Merril Hoge disagrees with this, but then again, he also thought Brian Brohm would be a better NFL QB than Aaron Rodgers. The takeaway: you can't predict everything; at some point you have to let guys prove they can't play. And while Tebow isn't better than Orton, he'll probably get a shot to be an NFL starter at some point in his career.)
For now, though, it's Orton's job. And while he's happy to talk about the mundane -- what training camp has been like, when things really started clicking for him, the burden of being called a "game manager", etc… -- Orton wanted no part of a discussion involving The Backup Who Shan't Be Named. Here's his response to a seemingly innocuous question about how much coaching and mentoring Orton does with Tim Tebow (via Sports Radio Interviews):
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“I don’t do any coaching, I take coaching," he said. "I’m a very coachable player so I take coaching. … I’ll answer any questions that anybody’s got and Tim’s asked me a lot of questions this camp. I’ve been there and can answer them for him and I’ll ask questions of Brady and he’ll ask questions of me. I think we’ve got a good quarterback group. I think a lot of the stuff is overblown. I don’t live any relationship through the media, so people want to come out and [ask], ‘How’s your relationship, how’s this?’ That’s nobody’s business but our own.”
That response is usually reserved for inquiries about a player's private life. In Orton's case, his relationship with a teammate is also nobody's business.
Fair enough. And truthfully, it's the right thing to say if for no other reason than to discourage others from asking it, too (although we doubt it will).
Orton has stated previously that "My first goal is to win over my teammates, to win over my coaches, and I think I'm well on my way to doing that. … My last goal playing quarterback is to win over the fans." And we believe him. Orton doesn't appear to care what fans or media think. And perceptions in August don't mean much anyway. If the Broncos win, Orton will be popular. If they don't, the calls for Tebow will intensify.
Either way, Orton ain't talking about it.
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