As Clamor Intensifies, Orton Remains Starter

McGahee to detractors: ‘Get over it’

Kyle Orton

ORTON: ... still the starter. (PHOTO: ERIC LARS BAKKE / DENVER BRONCOS)

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. – Fans may clamor; callers may chatter; message boards may crash; boycotts may be organized. But Kyle Orton will still be the starting quarterback for the Broncos next Sunday against the San Diego Chargers.

“We opened it up for competition. It’s not something where we took a fan poll or we took a vote,” Broncos coach John Fox said. “We watched practice, watched the competition, and we’re four games into that. I don’t know that we’re at any place different that we were all along.

“Anything is possible, but there are no ‘what-ifs’ at this point. Kyle Orton is our starting quarterback.”

With that established, the locker room is closing ranks behind one of its offensive captains.

“Kyle’s our guy. That’s who we’re rolling with,” said running back Willis McGahee, who has a pair of 100-yard rushing games in the last three weeks. “Whoever doesn’t like it, it is what it is. He’s leading the Denver Broncos football team. He’s running the show.

“I think everybody just needs to get over it.”

McGahee’s were the strongest words yet offered on the record in the locker room regarding Orton and the fan reaction to his presence in the lineup, which resulted in boos and chants for backup Tim Tebow during a touchdown drive in the fourth quarter of the season opener against the Raiders. With the two losses that followed in the next three games, the cacophony has grown louder.

That accomplishes nothing for the team, maintains starting middle linebacker Joe Mays.

“The most important thing (is) we want support from the fans,” Mays said. “I think we need more support for Orton, as well. I’m pretty sure he feels like no one wants him out there. But us in this locker room, we know what he is capable of doing. We know that he can lead this team.

“We’d much rather have the fans show him support than calling for Tebow to come into the game.”

Orton’s plight drew empathy from McGahee and Mays.

“I just know it would be tough to play for a team and not really get the support that you want, that you need,” he said. Us in the locker room, we support him 100 percent. But when it comes to fan support, that’s huge.

“These are the people that pay to come to see the games, and they’re our support system as players. We just need the fans to support all of our players.”

Fan sentiment matters, Fox said. But they don’t have the same access to watching every throw the quarterbacks make in practices as the coaches do.

“It’s hard to say you don’t care what fans think because you do, but I think in the decision-making process you have to evaluate what you see,” he said. “I’ve got to make those decisions based on the people who do it every day, and that’s the players and coaches and people in this building that do it full-time, not part-time.”

McGahee’s advice to Orton would be to use the chatter as fuel.

“People want to count you out. I think it’s a great motivation for him, just to go out there and prove people wrong. That’s how I approach things,” McGahee said.  “I’m going at it as, ‘You don’t want me here? You don’t think I can play? All right, I’m going to stick with somebody that’s outside the Denver Broncos. Case closed.’”

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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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15 Responses

  1. Yes thats right prove us wrong Orton. BUt for the past two seasons you prove us right. Deja vu all over again, I remember fans were clamoring for Hillis to start and McD refuses and traded him see what happens…now fans are clamoring for change at the QB position and the coach is stubborn..

  2. You want fan support. Stop losing. Goes for everyone on the team. If your not going to win, put a better product on the field. If your not going to do that, fans will either voice their concerns or not show up. So far, the product on offense has been boring and unproductive. Fix that with Orton and the fans will get behind him. If you don’t like it “Go play intramurals brother”

  3. Hey fans! Orton doesn’t care about you, Fox is calling passive-aggressive “Tebow” plays that are doomed to fail to spite you, the local sports radio station Elway has a part ownership in bashes you all day, every day, and McGahee wants you to just get over it. But don’t stop spending your money on the Broncos. Then they might actually have to listen to you, and we can’t have that. An inexperienced VP, a GM that has turned buck-passing into a fine art, and a coach responsible for the only team worse than the 2010 Broncos all know a lot more than you do. Obviously. Say it in unison now: “Kyle Orton gives the Broncos the best chance to win.” Without ever actually, you know, winning consistently. Every once in awhile is good enough for EFX and Willis McGahee, and it should be good enough for you.

    Oh, and make sure you get your new orange jerseys next year! To celebrate his re-signing, Orton’s #8 jersey will be sold at a steep discount to reward True Fans. Who says the Broncos don’t care?

  4. Ortons made mistakes

    The other offensive p[layers have made mistakes

    Mccoy has made some mistakes

    Ortons mistakes seem to be over scrutinized and magnified and when the coaches look at the film I think they see in some situations its not even his mistake but hes taken the blame . Thats why they arent making a change because if the goal is to a build a longterm winner you have to hold everyone accountable for there play and not just take the easy way out and blame Orton and make a change sure it will buy you a few weeks but the same problems will occur .

    Frankly I think the offense is improving we were just facing the Champs in there house and thats where the defense comes into play .

    However we are not nearly as out of it as people may think.

    Next week is a must win game for us at home and the fans and the team should treat it as such.

    We win that SD game at home and we have a chance to get a winless Miami team on the road and get back to 3-3 .

    We the get the Lions coming to our house and then go into back to back games against the Raiders and Chiefs .

    Our season is not over but weve got win this week .

  5. If the team wants our support then put a better product on the field!! We as fans are the one’s who pay your salary! We are sick and tired off watching and rooting for a mediocre team, a mediocre QB. I know it doesn’t’ all fall on Orton but it was put best on 104.3 the fan….Orton plays good enough to be mediocre!!

  6. Sad that the Broncos are losing their fanbase and in the process the players and the coach are telling the fans, “get over it.” Sadly the coach and those players don’t get it. This seems like America right now, the people with money are telling those without to get over it and those without are frustrated because their actions are making the money.

    This is not going to end well for Fox and possibly Elway if he doesn’t act soon. Will be interesting, between the boos and the no shows the fans will speak volumes. Will the team ever listen?

  7. Just a few comments here on what both McGahee and Fox had to say.

    First, just so that you both know the owner of your team may sign your paycheck, but the cash comes from me, your fan, your consumer, the guy that buys your merchandise, pays the over the top price for your season tickets, pays for the ridiculous rates for beer and food at your venue, and then I have to listen to an overpaid professional athlete tell me to get over it. Maybe I will get over it and start spending my money where it is appreciated and where I get a good return for my dollar.

    Second, I hate it when someone arm chair quarterbacks what I might do in my profession, but as an investor in the Denver Bronco team by paying the thousands of dollars to them each year, you have to realize that stats do not lie. Come on coach take a little responsibility here and quit trying to rationalize and justify what is taking place in the Bronco Camp. It might go a long way for you to just say, you know we are going to work hard, try some new things and see where we end up. Keep this in mind if I provided my customers the same type of service that you are providing to me, I would not be in business for long.

    • You gotta love it when fans get mad at the team for sticking up for each other .

      The fact is as each day passes broncos fans are getting the rep as a bunch of whiny losers themselves.

      The bottomline is how are these actions helping the team ? Oh thats right this stuff is not helping the team in fact its almost like the fans are intentionally trying to undermine this season.

      Just because you pay for a ticket to the game doesnt give you the right to tell the players that they should be okay with you trying to hurt the team.

      The fact that some of you think a ticket means its okay for to screw with someones livelihood and they shouldnt take offense is disturbing and exactly the problem with broncos fans right now .

  8. This is an incredible waste of time! Orton is gone next year, Tebow, unless traded.. will be here. Am I crazy, but if we are truly rebuilding, then why would they not put Tebow in and actually “see” what the heck he can do..? if he sux, as some say, then we will know to draft a QB.. and if he doesn’t then he will have great exp for the next year… WHAT GIVES EFX? BLAH BLAH BLAH Orton is our guy… BLAH BLAH BLAH.. so tired of the Back peddling from Broncos Staff… Does anyone remember that they tried to trade this dud?… Hey Fox.. get a clue, Orton hears a boo.

  9. WHAAAAAAAAAA!!!!! The players want us to support the loser Orton do they? Well they should have put it in the Lock Out Settlment then! Give me a break, we pay for the games, beer and jerseys we can think whatever we want. And as long as Orton keeps losing and throwing INTs then I will not change my opinion he is a loser!

  10. I can’t help wondering if McGahee would be so glibly telling us to “get over it”, if he were the one being benched and we were clamoring for HIM to be allowed to play.

    • Well see thats the problem that the delusional Tebow fan club cant seem to processes .

      He hasnt been benched .He hasnt shown hes good enough to win a starting bob in the NFL.

      He hasnt been benched because hes yet to have a starting job in the NFL.

      If you want a fair comparison you should be whining for Jeremiah Johnson to play over Mcgahee .

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