One of the questions on the minds of Broncos fans is whether Tim Tebow earned the backup quarterback spot behind Kyle Orton.
Well, the preseason is almost over and the position battles are winding down around the NFL. So even coaches who like to play it close to the vest like Josh McDaniels will have to let the folks know what his decision is.
To most people it seems like an easy decision, but just in case coach McDaniels is still on the fence we are here to help him out.
When you are dealing with a young quarterback in a new system you want to see progress. As the OTA's turned into two-a-days turned into live action games, Tebow has steadily gotten better.
Even though there has been unrelenting media attention from everything from him being named "most eligible bachelor" around town to him being a front page story for the haircut he received from players on the team as a rookie ritual.
Yes, Brady Quinn played better in this past game against Minnesota.
But he had nowhere to go but up, really.
He hasn't shown enough consistency.
Since college, and actually since being a highly recruited high school student, Tebow has been known for his mobility. Just like Michael Vick and Vince Young before him, critics used that as a reason not to consider him a potential starting quarterback in the league.
Everyone always seems to forget that Steve Young and Randall Cunningham were pretty good back in the day as "running" quarterbacks. Tebow's mobility can actually be accounted for this preseason, considering that Quinn has taken six sacks to Tebow's one.
Recently in a Milehighreport.com (unscientific) poll, the blogger asked the folks in Denver a question:
"If Kyle Orton went down for 4 games, who would give the Broncos the best chance to go at least 2-2 during that stretch?"
At the time he received over over 1200 responses, and the results were heavily in favor of Tebow: 76 percent said they would want the Florida rookie. I'm sure a nationwide poll might even skew more towards Tebow.
The people have spoken.
Okay, that's not being honest, but several sites have reported that Quinn has stated that the backup job to Kyle Orton "isn't my focus right now". Meaning, I suppose, that he is more focused on learning the system and becoming the best quarterback that he can be.
All that is very admirable, but people want competitors vying for jobs and Tebow has competed well this preseason.
You have seen the intensity that the young man brings to games, even from college and his pledges to win.
Well he has proven that he will help the team win, any way that he can. He even made a pretty good tackle after a teammate's fumble. You know he will leave it all out there.
Even if he weren't the back up, Tebow will play in special packages. Which means he needs to get acclimated to playing and not carrying a clipboard.
Sounds simple, but it's true.
The best example of his will to succeed comes from this last preseason game.
Tebow fumbled the snap on his first play of the game, and the fumble was returned for a touchdown. Then he threw an interception that led to a field goal for the Vikings in the very next series.
How did he respond?
By completing 12 of 13 passes at one point, including a 39-yard touchdown pass, and converting a third down by scrambling for 14-yards.
Before the preseason started conventional thinking was that Quinn had NFL experience and would pick up the system faster which is why he would be the backup. That is not necessarily the case.
This is what McDaniels said before the last game:
"It's a competitive situation," he said. "Both players have done some good things. Both players have turned the ball over. I think both players have plenty of room to improve. From that standpoint, I think this game will probably help us determine kind of where we see everything."
Going off of this game and the whole preseason, it seems that McDaniels' mind should be pretty much made up.
If an unfortunate circumstance happened and Orton did go down with an injury, throughout the preseason Broncos veterans have come out and said how much they like Tebow's work ethic and humility.
That would go a long way if he had to take over the huddle.
Not saying that they wouldn't trust Quinn, but over in Arizona the biggest complaint against Matt Leinart has been that the team doesn't see him as a leader. That would not be the case with Tebow.
The knock that has followed Quinn around since his days at Notre Dame through his time in Cleveland has been that he puts up decent stats, but where are the big wins?
Does anyone think Quinn would win if he had to start? Not sure.
Tebow has won at every level and people expect the same in the pros.