Halfway through the Broncos 5th game of the season John Fox decided that it was time for a change in the leadership role on the team. At the midway point of Sunday’s game versus the San Diego Chargers, John Fox replaced veteran Kyle Orton with 2nd year QB Tim Tebow. Orton played the first half of the game as if he had been booed every start this year, he was a defeated shell of his former self. Kyle Orton has never been an elite quarterback in this league, but this last stretch of games has seen his production plummet to an all time low and it forced John Fox to make a change. It had become evident that as much as Kyle Orton said the chants for Tebow and constant questioning didn’t phase him, Kyle Orton had been defeated by his own teammate. Not to imply that this is all Tim Tebow’s fault, merely that Kyle Orton allowed the circus around him to affect his play and it cost him his job. After the game coach Fox would not comment on who the team’s starting quarterback would be when the Broncos face the Miami Dolphins after the bye week, but one would have to believe that it is now Tim Tebow’s job to lose.
So that leads us to the question, is it Tebow time in Denver? The short answer to that question is yes, but the more complicated answer continues with, for now. The Denver fan base has been clamoring for Tebow since the day that he was drafted and this year the tension seemed to grow exponentially after each Denver loss. However in the second half of the game versus the San Diego Chargers, fans around the world were granted their wish of Tebow quarterbacking a professional NFL franchise. In Tebow’s one half of play he epitomized every opinion of both his greatest followers and detractors. Tim Tebow was exciting, inspirational, and motivating. Tim Tebow was also inaccurate, uncomfortable under center, and unpredictable. Tim Tebow did everything in his power besides playing defense to give his team a chance to win on Sunday versus the Chargers and came up just short. That determination is what his fans love to see and what his teammates feed off of. His problems taking snaps from the center and poorly thrown passes are why some say he will never be a true NFL quarterback.
Expect John Fox to announce Tuesday that Tim Tebow is now the starting quarterback for the Denver Broncos. Once that happens, it is Tebow time in Denver, for now. What Tebow must do now is prove that he deserves the position long term. There really isn’t a better team in the NFL for Tebow to earn a starting spot on either. The Denver Broncos have a myriad of problems that are going to take several draft classes to fix and if Tebow can prove, even slightly, that quarterback is not one of them, the team would happily use those draft picks to improve the other areas of concern.
John Fox was saddled with multiple problems when he was tasked with turning around a floundering Denver Broncos franchise and this is one that I am sure he would love to get off his plate. Josh McDaniels created this quarterback nightmare by drafting Tebow higher than most analysts thought he should and then turning around and signing Kyle Orton to a very large 2 year deal. For all intents and purposes Kyle Orton’s days in Denver are numbered. It is clear that he has lost his confidence and it remains to be seen if he can regain it with another team. Now that the reigns have been turned over to Tebow, John Fox’s quarterback controversy is far from over. John fox has 11 games remaining to find out if any of the 3 quarterbacks on the current roster can be a consistent starter for the team next year. It looks as if Tebow is going to get a fair shot, but what he does with that opportunity is what the entire nation will be watching for the remainder of the season.
John Fox has done an admirable job so far with the situations that he has been placed in. His decision to start Kyle Orton over Tebow was understandable, but unenviable. Orton is the more polished passer of the group, but with his broken spirit he simply cannot lead this team to victory. Fox made a good decision at a good time to replace Orton and now must see what he has in Tim Tebow. There is no doubt that Tebow has talent, but there is also no doubt that he must improve. His ability to grow and progress over the remainder of the season will ultimately decide his future as a Bronco. If Tim Tebow fails miserably, which some expect him to, John Fox may be forced to give another Josh McDaniels quarterback a try in Brady Quinn. It had been reported that Quinn was actually the favorite to back up Orton as he appeared to make the most progress during the preseason. Either way it is John Fox’s job to get this team into playoff contention and that may just involve removing Tebow from the running if he can’t cut it. At the end of this season the team should have a better understanding of their direction of travel at the position and Tebow will be a more known commodity than he currently is, but for now, It’s Tebow time in Denver.