Vocal in passion, fans of the Denver Broncos have sounded with upheaval against the decision to bench quarterback Tim Tebow. Echoing throughout Denver on Monday night, chants of “TEBOW” resounded those of a franchise in conflict with its fans.
The position battle is no longer healthy.
Unwilling to trade starting quarterback Kyle Orton during the off season, Orton has played the entire preseason and week one repeatedly booed by fans.
Entrusted with the starting duties by new head coach John Fox, Orton has proven himself a more reliable option than Tebow who looked shaky and inconsistent throughout training camp.
Scintillating throughout his college career, Heisman trophy winner Tebow has quickly built up an enormous following as one of the most exciting quarterbacks in the league. With the best college statistics in history, it is not surprising that Denver fans believe he is the man to take the franchise forward.
Here we have a situation where a franchise is at war with its fans. Rarely are coaches influenced by the reactions of fans but in this case, the team will struggle if Orton’s confidence is affected by the vocal outpour for Tebow.
Shaking off any suggestions that fans contributed to his poor performance on Monday night, Orton stated, “I just look at it like I don’t care. (Coach Fox’s) opinion and my teammates’ opinions will always be the ones that matter.”
Sticking by his starting quarterback, Fox who has been coaching in the NFL since 1989, has no intention of benching Orton who he repeatedly reminds fans and the media is the better quarterback.
Patience is wanning amongst fans who were convinced Tebow would be starting after three impressive performances in the final games last year, of which he was named starter.
With the NFL trade window open up to week six, these two quarterbacks cannot function on the same team if Orton continues to take ego hits from the alleged Denver fans. These same fans have recently looked to purchase two billboards in downtown Denver urging Fox to promote Tebow.
A free agent at the end of the year, Orton holds currency on the market but Fox has continued to deflect any speculation of trading him. Multiple teams inquired throughout the offseason.
Completing 41 of 82 passes for five touchdowns and three interceptions, Tebow performed well in his rookie year but Fox’s refusal to trade Orton illustrates the lack of confidence he has in Tebow. The second quarterback on the official Denver depth chart remains “Braidy Quinn or Tim Tebow” leading many to assume Quinn has overtaken Tebow.
Selected in the first round under previous coach Josh McDaniels with the 25th overall selection, Tebow does not hold the same currency as his drafted position suggests.
Fans booing their players is never a nice site in sport nor are cheers for their failure but the antics of Denver fans is contributing to a volatile environment and subsequently team failure.
Five weeks remain for a trade to be done but Fox’s stance on Orton suggests Tebow is more likely to be traded.