When there is a new player or new coach on a particular team, there seems to be an air of excitement that is nigh inexplicable. Some fans start foaming at the mouth with breathless anticipation, others remain cautiously optimistic, others express a rational caution and others—well, others start abandoning the ship as if it were the Titanic.
For a while in Denver, all signs pointed toward a a new air front coming to town, and all of the Bronco fans filed neatly into their respective categories (including myself—I'm in the rational caution camp, or at least I think I am), but the change, the new front, the new air has yet to arrive.
This has left some fans feeling confused, others elated and others still jumping ship like it's going out of style. I myself felt some mixed emotions about the trade that refuses to happen and its branching consequences.
I do not consider myself a "Tebow hater," nor do I consider myself a "Tebowmaniac." I consider myself a man who, while excited about the prospect of the new and all that it brings, loves and appreciates the comfort of the known and the expected. I love trying new things, but there is a reason why in times of woe we want comfort.
This is the dilemma I find myself facing when I think about the starting prospects for the Denver Bronco—not that my opinion will have an impact on the decision that is to be made in Dove Valley, but as fans we all like to think that they do, don't we?
After the trade talks fell through between Miami and Denver for the service of one quarterback named Kyle Orton, and the seemingly delayed beginning of the Tebow era that it has produced, one can't help it but wonder who is the right man for the job.
After all, the fact Orton is taking all the first-team snaps means something, or it could all be just a front deployed by the Broncos front office. I happen to think that it does mean something and that it means that while the Broncos are more than willing to see what Tebow has to offer, they are not desperate to do so.
Which, in my way of thinking, means that Tebow is not ready.
We all know what he brings to the table—toughness, determination, a winning and never-say-never attitude, leadership the likes of which we have not seen around this parts since the time of No. 7, explosiveness and, of course, a different dimension to the quarterback position.
However, he also brings a not-so-stellar arm, bad mechanics, bad footwork, inaccuracy as proved by his barely 50 percent completion percentage and, of course, the fact that he only has three games of starting experience.
Now, some things can be explained by his age and his short amount of time in the NFL—things like his accuracy—but not all.
This coupled with the fact that the fans in Miami have been screaming at the top of their lungs for Orton have made me question a few things. While us Broncos fans seem eager to throw away Orton in favor of Tebow, the Dolphins fans seem eager to welcome him with open arms. Some of us want Orton out because he does not provide enough excitement, doesn't want to take risks (presumably) and is, for lack of a better word, boring.
Meanwhile in Miami, they seem to want those things—they want boring, they want careful quarterback play. So, why are we so quick to dismiss it? Better yet, why do they seem to want that if it's so bad?
Well, it seems that the Dolphin fans may have an insight some of us Bronco fans lack. You see, they have been dealing with a young, mistake-prone, indecisive, jittery quarterback in Chad Henne and it has not worked out for the better.
I am by no means comparing Henne to Tebow. They are two completely different types of quarterbacks, but they both have some similarities. It seems everything Tebow lacks Henne has and vice versa. Henne seems to lack toughness, leadership, mobility and passion, while Tebow lacks good mechanics, footwork and arm strength—and they both lack accuracy.
However, there is one quarterback in this equation that holds most of the attributes, and he is also the one that holds the key to the whole thing. It;s no secret that we here in Broncos Country under-appreciate Kyle Orton, and some might say we dislike him. This might be true considering the circumstances of his arrival in Denver.
We traded away a young, promising, rising star of a quarterback for one that was not even the real starter in his team—first strike. He did not bring much fanfare, and he did not bring in an equal amount of talent as the quarterback that left—second strike. Then we draft perhaps the most prolific, polarizing college quarterback of all time—third strike.
When taking all of this into consideration, one might be able to see why we might dislike him, but that does not tell the whole story.
Orton has done nothing since arriving in Denver but be a true professional. He has dealt with everything he inherited in the most professional manner possible. He is a true competitor, he is classy and he is consistent, all of which we want in our starting quarterback. He is experienced, he has proven he can win in this league and yet we are quick to dismiss him.
It is true Orton seems to be lacking in the "it" department, and he does not have a flair for the dramatic, but when you are a rebuilding team like the Broncos surely are, he is exactly what the coaches would want in their quarterback.
So, shouldn't we as well?
There is no denying what Tebow is offering; however, there is also no denying what he is not offering. Tebow is an enigmatic athlete, a person that brings tons to the table but he also has his faults. And in terms of the position he wants to play in the NFL, they are substantial faults.
I don't believe Tebow is ready to start at the NFL level—at least not quite yet—but I would very much like to see what he has, and I am willing to risk a season to see it. That is why I am in favor of trading Orton. It will give us what we want—Tebow time—and it will give a heck of a quarterback a chance to be the long-term answer elsewhere.
Orton deserves at least that much, and while I remain cautious about Tebow—some might say skeptical—I am curious to see what he has. However, if things should fall through, and Orton remains on our team as our starter, I would not consider it a bad thing. We should learn to appreciate Orton for what he does bring to the table, not spurn him for what he seemingly lacks.
Remember, one man's garbage is another man's treasure.