Recall, if you will, that the major off-season move in the NFL was undoubtedly the Bears sending Kyle Orton and a truckload of picks to Denver for “disgrunted” Jay Cutler. The general consensus was that it was a fine move by Chicago, but that they overpaid - badly - for Cutler.
But less was made of the effect the move made on Denver, who was basically compensated three high picks for having to substitute Orton in for Cutler. How’s that going to work for the Broncos? Well, if last night’s game is any indication, it’s going to be a long season.
Orton, you might remember, was booed at practice for poor play, and the Broncos’ first exhibition game was even more of the same:
Orton threw interceptions in his first three series during a disastrous Denver debut, while San Francisco’s two quarterback candidates were steady in the 49ers’ 17-16 victory over the Broncos on Friday night.
New Denver coach Josh McDaniels offered his unwavering support of the struggling QB.”That’s great. That’s certainly what you need in this league is the support of your coach,” Orton said. “I’m not worried about it. I’ve got a lot of confidence in myself. I think my team has a lot of confidence in me. … I don’t want to make those decisions and throw three interceptions.”
Yes, yes, yes, it’s just the preseason. But Orton is still an unproven commodity in the Denver offense, so this pre-season - between practices and exhibition play - is all that coaches have got to extrapolate any expectations from. So if Orton’s looking at a first-string defense in front of him and absolutely diarrhea-ing the bed, how can someone react to that with anything but abject fear?
Oh, well. At least the Broncos can run; they spent their first-round draft pick on dynamic running back Knowshon Moreno, so he can probably carry the team and oh god no:
Last night, while Bronco’s Quarterback Kyle Orton was hosting pass catching drills for the 49ers, Moreno departed after just three carries with an apparent knee injury.
The Broncos have an MRI scheduled likely today or tomorrow that will have both Broncos fans and Moreno owners holding their breath to see the extent it will affect their respective seasons.
Sensational! Welcome to the basement, Denver. You remember the Raiders, right? You’ll be bunking with them. They smell awful.
UPDATE: MCL sprain for Moreno. At worst, only out for the season opener. But Orton’s still there.