Elway weighs in on Orton/Tebow discussion

While Tim Tebow supporters eye billboard space in downtown Denver, hoping to propel the former University of Florida star into a starting role, it doesn’t sound like Broncos team executive John Elway is about to make a knee-jerk switch at quarterback.

The Hall of Famer weighed in Thursday on Twitter, hinting that Kyle Orton‘s job is safe — for now.

“If decisions were made based on one week,” he tweeted. “I’d have been outta here after my first start!”

The date? All the way back to Sept. 4, 1983 — Ronald Reagan in the White House and Elway going a very rookie-like 1 of 8 for 14 yards with one interception and four sacks in a 14-10 win over Pittsburgh.

Elway labored through 10 starts with Denver that season, throwing seven touchdowns and 14 picks, en route to an uncharacteristic 54.9 rating. Still, no billboard space purchased that season for Steve DeBerg or — sigh — Gary Kubiak.

We all know how Denver’s patience with Elway played out, but the present situation is a bit different — almost flipped. A vocal pocket of Broncos fans feel that their next Elway — Mr. Tebow — isn’t learning on the job like John did, but hidden away on the bench. He’s not even the clear No. 2.

While some are worn down by the Tebow/Orton debate, it’s not about to fade into the night. Not until we see Tebow thrown into the fray — to sink or swim — like Elway before him.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

— Marc Sessler

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