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Published on 09/14/2011 at Wed Sep 14 12:39.
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Players and coaches wouldn't have to defend quarterback Kyle Orton if he would start playing better. (AP Photo/Joe Mahoney)

Three years ago, Pat Bowlen, the owner of our beloved Denver Broncos, fired former Head Coach Mike Shanahan to jump start the franchise in another direction. The club has certainly headed in another direction: straight down.

Since Josh McDaniels — another now former head coach — started out 6-0 in 2009, the Broncos have gone 6-20, fielded one of the worst defenses in the league and have had no rushing attack. All hope is not lost, however. Per Patrick Smyth:

A Week one loss doesn’t define a year; Fox’s Panthers also lost 23-20 in 2005 at home vs. a division rival and went on to go 11-5 and played for the NFC title.

Fox and the Broncos believe they can still salvage this season.  It’s high time they started walking the talk.

“I think it’s all B.S.,” said receiver Brandon Lloyd on Tuesday. “I think everybody is just waiting for an opportunity to move (Orton) out and play anybody other than him. He didn’t perform maybe as well as people expected him to. Whatever. He’s our quarterback, and we’re going to eventually win games.”

If there’s no question that Kyle Orton is the starter, shouldn’t he start playing like one? In his past three starts, Orton has gone 52-of-115 for 587 yards (304 of which came last night) and 1 touchdown against 4 interceptions and 3 fumbles. In those same three games, Orton posted quarterback ratings of 46.3, 27.1 and 71.3 respectively.

Is it really that hard for Fox and offensive coordinator Mike McCoy to have some creative imagination and find a way to get Tebow involved? (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Oh, and by the way, the last time Denver won a game, Tim Tebow was the starting quarterback.

If Orton and Lloyd want the “Tebow thing” to disappear, they can make it happen. By winning. Orton can make fans forget about Tebow by winning games and leading the Broncos offense to victories and making big plays. Just do it, Kyle.

Then there’s the rushing attack. The offensive line has taken a lot of blame, rightfully so, but Denver’s backs have got to start making something happen. The Broncos brought in Willis McGahee from Baltimore in the offseason to add some punch to the rushing attack. Last night, Orton outrushed McGahee (1 carry for 13 yards to McGahee’s 4 carries for 3 yards) and Denver had no power on the ground.

McGahee and the offensive line may have fared better if third year running back Knowshon Moreno had been able to do something, anything on the ground.  This is the season Moreno was supposed to break out, prove us right, Knowshon!

On the defensive side of the ball, things actually did looked improved from last season.  Shoutout to safety Brian Dawkins (9 tackles) who was flying all over the field making plays. Dawkins wasn’t able to make every play however, and the unit obviously was missing linebacker D.J. Williams (who is out for another two games with an elbow injury).

The performances of the linebackers on Monday night were underwhelming; veteran middle linebacker Joe Mays and Williams’ replacement Wesley Woodyard over pursued on many plays and Mays took terrible angles on running plays all night long. Meanwhile, rookie linebacker Von Miller was practically non-existent because he got so far up field on every play that he took himself out of every play.

Overall, Denver's defense looked better than last season. But that's no big accomplishment. (Photo by Garrett W. Ellwood/Getty Images)

The good news is Williams will be back and the Broncos have other options at MLB if Mays doesn’t step up. Veteran linebacker Mario Haggan relieved Mays several times on Monday night and rookie linebacker Nate Irving is waiting for a chance to prove himself.  As for Miller, he is a rookie and will learn with more playing experience.

When defensive end Elvis Dumervil is 100% healthy again, Miller and Dumervil should be making more plays on passing downs.  Both players must play better against the run however if Denver’s defense is going to improve.

Back to the main topic, Orton.

“Kyle’s our starting quarterback,” Fox said Tuesday. “I don’t think too many guys are firing their whole teams after one game because they happen to be in the half the teams in the league that lost in Week One.”

Fox raises a good point, the team has only played one game so we need to be aware of knee-jerk overreactions. But fans just want to see the Broncos win. It’s time the Broncos stop making excuses and just execute.  It could be a long, long season in Denver.

But it doesn’t have to be.  Make adjustments, regroup, make needed changes that need to be made and start walking the talk. Just win.

  • Anonymous

    Look, I don’t really feel that all of the rending of garments and gnashing of teeth I keep reading (whether here or elsewhere) is merited.  The sky hasn’t fallen yet.  I know Orton has been disappointing, but I really didn’t think he played as bad as the stat sheet last week.  Too many drops, etc.  But most of all, we were a weird, fluky, lightning-bolt-from-the-sky dropped football (not even a “fumble,” really, just a straight up DROP) from winning that game against a decent team.  Or, at least, one total dumbass personal foul from being at least in overtime.  I know Orton was the one who dropped it, but that sure seemed to me like a once-in-a-bizarre-career fluke, not a condemnation of his quarterback play. 

  • jasonandrew76

    I agree…Its the first game. Everyone is making us out to be so horrible. We could have easily won a fairly LOW SCORING game. Take away the 50 yarder by McFadden at the end and we were only giving up about 3.2 yds per carry…3.2 yds per carry deep into the 4th qtr..How in the hell is that so bad? Its not great, but it isnt “sky is falling” bad either. Oakland was scared sh1tless of the pass rush as you could see in their formations/calls. We had too many drops, mistakes, and penalties. KC got blown out at home by Buffalo, but i dont hear anyone writing them off. I do believe we will find out what we’ve got this weekend though. Cincinnati is not good. regardless of our injury situation, we should win this game. If we dont, then I officially join the Tebow supporters. Plain and simple. I dont necesasrily think he is better, but he may very well be better suited as our starter if our OLine keeps breaking down. Orton cant handle pocket pressure. And im sorry, but if we cant beat the bengals and their rookie QB then we need to at least get this Tebow show on the road quick. Its not going to go away until he plays. He will eithr succeed or fall on his face, but until everyone gets to see it on the field the calls will continue. eventually its time to face the music. could be good. could be bad. but until it happens, it will just continue to fester. We could be 5-1, but if Orton struggles in that game 7, you will still hear chants for TEBOW.

  • Anonymous

    I think it’s because Orton makes stupid mistakes when we can least afford to make them. His knock since he’s been here anyways, is that Orton crumbles in the 4th quarter, and he is horrible in the red zone.
    Monday Night did NOTHING to dispel those notions, so I can 100% see why people, after only 1 game, are calling for his head on a plate. What did Orton do in the 4th quarter? Oh, he dropped the ball. Oh, he threw a pick in the 2 minute offense at the end of the half, oh, he sacked himself on 3rd down in the 4th quarter. Oh, he yet again wilted under the pressure.
     
    Now lets look at the red zone. 2 trips, 0 touchdowns. It was almost 3 trips if he didn’t fumble in the 4th quarter, but the fact that we would have been A) in the Red Zone, and B) during the 4th quarter, there were probably better odds that he’d throw a pick 6 than a TD. 

    Those are the reasons why people are calling for his head. Fans have seen 2  seasons and 1 game worth of this, and they have every right to be sick and tired of it. If Orton came out and throws a TD in the 4th instead of a fumble, those chants aren’t there. Why? Because Orton would have done something to dispel what he has  proven to be major deficiencies in his game/leadership.

    What did Bill Walsh say about Steve Deburg? “He’s just good enough to get you beat!”… That is exactly what Orton is… He’s just good enough (to keep on the team and start), but not good enough to win a game (which is why the fans are sick and tired of him and want a change, even if the change is for the worse). Hell, Tebow can fumble just like Orton. Tebow can throw a pick just like Orton, but IT ISN’T ORTON that is doing it time and time and time again. Orton hit his ceiling, and his ceiling is about the same as Tebow’s floor (Tebow = 108.4 QB rating this pre-season, Orton = 104.1 QB rating this pre-season; Tebow = 82.1 as a Rookie playing the worst ball of his life last season, Orton = 87.5 as a Vet playing the best ball of his life last season).

    I am not a Tebow Jock Sniffer or anything, I simply understand and do not fault any fan what-so-ever for being as tired with Orton as they were of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches EVERY DAY FOR LUNCH when they were kids!!! Enough is enough. We have 2+ seasons with a QB that hasn’t improved one bit. Time to see something different.

  • R8RH8R

    I agree,  too many chicken little/monday morning quarterbacks out there right now.  The game sucked, it was painful in just about every way imaginable.  But it is one game.  Our starters looked a lot better in preseason, especially the o-line.  They should be able to open up some hole against the Bungles.  I’m going to give Orton and Fox a few more games to right the ship before I switch to the Tebow bandwagon.

    Dawkins looked awesome out there, I am glad he restructured and came back.

  • jake in omaha

    i don’t like tebow, but maybe it’s time. the last thing i want is to sit through another season of orton PILING UP PASSING YARDS BETWEEN THE 40s AND FALLING ON HIS NECKBEARD AS SOON AS HE ENTERS THE RED ZONE. between the 40s, orton is tom brady; in the red zone, he’s marcia brady. between the 40s, he’s joe montana; in the red zone, hannah montana. wait, i got a million of ‘em! between the 40s: drew brees; in the red zone: drew barrymore. between the 40s: aaron rodgers; in the red zone: erin andrews. between the 40s: fran tarkenton; in the red zone: fran drescher. between the 40s: bart starr; in the red zone: star jones. between the 40s: terry bradshaw; in the red zone: carrie bradshaw. between the 40s: kurt warner; in the red zone: blair warner (‘facts of life’, anyone?)

  • R8RH8R

    I noticed you didn’t say a single thing about our O-line looking like a block of swiss cheese or the fact that he had no help from the running game.  Tebow would struggle with these problems too.  I am not an Orton jock strap sniffer, but I feel he is a good QB that can win games.  Yes I do think that Tebow is the future, but he is not ready.  Don’t throw the kid into the flames yet, it will destroy him.

    Also just saw the Huffingtonpost actually used Broncotalk for a refrence..

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/14/broncos-fans-may-want-tim_n_961992.html

  • Anonymous

    The line breaking down is all the more reason to start Tebow. Tebow doesn’t sack himself, unlike Orton. Tebow has shown that he can shrug off a hit and either throw the ball away, complete a pass, or run, unlike Orton. Lastly, Tebow is mobile and can run for daylight if the pocket is collapsing, unlike Orton.
    Tebow won’t fix all of the Broncos problems, but he’s a step in the right direction. You have to get the young guys experience, that’s the only way they will ever get better. We are rebuilding… what part of rebuilding is “start the vet who isn’t under contract next year, but he MIGHT give us the best chance of winning RIGHT NOW.”… Rebuilding is “Let’s get the guys we drafted some experience to see what they can do, which will ultimately pay HUGE dividends come next season and the seasons after that.

  • Anonymous

    Great, now you’ve done it… you’ve invoked the CURSE OF STEVE DEBURG!!!!   Just the mention of his name causes your quarterback to succeed, succeed, succeed, and then fail catastrophically!  Oh nooooooooooooo!

  • flbronc

    i agree that he played bad on the whole, but he did lead us to one red zone to score in the fourth quarter, scoring with just under 4 min left.  he had a 9 yard td pass to lance ball (12 plays for 80 yards helped by a couple of OAK penalties).  lets give him credit for that.

    he put together one drive like he needed to, but never got  a chance to get the go ahead drive.  dont know if he’d have been able to pull it off or not, based on the trends of the game probably not.

    i like orton over tebow for now, but my patience is wearing thin. 

  • Anonymous

    haha. I think that was Bill Walsh’s point exactly! lol. I just wish this front office was smarter than McD’s front office, but from what they’ve been doing, they are botching things up just as bad as McD did. And yes, that is a criticism of Elway/Fox/Xanders.

    I’d gladly win a superbowl with orton than lose with Tebow, but let’s face it, we are closer to the #1 draft pick than we are to the super bowl. Because of that, it’s time to admit that we are *gulp* rebuilding. And if we’re rebuilding, then you are in essence saying “this season is hopeless, let’s play the young guys. If we win, it’s a bonus, but if we don’t get these guys playing time, we’ll never right this ship for next year, and probably not win a whole hell of a lot of games this year anyways.”

  • Anonymous

    Plus ten million trillion points for single greatest post on this site, ever.
    (tenuous addition): Between the 40′s = Cam Newton/ Red Zone = Juice Newton;
    Between the 40′s = Steve DeBurg/ Red Zone = Steve DeBurg;
    Between the 40′s = Warren Moon/ Red Zone = Warren Buffet (that one is a tribute to Omaha, where this Meme has been perfected)
    Between the 40′s = Steve Young/ Red Zone = Mighty Joe Young, the remake

  • Anonymous

    Yeah, I totally forgot about that TD. I guess the best way to look at it when it comes to Orton in the 4th is the +/-  system in Hockey. Orton Fumbles (-). Orton get Sacked (-). Orton throws TD (+). Orton gets sacked (-). Overall Orton in 4th Quarter: Orton (-2). Which means he did nothing to disprove his critics because he was more bad than good.

  • http://www.broncotalk.net Josh Temple

    He had those two opportunities, the oppening turnover in Oakland territory and the fumble later on.  That’s a huge swing either way you look at it.

  • http://broncotalk.net Monty

    “Oh, and by the way, the last time Denver won a game, Tim Tebow was the starting quarterback.”

    Oh, and by the way, the last three times Denver lost a game, Tim Tebow started two of them.

    I hate the “quarterback wins” argument.

  • http://broncotalk.net Monty

    Sweet! Didn’t see that. We got on HuffPo last week as well. Thanks for the heads up.

  • Strawdog

    Orton is a good QB.  But, in Chicago and with us he has had plenty of time to show us he has “it.”  He doesn’t.  In the half-dozen plays a game in which the QB has to make a play he to win he doesn’t get it done.  Elway had “it” in his sweat. It’s time to find out if Quinn or Tebow have “it.”  It’s time. 

  • Jesse

    bottom line is we got beat by the raiders again. sucks already get in shape elway an take us to the superbowl again. show these rookies how its done

  • King

    What’s amazing to me, thinking about all of the QB’s that have come and gone in the 7 years that Orton has been in the league, is that this guy is still a starter in the NFL!  He should’ve been 2nd string 2 or 3 years ago. 

    Some people rip on McD for drafting Tebow.  I rip on him for trading Cutler for Orton!  What a glaring mistake that was/is. 

  • Wyocountrygent

    Orton is playing the same way he did last year. Shoes of concrete(Never could scramble with anybody within 30 yards),Inaccurate,  Unable to win in clutch situations, and the real reason Teabow got a chance last year. Orton has talent but has failed to come thru and show himself a true winner and definitely not a come from behind quarterback that Teabow showed he was last year. Orton is your basic LOSER!!

  • Kewe_Bottes

    Hope Fox reads this blog from time to time! Nobody could have put it clearer! Way to go, Big_Pete! It’s not a matter of throwing Tebow into the flames, it’s giving him playing time to adjust his areas of opportunity and learn the system under adverse conditions. If he handles this well enough, he will have a great shot to develop himself into  future HOF’er.

  • http://Facebook.com/BroncosZone Jon

    Yes, Tebow started 2 of the last 3 games we lost but he also kept the Broncos in both of those games. And I felt like they had a change in each one of them right down to the very end.

    In Orton’s case however, in his last three starts he’s practically lost the games. And I didn’t feel like we had a chance right down to the last second when Orton is the quarterback.

  • Kewe_Bottes

    You forget about McD trading Peyton Hillis for Brady Quinn. Hillis wold at least helped in the running game, which is dreadful, also!

  • anthony33

    Fox I am okay with giving him the year to see if there is real improvement with this team.

    Orton has had 7 years and he still does the same things he did in Chicago. 

    Don’t know if Tebow’s the answer, but it sure as hell aint Orton.  Now is the time to find out.

  • rcsodak

    Except eeverybodys savior, hilis, couldn’t run against them. Or….is he maybe just overhyped.

  • rcsodak

    Lmao. Bringing up preseason qbr’s and then saying you don’t sniff TT’s jock? Hahahahaha

    Didn’t orton get them into the endzone?

    You orton haters are as hilarious as the ron paul people. Ya bring nothin’!

  • rcsodak

    When is getting on Huffpo good? :puke:

  • rcsodak

    Id just like it if y’all would spell DeBErg’s name correctly.

    Tebow=Van Pelt.

  • http://broncotalk.net Monty

    You say we’re rebuilding. John Fox or John Elway never did. They’ve said publicly many, many times, they’re playing the guy that gives them the best chance to win NOW.

    The problem with “mailing it in”, playing Tebow (if you know he’s not good enough) is you’re disrespecting the other 51 men on the roster whom you ask to suit up and play and risk injury week after week.

    Just imagine you’re Joe Mays and the coaches pick Tebow SOLELY for next year. So he can develop. “Alright, gentlemen, screw 2011, let’s see if Tebow’s the guy for 2012!”

    Are you gonna give 100%?? Are you going to risk your neck in 2011 when this season is lost anyway? Hell no, of course not. And Tebow will be playing with a bunch of guys giving 80% and struggling and Tebow will struggle and the team will collapse.

    Now *IT IS* 2012. You’re Joe Mays again. Maybe Tebow’s given another shot. Maybe they drafted a QB and Tebow’s the starter for now. Maybe the rookie’s the starter. EITHER WAY… Are you going to give it all in training camp for this team? Or are you suspicious the coaches might give up on this season again? Have you lost respect for your leaders?

    You can’t mail it in, ever. Play whoever gives you the best chance to win any and EVERY given Sunday.

    And right now the team believes that’s Kyle Orton, one bad game notwithstanding.

  • http://broncotalk.net Monty

    When we got Orton people used the argument over Cutler that “Orton just wins.” We took away his defense in Chicago and now he doesn’t.

  • Anonymous

    My point this morning was that the entire problem with this organization is that they refuse to admit we are Rebuilding… The sooner they recognize and verbally state that we are a rebuilding franchise, the sooner we can end this decade of mediocrity and get to being relevant again. It’s 1 little word… just 1 little word… just say it EFX, and lets get to rebuilding. The engine is running like shit, but instead of saying “we need to rebuild it” like all the mechanics say, they instead say “maybe we can put better gas in, maybe we can change the tires, maybe we can put new spark plugs in.”… NO, REBUILD THIS MOTHER FUCKER!!!! Putting better gas, new plugs, and anything else is just a waste of money, time, and energy. Say the words, just say them. After that, it’s all gravy!

  • Anonymous

    Tebow helps the running game too. lol
    But really, I don’t care if anyone starts, as long as it isn’t Orton.

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