It certainly has been a whirlwind camp for the group of Denver Broncos quarterbacks. It began with reports that Kyle Orton was on the trade block and potentially heading to Miami. That deal never came to fruition and another battle with Tim Tebow ensued. Even that was pretty short-lived as, by all accounts, Orton has vastly outplayed the former Heisman winner from Florida.
That hasn’t stopped all the debate and rage between media and fans over who should be the starter in Denver. Having had multiple teams in multiple years bring in first-round quarterbacks is probably getting old for Orton, who says he’s been there to answer any questions Tebow has asked during camp, but that everyone else should butt out when it comes to dissecting how they interact.
Kyle Orton joined 104.3 The Fan in Denver with The Drive to discuss training camp to this point, his NFL progression, his mentality entering the NFL off of an injury, being labeled a game manager, expectations for this season, his mentoring of Tebow and teams not showing faith in him by drafting quarterbacks early.
What has training camp been like thus far?:
“It’s been good. Going into basically my third year in the system and that always feels great. It gives you a chance to focus on your own game and you don’t have to do a ton of learning. It’s just refining your play and demanding that of all the other players as well. … I think we’ve played some pretty good football to begin with and have a chance to be a really good offense.”
When did things really starting clicking for you that you just knew things were right?:
“I think there’s a difference between just going out and throwing the ball. I could throw a ball when I was six. But to be able to go out and process all the information you need to process and do it in under a second so you can get the ball there on time with the right pace and the right trajectory, I’m still working on it. It definitely took me into my fourth or fifth year to really understand how fast the ball has to come out. When I came out, I was a fastball thrower … and quickly realized that wasn’t the way to go.”
Do you ever think back to your senior season and how an injury seemed to derail a Heisman chance and the opportunity to be a first-round pick?:
“I think it ended up working out for me because I got to play my rookie year. I played 15 games my rookie year. And I think I got pigeon-holed a little bit just what they thought I was as a player. … We had such a good team in Chicago where it was hand the ball off and if we threw the ball 20 times in a game, 12 of them were probably on third down. … To get on the field early is bigger because of your practice. It allows you to know how far you’ve got to go in your game.”
On being labeled a game manager:
“I don’t think they watched our game last year. I try not to throw a lot of picks, I try not to turn the ball over, I try not to throw the ball into double- and triple-coverage. But last year we had more 40-plus games and we were a top-five team in 40-plus games in the passing. I think our play-action pass game, going down the field, is as good as anybody’s.”
What are you expecting out of this season?:
“Our defense is going to be better, no question about it. I want us to get back to playing complementary football where the defense is helping out the offense, the offense is helping out the defense. We’re running the football, we’re converting on third downs, we’re hanging on to the ball, we get teams tired. … Whatever it is, I just want to score more points and I want to win. Offensively, we’ve done some decent things the last couple years … now it’s just getting everyone playing at a high level and demanding excellence.”
How much coaching and mentoring do you do with Tim Tebow?:
“I don’t do any coaching. I take coaching. I’m a very coachable player so I take coaching. … I’ll answer any questions that anybody’s got and Tim’s asked me a lot of questions this camp. I’ve been there and can answer them for him and I’ll ask questions of Brady and he’ll ask questions of me. I think we’ve got a good quarterback group. I think a lot of the stuff is overblown. I don’t live any relationship through the media, so people want to come out and [ask], ‘How’s your relationship, how’s this?’ That’s nobody’s business but our own.”
Are you disappointed that you’ve never really had the confidence of the organization (they all seem to use first-round picks on QBs):
“That would be nice, but I’ve always went with the approach that I know I have the confidence of the 53 guys. Other than that, who really cares?”