The first stage of the Tim Tebow experiment went well for the Broncos. Tebow brought much of the emotion, running and mobility that trademarked his college career and threw a touchdown pass to Brandon Lloyd that was tipped before Lloyd made a spectacular catch on it. Tebow achieved his longest run of the game by mistakenly believing that the call was a Q draw instead of a handoff to Correll Buckhalter, suggesting, between the two plays, that Denver’s best chances come when even they don’t know what they’re going to do. A second half marked by repetitive playcalling that didn’t fool anyone affirmed that to be true.
While fans and writers alike talked about the ‘bubble wrap’ approach that Denver took to using Tebow, there are good reasons for much of it. Ideally, a team wants to introduce a rookie quarterback when there is a solid offensive line, decent receivers, a working running game and a solid defense. Of them, Denver has decent receivers. Tebow has already been injured once this season (ribs, in a TD run) and exposing him to too much in his first game - especially against a team that Denver matches up poorly against - wouldn’t have been sensible. While you always hope to win the game, right now it’s equally important to protect the Broncos’ investment.
Good Morning, Broncos fans! Why so happy? Yesterday went about as well as could be expected for the Broncos - Tim Tebow performed well enough to give hope that he is indeed the future, the Broncos' draft position was solidified into a likely top-3 pick, and the defense reminded us all of what the Broncos need with such a choice.
In terms of draft position, the combination of Denver's loss to Jokeland and victories by Carolina, Cincinnati, Detroit and Buffalo means that if the Broncos lose to both Houston and San Diego, they will gain either the first or second pick in April's draft. If Denver loses both games and Carolina were to win one of its last two games (unlikely), Denver would then gain the top spot overall. Then again, Atlanta would wrap up home field advantage in the NFC with a victory next week and would then not need to beat Carolina in Week 17. Should Denver go 1-1 and everyone else 0-2, the Broncos would pick 4th overall. if the Broncos were to win both games, suddenly a whole bunch of other teams enter the equation. Ideally? Denver ends up with the first overall pick, Andrew Luck declares, auction ensues, and the Broncos end up with a bounty of picks ala what the Dolts did when they gave up the right to trade Michael Vick in 2001 and swapped Eli Manning for Philip Rivers in 2004. Then, it's defense, defense, defense...
Bill Walsh, the original gangsta of QB evaluation, once wrote:
"He [the quarterback] must be courageous and intensely competitive. He will be the one on the field who is running the team. His teammates must believe in him or it may not matter how much physical ability he has. If he is courageous and intensely competitive, then other players will know and respect that. This will be a foundation for becoming a leader."
Today, Tim Tebow proved he's a leader. He made plays; he was intensely competitive; he was courageous as hell. I think most would agree that the foundation that Walsh spoke of is there in the Broncos' first-round draft pick.
But we ought not confuse intensity with the passing tree.
So yesterday, I played outside football consultant, and I remade the Broncos football organization. Today, I change gears, and become something intangible called consensus. It’s March 1, 2011, and we’re on the precipice of a talent acquisition cycle that could make this Broncos team improve very quickly. We have a new defensive scheme to work on staffing, and since it’s the Head Coach Gregg Williams’ scheme, we have some confidence that it’s there to stay for awhile, unlike the recent past. The offense will be slightly different too, under Pete Carmichael, Jr., but most of the key players are in place right now for it to be successful.
This exercise assumes that the Collective Bargaining Agreement gets figured out timely, which may or may not happen. In any case, there will eventually be a free agency period, and a Draft, and we’re going to work through all of that stuff now. Here goes.
Enjoy the games, and Go Broncos!!!
UPDATE 3:24PM ET Kyle Orton is the 3rd QB today, while Matt Prater, Brian Dawkins, Laurence Maroney, Cassius Vaughn, Eric Olsen, Demaryius Thomas and David Veikune are all inactive for the Broncos.
Tim Tebow is starting.
Quintana just put on his #15 Jersey.
You know the drill. Peter King, a random number generator, and Tim Tebow all are stranded on a desert island. These picks and Tebow are the only survivors.
Let's see how everyone did this week:
Good Morning, Broncos fans! Adam Schefter and Mike Lombardi are reporting that Tim Tebow will start at QB today, while the local reporters are
butt hurt still trying to say that he "may" start because they've been scooped. Obviously, this is an exciting day for Denver - we get to see what all the hoopla's been about, and interestingly, we'll start to find out what Josh McDaniels was thinking when he moved back into the first round to draft Tebow in April. If Tebow ends up a success in Denver, what will McDaniels' legacy be? Will he still be the guy who wanted fewer ran off interceptions Cutler, dropped passes Marshall and fumbles Hillis? Or will the next coach get all the credit for turning around the Broncos and developing Tebow? Who knows? Only one way to find out...
In every good hero's journey, the chosen one must eventually leave his mentor behind in order to face his quest alone.
And that sucks. No one wants to leave the comfort and safety of their Jedi Academy.
It helps, though, when your mentor wears a hoodie. Ask Luke Skywalker.
If the reports are true, Kyle Orton is questionable for tomorrow's game against the Raiders. Statistically, players who are listed as "questionable" end up playing about 50% of the time. Thus, I'd say it's probably no better than a coin flip we'll see Tim Tebow.
That's good enough for me. Let the hero with a thousand faces step into the Black Hole--where only the most butch of drag queens fear to tread--and take on the Sith Lord himself, Al Davis.
Tebow's first start against the Raiders? Are you kidding me?
It had to be destiny. Only a guy who can casually take a Friar Tuck haircut is worthy of standing in the Oakland Coliseum with a predominantly orange light saber and severing the head of the Raiders' season.
Good Morning, Broncos fans! Well, the Broncos haven't come out and said it yet, but it sure seems like Tim Tebow is about to get his first start. Kyle Orton's rib injury has been perfect cover for Tebow to get a full week of first-team reps under the guise that Orton would make it back in time to play. Personally, I think this was the way to go, rather than throwing the kid to the wolves in the middle of a game after having spent the week with the scout team and getting minimal reps working within Denver's playbook. Of course, we likely won't find out until later today or perhaps even tomorrow whether Tebow or Orton is starting. But Denver has managed to avoid the potential avalanche of attention that would have come with announcing it earlier in the week.
As for injuries, the Broncos have listed Brian Dawkins, Demaryius Thomas and Matt Prater as out. Yes, that means another week of Steven Hauschka. David Bruton, Darcel McBath and Orton are questionable, while five players are listed as probable.
The Broncos promoted LB Lee Robinson from the practice squad last week, and I'm thrilled to see him. Why the fervor for a PS player? Robinson was originally signed by Denver as a college free agent following the 2009 Draft, and I thought he was well worth an enduring look at the time. Robinson was an outside linebacker in college who, like so many Broncos linebackers, has also spent some time with his hand on the ground at DE. However, Robinson is also a player whose maturity and dedication have given the Broncos a new level of competition for any and all of their linebacker slots. Inside linebacker is as good a place to begin as any.
To start, he’s a solid 6’2” and 256 lbs of linebacker. The Broncos once moved to smaller, lighter linebackers, but it’s fair to say that Josh McDaniels preferred something contrastive. He said that he wanted big, physical players who are versatile and can work in multiple situations, which is a choate description of Robinson. One way to consider Robinson is as a bigger version of Wesley Woodyard. In 2008, Woodard took the Broncos by storm. Robinson might be the player at ILB that Denver right now is lacking, freeing up Mario Haggan to stay with his move back to OLB. He can also move into OLB situationally.