Written by: John Maroon– President Maroon PR
All season fans in Denver have been screaming for Tim Tebow to be the team’s starting quarterback over incumbent Kyle Orton. Up to now head coach John Fox has resisted the pressure from the fans and has stood by Orton. On Sunday Tebow replaced Orton during the game and nearly rallied them to victory but they fell short and their record now stands at 1-4.
Today Fox named Tebow the starter for the Broncos next game against Miami following a bye week this weekend. Coincidentally, or maybe not, next Sunday the Dolphins were planning a tribute of the University of Florida’s 2009 National Championship team that was led by Tebow so in many ways this will be a “home” game for Tim.
First and foremost let me say that none of this is a result of Tebow rallying the fans behind him. He has handled this as professionally as possible. He is a very likeable figure. A deeply religious and modest man and that resonates with the public in this age of brash and cocky behavior.
Now Orton has not played well and the team is standing at 1-4 so if you are going to make a change now is the time, but how much of this decision is football and how much is it fan pressure.
Tebow brings a spark to the team that traded up for him to take him in the first round but the consensus seems to be that he is short on skills and big on heart and that doesn’t play over the long haul in the NFL.
What if Tebow goes back to being, well, Tebow? It will be almost impossible to go back to Orton or, for that matter, even keep him on the team as the back-up. Former Notre Dame star Brady Quinn is the Broncos third quarterback.
I’m not suggesting that John Elway, John Fox and the Broncos organization had much of a choice (expect for the oddly unsigned David Garrard) but the perception is that the fans got their way and called this shot. In a nice but firm way the Broncos need to make it clear that this wasn’t about pressure from their customers but rather a thoughtful and easy to make football decision that is not etched in stone.
Fan bases need to be valued and there are so many ways to do that (see Baltimore Ravens) but listening to your fan base when making decisions about on field personnel and moves is dangerous…real or perceived.