The Daily Lard 10-11-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! So, it sounds like John Fox will name Tim Tebow the starting quarterback today, because what else can he do? The cat's out of the bag, and Kyle Orton has been terrible. As Andy Benoit sees it, Fox is in a very difficult position, and he writes:

In truth, Fox and his staff know that a gameplan full of quarterback draws and screen passes can work in improvisational fashion, but not against a defense that will have seen it on film and prepared accordingly. This logic won’t register with a lot of Bronco fans. All they know is that Tebow came in and showed grit, had that “It” factor and gave the offense a spark.

He's right. The very same Tebow that played on Sunday is not going to win many NFL games, folks (if any). Sure, we can confirm our biases by citing the QB Rating of someone who threw nine passes (plus one spike) in two quarters of work, or point to the energy of the team and the crowd, but honestly this is what happens anytime a backup QB takes over for someone as unpopular as Orton has become in Denver. Everyone goes nuts, and the result doesn't even matter - because the guy "gave us a chance." Let's just go over what throws Tebow actually made on Sunday...

Here are the four passes Tebow completed:

  1. His first throw was a low ball to the LOS which Eric Decker caught off his shoetops for no gain.
  2. After four incompletions including two at his receivers' feet, Tebow executed a picture-perfect screen pass to Knowshon Moreno which became a 28-yard TD.
  3. Next was the sideline throw on which Brandon Lloyd had to make a highlight-reel one-handed catch.
  4. The fourth completion was to Daniel Fells with no defender within five yards of him, and with San Diego offering up the middle of the field.

Let's also keep in mind that Tebow's two scoring drives were 51 yards and 41 yards in length, with the first comprised of four runs and zero passes and the second being complected of two runs and the screen pass. None of this is to claim that Tebow won't be throwing better in Miami, given the presumable first-team reps, a game plan suited to his skills, and the sheer knowledge that he'll be the guy. He very well might, and should, quite frankly - provided we see cleaner exchanges from center. Yes, Tebow extended several plays with his feet in a way that Orton never could or will, but he also didn't actually complete any passes on those plays.

But to speculate that the Tebow who was on the field during Sunday's second half would have won had he started, or that the Broncos are about to reel off a bunch of wins because the team is pumped up? I don't think so, folks - besides, they won't be quite so amped if he keeps missing wide open receivers. Let's just hope for signs of progress toward proving Tim is worth keeping around as our QB next year. That would be a terrific accomplishment.


John Fox will meet with the players today before announcing that Tebow will be taking over at QB. Meanwhile, the folks in Legwold's Rolodex think there is indeed a chance the Broncos will either trade Orton or cut him outright.

Krieger thinks this was more an issue of Orton losing the job than it was of Tebow winning it, and he figures 11 games is a long enough audition for Tim.

In his latest mailbag, Klis agrees with a reader who suggests some play-action bootlegs for Tebow (Yes, please!), is sure Tebow will be the guy for the rest of the season, and he's baffled that Andrew Luck went back to Stanford for another year. Hmm, do you think we would've ended up with Cam Newton? 

As Dan Wetzel reminds us, Tebow's likely first start of the season will hilariously be on "Gator Day" at Sun Life Stadium, aka the home of the Miami Hurricanes. Plus, he joins the chorus that says Denver has no choice but to go with Tim.

Jason Whitlock isn't yet convinced that Tim Tebow is the NFL's newest quarterback savior and thinks the reaction to his performance Sunday has been a bit overblown.

Over on NFLN, Charles Davis thinks it will be something of a rollercoaster with Tebow, but that Denver will always have a chance with him this year.

In case you were wondering, ESPN's Total QBR has Tebow on Sunday as better than was Aaron Rodgers later that evening.


Notes from Andrew Mason: the team will practice today and tomorrow before being off the rest of the week.

Mike Klis says Marcus Thomas should replace Kevin Vickerson in the starting lineup, while Spencer Larsen will remain the starting FG despite the presence of the newly-acquired Quinn Johnson.

Fox didn't quite think there should have been a PI call on the final play Sunday, because it just doesn't get called on Hail Mary plays.

Legwold examines Von Miller's struggles from Sunday, plus he reminds us that the bye now includes a mandated four consecutive off days - not so great when you're switching quarterbacks.

Anyone remember Brady Quinn? He's the other QB on the Broncos, and yesterday he flew to Tokyo to be with his gymnast girlfriend who had ruptured her Achilles.

Video of John Fox's Monday presser, notes from Kenny Legan and Max Henson, numbers from Stuart Zaas, and player reaction to Sunday's loss via Gray Caldwell.

Part 1 and Part 2 of the John Elway Show with Vic & Gary.


The Lions are now 5-0 after beating up Jay Cutler (sulk) and the Bears 24-13. The Detroit Lions. Matt Bowen explains how the Lions won.

Colts owner Jim Irsay acknowledged yesterday that Indy would be interested in Andrew Luck, even if it meant sitting the kid for a few years behind Peyton Manning. Wow, can you imagine? He is not the raw prospect Aaron Rodgers was - he's NFL-ready. Plus, Luck still has a year of eligibility left - this really could be Elway 2.0, with the top pick saying "No, thanks" to the Colts.

Mario Williams is done for the year with a torn pectoral muscle.

Packers T Chad Clifton, Bills WR Donald Jones and Cardinals S Kerry Rhodes are all expected to miss significant time with injuries.

Dolphins QB Chad Henne underwent shoulder surgery yesterday, while Niners WR Josh Morgan is scheduled for surgery to repair a broken foot.

The Rams signed WR Nick Miller and CB Brian Jackson, while the Jags worked out several punters today after Matt Turk had a rough game yesterday.

Team player extraordinaire Peyton Hillis isn't so sure he's going to be a Brown much longer.

Mike Lombardi shares his memories of Al Davis and analyzes Sunday's action, plus he agrees it's time to start Tebow.

Matt Bowen dishes out game balls for Sunday and he thinks Saints S Roman Harper deserves a fine for his hit on Panthers WR Steve Smith.

Chris Brown breaks down a play-action dig as executed by Aaron Rodgers and Greg Jennings on Sunday night.


FO's weekly Audibles (the inspiration for our own CTF) including plenty of Tebow analysis, and CHFF's Jonathan Comey recaps Sunday's action.

Chris Chase recalls the story of when Shanny ordered Niners QB Elvis Grbac to throw a ball at the head of Al Davis during pregame warmups.

Big Daddy Drew interprets PK's MMQB.

Rob Rang recaps the week's action for top prospects and says Landry Jones did a lot against Texas to prove he's legit, if still not in the same class as Andrew Luck and Matt Barkley.

Doug is IAOFM’s resident newsman and spelling czar. Follow him on Twitter @IAOFM

The Lard