Fox: ‘Game-Time Decision’ on No. 2 QB

Brady Quinn

QUINN: ... splitting the second-team practice reps.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- The search for clarification in the scrum for position on the quarterback depth chart behind Kyle Orton will have to wait a day.

Broncos coach John Fox declined to name the No. 2 quarterback for Saturday’s preseason home opener against the Buffalo Bills, leaving it a matter of public debate whether Tim Tebow or Brady Quinn will take over the offense when the first team vacates the field at some point in the second quarter.

“From a competitive standpoint, we’ll talk about that after the game, not before the game,” Fox said.

The division of practice work offers conflicting evidence for what the Broncos will do Saturday night.

While the two quarterbacks have split the second-team repetitions since training camp began, Quinn has received more work with the No. 2 offense in two-minute drill simulations this week. Tebow had the bulk of the second-team two-minute work in the days leading up to the preseason opener.

Tim Tebow

TEBOW: ... up second last week.

The quarterbacks also switched ends of the field for their walk-through session work on Thursday night. Tebow worked at the first-team end of the field, where Kyle Orton saw most of the snaps. In previous weeks, Quinn was with that group, while Tebow led the backups through their paces.

Tebow received the second-team work Aug. 11 at Dallas, and completed six of his seven passes for 91 yards, with nearly half of his yardage coming on a 43-yard toss to Matthew Willis. Tebow also had an interception and a touchdown run nullified by penalties.

Quinn played the entire second half with the third unit in Dallas and completed eight of his 14 passes for 120 yards, but directed both of the Broncos’ touchdown drives and threw an 8-yard scoring pass to Eron Riley.

O CAPTAINS, MY CAPTAINS: With permanent captains not set until the regular season, Fox continued to shuffle his preseason captains, naming Ryan Clady, Brandon Lloyd, Champ Bailey, D.J. Williams and Eddie Royal (special teams) as captains for Saturday night.

“It’s an opportunity for guys that have established themselves on the team, to some degree,” Fox said.

The season’s captains will be determined by a player vote next month.

UNTIL WE MEET AGAIN: The Buffalo Bills are the only preseason opponent also on the regular-season schedule, but Fox said the Broncos won’t necessarily hold back showing any of their tendencies because of the teams’ duel on Christmas Eve.

“There’s a little bit that goes into that, but we see them so late in the season that a lot of things will change by then,” Fox said. “You just listen for things; there are certain little calls. That’s both sides. But I’m not sure anybody’s going to remember that in December.”

IN AND OUT: Tight end Richard Quinn (knee), guard Stanley Daniels (ankle) and defensive tackles Marcus Thomas (pectoral muscle) and Ty Warren (triceps tendon surgery on Tuesday) remained sidelined. Defensive tackle Ronnell Brown and safety Brian Dawkins returned to practice; both took part in the Thursday evening walkthrough after missing Thursday morning’s work with ankle and knee problems, respectively.

NEXT ON THE SCHEDULE: The second preseason game against the Bills. Kickoff at the rechristened Sports Authority Field at Mile High is at 7 p.m. MDT on Saturday.

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About Andrew Mason

Andrew Mason has covered the NFL since 1999, when he worked as an editor on NFL.com when the site was managed by ESPN.com. He worked six seasons (2002-07) covering the Broncos on their official website and two (2008-09) on the Panthers' site. He began MaxDenver.com in 2010 and now contributes to CBSSports.com, The Sporting News and The New York Times.
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