Kyle Orton Named Denver Broncos Starting QB: Smart Choice?

Mihir Bhagat@mihirbhagatSenior Analyst IIIMarch 23, 2010

Broncos head coach, Josh McDaniels, firmly reported at today’s NFL annual meeting that Kyle Orton will continue to be their starting QB heading into the upcoming 2010-2011 season. 

Just last week, the team traded  Peyton Hillis, a  sixth round 2011 draft pick, and a conditional 2012 draft pick to the Cleveland Browns for former first round QB, Brady Quinn

Immediately after the trade, many began to speculate over the strong possibility that there was going to be a new field general in charge in the Mile High City.

When asked whether Orton would be starting under center next season, McDaniels ultimately shut down any rumors circulating around the topic by releasing this statement: “Yep. No question. He’s earned it.”

Orton started all but one game for the franchise last season, leading them to an 8-8 (.500) record. He posted impressive statistics, highlighted by 3,800 yards passing on 62.1 percent completion. He also threw 21 TDs, only 12 INT, and managed to accumulate an 86.8 passer rating. Based on statistics, alone, he’s definitely among the top half of QB’s in the league.

That said, in my mind, McDaniels made a wise move by making Orton the starting QB.

Kyle Orton proved that he is capable of leading this team on the road of success. He stepped up in big-time situations, and there is no reason for them to make a switch.

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Brady Quinn, on the other hand, hasn’t demonstrated promising glimpses of his potential. In Cleveland, he never truly established himself as the starting QB, and when given opportunities, he failed to come through by recording a dismal 66.8 passer rating. Overall, Quinn was unable to make significant strides, which is why he was traded, and which is why he needs to sit on the sidelines and develop.

In addition, for a team with controversial issues and glaring weaknesses, iit’s crucial that the player playing the most important position has the coach’s full support and confidence.

For the remainder of the offseason, the whole organization can rest assured that they are safe and solid at QB, and Orton can simply focus on improving and preparing for the season.

Moreover, it’s been repeatedly proven that continuity is a critical ingredient for success. Orton learned the system, playbook, and teammates’ tendencies, and this will help him going into year two.

Changing quarterbacks is never a positive for a team, as it shows not only its players, but its fans that they are not happy with their current situation, and are in a rebuilding process. For a team headed in the right direction, handing the reins to Quinn, would have been a major step backwards.

With this move, everyone should be happy. It may even give the disgruntled Brandon Marshall a reason to cool down. 

Even though I’m not a Broncos fan, I’m glad that the organization made the smart choice, and I wish them, and Orton, the best of luck moving forward.