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Kyle Orton or Brady Quinn?

March 21, 2010

Now that Brady Quinn is officially a Denver Bronco, talk of a QB controversy has officially begun. There are many arguments for Quinn to be the starter, and many for Orton too.

The most popular argument for Kyle Orton is usually this: “Kyle had a career year last season! He will do even better in his second season with Josh McDaniels’ system.”  I could pick that apart all day. For starters, Kyle Orton’s “career year” was a mediocre year by any Quarterback standards. Back in 2004, Jake Plummer had a “career year,” he passed for 280 yards more than Orton, and threw 6 more touchdowns.

Second, I don’t understand why people think Orton’s stats will be better in 2010. Sure, he may improve all around, but his stats will fall in 2010. Josh McDaniels drafted Knowshon Moreno 12th overall in the draft last April. Obviously he thinks the kid is really special – he is. You won’t even recognize the 2010 Knowshon Moreno if you were to compare him to the Rookie Knowshon Moreno. Behind a repaired offensive line, Moreno is going to have much more success. This coming season the Broncos are going to rely heavily on the young runningback – which in turn will cause Orton’s stats to drop.

There’s no doubt Orton will be named the starter, he should be named the starter. But Quinn brings so much more to the table. His NFL stats may not be very impressive (52.1 completion percentage, 1,902 passing yards and 10 touchdowns against 9 interceptions) but his McDaniels-Style-QB credentials are better than Orton’s.

At Notre Dame, he played under Charlie Weis, who, (as I’m sure all you Bronco Maniacs already know) mentored Josh McDaniels. Notre Dame and the Broncos also run a similar type of offense, so Quinn wouldn’t have much to adjust to. Josh McDaniels also helped mold Tom Brady, and create a no-name (Matt Cassel) into a star. Little did the Chiefs know he wasn’t a star but a byproduct of McDaniels system, and surrounded by talent, he thrived. I believe Quinn will too.

Another up-side Quinn has over Orton is his legs. Orton can’t run to save his life, while Quinn has proven to be very effective at running when he needs to. While in college, teams had to prepare for Quinn’s strong arm, and his running ability. Last year, while with the Browns, he rushed for 98 yards and scored a touchdown.

Five years down the road if we look back, I believe Quinn will have contributed to the success of the Broncos more than Orton. Even if Quinn doesn’t pan out, he was cheap, and if nothing else, he’ll push Orton to become better, and provide the Broncos with a great back-up.

Kyle Orton will start in the season opener, and maybe the entire year. Yet, I refuse to believe McDaniels traded two draft picks and a player for a back-up quarterback. Brady Quinn’s time is coming.

Jon Krause is a Bronco Madness Contributor, you can also find him on Broncos Zone.

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