When Denver’s interim head coach Eric Studesville announced earlier this week that Kyle Orton would start against Arizona today, instead of fan darling Tim Tebow, the media and Bronco fans let out a collective sigh.
Of relief? No. Everyone wants to know if this kid can play. Well, except for my roommate, who named our wireless network “Tim Teblows.” He and his Rams have Sam Bradford, whom critics labeled fragile before the draft, saying the Oklahoma Sooner should not play until St. Louis patches up their splotchy offensive line.
Bradford has done just fine this year–17 touchdowns to 10 interceptions, 2,653 yards and a QB rating of 81.0 before today’s game. You all remember him from week 12 when he slapped three scores on the Broncos and combined with my second-favorite Missouri WR all time, Danario Alexander, for 95 yards.
No one expects that from Tebow. In fact no one, besides the naysayers who just want to see the kid blown up by NFL blitzes, really expects anything from Tim Tebow. Everyone just wants to see him play, see what he can do.
Perhaps the interim head coach will start Kyle Orton and use Tebow very, very heavily on gadget plays. Maybe Orton will go down with an injury and Tebow will have to play. Or maybe Tim Tebow still just is not ready for extended action. Given Orton’s contract extension and Tebow minimal utilization under McDaniels just goes to show he just does not “get” the NFL yet.
Think about it, though. If Denver starts Tebow for the next four games and he struggles down the stretch and the team loses all four games, then the Broncos get first dibs on Stanford’s stellar QB Andrew Luck, who could learn behind Kyle Orton in Orton’s final contract year. If Tim Tebow excelled in the role, the fans will show up to Invesco in droves, and the new management team in 2011 can leave that position alone and have no qualms in addressing a defensive line and secondary incredibly light on young talent.
Regardless, when your team just fired the most reviled head coach in 50 years, has been eliminated from the playoffs, and has four games to play, the priority must be to rekindle the passion of a die-hard fan base and see what kind of talent lies in the team’s younger players.
Studesville–sell tickets; start Tebow.