Tag:John Elway
Posted on: November 10, 2011 11:36 am

Top Ten with a Twist: Second-half predictions

Green Bay is being predicted to win the Super Bowl (US Presswire).

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

We’re halfway through the season, and since so few of my preseason predictions will come true (seriously?!? The Rams to win the NFC West? Chris Johnson as the comeback player?), I’ve decided to give it another go in hopes that I don’t have to bring my prediction machine into the shop for a tune-up.

Aside from our new, guaranteed to be true picks (you can also check out our CBS expert chat from Wednesday in that link), I’m going out on a limb with this Top Ten with a Twist and giving you 10 predictions that I know in my heart of hearts WILL happen the rest of the season.

Because the great thing about working for a national website, as opposed to a newspaper that gets filed into the recycling bin as soon as you’re done reading it, is that there’s no way anybody will ever know if your predictions turn out to be crap. Oh, wait …

10. The Bills will fall apart: One of the league’s most surprising teams -- though Fred Jackson says you shouldn’t have been THAT surprised by it -- played perhaps its worst game of the season against the wrong opponent last week, losing to the Jets at home and falling into a tie for first place in the AFC East with the Jets and Patriots. Buffalo has to play both teams once more, and though Buffalo should finish with a winning record, that won’t be enough to finish ahead of New England and New York and make the playoffs.

9. The Lions won’t: Detroit’s success hasn’t been nearly as surprising as Buffalo’s, but the fact Detroit is 6-2 through the first half of the season isn’t something we’re used to seeing. But the Lions are legitimately a playoff team. They’re third in the league in points scored -- that can happen when your former No. 1 pick stays healthy (so far) and your top-notch wide receiver scores touchdowns by the bushel. The Lions, even though Ndamukong Suh hasn’t been at his best, still maintain a top-10 defense. Though the second-half schedule is tough, Detroit has a good chance of knocking off Green Bay (the two teams play twice), and if the Lions can stay ahead of the Bears, one wild card spot will be waiting for them.

8. New England will right the ship: The Patriots, despite losing their past two games and looking bad in the process, should still make the playoffs. So, from that aspect, they’ll be good enough. Just not as good as they usually are. That’s because their defense is a major problem (Albert Haynesworth, you’ll recall, was on the roster for eight weeks), and it’s unclear how New England will fix it. But the offense is good enough to survive the second half of their schedule. They won’t get a first-round bye, and they probably won’t survive wild card weekend. So, the season basically will be an abject failure in New England’s eyes.

7. The Colts will win a game (or two): Indianapolis will not be the second team in NFL history to go 0-for-16 on the year. Already, they’ve lost four games by eight points or less, and yes, even though that 62-7 loss to the Saints was ridiculous, Indianapolis (and quarterback Curtis Painter) is good enough to win at least one. It could happen this week vs. the Jaguars at home or at Jacksonville in Week 17, and a win against the Panthers is not completely out of the question. The point is: a team that plays the Steelers to within three points isn’t the worst team in the history of the league. Even if the Colts are the last winless team in the NFL this season.

Sparano6. Jim Irsay will break Caldwell’s firing on Twitter: Irsay has to be my favorite NFL owner of all time, simply because he gets the power of social media. Sure, most of the time he’s tweeting obscure lyrics from Pink Floyd’s The Final Cut album or pretending to look for Brett Favre in Hattiesburg, Miss., but Caldwell also will be the first owner in history to break the news on his own Twitter account that he’s firing his coach. John Elway has been great on Twitter as well, but Elway also has a boss. That’s not a problem for Irsay.

5. Tony Sparano will last the season: I don’t know if Jim Caldwell will make it to the season’s end with the Colts, but I’m thinking Sparano will do exactly that. The team is still playing hard -- and how about the Dolphins beating the crap out of the Chiefs in Kansas City last week? -- and though the talent is lacking in that organization (how much can be blamed on the departed Bill Parcells?), they still believe in Sparano. If the Dolphins can pull of another couple wins, hopefully owner Stephen Ross will let him last through the season. After the emasculation Ross put him through in the offseason, Sparano deserves that much at least.

4. HGH testing won’t be around in 2011: We told you about a month ago that the NFL’s HGH testing was a go and that it very well could start within that week. That was quickly disputed by the NFLPA -- which claims that nobody has explained to the union exactly how the tests will be conducted -- and here we are, nearly a month later, and nothing has happened. As NFLPA spokesman George Atallah told CBSSports.com’s Mike Freeman, “We have an agreement to test for HGH. What we don't have an agreement on is the process and the protocol to implement the test.” Considering the glacial pace at which the two sides moved when the 2011 season was at stake, I don’t expect the league to start testing until next season. If then.

3. Carson Palmer will be better than average: That’s not exactly a high bar to jump over, but considering he wasn’t even that in his final seasons for the Bengals, this would be an improvement. Palmer had a rough outing in his first action, replacing Kyle Boller in the second half of the Chiefs game, but he showed some of the Palmer of old, throwing three touchdowns (and three more interceptions) in the loss to the Broncos. Will Palmer be worth the two high-round draft picks the Raiders gave to the Bengals for him? Probably not, but Palmer will keep the Raiders in the playoff hunt.

2. Wade Phillips will save Gary Kubiak’s job: The Texans defensive coordinator is well on his way to doing exactly that for Houston’s head coach. Because, at this very moment, the Texans defense is ranked No. 1 in the NFL. You remember what they were last year, right? No. 30. Hiring Phillips might be the best move Kubiak ever made, and Phillips is repaying him by recreating a defense that will lead Houston to the playoffs and keep Kubiak safely employed.

1. Packers will win Super Bowl: I mean, who else is there?

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Posted on: November 7, 2011 2:53 pm

Elway: Quinn was ready if Tebow struggled Sunday

Posted by Will Brinson

The AFC West, thanks to Denver upsetting Oakland 38-24 on Sunday, is a hot mess right now. And in what has to be the weirdest turn of events, Tim Tebow's led the Broncos within one game of first place in their division.

But he's still not on firm footing in terms of remaining the starting quarterback -- though he's guaranteed to start this week! -- and John Elway told Denver's 102.3 The Ticket on Monday that John Fox was prepared to bring in Brady Quinn if Tebow struggled against the Raiders Sunday.

"I think that John was patient with it and wanted to see how things were going," Elway said, via the Denver Post. "If we’d have seen what happened the last couple of weeks, we might have seen a change."

Elway also noted that he'd like to see Tebow's completion percentage, currently hovering below 50 percent, improve.

Week 9 Review

That's not surprising, because it's tough to win football games when you're only hitting on 46.4 percent of your passes. What is surprising is how quickly Fox and Elway were willing to bail on the Tebow experiment and roll with Quinn.

Tebow looked terrible against Detroit last week and was only good for a few minutes against the Dolphins in Week 7. But had they really given him a fair shake, after 10 quarters of football, a trade of his best wide receiver and no clear-cut game plan designed to utilize his strengths?

Because it sure doesn't seem that way. When Denver focused on running the ball and actually installed a offensive package designed around the guy under center, the result was much more palatable.

None of that's to say that Tebow is set up to make a run at a division title, or even that he'll be an above-average quarterback this year. He probably won't.

But how are we going to find out about his ability to adapt and improve if Denver doesn't even give him a fair shake? Speaking of fair shakes, they probably should have traded Kyle Orton if they weren't even going to make him the backup.

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Posted on: November 4, 2011 10:25 am
Edited on: November 4, 2011 10:26 am

Five questions (or more) with Chris Crocker

C. Crocker has been a key defender in Cincinnati (Getty).

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Chris Crocker has played on good Bengals teams and bad Bengals teams. Mostly bad. But now that Cincinnati is 5-2, Crocker is receiving a bit more recognition for being a key component on a Bengals squad that has one of the league’s best defenses. After starting only six games during his first years in Cleveland, he’s started 83 of the last 89 contests he’s played, and he’s had himself a nice career. Seven games into this season, he’s already surpassed his career high with 2.5 sacks on the year.

He’s also one of the better quotes in the Bengals locker room, always willing to speak about whatever’s on his mind with nary a nod to the idea of political correctness. That’s not to say he’s in the same league as former teammates Chad Ochocinco or Terrell Owens. Those guys talked because they liked to hear themselves speak. When Crocker speaks, he usually has something interesting to say.

Knowing that, we caught up with Crocker earlier this week where we talked about life in the Bengals organization this year, how the team moved past the Carson Palmer controversy and why Owens can’t get a job.

Previous Five Questions (or more):

Sept. 16:
Actor/former Patriots DB Brian White

Sept. 30: Bills RB Fred Jackson

Oct. 7: Sweetness author Jeff Pearlman

Oct. 21: 49ers LB Aldon Smith

1. CBSSports.com: I was around that locker room for six years, and I know what that organization is like and what the mood in the locker room has been when the team’s been bad. What’s different this year?

Chris Crocker: I can talk specifically on defense where the majority of the guys are the same guys who have been here. Offensively, we’ve changed a lot of guys. We already had really good guys the locker room. It’s just been what the perception has been. We don’t have a Chad (Ochocinco) anymore that’s always in the media. All of our guys are low-key. We don’t have the guys who are in the limelight. The perception has changed. A lot of the guys we had before were getting into trouble with DUIs and suspensions. We’ve always had a good group of guys. We just don’t have any more Hollywood.

2. CBS: I don’t think I was alone in the national media in picking the Bengals to struggle, to go maybe 4-12 or 3-13. That obviously wasn’t right, but if you looked at what was happening, Carson Palmer was maybe going to go, the top two receivers from last year would leave, and we didn’t know why Marvin Lewis came back. Why are you guys winning?

Crocker: Offensively, we haven’t been very good since I’ve been here. I’m not saying that to kick my teammates in the butt. The truth of the matter is we haven’t been great. The defense, we felt like we were the strength of the team. No matter what, we felt like we had to carry our team. It just so happened that we stumbled on a quarterback that could manage the game, we’re very talented at the wide receiver spot, and Cedric (Benson) re-signed. Everything really jelled on the offensive side of the ball. We knew we were going to play stingy defense. But the (offensive) formula has worked for us. There were a lot of questions -- who’s going to be the quarterback, the running back, the receivers, and on defense we had questions too. But we felt like the nucleus was the same. Outside of these walls, nobody saw us as good. But every year, nobody sees us as good, so why should it be any different?

C. Crocker said the team doesn't have any Hollywood this year (US Presswire).3. CBS: But losing Johnathan Joseph to the Texans was a major thing, right? I mean, Joseph and Leon Hall were considered to be one of the better young cornerback tandems in the league.

Crocker: Going into the season, it was a big blow. Me and Leon and John have all been together. We had formed something that was really special. He leaves to go elsewhere, which is fine. He was entitled to do that. But what we were going to do? Nate Clements was a free agent, and he fit right in. He’s been a great player in this league for a while. For him coming in, it was just a matter of time. How long would it take him to learn the system and get on the same page? It’s been really good. You couldn’t have put a better guy in there.

CBS: Why did it fit Clements so well?

Crocker: First of all, experience supersedes everything. He’s a very smart guy. He really wanted to come in here and really get on the same page with everybody. He wasn’t coming here with the attitude that he’s been there and done that. He came in with the attitude that he could learn. It’s hard when you’re an old guy, you get stuck in your ways. But he was completely opposite of that. He wanted to be part of something special. But with us, it’s week to week. If we don’t play well the next week, then we’re a piece of crap. Especially in the media. We want to go out there and play well.

CBS: Yeah, but us in the media can also say, “Well, the Bengals really haven’t faced any great quarterbacks. They haven’t really played anybody yet. Their schedule is weak. They haven’t played Baltimore or Pittsburgh yet."

Crocker: When people say that, you know that you don’t ever apologize for winning. Those other guys in the division, they’re playing the same teams we are. You don’t apologize for winning in this league. We’ll see those guys down the road and see where we stand then.

4. CBS: Regarding Carson Palmer, what was the locker room attitude about him? He had been such a good member of the team, but then he bailed. Did Carson abandon you guys, or did he have a good point?

Crocker: In Cincinnati in general, he had been the quarterback for so long, maybe the fans and the organization were scared of change. Sometimes change is good. In this case, it works out for us. If he didn’t want to be here, that’s fine. It’s all good and dandy. We knew our offense wasn’t the 1999 St. Louis Rams. Let’s be real. We weren’t playing John Elway. I like Carson, but let’s look at what we were.

5. CBS: What about Terrell Owens? You played with him last year, saw him in practice. Does he still have what it takes? Why doesn’t he have a job?

Crocker: I’ll say this. When we talk about how perception is reality, the perception around the league is that he’s a bad locker room guy and a bad teammate. Organizations don’t want to bring that dynamic in the locker room, especially with him 37 or 38 years old. I just don’t think people are willing to do it. I’m not saying he’s a bad teammate, but he was called one when he was in San Fran, in Philly, in Dallas. It’s like a circus. Teams just don’t want to go that route. You bring him in, and you bring in all the stuff that goes with it. He seems healthy, he looks healthy. I’m not a GM, but it’s something you worry about.

CBS: Was it a circus last year with Owens and Ochocinco?

Crocker: I’ll go off what he said. He talks so bad about organizations that nobody wants to deal with that. You bring him in here, and it’s all good. But when it goes bad, he talks bad about the organization. My only rule is this: you might have gripes and you might not be happy, but you don’t bite the hand that feeds you. I think that’s how organizations feel about him.

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Posted on: November 4, 2011 10:00 am
Edited on: November 4, 2011 11:09 am

Is play-calling the problem for Tebow, Broncos?

Is it the game plan or is it just Tebow? (US PRESSWIRE)

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Through no fault of his own, Tim Tebow has become the league's most polarizing figure. He's been thrust into an untenable position; ill-equipped to perform the duties necessary of an NFL quarterback. Yet here he is, entering his third week as the Broncos' starter and so far the results have been disastrous.

Take the same player without Tebow's college pedigree, and the media story line would go something like this: "Young QB not yet ready for primetime, maybe in a season or two." And that would be that, the Broncos would've given Brady Quinn a chance or returned to Kyle Orton, and we could all get on with our lives.

Instead, Tebow, easily the worst of the NFL's 32 starting quarterbacks, remains the story. This is what happens when staunch critics point out he should never ever take another snap and his devoted supporters suggest that this isn't Tebow's fault. This is no middle ground.

And that brings us to this: the Broncos are now having to defend their play-calling. Because that's why Tebow has completed 46 percent of his passes this season and has been sacked 13 times in 10 quarters.

Last Sunday, there was a report that Denver had plans to revamp the offense around Tebow's strengths. According to Rotoworld, "Fox's is now going all-in on Tebow, acknowledging that the move to more of a Florida Gators look will either revolutionize the game or set it back years. As John Clayton suggested [last] week, the Broncos will put Tebow in the shotgun and 'cover their eyes.'"

If the Broncos had a Tebow-specific game plan against the Lions and still lost 45-10 then, impossibly, things may be worse than we feared. Turns out, they have.

Details via the Associated Press' Arnie Stapleton:
A close look at the film, however, shows the Broncos have tailored their offense to Tebow's unorthodox skill set even though the results haven't been pretty.

In his two starts, a win over the Dolphins and a loss to the Lions, Tebow has been in the shotgun an average of 40 times. From there, the Broncos have rushed the ball 17 times on average, half of the time on designed runs by Tebow.

And the Broncos have spread out their offense, using three wide receivers, an average of 50 times a game, almost every time with a tailback in the backfield with him. Those numbers are way up from the first month of the season when Kyle Orton was Denver's QB.
Stapleton notes something we've mentioned frequently in our weekly "Tracking Tebow" updates: Tebow holds the ball in the pocket, either not knowing which receiver to target, or struggling to decipher the defenses he's facing. In addition to the 13 sacks, Tebow's thrown a pick-six, had four fumbles (one returned for a touchdown), and Denver is just 6 for 30 on third downs.

Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy stresses patience.

"I mean, look at all the young quarterbacks in the league, how many come out right away and start lighting it up from the first game on?" McCoy said, via the AP. "There aren't many in the history of this game that do that. They all struggle early on, it's an adjustment to them. He's a young quarterback. So, there's going to be growing pains."

After a loss to the Lions last week, Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos look to rebound as they prepare to take on the Oakland Raiders on Sunday. Jason Horowitz and NFL.com's Pat Kirwan preview this matchup, Watch the game at 4:05 PM ET on CBS.

Fair enough, but the difference is that Tebow doesn't appear capable of making NFL throws. Yes, inconsistency is the hallmark of a young NFL quarterback. And while Blaine Gabbert looks as lost as Tebow on a weekly basis, there are a handful of plays you can point to every game and say, "See, that's why the Jags drafted him. He has the potential to be a really good player in this league."

Save the designed draw plays, or the broken play that Tebow occasionally turns into a big gain, there are no "wow" moments. Put differently: Tebow can't hurt you with his arm. He doesn't have the accuracy, timing or arm strength to regularly make throws that can beat NFL defenses.

If there was on bright spot it came in the fourth quarter of the Lions game, long after the game had been decided. Tebow, throwing on every down at this point in the proceedings, had some success on short routes. Admittedly, his receivers were wide open, but it was something.

John Lynch, the former NFL safety, called the game for Fox and suggested that the Broncos needed to throw more short passes to get Tebow in a rhythm.

"They were part of the game plan," Fox said. "We hit some and we missed some, regardless of what type of passes they were, and we tried `em all."

And while media and fans are looking to assess blame, Fox has already grown weary of it.

“The goofy thing is, it’s almost like if he doesn’t have success it will be anybody’s fault but his. It’s almost that kind of polarizing thing,” Fox told the Los Angeles Times' Sam Farmer. “They’ll say it could be his supporting cast, or the type of plays. At the end of the day, we are what we are. We’re doing everything we can to win, and we’re finding out about a young quarterback, good, bad or indifferent.”

Fox, by the way, is in his first year as Denver's head coach. Maybe it's a stretch to suggest he's already on the hot seat, but Josh McDaniels lasted a season and a half before getting dumped. And he started his Denver career with six straight wins.

The Broncos travel to Oakland to face the Raiders Sunday and Tebow will face more challenges against a defense that loves man-coverage schemes.

"We're going to do what we think is the best thing for our football team to win and you're always going to have people that are going to point the finger somewhere," McCoy said. "But we're trying to do everything we can to help Tim and the football team be successful."

We don't doubt this. The problem: Tebow hasn't shown any signs that he's a capable week-to-week NFL starter. But it's not like the two-win Broncos have much choice. Orton played his way out of the lineup and Brady Quinn doesn't offer much promise, either. To paraphrase Rick Pitino, John Elway will be walking through that door, but that's only because he's part of the front office. That said, the 51-year-old Hall of Famer still gives the 2011 Broncos the best chance to win.

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Posted on: October 31, 2011 6:00 pm
Edited on: November 1, 2011 9:25 am

Fox: Tebow is Broncos starter 'for this week'

Posted by Will Brinson

Tim Tebow's start on Sunday against Detroit did not go well. At all. But the Broncos quarterback will get at least one more start to prove himself, according to Denver coach John Fox who confirmed that Tebow will get the nod against Oakland in Week 9.

Fox didn't make any promises past that, of course, but at least he's throwing the guy a bone after a brutal Sunday.

"For this week, yes," Fox answered when asked if Tebow would continue starting. "He had really two starts. I think he’s a young quarterback as we’ve mentioned. We’re getting to know him better, and he’s getting to understand the offense better with each one of those snaps."

This is, frankly, kind of a mess.

Over the course of the last two weeks, Tebow looked like one of the worst starting quarterbacks in the NFL (the Denver Post's Mike Klis called him as much Sunday) for the majority of his time on the field. He's played terribly and looked out of place.

But it's not all his fault. After all, Fox and the Broncos staff are just now working in various Tebow packages to make the quarterback's job easier and to play to his strengths.

That's problematic because it's something that should have happened many weeks ago, rather than after Fox decided to move away from Kyle Orton and towards Tebow. And it's certainly something that should have happened before Tebow was thrown to the wolves Lions Sunday.

The good news for Tebow now, at least, is that expectations are a little lower than they were heading into Week 8, both from the standpoint of fans and his coach.

"I expect him to look at the tape and see where he made mistakes," Fox said. "The things about mistakes are, first of all, you’ve got to admit them, and he’s never had an issue with that. Second of all, you correct them, and third of all, you try to never let them happen again. That’s what happens with young players in this league; there are a lot of firsts out there. He’s competitive by nature, and I think he’ll respond just fine."

But maybe Tebow won't respond and maybe he's just not ready to start right now. Regardless, over the coming week let's try and remember some of the context surrounding Tebow's situation in Denver.

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Posted on: October 31, 2011 12:30 pm
Edited on: November 1, 2011 6:25 am

Tebow criticism getting to be too much

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

The Tim Tebow criticism, at times, gets out of control. When the media piles on, it’s kind of expected, but when Tebow is so bad, that his opponents outright mock him during the game (as seen by Lions linebacker Stephen Tulloch Tebowing Tebow after Tulloch sacked Tebow on Sunday), it’s clearly time to think about pulling back.


But if you were in the Lions locker room following Detroit’s 45-10 pounding of Denver, the criticism wasn’t close to ending. In fact, it was rather harsh.

“Can you believe ‘15’?” one Detroit Lions defender told Yahoo Sports’ Michael Silver. “Come on -- that’s embarrassing. I mean, it’s a joke. We knew all week that if we brought any kind of defensive pressure, he couldn’t do anything. In the second half it got boring out there. We were like, ‘Come on -- that’s your quarterback? Seriously?’”

Which, frankly, is some stunning disrespect. While we try to criticize Tebow in a way that’s playful -- I certainly don’t have anything against the man, and I think his character and goodwill are a credit to the NFL -- we try not to be outright mean. That anonymous Lions player was outright mean.

Tebow's Progress
Look, it’s not like this is all Tebow’s fault. Kyle Orton couldn’t win with this bunch either, and Tebow’s skill set clearly isn’t strong enough to make him competent as an NFL quarterback. We don’t know if it will ever be good enough. But since he’s the only Broncos quarterback with a contract that extends beyond the end of this season, John Elway and John Fox wanted to see what he could do on the football field. The coaching staff is the one that’s playing him, whether it's deserved or not.

Clearly, he’s not ready. Clearly, that’s not all his fault. But the criticism continues, and considering he’s on a $9.7125 million contract, he’s ripe for it. But not all of it is fair.

Why, though, such vitriol from his fellow players? Well, Silver has a theory.
However -- and this is a big however -- there’s a glaring disconnect between many fans’ assessment of Tebow’s status as a wholesome winner and the way many NFL players process his presence. To some, the notion that Tebow somehow pushes harder or taps into a higher power than they do is insulting. The NFL is full of maniacally driven grinders who’ve overcome incredible odds to reach the pinnacle of their profession, and many of them are clean-living and well-mannered, too.

While few NFL players seem to have a problem with Tebow on a personal level, I know plenty who are put off by the mythology and the holier-than-thou fan base that lionizes his every accomplishment and perceives negative depictions of his ability through a persecution-complex-tinted prism.

Silver makes a good point, and with the way Tulloch and Lions tight end Tony Scheffler, who mocked the Tebowing phenomena by posing after a touchdown catch, mocked him, that hypothesis can’t be off base.

Yet, it’s unfortunate that his players have to be so mean. After all, most of them haven’t faced the kind of national criticism and ridicule Tebow is currently experiencing. It’s just too bad that Tebow’s grace has been turned against him.

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Posted on: September 30, 2011 10:51 am

Tim Tebow billboards pop up on I-25 in Denver

Posted by Will Brinson

Remember when we told you about the Denver fans who were going to waste a pile of money on buying a pro-Tim Tebow billboard?

Well, Broncos coach John Fox told them not to waste their money, and it doesn't look like they will ... especially since someone else already beat them to it!

According to KDVR Fox 31 in Denver, Mohammed Suleiman who owns "a merchandise store in north Denver" came up with this brilliant idea to try and sell Broncos gear influence the team's quarterback decision.

"It's still early in the season to be frustrated, but I mean fans are asking for Tebow. Why not give us a little dose of him?" Suleiman says. “If we can be heard, if we can reach the Broncos staff and make some change, that would be great."

Look, this was a "crazy idea" when the first guy came up with it. Now it's just seems like Thursday night's episode of "Community" except playing out in real-life fashion and with the ripoff version of the billboard flying up in pretty crappy fashion.

I mean, good for the promotional "oneswoosh.com" mention, but sheesh -- if you're going to be totally unoriginal and hijack someone's idea, at least make the billboard attractive and/or clever.

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Posted on: September 14, 2011 11:04 pm
Edited on: September 14, 2011 11:57 pm

Broncos fans buying pro-Tim Tebow billboard

Posted by Will Brinson

On Monday night, the Broncos looked pretty, pretty bad, getting knocked around by Oakland. Bad enough, in fact, for fans to start chanting for backup quarterback and controversy magnet Tim Tebow during the fourth quarter.

It's something Kyle Orton, Tebow, the coaches and the front office know they'll have to deal with all year, but it's about to get worse -- one looney fan is going so far as to raise money to buy a billboard urging coach John Fox to ditch Orton and fire up the Tebow machine.

"We believe in Coach Fox, we’re just tired of Kyle Orton," Broncos fan Jesse Oaks told Lindsay Jones of the Denver Post, via Shutdown Corner's Doug Farrar. "We were sitting around after Fox said he didn’t hear the chants for Tebow, and we figured if he’s deaf, we hope he’s not blind."

OK, first things first: as Jones writes, Oaks and seven of his friends have been saving up their money for over a year in order to take a trip to this year's Super Bowl. I'm no math major, but tickets plus airfare plus hotel room plus drowning your sorrows in booze because the Broncos aren't playing equals a really expensive trip.

Instead, Oaks and his boys are taking all that cash and spending it on a billboard promoting the increase of Tebow's playing time.

This is -- almost categorically -- insane.

And not just because Tebow doesn't need to start right now. (He doesn't.) It's because this is a team that's been ravaged by two unbearably terrible years of draft classes (2009 and 2010), miserable trades, poor coaching and bad leadership.

This should be apparent to Broncos fans. Apparently it's not.

"We used to be a team that if we weren’t in the Super Bowl hunt, it was a losing season. It just feels like we’re a team that’s settling for mediocrity," Oaks said. "We’re not blind, we know when we see good football. We see other teams making good plays and we don’t see that from our team.

"We can sink or swim with Tim Tebow, why wait a few more years?"

The number one reason? Because in a few years Tebow might actually be a capable NFL starter. We don't know that he will, but we don't know that he won't. We just know he's not ready right now.

Additionally, rebuilding an NFL franchise isn't an overnight thing -- just ask the Lions. It's a process and in almost every case, that process involves a couple additional years of mediocrity before success to starts to come around again.

In fact, it's a bit awkward that such huge Broncos fans wouldn't recognize that in order to become a proud franchise, there's some patience involved. Not that it really matters -- Oaks his Tebow-loving brethren could purchase the naming rights for Mile High Stadium from Invesco and I'd be willing to bet that Fox won't be giving Tebow starters snaps until the Broncos are firmly eliminated from the playoffs.

To paraphrase a legendary movie: If you buy it, he still won't start.

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