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Denver Broncos name Tim Tebow as starting QB

6:11 PM, Oct 11, 2011   |    comments
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TAILGATING PHOTOS: BRONCOS VS. CHARGERS

INTERACTIVE: Denver Broncos QB Tim Tebow

Coach John Fox said he'll start Tebow against the Miami Dolphins when the Broncos return from their bye week.

Tebow supplants Kyle Orton, who has struggled ever since winning the job with a spectacular training camp.

"Well, I think 1-4 has a lot to do with it," Fox said. "We haven't gotten it done as a football team. It's not one guy. It's not all Kyle Orton's fault. But we do have to make adjustments, we have to change and we have to do something to win football games."

Tebow said he was "honored to get this opportunity. I'm very excited. ... I just know that every day I'm going to come out here and practice every day I can."

Orton said he was disappointed but vowed to support Tebow and the rest of his teammates.

"I'm disappointed with everything," Orton said. "I wish I could have played better. I wish we had a better record. There's a lot of things, but reality is what it is."

Orton, who's in the final year of his contract, is 6-21 since winning his first six games as Denver's starter.

Orton continued a puzzling slide Sunday when he went 6 for 13 against the Chargers and threw his seventh interception, tied with Michael Vick and Philip Rivers for most in the league.

He also has two fumbles, including a costly one against Oakland in the opener when he lost the ball without being hit while winding up to throw to a wide-open tight end for the go-ahead score late in the fourth quarter of a 23-20 loss.

Tebow replaced Orton at halftime on Sunday and energized the Broncos and their fans before coming up short in a 29-24 loss to the San Diego Chargers.

Despite his flawed footwork and trouble handling the snaps from center J.D. Walton, Tebow threw for a touchdown and ran for another in nearly erasing a 16-point fourth-quarter deficit. After his throw into the end zone as time expired fell incomplete, a thunderous roar of "Tebow! Tebow! Tebow!" rocked the stadium.

Tebow ran for a touchdown and threw for another while energizing the Broncos and fans frustrated by a franchise mired in mediocrity since its last winning season in 2005.

The Dolphins and Broncos talked about a trade for Orton, who is making $9 million this year, in the summer but those discussions broke down, supposedly over Orton's desire for a long-term contract. While fans in Denver were chanting for Tebow, fans in Florida were grumbling for Orton.

When talks fizzled, the Broncos threw their quarterback job up for grabs and Orton outperformed Tebow and Brady Quinn from the very start.

Orton had worked extensively with teammates in workouts organized by safety Brian Dawkins during the lockout. So had Tebow, but he also spent time pitching products and his autobiography across the country.

Orton's and Brady Quinn's offseason workout program paid off when training camp rolled around.

Orton maintained his stranglehold on the starting job and Quinn appeared to win the backup job despite a poor performance in the final preseason game, but Fox said this week that wasn't really the case: Tebow was his No. 2.

This despite Tebow showing almost no progress in becoming the pocket passer that Broncos football chief John Elway has said he must become to make it in this league.

Orton hasn't carried over his spectacular summer into the season, however, turning the ball over nine times as the Broncos started out 1-4.

Fox decided late in the first half to make the switch after Orton passed for just 34 yards

Tebow completed just 4 of 10 passes for 79 yards and a score and he ran six times for 38 yards and a TD.

Before Sunday's second half, Tebow had only played a handful of snaps, lining up three times as a wide receiver decoy and taking two snaps from under center and gaining 1 yard on two carries.

With Orton playing so poorly, Fox decided late in the first half to make the change and offensive coordinator Mike McCoy told his quarterbacks of the switch as they headed up the tunnel at halftime trailing 23-10.

It was 26-10 before Tebow shook off the rust and led Denver on two touchdown drives, energizing the Broncos and a fan base that's tired of their team being mired in mediocrity since 2006.

Tebow will start his first game against the Miami Dolphins on Oct. 23.

Coincidently, Tebow will start in Miami on the inaugural "Gator Day" at Sun Life Stadium, which is celebrating his alma mater, the University of Florida Gators.

As a Gator, Tebow won a Heisman Trophy his sophomore year in 2007 and had a 13-1 season his senior year in 2009. In 2008, he helped the Gators defeat the Oklahoma Sooners in the BCS Championship Game, 24-14.

Tebow was selected by the Denver Broncos as the 25th overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft.

(KUSA-TV © 2011 Multimedia Holdings Corporation with The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved)

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