ENGLEWOOD, Colo. – If Kyle Orton has been firmly installed as the Broncos’ starting quarterback, then it’s news to him.
“I haven’t been told anything,” Orton said after the Broncos’ walk-through practice Thursday morning at a quiet Dove Valley. “That’s how I go about it. And I just let my play speak for itself on the football field.”
And all of that play has been with the first team. The hierarchy was made perfectly clear Wednesday when the Broncos ran the two-minute drill for the first time since training camp began: Orton was with the first team, Tim Tebow led the second and Brady Quinn piloted the third.
This goes back to February, when John Fox said at the Scouting Combine that Orton was the Broncos’ starter “for now.” With no organized team activities in the offseason to spur mobility up and down the depth chart, it was understandable for training camp to begin with Orton still the starting quarterback.
“Nothing’s changed; we’ve been singing the same song since about seven months ago,” Fox said.
“I think my story’s been the same regardless of what you hear. I’m in those meetings every day; I know what’s said to everybody.”
Eight days ago, rumors swirled that Orton was headed to the Miami Dolphins in a trade, and it seemed fait accompli that the seven-year veteran would begin training camp in South Florida. Even Pro Bowl wide receiver Brandon Lloyd acknowledged the likelihood of a trade of Orton.
“I’ve been spending most of my brainpower in the offseason focusing on how to get Tebow better and what I can do to help him develop as a quarterback,” Lloyd said on July 27. “Kyle’s going to be awesome, wherever he goes. There’s a lot of vacancies in the NFL for really good quarterbacks, and Kyle’s a really good quarterback, and he’s going to be fine.”
But moments later, Lloyd told media that he believed Tebow was “ready” to be the starting quarterback.
A day later, Orton practiced — for the Broncos, leaving the situation status quo. Meanwhile, Miami signed Matt Moore and stayed with starter Chad Henne, which left their fans booing and chanting, “We Want Orton!”
Orton, however, didn’t care about the Miami fans’ pleas. When asked what he had to say to the Dolphins’ fans, Orton replied, “Nothing.”
It would seem he doesn’t care because he plans on playing quarterback in South Florida this year … but only on Oct. 23, when the Broncos face Miami at Sun Life Stadium.