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Clayton: Denver mum on backup QB?

8/17/2011

ESPN’s John Clayton has an interesting note in his look at the Denver Broncos.

TebowTebowClayton reports that he doesn’t expect the Broncos to publicly designate a backup to Kyle Orton. Clayton wrote that Brady Quinn will probably be the backup to Orton, but the team will simply go into games with Orton as the starter and Quinn and second-year quarterback Tim Tebow will be the reserves without labels of second or third string attached to either player.

The two have been back-and-forth in the battle for the backup job. Tebow did relieve Orton last week in the preseason opener at Dallas. Both Tebow and Quinn played well in that game.

Here is some of Clayton’s reasoning: Because of the new 46-man active roster rules on game day, coaches don't have to designate a third quarterback, so there will be no formal announcement of who is backing up Orton. Why? Because it probably will be Quinn, who has outperformed Tebow in training camp. Fans might be outraged because they believe in Tebow. But Tebow, in his second season, still hasn't developed a consistent way of delivering the football.

I get that teams don’t have to say who the backup is, but people will figure it out. If Orton gets dinged in the regular season, either Quinn or Tebow will start warming up. The mystery will be solved pretty quickly. If the Broncos privately make Quinn the backup, but don’t publicly announce it, that would be awkward.

If the team feels Quinn is better than Tebow, then the team should say it. I know TebowMania is big, but it’s not bigger than the team.

Meanwhile, there is always a differing opinion when it comes to Tebow. See: In an Insider piece, Chris Sprow breaks down why he thinks Tebow will be a successful quarterback. Sprow compares Tebow’s early career to that of Pro Football Hall of Famer Steve Young.