|That didn't take long: fans needed just one game to fire up the "TEBOW!" chants. (Getty Images/US PRESSWIRE)|
Posted by Ryan Wilson
You can make a strong argument that Broncos quarterback Kyle Orton deserved a mention in this week's Coach Killers. We suspect he will find his way there at some point in the near future, but for now we figured there's no way that one performance would be enough to get new head coach John Fox fired. (Right?)
Of course, that didn't stop fans from chanting "TEBOW! TEBOW!" during Monday night's game against the Raiders, nor did it keep the media from asking Fox about if he considered bringing Tebow in to relieve Orton, who finished 24 of 46 for 304 yards, with a touchdown, and interception and a huge fumble on a Garo Yepremian pump fake.
Fox ignored the question about Tebow. But the fans want what the fans want, and right now, one week into the NFL season, it's the second-(or third, we're not sure) string quarterback.
The Denver Post's Mike Klis writes that, "The booing of Orton started early in the fourth quarter, shortly after a 1-yard run by Oakland quarterback Jason Campbell gave the Raiders a touchdown that put them in firm control against a team still trying to recover from the debacle that was the Josh McDaniels era.
"The chants for Tebow by a frustrated crowd were first heard with 6 minutes remaining in the game, even as Orton was marching the Broncos toward the end zone in an effort to rally his teammates from a 10-point deficit."
Of course, Orton could've helped his cause by playing better. He wasn't awful, but he wasn't Elway -- or Tebow -- and that's the problem.
Klis continued:"The Tebow Thing, however, is here to stay. There's no controlling the circus now. Before halftime, angry emailers began consistently punching send with unrelenting criticism of Orton. 'OMG!' declared a man named Mo from Palmdale, Calif., in an electronic message to The Post. 'Orton is the worst QB in the league!'"
This skewed sense of quarterback reality is what happens when you get to enjoy 16 years of John Elway, including two Super Bowl championships. Brian Griese and Jake Plummer are quite familiar with what Orton's going through. And while none of them are franchise quarterbacks, they're not JaMarcus Russell, either.
We get the whole "the backup QB is the most popular guy on the team" platitude, we're just not sure how Tebow has earned the honor. Yes, he is the backup, but we don't even know if he beat out Quinn during the preseason. This is the same Quinn who flopped in Cleveland before they shipped him to Denver for Peyton Hillis.
If it's any consolation, Broncos fans (and we're guessing it's not), Orton isn't happy about that fumble. “I just feel sick about the ball slipping out of my hands like that,” he said. “It’s just one of those deals that’s sickening to have happen to you. It never really happened to me before.”
We're almost surprised Orton didn't say, "Hey, they love me in Miami." Which, after the way Chad Henee played Monday, may no longer be true, either.
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