As far as NFL Network analyst Sterling Sharpe is concerned, Kyle Orton will have to play his way out of the Broncos’ starting QB job.
Whether or not he’s already doing that — after one week of the season — is up for debate. We know Broncos coach John Fox is in Orton’s corner, and the QB appears to have the support of his locker room.
So what will Orton need to do to make the Tim Tebow talk go away?
“I thought he played well enough for them to win,” Sharpe said Wednesday on NFL Network. “But now, it’s real. The Tebow talk, I think it’s real. And for Orton to be able to silence those critics, he needs to play ‘that game.’ That game may be 404 yards. That game may be where it’s on his back and his arm has to perform. But if he wants to get away from the Tebow talk, because when you have a quarterback controversy looks like it’s shaping up in Denver … you have to let the veteran guy play his way out of the job.
“Right now, based on the performance we saw on Monday night, Orton is playing his way out of this job and he needs to right the ship a little bit.”
Any talk of Orton losing his job — the job he won during the preseason — feels awkwardly premature. Six or eight weeks from now? That might be a different story.
– Frank Tadych