One of the many questions that surround the Denver Broncos going into the off-season is which of the two quarterbacks that took snaps for the team during the 2010 season will be given the starting job once the new season begins. Will it be six year veteran and two year starter for the Broncos, Kyle Orton, or rookie sensation and fan favorite, Tim Tebow?
At least for the moment, that question has an answer. During pre-Super Bowl events in Dallas, former quarterback and current Executive V.P. of Football Operations for the Denver Broncos, John Elway, was asked by Rich Eisen on NFL Network’s NFL Total Access about the team’s controversial quarterback situation.
“If we had to play today,” Elway replied. “Kyle Orton would be our starting quarterback.”
Period. End of story, right? Hardly. Elway did his best impression of a Washington politician by answering the question without really answering anything. Although Eisen asked about the situation and its progress moving forward, Elway wanted to stay in the present by using the keyword “today”. In his defense, Elway does have reasons for being hesitant about giving any direct answers.
One reason Elway isn‘t revealing the status to anyone is because he doesn‘t fully know it himself. Along with his indecisiveness about Orton being the starter beyond the present-day, Elway is also wavering about the possibilities of him being traded. Orton has stated that should he stay in Denver, he expects to be the starter next year. As of now he is, but there has been much talk about Orton’s possible trade value should the Broncos decide to deal him. With many positions requiring immediate attention and the team in need of valuable draft picks, if another team dangles a second or third round draft carrot in front of a hungry horse, it’s possible the Broncos will bite.
Another reason for Elway being coy about speaking too much is the fact that his reputation is at risk. In the Mile High City, Elway is King, and there isn’t much that he could do that would knock him off his throne. One thing that might however, would be if he mishandles this situation in regards to Tim Tebow. He got a taste of what would happen if he did so in January when Sports Illustrated writer Peter King reported that he had interviewed Elway and implied that should former Broncos head coach Josh McDaniels get a new coaching job with a quarterback needy team, Elway might consider trading Tebow to McDaniels’ new team. After the fan backlash began, Elway quickly jumped onto Twitter and clarified that Tebow would not be shopped. After that incident, Elway now knows that he has to handle everything related to Tebow with kid gloves.
John Elway says that Kyle Orton is the starting quarterback for the Denver Broncos, but many pieces of the puzzle have to fall into place before next season. As of now, nothing is set in Rocky Mountain stone.
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