Denver Broncos

Willie Tuitama: Why Coach Josh McDaniels Needs To Give This Kid a Shot

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 13:  Quarterback Willie Tuitama #7 of the Arizona Wildcats throws against the USC Trojans during the first half of their Pac-10 Conference Game at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum October 13, 2007 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)
KyleCorrespondent IApril 27, 2009

Willie Tuitama against Kyle Orton, what's going in Tuitama's favor?  

Tuitama, a senior out of the University of Arizona, has never taken an NFL snap. However, Tuitama, who is five years younger than Orton, has the potential to be a decent starter in the NFL, and great value for being an unsigned, undrafted free agent.

Tuitama stayed all four years at Arizona, and passed for over 1,000 yards in each of his four seasons. The Stockton, California native has thrown for 51 touchdowns in his last two years, compared to just 20 interceptions. He also threw for over 3000 yards in the PAC-10 twice, Tuitama seems to have a great arm and great pocket poise.

Tuitama, who was fifth in passing efficiency while trailing after halftime with a 132.5 rating, Tuitama trailed only Graham Harrell, Chase Daniels, Andre Woodson, and some guy named Matthew Stafford. He remains calm under pressure, and performs in the clutch better than he does when he has a lead.

While being a starter in his freshman year at Arizona, Tuitama posted a passer efficiency rating of 137. 

In Arizona's first game this season against Idaho, Tuitama was 17 for 21, 179 yards, three touchdowns, and no interceptions. Against the USC Trojan tough defense however, Tuitama was just 14 for 30, 88 yards, and an interception. Inconsistent at times, but he showed what he's capable of doing against the Vandals.

Tuitama, who has a nice frame at six-foot-three, and weighing about 220 pounds, has great inside accuracy. He isn't the fastest quarterback available (4.78 40 yard dash time), and can sometimes be inaccurate and have mistimed throws.

Even though the Broncos drafted Tom Brandstater out of Fresno State, I believe the Broncos should at least give Tuitama a spot on the roster, since thus far they haven't even signed an undrafted free agent at the quarterback position yet.

Overall, throwing for 9,216 yards and 67 touchdowns for his career at Arizona isn't bad, and I really think the Broncos should take a chance on him. Though he may take some time to work out his flaws in his mechanics, I would much rather give him a chance than have Orton the outright starter, with no decent backup behind him when he throws 20 interceptions by December.

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