Tag:Kyle Orton
Posted on: September 11, 2011 11:28 am

Demaryius Thomas breaks finger in practice

We can add 'broken finger' to Demaryius Thomas' injury file. (Getty Images)

Posted by Ryan Wilson

The Broncos selected Demaryius Thomas with the 22nd overall pick of the 2010 draft to give Kyle Orton a big-play deep threat. So far, Thomas' career has been marred by injury. He played in only 10 games a year ago and managed 22 catches for 283 yards and two touchdowns.

Brandon Lloyd emerged as Orton's downfield playmaker (77 catches, 1,448 yards, 11 TDs) in 2010, and that's how 2011 will start, too. Because Thomas, who missed training camp and the preseason while he recovered from February surgery to repair a torn Achilles, has another injury to add to the list: a broken finger suffered during Thursday's practice.

"He ran a curl route against cornerback Champ Bailey, the pass got on Thomas quickly, and he suffered what he thought was a jammed finger, the Denver Post's Mike Klis wrote Sunday morning. "Thomas finished the practice, but tests Friday revealed a break in the finger. He did not practice Friday or Saturday."

Thomas begins his second NFL season with more injuries than career touchdowns. In addition to the torn Achilles and broken finger, he broke a bone in his foot while working out at the 2010 NFL Combine, and missed the final five games of the Broncos' regular season with a bad ankle.

Klis adds that Thomas' latest injury isn't "a huge concern because [he] was not going to play in the first two or three regular-season games as he worked his way back into football shape. He will be able to continue rehabbing his Achilles while he heals from his finger injury."

The Broncos begin their season against the Raiders on Monday night.

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Posted on: September 10, 2011 7:31 pm

Chad Henne, Brandon Marshall are BFFs -- for now

HennePosted by Josh Katzowitz

You might recall that the relationship between Dolphins quarterback Chad Henne and Miami receiver Brandon Marshall hasn’t always been so rosy.

For instance, in January, Marshall said this: “Tyler [Thigpen] gets it a little more. He had an opportunity to play with Dwayne Bowe in Kansas City and they made some plays out there so I guess he understands [about] throwing the ball to a big receiver a little more than Chad Henne.”

Ouch, right? Well, apparently the two are getting along swimmingly so far this year. And Marshall is bored of the line of questioning that asks, “So, how are you and the ol’ QB getting along these days?”

"I’m so tired of that question," Marshall said, via the Miami Herald. “… How long are we going to go over that question? Maybe if I answer it differently for you guys this time, man.

"Caught a couple of nice long balls in the preseason ... targeted a bunch of times ... what more can I ask for? He’s spinning it well. We’re communicating great ... I don’t know, is that good enough for you?"

Henne was a little more forthcoming in the advancement of their relationship.

“It’s going great," Henne said. "I really think Brandon has come a long way; I’ve come a long way.  And I think it’s just a new attitude this year.  A lot of frustrating points last year which kind of created that mis-relationship that everybody saw.  But I believe this year is a new person in Brandon; a new person in me. We’re just excited to get back on the field on Monday."

Henne-Marshall Love-Fest
Much of the conflict, er … mis-relationship, came because of the way the two individuals approach the game. Henne is more exact, and he wants routes run the right way and at the right distance. Marshall is more of a freelancer, and he’s more apt to say, “Just throw the ball up in the air, and I’ll come down with it.”

For whatever reason, both seem to be on the same page for now, though obviously this all could change once the games begin.

But not all believe in Henne. Remember when Dolphins fans chanted for Broncos quarterback Kyle Orton? That wasn’t very nice. And, probably more hurtful to Henne, remember when former teammate Channing Crowder had this rant about him last month after Crowder retired?

“He hasn’t really proven anything to me while I played with him and now being on the other side, looking down as a fan, he’s not impressing me, either,” Crowder said. “So he can get on, he has all the tangibles, I want to say, the arm strength, his footwork’s funny, but [with the] arm strength he has, you know he can make some good throws. But the intangibles, the winning the game, the wanting to have everything on his shoulders, like the Brady’s and like the Manning’s, and wanting to have, be down by five with a minute left on the 20 yard line, let’s see what happens, he doesn’t have that in his heart yet. I think it will be hard for him to win. But like I said the proof’s in the pudding, so if he comes out this year and (goes) crazy, you know, I’ll have to put my foot in my mouth. But, if I was a betting man, I wouldn’t bet on him going crazy.”

Even so, Henne, as voted by his teammates, has been named the team captain. While it’s certainly not unusual for a non-rookie quarterback to be named a team’s offensive captain – it’d be more unusual if somebody of Henne’s stature continuously wasn’t the captain – it also speaks to what the team thinks of Henne. And what the Dolphins believe how Henne is capable of performing.

"I've been saying all along, he's a leader on our offense," tackle Jake Long said, via the Palm Beach Post. "He deserves it."

Even Marshall wouldn’t disagree with that. Not at this very moment anyway.

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Posted on: September 4, 2011 4:50 pm

Tracking Tebow: Preseason, Week 4 -- Cardinals

Posted by Ryan Wilson

That's right, we're tracking Tebow's performance throughout the preseason because, well, like a slow-motion train wreck we can't look away. And who knows, maybe this experiment doesn't derail and it has a happy ending. Wait, what's that? You don't care about Tebow? Then what are you doing here?

It took four preseason games, but Tim Tebow finally resembled the player Josh McDaniels thought he might be when he selected him in the first round of the 2010 draft. By now, Tebow's recent travails are familiar to everybody, even those with just a passing interest in football. And while he's been out of the running for the Broncos' No. 1 job for weeks now, the backup gigs have yet to be decided by head coach John Fox. 

If we're working from the "what have you done for me lately?" premise, Tebow wins in a landslide. He completed 7 of 11 passes for 116 yards and a touchdown against the Cardinals, while starter Brady Quinn managed to go 4 of 12 for 26 yards, including an interception. Denver lost to Arizona, 26-7.

Tracking Tebow: A Retrospective

But as the Denver Post's Mike Klis notes, Quinn outpaced Tebow by a wide margin in the first two preseason games (proof here and here).

Tebow was asked about his place on the depth chart after the Cards game. "I don't know," he said, via Klis. "I've never gone through something like this before, so I'm not really sure." And Fox, as he's said before, "more than likely not name a 2 or 3, because I believe it's a competitive issue."

Yes, because the obfuscation would be too much for opponents. No way they could prepare for both Quinn and Tebow. Either way, Klis makes a good point: "Long term, it would make sense to push Tebow along because both Orton and Quinn are free agents after this season. Tebow will make $6.7 million this year (he has already collected $6.28 million in salary advance), and will then have three more years left on his contract."

For now, all we can do is analyze Tebow's last start. That's right, it's the final edition of the Tebow Tracker, where we chart every one of his preseason snaps, the result, and what it all means for him and the Broncos in 2011. This installment is the most laudatory yet. That's right, people, the power of positive thinking at work. Alright, let's get to it...

                                                   Play by Play

Preseason, Week 4: Arizona Cardinals
Situation Down/Distance Result
1st series, 9:55 left in 3rd qtr. 1st & 10, DEN 6 Tebow handoff to J.Johnson to DEN 8 for 2 yards. (Note: you can see the entire play-by-play log here.)
  2nd & 8, DEN 8 Tebow scrambles left end pushed ob at DEN 16 for 8 yards. Play-action, steps up into pocket, takes a hit but remains on his feet. Reminscent of his Florida days.
  1st & 10, DEN 16 Tebow handoff to J.Johnson up the middle to DEN 20 for 4 yards.  
  2nd & 6, DEN 20 Tebow handoff to J.Johnson up the middle to DEN 21 for 1 yard.  
  3rd & 5, DEN 21 (From the shotgun) Tebow sacked at DEN 19 for -2 yards.
Doesn't show patience in the pocket, steps up and is dropped. The lack of awareness is recurring theme throughout the preseason.
  4th & 7, DEN 19 PUNT  
 2nd series, 4:35 left in 3rd qtr. 1st & 10, DEN 20 Tebow handoff to B.Minor up the middle to DEN 28 for 8 yards.  
  2nd & 8, DEN 28 Tebow handoff to Minor left tackle to DEN 32 for 4 yards.  
  1st & 10, DEN 32 Tebow pass incomplete short middle to B.Minor. Play-action, stands tall in the pocket, gets the ball off just as blindside pressure arrives. May have affected the pass.
  2nd & 10, DEN 32 Tebow handoff to B.Minor up the middle to DEN 35 for 3 yards.  
  3rd & 7, DEN 35 (From the shotgun) Tebow pass short middle to D.Anderson to ARZ 48 for 17 yards. Three-step drop, flushed left, throws across his body to middle of the field, finds Anderson who gets absolutely annihilated by a Denver defender.
  1st & 10, ARZ 48 Tebow handoff to B.Minor up the middle to ARZ 47 for 1 yard.  
  2nd & 9, ARZ 47 Tebow pass incomplete deep left to G.Orton. Play-action, stands tall in the pocket, throws a rope (that came out of his hands looking like a kickoff instead of a spiral) to Orton that should've been caught.
  3rd & 9, ARZ 47 (From the shotgun) Tebow pass short right to D.Gronkowski to ARZ 42 for 5 yards. Three-step drop, he scrambles around the pocket before finding Gronkowski, who made a nice one-handed catch to save a possible pick-6. 
  4th & 4, ARZ 42  FIELD GOAL NO GOOD  
3rd series, 9:41 left in 4th qtr.  1st & 10, DEN 32 B.Minor up the middle to DEN 40 for 8 yards (B.Nnabuife). PENALTY on DEN-D.Rosario, Offensive Holding, 10 yards, enforced at DEN 33.
  1st & 19, DEN 23 Tebow sacked at DEN 16 for -7 yards. Play-action that never had a chance; LT was beat off the snap and Tebow eventually dropped.
  2nd & 26, DEN 16 (From the shotgun) Tebow pass incomplete short right to D.Goodwin. Tebow fumbles the snap and is lucky to avoid a turnover deep in his own end. 
  3rd & 26, DEN 16 (From the shotgun) B.Minor up the middle to DEN 31 for 15 yards  
  4th & 11, DEN 31 PUNT  
4th series, 4:33 left in 4th qtr. 1st & 10, DEN 6 Tebow pass short left to D.Goodwin to DEN 19 for 13 yards. Three-step drop, ball is out quickly, and 6-7 yards after the catch on a nice move by Goodwin.
  1st & 10, DEN 19 Tebow pass deep right to D.Goodwin pushed OB at DEN 45 for 26 yards. Great protection. Tebow stands in the pocket for at least five seconds before finding Goodwin.
  1st & 10, DEN 45 Tebow pass short middle to J.Johnson to DEN 45 for no gai Screen pass.
  2nd & 10, DEN 45 (From the shotgun) Tebow pass incomplete short middle to J.Johnson. Has plenty of time and good protection. Somehow misses a wide open Johnson running a crossing pattern 10 yards downfield.
  3rd & 10, DEN 45 (From the shotgun) Tebow pass short right to E.Riley pushed ob at ARZ 43 for 12 yards. Nice play -- stands tall in the pocket, steps into the throw and gets the first down.
  1st & 10, ARZ 43 (From the shotgun) Tebow pass deep right to E.Riley for 43 yards, TOUCHDOWN. Almost a replay of the previous play. Three-step drop, hangs in the pocket, and hits Riley in stride. 

                                     Quotes, Video Awesomeness

"What we all have to remember is that when Josh McDaniels traded up to get him in the first round, that was a minority opinion in a big way in NFL talent evaluation circles. Not to say there weren't other people who were high in Tim Tebow, but to go out and get him in the first round … Josh McDaniels was sort of out on an island there. However, it's not shocking to me that a new regime would not embrace him with nearly the same enthusiasm. So, I went to Denver expecting to write about Tebow, but I was just struck with how much things had changed." - Yahoo.com's Michael Silver 

"I just worry about what I can contro. I've gone out there every day with a great attitude, great effort and great work ethic. If I do that, I know I'll improve every day, and I'm not worried about what everybody else is saying." - Tim Tebow

"I just got done looking at the film (of the Cardinals game). And I've moved on." - Brady Quinn

GLENDALE, AZ - SEPTEMBER 01: Quarterback Tim Tebow #15 of the Denver Broncos warms up before the preseason NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium on September 1, 2011 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

                                                   Action Shots

Hey, it's like he never left college! We admit to giving Tebow a hard time tha last six weeks or so, but let's be honest: the guy looked nothing like an NFL quarterback for most of that time. And while we're happy that he showed well in the preseason finale, Kyle Orton deserves to be the starter. After 2011, when Orton and Quinn are no longer under contract? That's a different story. But this much is certain: there's no need to rush Tebow on the field now.

Feel free to relive all the preseason magic that was "Tracking Tebow." You know you want to.

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Posted on: August 31, 2011 8:01 pm

Tracking Tebow: Preseason, Week 3 -- Seahawks

Posted by Ryan Wilson

That's right, we're tracking Tebow's performance throughout the preseason because, well, like a slow-motion train wreck we can't look away. And who knows, maybe this experiment doesn't derail and it has a happy ending. Wait, what's that? You don't care about Tebow? Then what are you doing here?

Tim Tebow's fate as an NFL quarterback changes weekly. In July, he was the Broncos' franchise QB only to see those plans scrapped when Kyle Orton wasn't traded to the Dolphins. Then Tebow went from the guy behind the guy, to the guy behind Brady Quinn, to the fourth-best quarterback on the roster. And a few days later, he returned to the No. 2 gig. More than that, the organization not only has no plans to trade or release Tebow, he appears to be in their long-term plans.

This all happened over a few weeks and we've still got another preseason game to play before we get to the regular season.

Anyway, we finally got a chance to watch Tebow's Week 3 preseason performance against the Seahawks. Head coach John Fox said going into the game that Tebow had only thrown nine preseason passes so he wanted to give the 2010 first-rounder more playing time. Which is exactly what he got versus Seattle. He completed 6 of 11 throws for 93 yards and rushed four times for 25 yards in just over a quarter of work. He was also under center for the final drive that led to a game-winning 51-yard field goal.

Yes, it's another edition of the Tebow Tracker, where we chart every one of his preseason snaps, the result, and what it all means for him and the Broncos in 2011. This installment is slightly more upbeat than the gloom and doom that followed his 1-of-2 for 10-yards effort against the Bills last week. 

If nothing else, it's a reminder that NFL fortunes can change in a flash, and when you're talking about Tebow, sometimes faster than that. Alright, let's get to it...

                                                   Play by Play

Preseason, Week 3: Seattle Seahawks
Situation Down/Distance Result
1st series, 5:40 left in 3rd qtr. 1st & 10, DEN 24 Tebow handoff to L. Ball to DEN 30 for 6 yards. (Note: you can see the entire play-by-play log here.)
  2nd & 4, DEN 30 Tebow pass short left to J.Thomas to 50 for 20 yards. Play-action pass where Tebow avoids a pass-rusher, rolls left and hits Thomas in the numbers with a strike. Solid throw.
  1st & 10, 50 Tebow handoff to Ball around the right end pushed OB at SEA 43 for 7 yards. There's something to be said for a good running game to help out a young QB.
  2nd & 3, SEA 43 (From the shotgun) Tebow pass incomplete short right to B.Davis. Another play-action, Tebow held the ball too long in the pocket and was leveled as he let the ball go. Possible PI, but the ball needs to get out quicker either way.
  3rd & 3, SEA 43 (From the shotgun) Tebow sacked at SEA 47 for -4 yards (M.Smith). FUMBLES (M.Smith), touched at SEA 47, recovered by DEN-D.Anderson at DEN 48. D.Anderson to DEN 48 for no gain. Jail-break blitz forced Tebow to tuck and run immediately. Not a problem except for the part where he fumbled trying to get yards that weren't there.
  4th & 12, DEN 48 PUNT  
 2nd series, 14:16 left in 4th qtr. 1st & 10, DEN 20 Tebow handoff to Ball left tackle to DEN 29 for 9 yards  
  2nd & 1, DEN 29 Tebow handoff to Ball up the middle to DEN 41 for 12 yards   
  1st & 10, DEN 41 Tebow handoff to J.Johnson left guard to DEN 45 for 4 yards. We'll say it again: running games are a young QB's best friend.
  2nd & 6, DEN 45 Tebow pass deep right to J.Johnson pushed OB at SEA 32 for 23 yards. Another play-action pass where Tebow shakes off a rusher, rolls left and shows nice touch on a pass to a wide open Johnson.
  1st & 10, SEA 32 Tebow scrambles left end ran OB at SEA 30 for 2 yards. Guh. Busted play in the backfield. Upside: he got 2 yards.
  2nd & 8, SEA 30 J.Johnson right end to SEA 25 for 5 yards (B.Maxwell). PENALTY on SEA-R.Sherman, Illegal Use of Hands, 5 yards, enforced at SEA 25.  
  1st & 10, SEA 20 (From the shotgun) Tebow pass incomplete short right to L.Ball. Unlucky. Three-step drop, unblocked rusher coming from the left and Tebow throws a strike to his right ... that is promptly dropped.
  2nd & 10, SEA 20 (From the shotgun) PENALTY on DEN-T.Tebow, Delay of Game, 5 yards, enforced at SEA 20 - No Play. Yeah, that can't happen.
  2nd & 15, SEA 25 Tebow sacked at SEA 28 for -3 yards. And neither can that. Not sure who's at fault but Tebow took a half-step drop, looked confused and then got dropped.
  3rd & 18, SEA 28 (From the shotgun) Tebow pass short left to M.Willis to SEA 22 for 6 yards. Tebow has a pocket but tucks and runs anyway (which is common with young QBs) and completes a pass well short of the sticks near the sidelines.
  4th & 12, SEA 22 FIELD GOAL GOOD   
 3rd series, 8:59 left in 4th qtr. 1st & 10, DEN 20 Tebow handoff to Ball around right end pushed OB at DEN 21 for 1 yard.   
  2nd & 9, DEN 21 Tebow pass incomplete short left to D.Rosario. The RB misses a block and Tebow is flushed left. He makes a poor throw to an open Rosario. These are the passes he has to complete.
  3rd & 9, DEN 21 (From the shotgun) Tebow pass short right to M.Willis pushed ob at DEN 31 for 10 yards. Great protection, he stands tall in the pocket and delivers a strike to the sidelines.
  1st & 10, DEN 31 Tebow handoff to Johnson left end to DEN 32 for 1 yard.   
  2nd & 9, DEN 32 Tebow pass incomplete deep right to B.Davis. Another play-action, pass slightly underthrown and a step out of bounds. If you're going to miss that's the place to do it.
  3rd & 9, DEN 32 (From the shotgun) Tebow pass short left to M.Willis to DEN 40 for 8 yards. Denver challenged the runner was down by contact ruling, and the play was Upheld. Three-step drop, ball is tipped at the line of scrimmage but still has enough on it to get to Willis who's just short of the sticks.
  4th & 1, DEN 40 PUNT   
 4th series, 5:15 left in 4th qtr. 1st & 10, DEN 22 Tebow handoff to Ball up the middle to DEN 24 for 2 yards.   
  2nd & 8, DEN 24 Tebow sacked at DEN 19 for -5 yards  Oh my. Good pocket, Tebow holds the ball too long, avoids the first wave of rushers before eventually going down. Has to get the ball out quicker.
  3rd & 13, DEN 19 (From the shotgun) Tebow pass incomplete short left to E.Riley. Tebow hit as he throws (off his back foot). A good throw would've been good for a first down.
  4th & 13, DEN 19 PUNT   
5th series, 1:12 left in 4th qtr.  1st & 10, DEN 23 (From the shotgun) Tebow scrambles left tackle ran OB at DEN 42 for 19 yards. Good protection but Tebow sees a running lane and takes off. 
  1st & 10, DEN 42 (From the shotgun) Tebow pass short left to L.Ball to SEA 32 for 26 yards. Nice play call: a screen pass that any QB should be able to complete every time its called.
  1st & 10, SEA 32 (From the shotgun) Tebow FUMBLES (Aborted) at SEA 37, and recovers at SEA 37. T.Tebow to SEA 37 for no gain. Absolutely can't happen given the circumstances. The snap hit Tebow right in the hands.
  2nd & 15, SEA 37 (From the shotgun) Tebow right end to SEA 33 for 4 yards. Designed draw play Tebow made popular at Florida.

                                   Unintentionally Awkward Headlines

DENVER, CO - AUGUST 27: Tim Tebow #15 of the Denver Broncos runs with the ball during the pre season game against the Seattle Seahawks at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on August 27, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Garrett W. Ellwood/Getty Images)

                                                   Action Shots

After Tebow spent much of the Bills game standing around wondering what had become of his NFL career, we have some actual action shots this week.. Against the Seahawks it was another inconsistent performance, but that's what you expect from a second-year quarterback. We're not sure if he's showing progress or still trying to find his way in the NFL. Given that he'd only completed nine passes this preseason, we tend to think it's the latter. That said, the organization appears to have faith in Tebow, something that wasn't clear a week ago. 

Please join us next week for another installment of "Tracking Tebow." You know you want to.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: August 29, 2011 4:50 pm

Dolphins give Chad Henne 'full reign' to audible

Posted by Will Brinson

Remember how fans of the Miami Dolphins were chanting for Kyle Orton earlier in the 2011 preseason? Yes, that actually happened. And it happened because the Dolphin unfaithful don't believe that Chad Henne is the answer at quarterback and that

So this should be exciting news: Miami is going to give Chad Henne "full reign" to call audibles at the line of scrimmage of this season! (!) Henne describes the following situation against Tampa Bay on the Dolphins second play from scrimmage, after Henne spotted a single safety deep.

"So I audible to a post-safety [passing] play, right?" Henne explained to Jeff Darlington of the Miami Herald. "Then, the defense audibled into two-deep [coverage]. So now I’m back into the same situation. But you try to pick a play that can beat any coverage."

According to the much-maligned Dolphins quarterback, it's improved his on-field life significantly.

"Oh, it’s great," Henne said. "It’s full reign."

He probably means free reign, but whatever. The important thing is that Henne's showing marked improvement in 2011, which he has, though right now games are only of the exhibition nature.

Henne's thrown for 446 yards in the preseason (second in the NFL, right behind Chase Daniel!) and gone 29-for-45 in passing attempts, while also throwing two touchdowns and two interceptions for a quarterback rating of 93.4.

Just a few weeks ago he looked doomed to simply cough up the starting job to Matt Moore and become the latest object of scorn for Miami football fans -- now he suddenly appears on the verge of proving Dan Marino correct in his assessment that Henne has the talent to be be a legitimate quarterback in the NFL.

Oh right: and me. Don't think I won't remind Wilson of it on every single podcast if Henne ends up helping the Dolphins rebound this year.

Most importantly, though, is that Henne could end up inspiring many more people in South Florida to yelling "We want Henne!"

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Posted on: August 26, 2011 4:25 pm

Marino: Henne has talent to be a good NFL QB

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Chad Henne has started 27 games in two seasons for the Dolphins. He completed more than 60 percent of his throws during that time, but had more interceptions (33) than touchdowns (27), a passer rating of 75.3, and Miami twice went 7-9 and didn't sniff the playoffs.

Henne's inconsistency led the Dolphins to look outside the organization for a starting quarterback, and shortly after the lockout ended, they appeared to have Denver's Kyle Orton in their sites although a deal never materialized. (According to the Denver Post, the Broncos failing to convince Orton to redo his current deal was one of the reasons a trade with Miami fell through.) Instead, Miami traded for Reggie Bush and decided to stick with Henne.

In the weeks since, he has faced the wrath of fans and heard rumors of Brett Favre (they're everywhere, it seems), all while trying remain focused on the task at hand. We asked Dolphins great, Hall of Famer and CBS NFL analyst Dan Marino about the Orton rumors, the Bush trade and if Henne can win in Miami.

"As a team, your responsibility is to look and see if you can improve your team in all areas," Marino told CBSSports.com. "I guess [the Dolphins] felt at the time that Kyle Orton -- if they could trade for him at the right number -- might be an improvement [over Henne]. …

"Chad Henne did not have a good year last year but I still think he has the talent to be a good NFL quarterback. It's just a matter of time as far as continuing to put people around him. I think Reggie Bush is going to be a great addition because he's got that big-play ability. One thing it looked like the Dolphins didn't have last year was that quick-strike where they're getting 20 or 30-yard chunks. That's one of the things they've been missing and so far, [Bush] has looked pretty good. And if he stays healthy he can add a lot."

This came up on a recent Pick-6 podcast, although we though Orton would improve the Dolphins' offense more than both Henne and Bush (but as we found out above, the Broncos weren't moving Orton given his current contract).

Henne, Bush and the '11 Fins

CBSSports.com's Pete Prisco writes that it's not all on Henne, though. Miami's offense should be more dynamic because offensive coordinator Dan Henning retired. "I think we will take a lot more chances down the field," quarterback Henne told Prisco earlier this week. "The opportunities for big plays will be there."

They're going to have to be for head coach Tony Sparano to keep his job. The team strung him along early this offseason before eventually signing him to a new contract, but that doesn't mean he's escaped hot seat. As far back as January, team owner Stephen Ross made it clear that the offense the Dolphins put on the field in 2010 wouldn't fly in 2011.

"I've told Tony that to me, I want an aggressive, creative [offense] not playing just to keep it close, where people really are a little more unpredictable," Ross said at the time.

Sparano got the message. Earlier this week, he admitted to Yahoo.com's Jason Cole that conservative play-calling is a thing of the past.

“The people that I worked for before, [low-risk play-calling is] how they approached it,” Sparano said, in a clear reference to Sparano’s former boss in Miami and Dallas, Bill Parcells. “Nevertheless, this game has really changed and it has really changed in our division. If you don’t score points in our division, you’re going to have a hard time winning football games. So we have to do a better job of generating big plays, generating more scores and even though we feel like we have one of the best defenses in the league, we’d like them to play a little less.”

And that's where Bush comes in. "If he gets a little space, he's dangerous," Sparano told Prisco. "As far as doubles, you have to pick your poison with us right now."

Now it's up to Henne to take advantage of his new weapon.

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Posted on: August 26, 2011 1:45 pm

So Tim Tebow really does have a future in Denver?

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Tim Tebow has hit a rough patch. After an offseason in which it seemed he would ascend to the starting job, he's plummeted down the Broncos' depth chart and currently finds himself behind Kyle Orton, Brady Quinn, and, impossibly, maybe even Adam Weber.

ESPN analyst Merril Hoge has been scathing in his criticism, and earlier in the week, CBS analyst Boomer Esiason spoke frankly about Tebow's prospects as an NFL quarterback. "He can't play. He can't throw," Esiason said, according to USAToday.com. "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."

An unofficial Broncos PR campaign on Tebow's behalf followed, and talk of the 2010 first-round pick getting cut or traded has since subsided.

Earlier this month, Broncos Executive VP of Football Operations John Elway told ESPN, "[Tebow's] a great young man who is really working hard. But he didn't get an offseason to work on [playing from the pocket]. He didn't get much of that in college. And it's a completely different thing than the shotgun. Plus, he's only had the one season. But he's an amazing football player. I'd never give up on Tim Tebow."

At the time it sounded like a pretty crappy consolation prize for Tebow, who weeks before figured to open the season under center. But there's a very real chance that 2012 could provide Tebow with an opportunity to win quarterback job.

The nuts and bolts: Tebow is the only Broncos' quarterback under contract beyond 2011. In fact, he just cashed a $6 million bonus check from the organization so it's unlikely he'll be anywhere but Denver for the foreseeable future. Also helping his case for the starting gig, as explained by the Denver Post's Jeff Legwold:

"Failing to convince Orton to redo his current deal was one of the reasons a trade with the Dolphins fell through. Quinn is in the last year of the contract he signed as a rookie with Cleveland, and with his improved play he is itching for a chance to be a starter.

"Orton and Quinn are relatively young, with a chance to go into the open market in 2012. They would need pretty compelling reasons to pass up that potential financial windfall, which means the Broncos would likely have to dangle more-than-market value to them before that. That doesn't seem likely given the team's controlled approach in free agency. … The Broncos appear to be positioning themselves to let him learn this season and see what they can do with him in an offseason that doesn't include a lockout."

This means that our Tebow Tracker wasn't in vain, and more generally, the Broncos have every intention of bringing him along slowly and giving him an opportunity to be Denver's franchise quarterback. It's just not happening this year, which is for the best. Orton is clearly the better quarterback, and Tebow doesn't appear ready for full-time duty. If Philip Rivers can sit on the bench for two years, so can Tim.

And who knows, maybe by then his critics will have come around on the idea.

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Posted on: August 24, 2011 11:37 pm
Edited on: August 24, 2011 11:40 pm

Tim Tebow talk sparks Broncos PR campaign

Posted by Will Brinson

In case the rock that was squatting on you just feel asleep and you rolled out from under it, there's been a lot of speculation this offseason about the future of Tim Tebow within the Broncos organization.

On Tuesday, a report emerged that Tebow had fallen to not just the third, but fourth-best quarterback in Denver's organization. Asked specifically about the report on Wednesday, head coach John Fox didn't sound so pleased.

"First of all, I would like to say that nobody in this building that is in the decision-making process -- coach, official, or I don’t know, maybe they heard it from the cook ... I’m not sure, but we hold Tim in high regard," Fox said Wednesday, regarding the report from Mike Silver of Yahoo Sports. "I think he’s got a bright future in this game. He’s playing maybe the hardest position I know in the NFL there is to play, and maybe in all of sports. He’s progressing fine."

So that's good. But Mike Silver's not a guy off the street who randomly grabs team employees and uses them as sources, particularly high-up in a feature piece about Tebow's struggles. The dude has chops. But that opinion might not be shared amongst the members of Denver's front office.

"I don’t think, if you read it correctly, that it said anybody in the organization," Fox said when asked about the nature of Silver's source. "It just said a knowledgeable football person -- that could have been a wide range.

Can Tebow make it as an NFL QB?

Things got much more awkward than Fox's jokes, though. (And by "jokes" I don't mean that he's joking on Silver, just that he's making light of the situation.)

Jim Saccomano, VP of Public Relations for the Broncos, cut loose on a Twitter tirade about the current state of media in today's world.

"All media, all types and levels, desperate for headlines that will move product ... great pressure for headlines, and sometimes the tabloid mentality overtakes objectivity, at expense of some great journalists," Saccomano tweeted Wednesday night. "[A] recent story in NYTimes says 24 of 25 top dailies have experienced record decline in circulation -- Wall Street [Journal] the one exception.

"A serious concern for teams is granting access to outlets that provide incentives to writers based on page clicks. That is a problem."

Well, for starters, no one's questioning that the newspaper industry is in big trouble. But Silver isn't exactly a "newspaper journalist" these days, and I'm not sure that working for Yahoo has him sweating the number of clicks he gets on his stories.

But he wasn't exactly pumped about Saccomano's tweets which, one has to assume, related to Silver's story and the resulting (negative?) publicity for the Broncos.

"I remember the days when, if a respected [public relations] man had something to say to me, he'd pick up the phone instead of taking to the twittersphere," Silver tweeted Wednesday.

It's a different world indeed.

You don't have to look any further than the coverage that Tebow gets. Is it weird that a backup quarterback who was drafted in the late first round gets this much attention? Yeah, it's weird.

But Tebow ranked fifth in terms of jerseys sold in the NFL in 2010; the downside of having your backup quarterback sell millions of jerseys is that lots of people are concerned with his future and his status with the team.

Along with the new-world media comes the possibility of having a PR person tweet at you instead of hitting the landline up. It's the same reason I can get DirecTV service and rebuttals of my reports via Twitter. And the same reason John Elway announces the Broncos moves on social media.

Really, the only way to succinctly sum up the situation is by (datedly) quoting Franck Eggelhoffer: "Welcome to the 90s, Mr. Banks."

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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