Tag:Kyle Orton
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 26, 2011 8:35 pm

Like usual, Fox still has confidence in Orton

Orton and Tebow

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

It seems like every week after a Broncos loss, coach John Fox has to explain that Kyle Orton is still his starting quarterback and that he’s not tapping Tim Tebow on the shoulder to come and save the day (unless, that is, he’s desperate for a wide receiver).

Even after fans chanted for Tebow during Week 1 and even after fans talked about buying a pro-Tebow billboard, Fox has been resolute in saying that Orton is his No. 1 guy.

He had to reiterate that today by giving Orton -- who has completed 57.3 percent of his passes for 672 yards, five touchdowns and three interceptions on the season -- a vote of confidence.

"Not one guy's got us where we are,” Fox said (via Rapid Reporter Lee Rasizer), pointing to his team’s 1-2 start. “I know that's popular belief. There's a lot of people in our building that understand quarterback play and right now Kyle, in our opinion, gives us our best chance."

Also, this: "At the end of the day it’s on all of us. It’s not on the quarterback.”

But it’s not only about whether Tebow can start as the team’s quarterback. It’s about whether he can get on the field at all in non-emergency scenarios. Fox also was questioned about why Tebow was not part of a red-zone package that failed Sunday vs. the Titans.

“We had two touchdowns in the same situation. We just needed three," Fox said. "It's all a consideration. ... We just didn't choose him.”

Which for a guy who is seen by so many fans as the Chosen One has to be a little strange.

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Posted on: September 19, 2011 10:49 pm

Fox says Tebow is a quarterback not a wideout

Tim Tebow, NFL wide receiver? (US PRESSWIRE)
Posted by Ryan Wilson

First, the dark cloud: Broncos wide receiver Eddie Royal left Sunday's game against the Bengals with a groin injury that will keep him out at least two weeks. Tight end Julius Thomas also had to call it a day after suffering a high ankle sprain (he's also expected to miss two weeks.)

Now, the silver lining: because of the lack of depth at wide receiver (Denver only dressed three WRs), third-string quarterback Tim Tebow got some snaps at the position against the Bengals.

"[Head coach John] Fox said the team will not go into another game with only three active wide receivers, as it did Sunday," the Denver Post's Lindsay Jones wrote Monday. "After Royal and Thomas were injured, the team brought in backup quarterback Tim Tebow when it ran three receiver sets. Tebow was in the game for three snaps, but was not targeted with a pass. Fox said Tebow graded at '100 percent' in his limited assignments.

But don't get too excited, hardcore Tebow supporters. Fox wants you to know extenuating circumstances forced him to use his backup quarterback as a wideout.

"Let me make this totally clear," he said. "He is a pass-catcher. He did that just as an emergency situation."

Despite weekly pleas from fans to see Tebow take over for Kyle Orton, it ain't happening, at least not anytime soon. Former Broncos tight end and CBS NFL analyst, Shannon Sharpe, spoke about Tebow's prospects before Sunday's game.

"There might come a time at some point in time during the season that (Tebow might get a chance to play quarterback). Talking to John Elway and John Fox, I don't see that happening any time soon. I think he might be able to be successful but you'd have to scrap your entire offense to make this guy successful. Then what happens, if he gets nicked and somebody else has to come in because you have nobody else on this team with his skill set.

"Everyone talks about his intangibles, his big heart, his desire to win, he won the Heisman. Arguably, one of the five or six greatest college players to ever play the game. But what about accuracy? That's an intangible you must have to be successful at any level to play quarterback, especially in the National Football League. I just don't see how this guy can be successful consistently when he can't throw the football accurately."

But in terms of route running, Tebow is as precise as they come. Look no further than him grading out at 100 percent. Which makes us think he should've been a tight end all along. (That's a joke. We think.)

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Posted on: September 17, 2011 12:45 pm
Edited on: September 17, 2011 3:33 pm

It's not if but when for Tebow, NFL starting QB

It's only a matter of time for Tim Tebow(US PRESSWIRE/Getty Images)

Posted by Ryan Wilson

The Denver Post's Mike Kiszla nails it when he calls Tim Tebow "America's favorite third-string quarterback." He's also onto something when he suggests it's only a matter of time before public pressure thrusts Tebow into the Broncos' starting lineup, for better or worse.

Following Monday's home loss to the Raiders, a game that included plenty of awful football and "TEBOW! TEBOW!" chants from the crowd, head coach John Fox ignored questions about if he had thoughts of pulling Kyle Orton for America's favorite third-stringer. The media can wait Fox out, of course, because this isn't going away until, well, Tebow plays.

"I'm responsible to put the best football product on the field, in my estimation," Fox told Kiszla Thursday, after making it clear Kyle Orton, not Tebow, is his starting quarterback. "Am I perfect? No. But I don't think there are too many perfect people running around this planet. So you do what you think is best.

"You're not going to please everybody. I don't care if you're in politics, I don't care if you're in business or I don't care if you're in coaching. I heard (former Secretary of State) Condoleezza Rice say once, 'Don't let tomorrow's headlines influence today's decisions.' I've tried to live by that the best I can."

In Fox's case, he's in politics, business and coaching, and when you're losing, like it or not, tomorrow's headlines end up influencing today's decisions. Which means that if the Broncos don't get better, Tebow will be the starting quarterback.

There's still the little issue of Tebow not showing much promise as an NFL signal caller (see Hoge, Merril for details). And if he were a fifth-round afterthought instead of a first-round pick there probably wouldn't be quite the zealotry to get him on the field. So, yes, this is Josh McDaniels' fault.

Can Tebow make it as an NFL QB?

Whoever's to blame, fans are serious about the cause. At least one of them is, anyway. Earlier in the week we told you about Jesse Oaks, who's saving pennies to buy a pro-Tebow billboard.

"We believe in Coach Fox, we’re just tired of Kyle Orton," Oaks told the Denver Post. "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. …

"I've always been so proud when somebody asked: 'Hey, what's your favorite football team?' " Oaks said. "But lately people seem so happy for the Broncos to be average. What do you mean you hope we get to 8-8 this year? I was hoping for the Super Bowl. I feel like if we keep believing in an average quarterback, we're going to be average."

(The Super Bowl, huh? Hey, set your sights high, even if unreasonably so.) 

Fox, as always, was measured in his response."In this job, you're going to be criticized, and that's why we're compensated like we are."

Well, that and, you know, winning football games.

And the Tebow countdown clock continues to tick…

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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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Posted on: September 14, 2011 10:42 am
Edited on: September 14, 2011 10:43 am

Top Ten with a Twist: Comeback players

M. Stafford, if he stays healthy, could be a candidate for comeback player of the year (US Presswire).

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Some had disappointing seasons last year only to find themselves in a brand-new setting this year. Some had worn out their welcome in one city and were rewarded with a new home in a new part of the country. Some were injured, and some just flat-out stunk.

But this is a new season, and it’s never too early to make predictions about the 2011 comeback player of the year, especially since two-time winner Chad Pennington is out for the season and won’t be eligible for his third award until 2012.

You won’t find Albert Haynesworth on this list, because a man who duped one organization out of tens of millions dollars only to find himself holding a golden parachute to the league’s most respected franchise doesn’t need another reward if he potentially plays well (or, unlike in Washington, plays at all). But pretty much everybody else is eligible for a spot on our latest Top Ten with a Twist: Potential Comeback Players of the Year.

10. Kevin Kolb: I originally wasn’t going to put him on this list, because simply put, I’m not entirely sure he’s going to live up to his $63 million ($20 million guaranteed) contract in Arizona. But after his 18 of 27, 309-yard, two-touchdown performance in the Cardinals win against the Panthers (all while getting sucked into the “Cam Newton is awesome” maelstrom), it’s at least a possibility Kolb will play like Arizona believes he can. Kolb supporters point to an impressive two-game stretch he had in 2009 for why he’s worth all that money. I’m more interested in his 130 quarterback rating from Sunday and where he can go from there.

9. Chris Johnson: You might not know this, but last year, Johnson had a disastrous season. When you compare him to 2009, his performance declined by more than 600 yards and he scored three less rushing touchdowns. If that’s not the sign of a guy who has already become much less effective … wait, what’s that? Johnson still rushed for 1,364 yards and 11 touchdowns last season? Oh, never mind. But here’s the thing with Johnson. He keeps proclaiming that he’s going to rush for 2,000 yards, and while he did it in 2009, he fell woefully short last year. And yes, he won’t make it 2,000 in 2011 either. But he’ll also be better than last year, particularly since he now should be completely happy with the money he’s making.

8. Bob Sanders: We all know Bob Sanders can’t stay healthy. Not after missing 64 of 112 career games with the Colts. And because we’ve barely seen the guy (only nine times in the past three seasons) we always seem to lose sight of the fact that Sanders was once a premier safety threat  mentioned in the same breathe as Troy Polamalu and Ed Reed. One good sign for Sanders’ return to respectability: he didn’t have to spend this offseason rehabbing an old injury. But Sanders also is 30 now, where the aches and pains increase rather than diminish. In his first game with San Diego, he accumulated six tackles. But at least he didn’t leave the game with an injury. Which, with Sanders, is pretty good news.

7. Tim Hightower: You’ll recall that Hightower had a bit of a fumbling problem as the No. 2 running back behind Beanie Wells in Arizona -- he had eight lost fumbles combined in the past two seasons -- and though Hightower had good production in place of the injured Wells, the Cardinals decided they’d rather have Wells than Hightower. The Redskins, who were saying goodbye to Clinton Portis, went after him, and their interest was rewarded this week when Hightower looked solid, rushing 25 times for 72 yards and a score. Just as important, though, is his pass protection and his versatility (he’s a pretty good receiver as well). Just as long as he doesn’t fumble, he could be a really good addition for Washington.

6. Steve Smith (Eagles version): We still don’t know how healthy Smith is, but the fact that he was active for the first game -- much to the chagrin of the Giants, I imagine -- is awfully impressive, considering he was coming off microfracture surgery on his knee. He wasn’t targeted by Michael Vick, and he didn’t play all that much. But the fact he was out there at all was pretty ridiculous. Smith probably won’t be healthy enough to produce the stats that would give him a legit shot at the comeback player of the year, but he’s already gone to extraordinary lengths to return this soon, so why not?

Henne5. Steve Smith (Panthers version): Aside from all those Panthers fans who now have hope, receiver Steve Smith has to be one of the biggest Cam Newton fans around. For a guy who wanted out of Carolina as soon as possible (and as receiver, why would he want to try to field passes from Jimmy Clausen?), the infusion of Newton into this offense was the main reason Smith exploded for eight catches, 178 yards and two touchdowns. Considering he only accumulated 46 catches for 554 yards and two (!) scores in 2010, a little Newton in his life apparently has gone a long way.

4. Chad Henne: Despite Miami fans chanting that they wanted Kyle Orton (who now has to hear the chants of “We want Tebow” in Denver) in the preseason, the popular storyline out of south Florida is that Henne finally will turn himself into a legit starting quarterback. Henne was a major storyline in the offseason -- coach Tony Sparano said “we’ll see” about Henne’s chances of starting and receiver Brandon Marshall laid out in detail why Tyler Thigpen was a better player until Henne began to make believers out of his teammates, who voted him offensive captain. It’ll continue to be a storyline as long as Henne plays the way he did against the Patriots (30 of 49 for 416 yards, two touchdowns and a garbage-time interception) in one of the best performances of his pro career.

3. Rex Grossman: Based on the way he played against the Giants on Sunday, I thought about putting Grossman higher on the list. But I just don’t see him as a top-15 quarterback -- this season or any other. Maybe if he got to play against the Giants shell of a defense every week. But until that happens, I don’t see him taking home the hardware. That said, Grossman surprised many people this week -- including, I imagine, John Beck -- and didn’t look like the same quarterback who was Donovan McNabb’s two-minute offense replacement. At least, he played like a legitimate starting quarterback.

2. Bryant McKinnie: Surely, McKinnie would be the first comeback player of the year award winner to have weighed 400 pounds (allegedly) and gotten released from his old team for it (not to mention earning $75,000 for getting down to a trim 372). But McKinnie, as the new left tackle for the Ravens, helped set the tone last Sunday when, on the first play of the first Ravens drive, he dispatched Steelers linebackers James Farrior and James Harrison, allowing Baltimore running back Ray Rice a 36-yard gain. Baltimore ended up beating Pittsburgh by four touchdowns, and don’t think McKinnie wasn’t a big reason for that. If he keeps it up, perhaps McKinnie can make history as the first offensive line ever to win the award.

1. Matthew Stafford: The Lions quarterback scared the daylights out of just about everybody when he hobbled to the sideline with an apparent injury in Detroit’s season-opening win against the Buccaneers. For a guy who’s missed 19 games the past two years with various ailments, that was not a moment for the weak at the heart. But it was only cramps, and during Detroit’s victory, Stafford showed that he still has the talent to be a top-five quarterback. And considering most of the comeback players of the year happen to be quarterbacks, that doesn’t hurt his chances either.

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Posted on: September 13, 2011 1:15 pm
Edited on: September 13, 2011 6:44 pm

Broncos fans waste little time calling for Tebow

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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Posted on: September 12, 2011 5:25 pm
Edited on: September 13, 2011 1:54 am

7-Point Preview: Broncos vs. Raiders

James Brown asks Dan Marino, Bill Cowher, Shannon Sharpe and Boomer Esiason for their thoughts on the Monday night matchups between the Patriots and the Dolphins and the Raiders against the Broncos. Watch The NFL Today every Sunday at 12 p.m. ET.

Posted by Ryan Wilson

1. Oakland Raiders (0-0) at Denver Broncos (0-0)
A few months ago, this game looked to be the official start to the Tim Tebow era, but a lot has happened since July and Kyle Orton remains the starter. And for now, he gives the Broncos the best chance to win (Orton has thrown for at least 3,600 yards in each of the last two seasons). Although, you could argue that Denver won just three times with Orton under center a season ago. Duly noted. (Tebow got the start in the Broncos other win in'10.)

The Raiders, meanwhile, lost two of their best players -- cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha and tight end Zach Miller -- to free agency, and Hue Jackson replaces Tom Cable who was fired after leading the team to eight wins. (It was the first time Oakland had more than five victories in a season since they went to the Super Bowl in 2002. So, naturally, Cable was canned.) Jackson, to his credit, sounds undaunted by the task of working for Al Davis.

"I expect to win here," he said. "And 8-8 doesn't cut it for me. I'm not interested in being 8-8. I'm interested in being great." And Denver's as good a place to start as any. The last time the Broncos hosted the Raiders, Oakland was up 21-0 before Denver ran an offensive play. By the time it was over, the Raiders had won 59-14, racked up 508 offensive yards, including 165 yards on the ground from Darren McFadden, who also added four (!) touchdowns.

But it's a new season; hope springs eternal and all that. The Broncos, under new coach John Fox, are looking to improve on last year's four-win effort. And the Raiders, a team that went undefeated in the division, are hoping to make the postseason for the first time since 2002.

2. What the Degenerate Gamblers and Eggheads Are Saying
The Broncos are favored by three points, according to Bodog.com. Translation: it's a pick 'em with Denver getting the edge because they're playing at home.

Interestingly, the Football Outsiders preseason projections have the Raiders ranked 28th (28th in offense, 21st in defense, 7th in special teams) and the Broncos ranked 29th (21st, 29th and 8th), ahead of only the Cardinals, Titans and Seahawks.

Based on the Vegas line and the FO projections, the Raiders and Broncos are evenly matched, though not much is expected from either outfit. (Of course, the same was said of the Chiefs last year and they won the division.)

And because we wouldn't be doing our jobs if we didn't mention it, every CBSSports.com expert but Pete Prisco likes the Broncos. Make of this what you will.

3. Key Matchup to Watch
Asomugha's now in Philly, which means that offenses can attack both cornerbacks without trepidation. So Chris Johnson and Stanford Routt will be in Orton's crosshairs. They'll be tasked with slowing Brandon Lloyd, who came out of nowhere to log 1,448 receiving yards and 11 TDs a year ago (by comparison, Lloyd managed just 2,370 yards in his first seven years in the league), and Eddie Royal. Wide receiver Demaryius Thomas, the Broncos' 2010 first-round pick, is sidelined with a broken finger and a sore Achilles, so that's one less thing the Raiders' secondary has to worry about.

Offensively, Oakland will need to rely on its running game to open things up for the passing game. Now that tight end Zach Miller is in Seattle, quarterback Jason Campbell doesn't have a legit go-to receiver. We're still waiting for Darrius Heyward-Bey to play like a first-rounder, and Kevin Boss, signed to replace Miller, is out with a knee injury. This means that o-line will have to create holes for McFadden, Michael Bush and Taiwan Jones. If Oakland can establish a running game it will help neutralize a Broncos' pass rush that features Elvis Dumervil and rookie first-rounder, Von Miller.

4. Potentially Relevant YouTube
This is both awesome and awkward. The Monday Night Football intro from the 1996 Broncos-Raiders game. (Look at Jaws' 'stache!)

In case you're wondering, the Broncos won, 22-21.

5. The Raiders win if…
The offensive line can control the line of scrimmage, open up running lanes for McFadden and company, which will have the dual effect of eating clock and slowing the Broncos' pass rush.

6. The Broncos win if…
Orton can exploit the Raiders' secondary, build an early lead, and then let the defense tee off on Jason Campbell.

7. Prediction: Raiders 17 Broncos 20

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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