Given that the Broncos are facing a divisional rival this weekend and are still, almost impossibly, in the hunt for the division title, I thought that I’d chime in on the SD contest and why the Bears/Chargers game mattered to the Broncos (other than the race for the division). There were some points I wanted to cover from that game that bear on both teams’ upcoming battles with the Broncos. It was a good chance to get a preview of each, although Chicago’s new QB (whether Caleb Hanie or Kyle Orton) may change some things.
The SD/Chicago game was both a preview of the Broncos' following opponent, and of Chicago, who comes to Mile High on December 11 and has struggles of its own, despite a winning streak that was prompted by a combination of Mike Martz making some changes to help out his QB and the Bears' excellent defensive play. Lance Briggs had a monster game against SD, and he’s playing at a very high level - as well as a very good streak by Jay Cutler which was ended by a broken thumb late in Sunday's game. San Diego didn’t help themselves, having two fumbles from RB Ryan Mathews (with one of them lost) and two INT from Philip Rivers. Chicago had a single INT, and the old adage about turnovers winning games held in this one.
Orton has no say in his next destination
Rosenthal pointed out earlier today that John Clayton of ESPN has said that quarterback Kyle Orton is trying to make it known that he wouldn’t report to the Chiefs, if the Chiefs claim him on waivers. But Orton really has no say in the matter. For starters, he’d forfeit the balance of his $4.5 million salary in 2011. Also, he’d be subject to an attack on any remaining signing bonus allocation for 2011. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, Orton could jeopardize his shot at free agency in 2012.
I suspect Florio meant $2.58 million instead of $4.5 million, but what's two million dollars, eh?
The drama continues...
Belief of Elway’s commitment to Tebow overstated
In most cases, the semi-encouraging early results – along with the extreme popularity of the quarterback in question – would create enough momentum that the move toward Tebow as long-term starter had already begun. I don’t think that’s the case here, and I’m skeptical that it will ever happen, even if the Broncos win the division…I feel this way because Elway is running the show, and he possesses both the standing to tune out fan-generated hysteria and the unsurpassed knowledge of what a true franchise quarterback looks like…The Tebowites may be vocal, and they may be feisty, but they won’t intimidate him…So yes, Elway is dubious, and it’s quite possible he’ll try to trade Tebow after the season and go after one of the many enticing quarterbacks who’ll be available in the draft. If the Tebowites want to view this as a sign of Elway’s devotion to the current starter, that’s their prerogative – but that assessment would be as inaccurate as most of their hero’s medium-range passes.
If it wasn't already apparent that the anonymous source for Mike Silver's August 23 column was John Elway rather than the team's cook, perhaps his article today will make it sufficiently clear. This cannot be stressed enough: If Silver were fabricating any part of that earlier piece, John would not be granting him further access to Dove Valley. But as TJ has been saying for months, Silver and Elway are tighter than
a Tebow an Aaron Rodgers-thrown spiral. At least half of Silver's column today reads as if he were quoting John verbatim, and it's painfully obvious that The Duke is not about to stake his legacy running the Broncos to a QB who can't throw. Even the cook can see that much...
Is Tebow More Mobile Than Vick? (And Other Questions from Readers)
Tebow is built like a tight end, really, and so, not to put too fine on a point on it, defenders are much less willing to throw themselves into his path. If you look pretty closely at the final drive against the Jets, you will see a few glaring and unflattering examples of that. Also, when Tebow does get hit, he can shake them off much more easily than Vick because of his size. Another thing: Tebow is often taking off on designed runs, so the offensive line is blocking for him.
Shannon Sharpe on with Vic and Gary
He told me his whole life, and I don’t want to give too much away for the piece, that he wanted to be a quarterback since he was six years old, and everybody told him he should be a tight end or linebacker…and he wanted to play quarterback. But the one thing he thought they were doing to help him harmed him the most, and that was, they put him in an offense that allowed him to do what he did best…run the football. He never developed the skill set to throw the football efficiently, accurately, and consistently. While you think that’s helping him [running], it’s actually hurting him long term…when you get into the heat of the battle, when the defensive ends are coming, when that pressure’s coming up the middle, you’re gonna always resort back to what you know…
I'm not sure what was funnier during this interview, Sharpe's gift of gab, or Vic and Gary fawning all over Sharpe near the end. One of them said to Sharpe, "Wow, you just educated me."
Sorry, Vic and Gary, but that was a bit too orgasmic for live radio.
Jake Plummer on with Vic and Gary
“I can think back to when I was a kid watching sports, I mean, me and my brothers were big sports fans. It always seemed to kind of trivialize that importance of a relationship of that sorts, you know, that people have with their…with Jesus Christ or their God, whatever it was, it seemed an inappropriate place to bring it up after a football game or whatever, but…I’m not dissing the guy for his beliefs, you know, he’s obviously a good kid, he’s got a lot of strong morals and values, it’s just…you know, I’ll TiVo it, then I’ll mute it.”
A few weeks ago, my friend Ted Bartlett wrote that Tebow brought a side of religious zealotry with his main course as quarterback of the Denver Broncos.
The side dish seems to be getting larger and larger and larger. I don't think you have to be an oracle to see where all of this is heading--only five games in and now we have the talking heads discussing the idiocy of mentioning your wife after every touchdown as a substitute for mentioning Jesus Christ.
Wait until the media starts pinning Tebow down on his gay marriage positions, etc, which he has refused to discuss. Oh, wait, you think this sort of thing is going to die down ten games in? Sure it will.
John Elway thought he was evaluating quarterbacks. As it turns out, he's also got to decide if the circus generates more money or distraction.
Broncos Bet with House Money
Based on the events of last weekend, the Denver Broncos made a $2.6 million bet Tuesday with house money…The Broncos saw injuries Sunday to Matt Cassel, Matt Schaub and, most importantly, Jay Cutler. These events—along with a nudge from Orton’s agent David Dunn—gave them confidence they could save $2.6 million for a player that was not going to play for them again this season.
So, let's say that Orton does in fact end up on KC or Chicago. That would be about $2.6M saved versus whatever likelihood Orton adds to his new team beating the Broncos. Some might say he's not adding much, and even if he were, isn't that worth $2.6M saved? I'd say yes...being 5-5 and a game out of first place doesn't alter the fact that the Broncos are in the second year of a rebuild.
VON MILLER NAMED AFC DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Denver Broncos rookie linebacker Von Miller will be named AFC Defensive Player of the Week, the National Football League informed the Broncos on Wednesday…He is the first Broncos player to win the award since cornerback Champ Bailey received the honor in 2009 (Week 4). Since the award was initiated by the NFL in 1984, a total of 22 Broncos players, including Miller, have been honored.
Scandal! Did Skip Bayless Meet Tim Tebow Before #WhenSkipMeetsTebow???
Each and every day there is a new topic (or topics, God forbid) for Skip Bayless to pantomime fear/shock/ecstasy in defending Tebow against evil hoardes of apocalyptic monsters. Wash. Rinse. Repeat…The hoopla surrounding the interview was that it was billed as the “first meeting” between Tebow and his biggest cheerleader, Bayless. Supposedly, Skip had refused to meet Tebow to keep his journalistic integrity. (I’ll give you a second to stop laughing.)
That's what makes them the Worldwide Leader...
Ten-Point Stance: Broncos made the right move by cutting Orton loose
It’s been presented by some in the media that the Denver Broncos released Kyle Orton as a way of giving Tim Tebow a nice vote of support. Well, not quite…He didn’t brood or turn into a crappy teammate, but privately became increasingly frustrated with his position as bench warmer. When a rash of injuries hit the quarterback position around the NFL—from Chicago to Kansas City—the Orton camp went to general manager John Elway and begged for his release. I’m told the argument was made to Elway about the fairness to Orton sitting on the bench when there were teams with openings that could claim him off waivers. Elway was sympathetic and released him…So, good for Orton. He begins a new future and for the first time in a long time someone in football did the compassionate thing.