Broncos Need A Change At QB

Here it is, I’m just gonna throw it out there. The Broncos need a big time QB.

It’s obvious from the past few Super Bowls that top QBs get their teams to the big game. Look at the last 3 Super Bowls. Tom Brady vs. Eli Manning, Ben Roethlisberger vs. Kurt Warner, and Drew Brees vs. Peyton Manning.

“Mistake-free” that McD.  Sure, Jay Cutler may have not been the right puzzle piece to the jigsaw here in Denver, and I trust McD’s evaluation of that scenario. However, the Broncos need to right the ship this offseason by bringing in someone with a powerful arm. It was apparent that last season the offensive coaching staff didn’t trust Kyle Orton’s arm enough to let him throw down field. Defenses stuffed the run, let Orton throw short, and quickly forced the Broncos into punting the ball. Orton wasn’t allowed to pass deep often enough to keep opposing defenses honest.

Josh McDaniels wanted a game manager, and that’s what he got in Orton. Orton kept the turnovers to a minimal level at the beginning of the season, but once teams figured out that his arm only goes for so many yards, they gave him those short passes. More than half of Orton’s passes went for 10 yards or less. When it was time for him to go long, he was out of practice, and I think he got the jitters. We need to complement guys like Brandon Marshall (if he’s back), Eddie Royal (nearly non-existent last year), and Jabar Gaffney.   

It was clear that the Broncos were either going to run the ball or go for the short pass because Orton rarely lined up in the shotgun. That’s one less element opposing defense have to worry about. It makes their job easy.

I don’t think drafting a QB is the right move here. Some of the eligible QBs up for grabs this off-season include:

Player Position Status Height Weight Experience 2008 Team 2009 Team
Batch, Charlie QB UFA 6-2 216 11th Season PIT PIT
Beck, John QB Released 6-2 216 2nd Season MIA BAL
Boller, Kyle QB UFA 6-3 220 6th Season BAL STL
Bollinger, Brooks QB UFA 6-1 205 6th Season DAL TBD
Bouman, Todd QB Released 6-2 226 10th Season BAL JAC
Collins, Kerry QB UFA 6-5 245 14th Season TEN TEN
Fitzpatrick, Ryan QB UFA 6-2 225 4th Season CIN BUF
Frerotte, Gus QB Released 6-3 233 15th Season MIN TBD
Frye, Charlie QB UFA 6-4 217 4th Season SEA OAK
Garcia, Jeff QB UFA 6-1 205 10th Season TB OAK
Gray, Quinn QB Released 6-3 254 5th Season KC TBD
Green, Trent QB Released 6-3 208 15th Season STL TBD
Grossman, Rex QB UFA 6-1 217 6th Season CHI TBD
Harrington, Joey QB UFA 6-4 210 7th Season NO NO
Henson, Drew QB Released 6-4 235 3rd Season DET TBD
Huard, Damon QB Released 6-3 218 12th Season KC SF
Johnson, Brad QB Released 6-5 235 17th Season DAL TBD
Leftwich, Byron QB UFA 6-5 250 6th Season PIT TB
Losman, J.P. QB UFA 6-2 212 5th Season BUF TBD
Martin, Jamie QB UFA 6-2 205 14th Season SF TBD
Nall, Craig QB UFA 6-3 245 7th Season HOU TBD
O’Sullivan, J.T. QB UFA 6-2 227 6th Season SF CIN
Orlovsky, Dan QB UFA 6-5 230 4th Season DET HOU
Ramsey, Patrick QB UFA 6-2 225 7th Season DEN TEN
Simms, Chris QB UFA 6-4 220 6th Season TEN DEN
St. Pierre, Brian QB UFA 6-3 230 6th Season ARI ARI
Tuiasosopo, Marques QB UFA 6-1 220 8th Season OAK TBD
Vick, Michael QB Released 6-0 215 7th Season ATL TBD
Warner, Kurt QB UFA 6-2 218 11th Season ARI ARI
Wright, Anthony QB UFA 6-1 211 10th Season NYG TBD


Some names that spark my interest are Byron Leftwich, but his susceptibility to injury worries me. Michael Vick is pure talent and watching a Vick-Marshall combo would be incredible, but he’s going to be asking for a lot of money and he’s not the same QB that left Atlanta. I don’t know if his ego would be able to co-exist with McD anyway. Jeff Garcia would’ve been an option about 5 years ago, and who knows how much he has left. JP Losman is a solid QB that has been looking for a stable home since he got the boot out of Buffalo. There’s always a possibility of the second coming of JP here in Denver, but that’s wishful thinking.

I know what you’re thinking - the guys I named above aren’t neccessarily big time QBs. I do think with the right surrounding cast, they could perform better in Denver than they have any where else in their careers.

 I really don’t have any solid answers right now, but I’m hoping the coaching staff will at least consider the possibility of ditching Orton. 

The QB position is a very sensitive subject here in Denver. After all, we haven’t had any stability at the position since Elway. That’s a long time to wait for another leader/playmaker to come along.

Sound off Broncomaniacs. Should the Broncos make a switch at QB?

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Tags: Ben Roethlisberger Brandon Marshall Byron Leftwich Denver Broncos Drew Brees Eddie Royal Eli Manning Jabar Gaffney Jay Cutler Jeff Garcia Josh Mcdaniels Jp Losman Kurt Warner Kyle Orton Michael Vick Peyton Manning Tom Brady

  • denverdave3

    You have the cart in front of the horse. The problem with the offense was not Orton. The problem with Orton was the offense. The offense could not get one yard on third and three or similar situations. That enabled safeties to back out of the box and take away middle and long passes. Therefore…short passes. Orton can throw 50 yarders. So can every second team quarterback on every division II school. I know I played for one. Orton was not the problem, the running game was.

  • DenverFan

    You’d honestly take those QBs over Orton?? Seriously? denverdave3 is right, the problem was our running attack or lack thereof.

  • Kim

    Yes, the running game needs some serious work also, but without a QB the defense can respect, teams can play the run and get those stops on 3rd and short. Chicken and egg situation here. All I’m saying is look at the type of QB who has been making it to the Super Bowl – Someone with a big/accurate arm who limits his mistakes. Orton is good at limiting those mistakes, but he doesn’t have the arm to accurately heave it down field.

  • broncorus

    Of course Orton isn’t the answer, but do you honestly believe we’re one of THOSE guys short of the playoffs? I don’t think we should be in it to win tomorrow. Stick with Orton and get a young QB in the draft. This roster is NOT a QB short of the playoffs. That’s saying that the second half of the season was Orton’s fault. Sorry, but that’s just not the case

  • Lynch

    I have to agree with broncorus we didn’t look all that great even when we were winning honestly I was pretty surprised when we did. Though I enjoyed it thoroughly when we were. There is more to this than just Orton. I don’t mean to bash I like the coach I just think that we have been drafting busts for so long that we need a couple of good drafts (like ’06 and ’08 to have a chance to compete in a couple of years (Just from a rough count since 2001 we’ve drafted 17 players who are worth anything and a couple are still unproven. Foxworth, Mike Bell and Portis are no longer with the team and Darrent Williams rest his soul is no longer with us. In the same time span the Chargers drafted pretty much every one of their starters and then some). I hope McDaniels is given some time to see what he can do in the draft. We need help on the lines really I mean Moreno may not have done everything you’d expect from a 12th overall pick, but the line didn’t really open up great holes for him. We really only won games with our defense and once that broke down we were done, though that stretch against the steelers and ravens was brutal we couldn’t move the ball to save our lives. A quarter back who can stretch the field would be nice, but it isn’t worth giving up a lot for him. If for some reason Clausen fell close to our pick I wouldn’t be super against trying to make a move for him though I would be more inclined to see if Bradford falls or just let Brandstater develop or pick up something in the later rounds from a small school. We need a draft gem badly.

  • Howard Smith

    I agree a QB with the arm to bring Denver a deep threat is needed. The running game, short passing game to include over the middle require a threat that pulls the safety back. When that threat is gone you find the safety up close and causing problems like we seen last season. The Broncos once had this formula and captured back to back championships. No matter the team, if a defense can ignore any portion of your offense due to lack of threat the rest will suffer. Maybe we can blame the coordinator, Orton may have the arm and just not allowed to show it.

  • Lynch

    Lots of people say it takes two years to learn a system so we have to at least give Orton a second chance I realize he started the season off great and then threw a bunch of picks in the last couple of games. I’m pretty sure he played hurt a lot of the season after the Redskins game which may or may not be an excuse. If McDaniel’s can change that line to be more to his liking instead of using the undersized guys from our old zone blocking scheme it could make the ground game more effective and also give him (Orton) time to dust off his arm and maybe wind one up and chuck it 15 yards. Sure he can probably throw it 50 yards, but I don’t want my quarterback chucking rainbows I will not argue if he has the arm strength to throw it that far, I question his velocity. Also I am fine with him as a quarterback and he is not our biggest concern I think unless we trade for one we wouldn’t be able to pick up anyone who would suit the system any better. He is just not the long term solution. We just need to focus on the building blocks of our offense and defense (lines) get bigger and nastier every other position I am generally happy with, another every down middle linebacker would be nice though.

  • Kurt

    Denver needs a QB BADLY. I understand the running game wasn’t as great as it has been in past yrs but Kyle Orton is at best, a second string quarterback. In response to what
    denverdave3 said about Kyle Orton being able to throw 50yds. That….is a bunch of B.S.! He can barely throw thirty yards. If Orton had any kind of throwing arm, he would’ve been able throw Denver out of many third and long situations but the fact is, He has no arm strength, Has absolutely NO mobility in the pocket to extend plays and He gets locked on to one receiver way too much. He’s a game managing quarterback but in order for denver to be an elite team offensively, Orton is not the answer. I’m not sure if the quarterbacks that are listed would improve Denver, but I know Kyle Orton is not the quarterback to get Denver over the hump.

  • Kim Constantinesco

    Yes, absolutely not the long term solution, but we may have to stick it out with him for another year. I think as soon as somebody becomes available, McD will jump on it.

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