It was Kyle Orton, not Tim Tebow, who took first-team snaps during the Denver Broncos’ first official practice of 2011 training camp this morning, and based on practice performance alone, he deserves to take future snaps with the starting squad. But regardless of the first practice outcome, the Broncos coaches should let the “Mile High Messiah” in Tim Tebow take the reins.
Orton, who has been in the center of trade talks between the Broncos and Miami Dolphins, was very skillful in reading and throwing to open receivers during the first practice at Dove Valley, and was noticeably smoother and more accurate than Tebow. His performance may have some fans second guessing whether or not the team should deal him to the Dolphins or any other team.
A trade may go down before I’m finished writing this article and it becomes a moot point, but it is the opinion of this Broncos fan that the coaches should name Tebow the starter and let him become the face of the team, as if he isn’t already. The Broncos franchise paid well for the 2010 first round pick, and a talent like his shouldn’t be used only in QB runs in goal line formations. He showed late in 2010 that though he is still rough around the edges, he can lead the team on and off the field. Tebow helped rally the team from a 0-17 deficit at halftime to defeat the Houston Texans 24-23 in Week 16 of 2010, showing skill on the field and leadership on the sidelines. And his well known work ethic is second to none, as he showed Tuesday morning at 8:01 a.m. by being the first player to enter the Broncos’ facility after the long awaited NFL lockout ended. Knowing his level of dedication, he probably slept on the front steps the night before.
His leadership and work ethic is legendary, but the main question is can he be a starting quarterback in the league. Though we got a taste of that last year with somewhat mixed results, he has to be given the chance to show what he can do to prove the critics right or wrong each and every week of the season. What he can really do at the sports highest level won’t be found out with him holding a clipboard. Growing pains will be a guarantee, but the team needs to know what he consists of so they know where to go in the future. If Tebow is a star like everyone hopes he will be and is the second coming of John Elway, than great. But what if he is a bust? Unlikely, but it is possible. And if he is and the Broncos have a disastrous season, than it may be an easier decision to go after Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck in next years draft.
Either way, Tebow needs to be on the field to prove one side or the other as correct. It seems doubtful at this point that Orton will be in Denver come Week 1, but if he is, he should be on the sidelines mentoring the new starting quarterback for the Broncos.
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