Tag:Kyle Orton
Posted on: November 21, 2011 11:17 pm
Edited on: November 21, 2011 11:28 pm

Elway says Broncos QB of future not on team yet

Posted by Will Brinson

Tim Tebow's a shocking 4-1 as a starter this year and, as such, surely John Elway is getting warmed up to the idea of Tebow as his franchise quarterback, right?

Wrong. Elway, speaking to Gary Miller on his weekly radio show on 102.3 FM in Denver, was asked if he was "any closer to feeling if you have your quarterback on this team."

"No," Elway said after a pause, per The Denver Post. "I think obviously he's making progress week in and week out. When you look at our third down numbers, those have to improve.

"I mean, that's the bottom line. We can't go 3-for-13 and win a world championship. Those are the type of things we have to keep improving."

All of those things are correct, so it's hard to fault Elway for making those points. (Although is he just not reading Ryan Wilson's "Tracking Tebow" posts? Because Wilson's work proves Tebow is a winner.) And it's also hard to fault him for being honest.

But considering how much attention was paid to his excitement in the owners' box as Tebow marched down the field to beat the Jets on Thursday, well, shouldn't he figure out a way to either get behind Tebow or not?

Maybe he will -- Elway might be saying that the quarterback of the future in Denver isn't on the roster. Or maybe he's just implying he's not sure whether the quarterback of the future is on the roster yet. Which means Tim Tebow could be the quarterback of hte future, but Elway just hasn't decided yet.

Regardless, he's clearly not throwing his full managerial weight behind Tebow as the starter, despite Tebow continuing to find ways to win.

Depending on how the Broncos finish out, it should make for an entertaining (or is it exhausting?) offseason in Denver.

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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 3, 2011 11:19 am

Sparano still holding Dolphins together

SparanoPosted by Josh Katzowitz

Tony Sparano still has a job. And you have to think part of the reason the Dolphins still employ him for now is because the team hasn’t quit on him. As we’ve seen in the past few weeks, when it built leads on the Broncos and the Giants only to watch those advantages crumble, it’s not a matter of desire for Miami. It’s a matter of talent, and Sparano isn’t the only one to blame for it.

So, Sparano does whatever he can to change the routine to try to find some way, somehow, to find the formula for victory.

“I changed everything really,” Sparano said, via the Palm Beach Post. “I changed the amount of reps we took. I changed the length of the periods. I changed what we were practicing, (and) when. … Shaved time, made practice shorter, a little more efficient. Tried to keep the players fresher that way. Two minute (drill) we did on Thursday. Up the weightlifting all week so that we had more time at the end of the week to recover as opposed to lifting weights deep into the week. Kind of made as many changes as I could.

“Hopefully we find a winning formula this week and we don’t have to change, because we’re creatures of habit. I think once we get one of these under our belt -- which we hope is this week -- then we‘ll stick to that for a little while.”

Sparano's Future
But one of the strongest reasons to support Sparano at this point is that the team still seems to be held together. Considering there was some early-season tension with the quarterback situation (you might recall fans chanting for Kyle Orton at the expense of Chad Henne -- boy, were those fans crazy, eh?), Sparano’s ability to not watch over a team-wise breakdown is impressive. Even the whole “this team stinks, you stink, I stink” issue of last week was more funny than disruptive.

In fact, as one player suggests, the team is still (gasp!) having a good time together.

“Practice is still fun,” said Reggie Bush via the South Florida Sun Sentinel. “Guys are having a good time out there, still working and we’re still hacking away at it.”

Sparano knows he’s fortunate that his locker room seems to have remained supportive of him. Even Brandon Marshall has been relatively harmless, it seems. The energy at practice remains strong; Sparano simply says the team’s efficiency needs to improve.

Or maybe Sparano can find some kind of good luck piece, a la Todd Haley’s scary winning-streak beard.

“I’ve had this thing (facial hair) since the start of the season and preseason and that didn’t work out so good, so I shaved it just before one of the games a couple weeks ago,” he said. “And that didn’t work out so good, so I grew it back. And maybe this thing is going to turn into those ZZ Top things. We’ll work it that way.”

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Posted on: November 3, 2011 10:15 am
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Posted on: November 1, 2011 10:29 am
Edited on: November 2, 2011 6:50 am

Esiason: there's 'no respect for Tebow as the QB'

Esiason: "I don’t believe that Tim Tebow knows what he’s doing on the football field." (AP)

Posted by Ryan Wilson

There is no middle ground with Tim Tebow. Everybody agrees that he's a great person with an impressive college resume, but with each start, it's also evident that he's not an NFL quarterback. Not yet and maybe never. After a dreadful effort against the Lions on Sunday, the media scrutiny has intensified (turns out, it's possible). The latest to weigh in: Former NFL quarterback Boomer Esiason, who works as an analyst for CBS' The NFL Today and also hosts a radio show on WFAN.

“(Starting Tebow) is a bad move for two reasons,” Esiason said Monday, via CBS New York (listen to the audio here). “One is, I don’t believe that Tim Tebow knows what he’s doing on the football field. … Number two, those hits that are coming his way are coming with authority. Meaning that players are out to get him.”

Esiason, who before the season was critical of Tebow's prospects as an NFL quarterback, said that Tebow Mania may have unwittingly made him a target.

“The mocking by the Detroit Lions and all the talk after the game and all that other stuff leads me to believe that people are after him,” he said.

“In all the years that I’ve covered and played in professional football, I have never seen a team like the Detroit Lions do what they did last week,” Esiason said. “It just means that there’s no respect for Tim Tebow as the quarterback. And they want to make sure that when they play him, they want to show that to the world that Tim Tebow can not play in this league at this position.”

Esiason's not wrong. After the game, an unnamed Lions player told Yahoo.com's Michael Silver that Tebow was a joke.

“Can you believe No. 15 [Tebow]? 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?’”

And ESPN analyst Merril Hoge, one of Tebow's biggest critics, echoed many of the sentiments Esiason brought up.

"And watching last week's tape, the thing that was most disturbing was his ability to not understand where the ball has to go. His [lack of] awareness is mind-boggling to me," Hoge said Monday.

Tebow gets Tebow'ned by Lions LB Stephen Tulloch.

Back in August, when John Fox named Kyle Orton the Broncos' starter and said that Tebow had a long way to go, Esiason told USA Today what many people were thinking.

"He can't play. He can't throw. … I'm not here to insult him. The reality is he was a great college football player, maybe the greatest college football player of his time. But he's not an NFL quarterback right now. Just because he's God-fearing, and a great person off the field, and was a winner with the team that had the best athletes in college football, doesn't mean his game is going to translate to the NFL."

Through two and a half games, Esiason's been proven right. Tebow is a great human being and a Heisman Trophy winner. But he's not a competent NFL quarterback. Maybe that changes, but for now, he looks lost. And things don't look to get any easier; the Broncos head to Oakland on Sunday and Fox said Tebow will be his starter. Beyond that? Who knows.

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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: October 23, 2011 4:44 pm
Edited on: October 23, 2011 8:49 pm

Tebow's success a mirage

T. Tebow had a great final five minutes of the game Sunday (US Presswire).Posted by Josh Katzowitz

The Broncos made a ridiculous comeback on the Dolphins, and Tim Tebow was front and center, throwing touchdown passes and running in a two-point conversion. After the Broncos 18-15 overtime win against the Dolphins, he kneeled on the sideline. He could have been saying thanks for the final result. Or he could have been praying for the future.

Because while the first was impressive, the second is cloudy. 

For the first 55 minutes of this game, Tebow was terrible. Then, for five minutes at the end of regulation, he was the All-American from the University of Florida, leading his team to victory.

Tebow was terrible before he was awesome on Sunday. The Miami crowd went from jeering the Florida native to cheering him and chanting his name.

But don’t you believe the hype. Tebow was horrendous for much of the day, and Denver’s win had more to do with how bad the Dolphins are* than the future of Tebow’s NFL career.

*Urban Meyer was in the house and spotted talking to Dolphins owner Stephen Ross. Do you think Ross offered him the job right there and then?

His first pass of the day should have been intercepted by Karlos Dansby. There were times when it appeared that he had no idea what he was doing. And it was clear John Fox didn’t trust him enough to run a fourth and 1 play (instead, Matt Prater missed his second field goal of the day).

Broncos fans applauded when the Broncos first announced that Kyle Orton would be replaced by Tebow as the starting quarterback, and today, their judgment has been vindicated. But it’s only temporary. At least Orton is a quarterback that looks like a professional athlete most of the time he plays. Tebow looks like a pro athlete as well. But not as a quarterback. Maybe as a tight end. Maybe as an H-back. Hell, maybe as a linebacker.

But not as a quarterback.

He overthrew a wide-open Eric Decker on a long pass that would have yielded a touchdown. He threw too high. For most of the day, he made Dolphins quarterback Matt Moore look like the best signal-caller on the field. By far.

Midway through the fourth quarter, Tebow had been sacked five times while completing four passes (he finished 13 of 27 for 161 yards and two touchdowns while rushing eight times for 65 yards). He led a nice drive late in the fourth quarter to get his team on the scoreboard, and he kept it up after Denver recovered an onside kick. But he was mostly making do with screen passes, short-yardage throws and scrambles.

The stats don’t look as bad as Tebow performed Sunday. But it was an anomaly, a fluke.

What does it mean for this Broncos season that is still a lost cause? Fox can’t go back to Orton now, but would he if Tebow continues to struggle? What about Brady Quinn -- who, like Orton, is in the final year of his contract?

Or maybe, just maybe, this is some elaborate conspiracy plan to secure the services of Andrew Luck. Sure, that’s a ridiculous notion and it backfired Sunday. But is it that much more ridiculous than implying that Tebow is a legitimate NFL starting quarterback? Even with today’s result, I’d say no.

After all, you shouldn’t see the mirage for the trees.

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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