Jussel: Reality is, the Broncos need to stick with Tebow

So much for “… and they lived happily ever after.”

It’s time for a reality show.

Mark Schlereth, longtime Bronco offensive lineman and current NFL analyst with ESPN, suggested several weeks ago that the Denver Bronco coaching staff and front office were not confident any of the Denver Broncos three quarterbacks was the long-term solution to recent woes.

On Tuesday, Peter King, an NFL analyst for Sports Illustrated, said the Broncos coaching staff had bowed to pressure and was giving the fan base what it wanted: a long jolt of Tim Tebow as the starter. That, King said, would inevitably lead to one conclusion in the minds of the Bronco staff and in the minds of the fans: Tebow isn’t good enough and never will be good enough to be the cornerstone of a franchise.

So, after last week’s pounding courtesy of the Detroit Lions — a very good football team, by the way — is it time to finally break down and admit Tebow can’t play? Is it Brady Quinn time? Is it time to go back to Kyle Orton?

Give me a break.

Here’s our reality show: The Denver Broncos are going nowhere this season. They are 2-5 and will, regardless of who is playing at quarterback, struggle to find ways to win games the remainder of the season.

The trading deadline has come and gone, they have four of their next five on the road and face only one team in their final nine games with a losing record, Minnesota.

Those of you within shouting distance who still believe Tim Tebow will lead the Broncos out of this mess, raise your hands.

And those who think Tebow will be a career backup at best, a large Gary Kubiak clone?

Thought so; it’s a tossup.

We don’t have a final verdict and won’t for some time yet.

The Broncos do, however, according to league rules, have to show up and play those nine games.

Why play Orton or Quinn? The verdict on them has been in for some time. They will be gone next season, likely to the same role they now play in another city. The only saving grace the Broncos will have from their exits will result in being able to use their current salaries on other players.

Tebow has to play as long as he can take snaps from center this season — and that might not be long at the rate he is getting hammered, being sacked an average of seven times a game.

So far in his five starts over two seasons as a Bronco, the team has gone 2-3. This season, Tebow has given us two superb fourth-quarter comebacks (one resulting in a win), eight terrible quarters of play, a number of overthrows on long passes, several brilliant passes that were caught either inbounds or out of bounds, some tough running and, well, you get the picture: a mixed bag that should be expected of young quarterbacks.

Why, some may ask, are we making such a big deal out of this Tebow thing?

As Jason Robards, as Washington Post editor-in-chief Ben Bradlee in the movie “All the President’s Men,” said, “Nothing’s riding on this except the … first amendment to the Constitution, freedom of the press, and maybe the future of the country.”

All that’s riding on the Tebow decision for John Elway, John Fox and Bronco Nation is everything.

Make the right decision on Tebow and the quarterback for the next decade-plus and the Broncos can get on with other business.

Make the wrong decision and this rebuilding (or “building,” as Fox puts it) process is set back at least another season as the team stumbles around trying to find what may amount to only another Orton or Quinn.

You may have witnessed it the other night, the Stanford-Southern Cal game that went three overtimes, the battle between Andrew Luck and Matt Barkley. Both were phenomenal. Those two and Oklahoma quarterback Landry Jones, as has been pointed out here before, will be available in the upcoming draft. Any of the three is more NFL-ready right now than Tebow.

Question is, will Tebow be more NFL ready than any of those three at the end of this football season?

Only time will tell.

Ahh, yes, the dreaded pick with or against Denver.

It’s the Raiders in the Oakland Coliseum, with leftover Halloween costumes to be on prominent display.

I’ll take my 4-3 record on the season and say Tebow and the offense can’t keep up; it’s Oakland 31, Denver 20.


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