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The Superstar Backup: Should Kyle Orton start over Tim Tebow?

August 13, 2011 1 comment

By: Aaron Watson

 

The Denver Broncos have a bit of a problem on their hands. Tim Tebow isn’t practicing well. Or playing well in team scrimmages. And not just compared to starter Kyle Orton, who according to team sources has been light years ahead of the former Heisman trophy winner in training camp. No, Tebow seems to be in a legitimate battle with former first round pick Brady Quinn for the #2 spot on the roster.

But don’t tell that to the fans, who are clamoring to see the legend of Tebow grow as the starting quarterback for the Denver Broncos. And therein lies the problem.

 

Team owners and new coach John Fox just don’t seem convinced that Tebow can be an effective quarterback in this league. But the fans aren’t interested in another losing season with Kyle Orton at the helm throwing for tons of yardage in the fourth quarter when the game is already out of reach. They want a franchise player who can bring back the glory days of John Elway.

 

And they think Tebow is that player.

 

And if the Broncos don’t let him prove that, they are making a huge mistake.

 

Don’t get me wrong, I am not convinced Superman is an elite QB prospect. Coming out of college I questioned his anticipation, accuracy and timing, and I’ve seen nothing in the last year that leads me to believe he has corrected those weaknesses. However, by leaving an icon on the bench in favor of a journeyman who just hasn’t won games, the team is hijacking their long-term future by not letting the Tebow experiment play out. Allow me to explain.

 

Either Tebow can play or he can’t. But you don’t find that out by having him ride the pine. And I guarantee you the fans, who have bought hook line and sinker into Tebowmania, won’t be satisfied with having their Savior on the bench. Even if Orton wins 8 games, the guys in the stands will say Timmy would have won 12. And news flash to those in the front office: those are the folks who pay the bills. Those are the folks who made a rookie’s jersey the most popular item the NFL store carried. Who made a preseason debut one of the most watched games in NFL preseason history. And who seem willing to fill the stands to watch him play regardless of the scoreboard.

 

Make no mistake about it; if the guy can’t play, then cut him or trade him. A franchise should never play a guy who keeps losing just because the fans like him. But this franchise is being hijacked by the hype, and that needs to stop. Putting Tebow on the field and letting him sink or swim is the only way to satisfy a fan base starving for excitement.

 

Let’s face it, Kyle Orton may be a more polished player, but does anyone really think he is a franchise QB? The Bears didn’t, so they let him leave after four years. And after two futile years in Denver, it is apparent that he is simply an average player. So why hitch your future to that wagon? The last team to win a Superbowl with an average QB was Tampa Bay in 2003, who had one of the greatest defenses of the decade, and who fell apart the following seven years. This is a passing league that demands great QB play for a team to be successful.

 

And who knows… maybe Tebow will reinvent the way the game is played. Or maybe he will put the Broncos in the driver’s seat for superprospect Andrew Luck.

 

Neither of those options sound bad to me.

Aaron Watson saw his NFL career cut short when his pee wee coaches informed him he wasn’t very good. So he turned his attention to writing, studying journalism in college while blogging for several sporting blogs since 2005. He and his wife currently live in Richmond, VA, one of the worst sports towns in America despite the short lived hype during the Final Four. When he is not at the local sports bar pursuading the owners to put the Buccaneer or Gator game on the big screen, Aaron serves as the Director of Staff Development for TeenPact Leadership Schools, a non-profit training teens to impact their nation through government, business and ultimate frisbee. He has also stayed in Tim Tebow’s house.


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