Tag:Kyle Orton
Posted on: September 5, 2010 11:12 am

A dead money debate

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Mark Kizla of the Denver Post analyzes the moves (mistakes) Broncos coach Josh McDaniels has made in the past year.

First, he traded up to draft Alphonso Smith in the first round, meaning the Broncos gave him a $2.15 million signing bonus. Then, Denver gave Jarvis Green $3.25 million guaranteed. Then, the Broncos drafted Tim Tebow after trading for QB Brady Quinn to back up Kyle Orton.

So, where do the Broncos stand after Saturday?

Smith was traded to the Lions. Green was cut. Quinn has looked horrendous this preseason.

And Kizla is not impressed:

We salute McDaniels for not letting his ego get in the way of ushering Smith and Green to the exit.

But McDaniels had better be right on first-round draft picks Knowshon Moreno, Robert Ayers, Demaryius Thomas and Tim Tebow. If the Broncos fail to develop anything less than two Pro Bowl players from that quartet in the coming years, then the 34-year-old McDaniels will be long gone from Denver before his hair turns gray.

All of this raised the ire of the Mile High Report, a Broncos blog, on Twitter.

With Smith, Green and the $600,000 in bonuses paid to Brandon Stokley – placed on the IR list until he’s healthy enough to be cut – that’s about $6 million of dead money for the Broncos this season. But as the blog points out, that’s less than what Seattle will pay for T.J. Houshmandzadeh (cut Saturday and owed $7 million guaranteed) and Cincinnati has paid Antonio Bryant (released and paid $8 million).

The MHR makes a good point, but Kizla’s point is well taken also. McDaniels has made some high-profile moves in his short tenure, and some of those moves have not turned out well. If his decisions continue to haunt him and his squad, he won’t be around for the long-term.

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Posted on: August 31, 2010 12:34 am

Harrison thinks Orton 'got what he had coming'

Posted by Will Brinson

A quarterback running his mouth to a linebacker makes some sense, maybe. Unless it's the preseason, in which it's silly. Or, if it's a preseason game and that quarterback be forced to try and stop that linebacker from scoring on the return of a fumble. Then it's just flat-out dumb.

Fortunately, that actually happened on Sunday night with Kyle Orton and James Harrison.

"I don't know if I hit him or he hit me," Orton said.

Actually, Kyle, Harrison ABSOLUTELY hit you. Need proof? Go here and fast forward to the 1:00 mark . But why on Earth would Harrison spot Orton kind-of/sort-of trying to get in his way and then proceed to lower try and break Neckbeard's face?

"He was running his mouth and getting in the way of the train," Harrison said. "And the train wasn't coming off the track."

"He was popping off down there the first time they were about to score," Harrison said, referring to the Broncos' game-opening touchdown drive. "So you run your mouth, expect to get something. Everything's between the lines, so he got what he had coming."

Really, the "tackle" -- for both parties -- is just ridiculous. Harrison's definitely went after Orton on purpose, but he's right: field of play and whatnot. More importantly, though, is what the hell Orton was thinking; he supposedly was trying to stop Harrison but he really just took a dive.

As the only person standing between a full season of Tim Tebow and Brady Quinn vying for starts, he needs to know better than that.

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Posted on: August 30, 2010 1:38 pm

Hot Routes 8.30.10 decisions decisions decisions

Posted by Andy Benoit

One ESPN writer thinks Shanahan can’t be serious about McNabb sitting out Week 1.

The Lions plan on doing what most teams do when they get overwhelmingly insecure about their linebacking depth: sign Rocky Boiman.

It’s hard to picture the Bucs keeping Michael Clayton in 2010, though the underachieving veteran wideout is confident he’ll remain with the team. Clayton hasn’t played much this preseason, but Raheem Morris tends to sit his veterans in August more than most head coaches.

The Cardinals will apparently consider intangibles when making their quarterback decision – whatever that means.

The Panthers defense has performed well this preseason...does it matter?

How about the Panthers offense scoring zero touchdowns in 42 possessions so far this preseason...does that matter?

There is still plenty of competition for the kick return duties in Dallas.

Who else found themselves kind of wishing that we’d get at least one look at the gash in James Farrior’s head Sunday night? The Steelers linebacker did a good job covering it up (though it was impossible to hide all the excess blood).

New England’s young defensive backs are getting some help from the veterans.

The Broncos weren’t exactly thrilled with James Harrison’s hit on Kyle Orton.

And, even better, James Harrison doesn’t exactly care. According to Mike Klis of the Denver Post, Harrison said of Orton, “"He was running his mouth and getting in the way of the train. And the train wasn't coming off the track. (Orton) was popping off down there the first time they were about to score. So you run your mouth, expect to get something. Everything's between the lines, so he got what he had coming."

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Posted on: August 30, 2010 12:08 am
Edited on: August 30, 2010 12:15 am

Burning questions revisited

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

D. Dixon didn't do himself any favors Sunday night (US Presswire). Earlier this evening, we presented three burning questions the Steelers and the Broncos would face when they met at Invesco Field. After Denver finished off a 34-17 win, we have a few more answers (which are in bold).


1. What the heck is going on with the starting QB spot? This has been one of my favorite questions all preseason, because much of what the Steelers coaching staff has done hasn’t made sense to me. Like tonight, for example. Byron Leftwich most likely will be the starter once the season begins, but he probably won’t play tonight until the second half when the second-team is going, after Ben Roethlisberger – who, of course, won’t be playing the season-opener – and Dennis Dixon, who should be the starter in place of Roethlisberger, takes their reps. A bonus question: why? I still don’t know the answer, but I’ll tell you this: Dixon lost any chance he had to be a starter by tossing two interceptions and showing his inexperience and poor decision-making.

2. How will C Maurkice Pouncey perform against a first-team defensive line? Earlier this week, Pouncey surpassed Justin Hartwig as the starting center, and tonight, he’ll test his wares against a very good nose tackle in Jamal Williams. He had some good moments against Williams and some bad moments where he allowed the Broncos to penetrate the backfield and get pressure on Dixon. But overall, this is a move that should work out well for Pittsburgh.

3. What’s up with RB Rashard Mendenhall? There have been rumors that Mendenhall suffered a broken arm in practice, but those talks have been debunked by reporters who actually are in the know. He is expected to start tonight. Of course, he played. No surprise there. He was workmanlike with 28 yards on five carries before calling it a night. But the breakout RB belonged to Steelers rookie Jonathan Dwyer, who recorded 89 yards and a score on just 13 carries while looking strong on one play and fast on the next.


1. Will the run defense stop anybody? Last year, the Broncos ranked 26th in the NFL by allowing 128.7 rushing yards per game. So, after signing a plethora of defensive linemen in the offseason, where has that gotten the Broncos? Dead last in the preseason stats with 171 rushing yards per game. Tonight, Mendenhall will provide the next test for the Broncos defense to pass. Dwyer was awesome tonight, though it came mostly against second and third-stringers. Still, the Broncos allowed 175 rushing yards on the night. Obviously, that’s not what Denver’s coaches wanted.

2. Can RB Knowshon Moreno play tonight? It doesn’t sound like it. As the Denver Post reports, Moreno doesn’t look anywhere close to returning, as he’s taking his cuts rather gingerly. The Broncos need him to return to the starting lineup, but it most likely won’t be tonight’s starting lineup. No, he didn’t play. Instead, we saw the return of LenDale White, who actually looked pretty good. He had 34 yards and a score on 12 yards, and if he didn’t have to sit out a four-game suspension to open the season, he’d have a better chance of making the squad.

3. Will Tim Tebow return? Of course, we have to ask this question, no matter how dirty it makes us feel. Pregame reports are saying he was throwing during warmups, so it sounds like he might dress. And if he dresses, there’s a decent chance he plays. He played, and he threw a god-awful interception. But he also showed a nice touch and good awareness on his 3-yard TD pass to Eric Decker. Either way, he looked more competent than Brady Quinn.

A few more observations:

-There was plenty of talk about how punter Daniel Sepulveda would take Jeff Reed’s job as the kickoff specialist. Well, Sepulveda booted the game-opening kickoff out of bounds for a penalty. One word: ugh.

-James Farrior did his best Eli Manning impression with that cut on his head.

-There was a scary moment for Broncos fans when Kyle Orton tried to deliver a hit on Steelers LB James Harrison after he picked up and ran with an alleged fumble. We’ll say this: it didn’t end well for Orton, who briefly left the game following his tackle. Like I said on Twitter, you don’t want Orton anywhere near Harrison when the latter is returning a possible fumble.

-The Steelers accumulated four personal foul penalties in the first half. That’s pretty ridiculous. Not the sign of a real disciplined team.

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Posted on: August 21, 2010 2:34 pm
Edited on: August 21, 2010 2:37 pm

Broncos make brilliant move with Orton

Posted by Andy Benoit

Something we tend to overlook is how a player’s contract impacts the rest of the team’s morale. Players like to see their teammates get rewarded. It tells them management cares about the players and gives everyone in the locker room hope that they, too, will get a huge payday if they earn it. K. Orton (US Presswire)

This is why it’s dangerous for the Patriots to drag their feet with Tom Brady or for the Jets to extend the contracts of Rex Ryan and Mike Tannenbaum but not cornerback Darrelle Revis.

On this note, Lindsay Jones of the Denver Post makes an excellent point about the new deal the Broncos gave quarterback Kyle Orton.

Orton, as we all know by now, just signed a one-year contract extension that will pay him $8.8 million in 2011 on top of the $2.62 million he will make this season as the team’s starting quarterback.

Other players were not available for interviews today — typical team policy for the day before games — but I imagine the news of Orton’s extension went over very well.

Not only is Orton a popular guy in the locker room and the unquestioned leader of the offense, it was clear throughout training camp that Orton is, by far, the team’s best quarterback. His teammates noticed, and know that Orton gives the team the best chance to win now. Not to mention that if the quarterback is happy, it certainly helps morale for the rest of the team.
Orton’s extension should also send a message to the rest of the team that players can work and play their way into more money and a longer contract.

Obviously, the Broncos didn’t have to pay Orton. They have his long-term replacement, Tim Tebow, already on the roster. And $8.8 million is a lot of money for a middle-of-the-road passer. But with Orton locked up through 2011, all immediate distractions under center are at least curtailed. And, should Tebow prove to not be ready by next season, the Broncos won’t find themselves negotiating with Orton without any leverage.

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Category: NFL
Posted on: August 21, 2010 2:31 pm
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Posted on: August 19, 2010 10:12 pm
Edited on: August 19, 2010 10:25 pm

Broncos extend Orton; Tebow fans gnash teeth

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

According to various media reports, the Broncos have extended QB Kyle Orton’s contract an extra year through 2011. The extension is for $9 million ($5.5 million of that is guaranteed, according to NFL.com’s Jason La Canfor a, and it speaks to the fact the club likes Orton quite a bit.

That might be because backup Brady Quinn was so bad in the first preseason game against the Bengals – he’s been pretty crappy throughout his career, come to think of it –  and Denver simply doesn’t trust him. It might be because nobody is sure what exactly Tim Tebow will become. Or it might simply be because Orton (62.1 percent completed, 3,802 yards, 21 TDs, 12 INTs last year) impressed the Broncos front office in his first season with the team.

I actually like the move quite a bit. I certainly don’t think Orton is the next John Elway, but he’s solid enough, especially in that division – only San Diego’s Philip Rivers is clearly a better QB.

While we wait to see whether Tebow can play QB in this league, the Broncos have a pretty good one in Orton who coach Josh McDaniels can feel comfortable with every week.

UPDATE (10:23 PM ET):
Kyle Orton's statement as released through the team. "This is the place that my wife and I definitely want to be. Considering the labor environment, I'm aware of how difficult it was to get this deal done and am extremely appreciative of all of the hard work and support from [general manager] Brian Xanders and Coach McDaniels during this process. I'm eager to get this season started and will do whatever I can to help this team be successful."

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Posted on: August 18, 2010 11:33 am

Tebow's mechanics up for discussion

T. Tebow still has work to do on his throwing mechanics (AP). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

For all the talk about Tim Tebow’s arm delivery and his mechanics and about how subpar they were coming out of Florida, Tebow has made improvements during offseason workouts and training camp.

But when he took the field against the Bengals in the Broncos first preseason game, he didn’t think about any of it.

Writes Lindsay H. Jones of the Denver Post :

His mind was on the Cincinnati Bengals' defense, on trying to mentally sift his way through the Broncos' complicated offense and identify the right play. He wasn't thinking about the angle at which he was holding his left arm, how low or high he held the ball or how long or short his windup was.

"That wasn't something that was going through my mind," Tebow said. "It was more reading the defense and trying to get first downs."

It's a good thing, then, that Tebow largely ignores the world of football commentary, and particularly Twitter, which was transformed into a hub for media and fans alike to critique Tebow's mechanics in real time throughout the fourth quarter of Sunday's game. The consensus from the masses seemed to be, based on that quarter of work, that Tebow the NFL player was the same as Tebow the college player at Florida, at least when it came to his throwing motion.

For his part, Tebow says he doesn’t care what the outside world thinks about his mechanics. He had a nice 35-yard pass to Matthew Willis that was dropped, and his stats (8 of 13 for 105 yards) were fine. Afterward, coach Josh McDaniel said Tebow had plenty of work left to do to fine-tune his game. But he showed some of the skills that led to his first-round selection, rushing in for a seven-yard TD on the last play of the game and successfully showing his poise while running the 2-minute offense.

He’s nowhere near taking over the starting spot from Kyle Orton, but Tebow has shown improvement. For now, that’s good enough.

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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