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Tag:Kyle Orton
Posted on: June 17, 2011 8:58 am
Edited on: June 17, 2011 4:11 pm
 

Kyle Orton works out with Larry Fitzgerald

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Save the few hours during the April draft, we haven't officially had an offseason. It's left plenty of time for speculation, mostly about which players will end up where once free agency begins.

On Thursday, we wrote about Kevin Kolb, currently with the Eagles but likely to end up elsewhere, perhaps Arizona. But Cardinals coaches are reportedly concerned about Kolb's decision making, and if he's a good fit for Ken Whisenhunt's offense.

Which brings us to contestant No. 2: Kyle Orton. We haven't heard much from him lately, but like Kolb, he has previously been linked to Arizona because he's a) available, and b) an above-average quarterback, something the Cards haven't had since Kurt Warner retired after the 2009 season.

With Tebow-mentum building in Denver, there's probably nothing left for Orton, at least as a starter, even though he's proven he can run an offense. (More than that, as a rookie in Chicago, he replaced an injured Rex Grossman and went along for the ride on an 11-5 season and the playoffs. We said yesterday that the Cardinals don't need Tom Brady, they just need someone to steer clear of the icebergs; Orton can do that.) So it's not altogether surprising to see that he's working out with … Arizona wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald.

Actually, players -- despite their team affiliation and even sometimes their professional league -- work out all the time. During an appearance on NFL Network's Total Access this week Hines Ward admitted that he trains with Calvin Johnson. What does that mean? Well, that he trains with Calvin Johnson. Hines isn't going to the Lions and Megatron isn't coming to the Steelers.

And Fitzgerald tweeted as much Thursday, admitting that he's known Orton for a while. (Also on hand for the workouts: Eric Decker, Laurent Robinson, and Kyle Orton's dad. Funny, we don't hear about those guys potentially ending up in Arizona.)

So while these workouts aren't out of the ordinary, it raises another question: If you're the Cards, do you want Kolb, an unproven starter who has drawn comparisons (OK, comparison, singular) to Tom Brady? Or is Orton, a player with a ton of starting experience but perhaps a lower ceiling, the better fit?

We're leaning toward Orton. The free-bowl-of-soup haircut screams franchise QB. (But it looks good on him! That's a joke, obviously, but we really do think Orton makes the most sense for Arizona.)

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Posted on: June 6, 2011 11:15 am
Edited on: June 6, 2011 11:38 am
 

Maybe Delhomme can mentor Tebow in Denver?

Posted by Ryan Wilson

It happens every time a team hires a new coach: he populates the roster with players from his previous team, ostensibly because he knows them better than the players he just inherited. Rex Ryan brought Bart Scott and Jim Leonhard with him to New York from Baltimore, Josh McDaniels had Jabar Gaffney from New England, and the Cardinals are now known as Steelers West because Ken Whisenhunt has yet to meet a former Pittsburgh player he wouldn't sign in Arizona.

Which brings us to John Fox, the new guy in Denver, who likely spends his days trying to figure out who will be the Broncos starting quarterback once the season starts. Kyle Orton seems the obvious choice after passing for almost 7,500 yards and 41 touchdowns the last two seasons. But Denver also drafted Tim Tebow in the first round of the 2010 draft, and it wasn't to convert him to tight end. Like it or not, Tebow will be in the mix for the job once training camps start, and there has been interest from quarterback-needy teams in Orton's services should he become available.

In Sunday's Denver Post, Mike Klis writes about the ambiguity surrounding the Broncos quarterback situation and the issues that come with naming Orton or Tebow the starter.

"Orton would be a controversial starter to the enormous contingent of Tim Tebow followers, and to those who believe the Broncos can't move on until they find out whether the memoirist can cut it as a winning NFL quarterback," Klis notes before adding, "Tebow would be a controversial choice to those who don't believe he's ready, and because his enormous fame and squeaky-clean image seems to polarize the masses.

"The Broncos could begin the season with Orton as the starter and Tebow the backup, so long as Fox understands that the tension of starting the clock on Tebow Time would be wound tight. If Tebow is the starter, Orton would be too disgruntled, and rightly so."

That last bit sounds familiar.

Klis then puts forth an idea that only Fox could get behind: "For Tebow to properly develop, he needs a backup who knows his place. ...Jake Delhomme would make sense in helping Tebow and the Broncos transition into the Fox era."

The only problem is that if Tebow got injured during the season, Delhomme would, you know, have to actually play. Fox has firsthand experience with what Bad Jake can do to an offense, although the man did cry when the Panthers released Delhomme a year ago. But no one -- not even Fox, presumably -- thought the Browns were shrewd in paying Delhomme $7 million in 2010 when it was clear he had nothing left.

That said, Delhomme dutifully assumed his role as backup and mentor to rookie Colt McCoy last season. There's no reason to think he wouldn't be willing to do the same for Tebow, especially if it reunited him with Fox. It just has to be with the understanding that Tebow is a long way from being a consistent NFL starting quarterback. If fans have the patience to let Tebow learn by doing (and let's be honest, "fanaticism" and "tolerance" aren't often mentioned in the same breath), it could accelerate his progress.

On the other hand, the Broncos traded franchise quarterback Jay Cutler to the Bears after the 2008 season. We're not convinced moving Orton just so Tebow can play is in the long-term best interests of the organization. It probably goes without saying, but Broncos fans have McDaniels to thank for all this.

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Posted on: May 31, 2011 4:14 pm
Edited on: May 31, 2011 9:58 pm
 

Report: Tim Tebow organizes workouts for WRs

Posted by Ryan Wilson

In the months leading up to the 2010 NFL Draft, there was speculation that Tim Tebow, college phenom, would be a flop in the pros, at least as a quarterback. There was talk that he'd be moved to tight end or H-back, or maybe even linebacker. The Broncos, then coached by Josh McDaniels (who also happened to be the Patriots' offensive coordinator during the record-breaking 2007 season), thought enough of Tebow to take him with the 25th overall pick.

Kyle Orton, who was coming off a 3,802-yard passing performance that included 21 TDs in '09, began 2010 as Denver's starter, but after suffering bruised ribs, Orton gave way to Tebow for the final three games of the year. The results: a loss to the Raiders, a win against the Texans and a season-ending loss to the Chargers.

Most of the time it wasn't pretty. Tebow ended the year completing half his throws for 654 yards, five TDs and three picks (and added another 227 yards on the ground), but putting up pretty stats isn't his calling card. It's his toughness, his tenacity and his ability to lead his teammates.

With McDaniels out, new coach John Fox named Kyle Orton the starter, with Tebow and Brady Quinn in the running. (At least that was the case earlier this month when Fox told season-ticket holders as much during a conference call. If the price is right, however, the situation could change.) That hasn't stopped Tebow from preparing like a starter, even with the uncertainty surrounding the 2011 season.

ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Monday that Tebow organized his own team workouts in Jacksonville with Broncos wide receivers.

"Last week, Tebow flew Broncos wide receiver Brandon Lloyd, Jabar Gaffney and Britt Davis to Jacksonville, put them up in a nearby hotel, and then led a week of workouts in his hometown, [a league] source said," according to Schefter.

"Each of the Broncos receivers had hoped to come, the source said, but Eric Decker had another commitment, and Demaryius Thomas (torn Achilles) and Eddie Royal (strained hamstring) were unable to practice at this time due to lingering injuries."

Schefter adds that the receivers who showed up in Jacksonville "considered it such a success that the group plans to reconvene in another week or so in Arizona for two weeks of intensive workouts."

No word on what, if anything, Orton has planned.

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Posted on: May 26, 2011 9:59 am
Edited on: May 26, 2011 10:19 am
 

Broncos think Orton's worth a 2nd-round pick?

Posted by Will Brinson

There's a big, old group of teams that need veteran quarterback help in the NFL. And, fortunately, there's a big, old group of veteran quarterbacks that are either available or theoretically available via trade or signing.

Denver Broncos starter Kyle Orton is in that group -- we think. (We do think that, right?)

But he might be a little bit different than the rest of the veterans, in that the Broncos are going to demand more than folks might guess.

Jason LaCanfora of NFL Network reports, that the notion of some team landing Orton for a third- or fourth-round pick is "woefully misguided" and that Orton will command at least a second-rounder (and maybe one that converts to a first-rounder based on production).

Now, if someone comes calling with a pile of mid-round picks, you've got to think the Broncos will consider making a move. Doing so won't guarantee them any wins now but it will help them in the long term and it will put Tim Tebow on the field right away.

That's not necessarily a formula for winning the division in 2011, but it's a pretty good formula for winning back fans who might be perturbed by the lockout situation.

It seems fairly unlikely that Denver will end up moving Orton for that price, though. However, it's been rumored that the Vikings could have Orton on their radar. That makes a lot of sense from the perspective that Minnesota could prep Christian Ponder to take over while still making a run in 2011 with Orton under center. 

But if it's going to require at least a second-round pick to get a deal done, it's hard to imagine the Vikings investing that much that quickly in the quarterback position, especially after drafting Ponder and being prepared to start him.

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Posted on: May 21, 2011 12:57 pm
 

Ponder: 'I'm going in to take the starting job'

Posted by Will Brinson

Last we left Vikings first-round draft pick Christian Ponder, he was discussing the possibility of working out with teammates Sidney Rice and Percy Harvin.

Which is precisely what he needs to do if he wants to end up starting the first week of the season (whenever that is). Which, as he said during an "NFL Rookie Roundtable" on the NFL Network, is exactly what he wants to do.

"My view is that I was picked No. 12, they believe in me, and I believe in myself," Ponder said. ”From that time I got picked, my mindset was I’m going in to take the starting job.

"I have to earn it first, but my mindset is I’m going in and hopefully starting from Day 1."

Ponder, out of all the quarterbacks taken during the first two rounds of the draft -- and there were a lot of them! -- has the best shot to be the starter from the get-go.

The Vikings don't have an incumbent starter, they have a team that can compete right now, and Ponder's considered by many folks to be the most "NFL ready" rookie that was drafted during the 2011 NFL Draft.
Vikes Offseason

It still seems all but a given that the Vikings will target a veteran signal caller once the lockout ends, but if Ponder's working hard with his teammates and getting a grasp on the playbook, it's not necessarily a given that this veteran will have too big a head start on the former Seminole.

The type of veteran that the Vikings target might be the most indicative of whether or not they believe Ponder can kick off the season as the starter -- if Minnesota goes after a Donovan McNabb or a Matt Hasselbeck or a Kyle Orton, they probably expect Ponder to sit and learn. If they target, say, a Billy Volek or Jim Sorgi, Ponder better be ready to start rolling without training wheels.

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Posted on: May 20, 2011 6:19 pm
Edited on: May 23, 2011 6:28 am
 

Kyle Orton could be on the Vikings' radar

Posted by Andy Benoit

Some believe that Christian Ponder is the most immediate NFL-ready quarterback in the 2011 rookie class. But whether this is true or not, with no offseason workouts, even the most NFL-ready rookie is unlikely to actually be ready come Week 1.
K. Orton (US Presswire)
Thus, it’s no surprise that ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reports that Kyle Orton could be on the Vikings’ radar. Orton figures to be on the trading block in Denver. Mortensen says the Vikings have no interest in experimenting with Joe Webb in this role. Webb, in fact, may find himself back at wide receiver. (My analysis, not Mort’s.)

Being a veteran bridge quarterback for the Vikings would be in step with the rest of Orton’s career. Orton started ahead of rookie first-rounder Rex Grossman in Chicago and ahead of another first-round Gators quarterback in Denver named Golden Child Tim Tebow.

It’s worth noting that of the veteran quarterbacks available in 2011, Matt Hasselbeck and Donovan McNabb might be better fits in Minnesota than Orton. Both have spent the majority of their decade-plus careers operating in a West Coast offense similar to the one Vikings offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave will run.

Then again, Hasselbeck is somewhat injury prone and McNabb must shake his new reputation (fair or unfair) of not being able to adjust to new surroundings. Orton, on the other hand, is schematically versatile, accurate, fundamentally sound and, in all likelihood, affordable.

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Posted on: May 19, 2011 1:06 pm
Edited on: May 19, 2011 1:16 pm
 

Broncos not in the mix for 'Hard Knocks'

Posted by Will Brinson

Whoever ends up as the subject of HBO's "Hard Knocks" in 2011 has a hard act to follow -- the Jets were absolutely the most must-watch preseason football in, well, forever.

We already know that it won't be the Buccaneers, who declined the opportunity to be featured, and CBSSports.com has learned it will not be the Denver Broncos either.

"Although we recognize the value of the show and the exposure that accompanies it, we are going to continue to rely on other platforms to give our fans up-close access to the Broncos," Patrick Smyth, Broncos' Executive Director of Media Relations, told CBSSports.com.

The Broncos would have been a fascinating team to watch on the show, for a number of reasons: they have Tim Tebow (always a draw), they have a potential quarterback battle on their hands, they have a new coach in John Fox, they have a new guy running the show in John Elway, they have a pair of storyline-worthy rookies in Von Miller and Nate Irving, and they've been incredibly transparent as an organization lately, beating reporters to scoop by embracing Twitter.
Broncos' Offseason

But it also makes sense to pass on opening up the doors to HBO. The labor climate makes it very easy for potentially unwelcome made-for-TV drama to unfold naturally.

And the Broncos are in a rebuilding mode: as much talent as they have on the roster -- and they do have talent -- it's a organization that's probably more concerned with instilling the a homogeneous culture change than it is with getting its players a bunch of airtime on HBO.

That's the beauty of being young, though: there's always next year.

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Posted on: May 6, 2011 8:51 am
 

Report: Cardinals looking at Kyle Orton

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

While quarterbacks like Donovan McNabb (not going to happen) and Carson Palmer (Bengals probably won’t let this happen) have been linked to the Cardinals signal-caller spot, 3TV in Phoenix is reporting that Arizona has an interest in current Broncos QB Kyle Orton.

Orton Apparently, the Cardinals have been in contact with the Broncos to gauge their interest in dealing him, and though the TV station reports the talks aren’t yet serious, Orton could provide another option to the Cardinals if their courtship of Eagles QB Kevin Kolb fails.

It’d be interesting to see if Denver actually had interest in trading Orton, especially with Tim Tebow possibly waiting in the wings – I’m just not sure I see this happening – but it’s clear that since the Cardinals didn’t take a quarterback in last week’s draft (and considering, gulp, Derek Anderson is still the starter), they’ll need to find somebody in the offseason to run the offense.

Orton, if they could get him, would be a pretty good option. At least he has a solid record of playing well in the NFL (unlike, say, Kolb).

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com