As the Broncos struggled into a loss on Monday night against the Raiders in their first regular season game, Kyle Orton did not hear chants of his name to help lift the Broncos to victory, no, instead he heard third-string quarterback Tim Tebow’s name as fans around the stadium cheered “We want Tebow!” The Huffington Post reported. Disheartening for Orton on opening night in his home town, to be sure.
Sure, Orton didn’t look great, he threw for about 300 yards with one touchdown and an interception, only completing a little more than half of his passes. And there was also the infamous dropped ball -- yes, it was raining, but the result was a turnover and a 14 point swing to the Raiders, BroncoTalk reports. Not an ideal beginning for the 2011 Broncos.
Coach John Fox had a measured response to Orton’s struggles saying to The Denver Post, “I think all-in-all it was probably like all of us, not quite good enough.”
However, Fox made it clear that he is sticking with Orton as his starting quarterback despite the poor performance, chants from fans and crushing loss to the Raiders. Fox passed the blame around, deflecting it from just Orton, 7News reports:
We came up a little short. There were plenty of reasons why. It wasn't just the quarterback by any stretch. Kyle is our starting quarterback and I don't think too many guys are firing all their guys because their team happened to lose in Week 1.
Fox’s loyalty to Orton apparently runs so deep that it makes him deaf to even the sound “Tebow” from fans, ProFootballTalk reported that Fox claims he couldn’t hear the “We want Tebow!” chanting from the crowd.
Some of Orton’s teammates came to his defense as well, Broncos wide receiever Brandon Lloyd said to ESPN:
I think it's all B.S., [but] that's the circumstances that we're in. That's the climate that we're in, and we knew we were going to be in -- so be it. There's no being patient with Kyle. Kyle is ready to go. He didn't perform maybe as well as people expected him to. Whatever. He's our quarterback, and we're going to eventually win games.
But it’s going to be awfully lonely out there on Mile High field with the fans chanting “Tebow” at Orton all season. And if he really is here to stay, maybe it’s at least time that Orton rethink his theory on Broncos fans, “My last goal as quarterback is to win over the fans, that is my last goal.”