There has been a lot of speculation in Denver about the First Round Drafting of Tim Tebow and when he will get his first start. I have contended that it would be week following the Bye, at mid-season. It got me thinking about the history of Broncos high Draft Pick QBs and when and under what circumstances they started under, and even how they did. Upon further examination, Broncos first round Quarterbacks have been pressed into service sooner rather than later.
First round Quarterbacks taken by Denver include John Elway, Jay Cutler, and Most Recently Tim Tebow. Tommy Maddaox was also taken 25th overall by the Broncos but was cursed to be stuck behind Elway for his whole stint in Denver and won't be examined or compared in this piece. To Tommy's credit he did shine in Pittsburg when finally out from under Elway's shadow, only to be surpassed by the rookie Ben Rothlesberger when Maddox was injured. tommy also had some time with the Philipelphia Soul of the AFL.
John Elway was taken first over all By the Baltimore Colts and Coach Frank Cush. Frank Cush had a harsh abrasive coaching style and both John and his father Jack thought Baltimore was not the place for John to excel. As is well documented in Broncos legend Elway used his prowess for Baseball and a Yankees contract to force a trade from the Colts to the Denver Broncos.
Already holding down the Broncos starting Quarterback spot was Steve DeBerg, a journeyman QB who played solid but never great though out a nearly 20 year career but had the misfortune of being pushed out by first Montana in San Francisco, and then the drafting of Elway.
Ironically, Deberg was still in the league and back up QB for the Atlanta Falcons during John's second Super Bowl win and final game
* I find similarity between DeBerg and Orton. Pedestrian ability but still found a way to make rosters and even start.
John Elway made his Starting Pro debuted week 1 against the Pittsburg Steelers. Elway was sacked 3 times all by the great Jack Lambert. Nice “Welcome to the NFL Rookie” don’t you think? John’s rookie year, he split starts and playing time with Steve DeBerg. He played in 11 games and completed 123 of 259 passes (47.5%) 1,663 yards, 7 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. Elway also rushed 28 times for 146 yards 1 touchdown and a 5.2 yard average - very respectable even for a running back. Despite Elway’s very shaky start he definitely turned out OK right?
John Elway: Starter Week 1. Off and On the rest of his rookie season!
December 10th, 2006, the 11th pick overall pick the 2006 Draft Jay Cutler became theStarting Quarterback. Denver was 7-4 behind Jake Plummer who the year before had been an AFC Pro Bowl selection and lead the Broncos to the AFC Championship, only to lose based on what many people kindly refer to as “lackluster play”. Rumors of Jake’s drinking issues and that it contributed to his AFC Title Game performance many have lead to a QB being taken so high in the draft.
With Denver still very much in the playoff hunt it seemed a very risky time to insert a Rookie QB no matter how gifted. In five games played on the season, Cutler finished with a record of 2–3, and went 81-of-137 for 1,001 yards, 9 touchdowns and 5 interceptions, earning a passer rating of 88.5 in the process. He posted the second-highest TD percentage (6.6) and third-highest TD-to-INT ratio (1.8) among NFL rookies since 1970 with at least 125 passing attempts.
* Mike Shanahan said that Cutler allowed him the luxury of calling the WHOLE playbook for the first time since John elway and Cutler's rookie and 2nd and 3rd years saw him eclipse John Elway's numbers including twice the touchdown passes and half the interceptions despite his wreckless reputation.
Jay Cutler: Starter Week 12 - rookie season
The 2010 offseason began with Kyle Orton coming off his best season ever and supremely confident in his own ability to play in McDaniels offensive scheme although McDaniels himself said Orton only had the ability to run half the playbook and defenses from week 7 on exploited his deficiencies on every down. Defenses stacked the box and jumped short routes and never respected the dee ball threat, causing most to speculate if Orton could be the "Man" in Denver.
Josh McDaniels subsiquently traded for Brady Quinn also a former first round Draft pick QB who played in a system very similar to the Broncos and had great athleticism and work ethic, things that Orton lacked. Interesting side note. Quinn was a player that McDaniels had coveted when Cutler Trade options were in the works and it was speculated that a three way trade might be in the works with Quinn coming to Denver. Brady Quinn brings to town his own fiendish work ethic and 'Poster Boy Image', along with the athletic prowess mobility and toughness this system requires.
If that wasn’t enough, number 25 of the first round was used by McDaniels to take Tim Tebow, Possible the most heralded quarterback to ever play the college game. I could listed his unprecidented achievements but that would only be countered by the Haters and doubters listing all his “flaws”, but McDaniels felt that Tebow brings a proven winning work ethic and attitude to augment a plethera of physical and mental skills.
This 1st round pick has been scrutinized and disected more than any other
Denver player including Elway. He as also created more firver both in Mile High and around the country than any player anywhere since John. With Tebow commanding so much attention around the league and from fans, pressure is on to get him on the field sooner than later. When your 1st round
QB has outsold every other player in the league in jerseys and NFL gear, and has several multi million dollar endorsement deals, and as much talent and ability as Mr Tebow has, it will be hard to keep him on the bench. As Bronco history shows, if it follows previous patterns Tim Tebow won’t have long to wait.
Tim Tebow: Start Week ?
Based on how Tebow has looked in practice, and the pattern of getting Broncos Rookie Quarterbacks in early I predict Tim Tebow will start Game 9 (Week 10) after the bye week.