Tim Tebow: Will the Highly-Touted Rookie Start for a 2-6 Denver Broncos Team?

Jeff Shull@Jeff_ShullAnalyst IOctober 25, 2010

DENVER - OCTOBER 17:  Quarterback Tim Tebow #15 of the Denver Broncos runs for a touchdown against the New York Jets at INVESCO Field at Mile High on October 17, 2010 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

Despite being scrutinized for his slow release and below average arm strength, as well as being labeled a bust by many before taking a snap in the NFL, Denver Broncos QB Tim Tebow broke several records for jersey sales, including most by a rookie draftee.

Scattered across Invesco Field at Mile High each and every week are No. 15 jerseys despite Tebow only accumulating stats in three of the Broncos seven games thus far, and not once attempting a pass.

Tebow surprised many by supplanting Brady Quinn as the team's No. 2 behind Kyle Orton after the Broncos gave up a draft pick and Peyton Hillis for the Browns struggling QB. He worked on his release all throughout the draft process and has obviously impressed the Broncos coaching staff thus far.

However, the question is, will the Broncos start Tim Tebow at all this season? Will a 2-6 record entering their bye in Week 9 cause some knee-jerk reaction by Josh McDaniels?

The Broncos travel to jolly old England next weekend to face a 49ers team who lost their starting QB to an injury against Carolina this weekend, so a win is certainly plausible. If the Broncos play like they did this past weekend they won't be beating anyone in any stadium.

The Broncos lost to the Oakland Raiders 59-14 in what can only be described as the most embarrassing loss in the franchise's history, both in the books and in their hearts. The 59 points were the most scored in the history of the Raiders, as well as the most points allowed at home in the history of the Broncos.

Not only that, the Broncos were supposed to have a high powered offense that would have their way with the Raiders, but two turnovers lead to 14 points in the first quarter in route to a 31-0 deficit after around 17 minutes of football.

Kyle Orton had his worst day of the season and has had two consecutive poor outings. Having said that, he has been one of the most consistent quarterbacks in the NFL thus far, amassing 2140 yards, 11 touchdowns to four interceptions, and a 92.1 QB rating.

Those numbers don't exactly scream out for a replacement.

However, the Broncos have drastically struggled inside the 30 yard line, and despite Orton averaging over 305 yards per game he has yet to throw more than two touchdowns in any one game.

This can be attributed to the sheer lack of running game. The Broncos moved the ball all over the field, but when the windows get tight and teams force Orton to beat them in the red zone, they can't make plays when it counts.

Even though they are getting 2009 first round pick Knowshon Moreno finally healthy, this may be where Tim Tebow could help out.

Ultimately Josh McDaniels is more than likely going to stick out the 2010 season with Orton because he has played pretty well so far this season, but he has to consider playing Tim Tebow way more than he does right now to open up the running game.

The easiest way to compare the Broncos situation is to start playing him the way the Jets play Brad Smith with their Wildcat offense.

The Broncos have used the Wildcat sparingly, but not enough to make teams stack guys in the box to stop it.

The Broncos don't have that great of an offensive line—they start three rookies—so they can't just line it up and play smash mouth. The Wildcat is predicated on misdirection and forces defenses to have great fundamentals to stop it, similar to the option offense in college, both of which are used to mask less than stellar offensive lineman.

Rookie linemen Stanley Daniels, J.D. Walton, and Zane Beadles all played for Washington, Baylor, and Utah, respectively; all three schools featured offenses with mobile quarterbacks last season and used the zone read running scheme.

The zone read run offense is seldom used in the NFL, but some teams have implemented it with better, faster QBs. Jeff Fisher uses it with Vince Young, and the Jets and Dolphins use their version of it with the Wildcat offense.

If the Broncos go and lose to the 1-6 49ers next weekend and head in to their bye week at 2-6, the fans may start looking to the future and want McDaniels to put in the former Gator standout.

If he sticks to his guns and goes with Orton for the remainder of the season, he at least should consider getting Tebow on the field more often. He is a first round pick that should have more than eight touches on the season.