Friday, June 19, 2009

The Broncos choose a Quarterback

I know it will come to a shock to some of my (alleged) readers, but there's a lot I don't know about football, even compared to other moderately interested amateurs. Surely I can't compare to guys who make the game their whole career.

But I need to say I was surprised to learn that the Broncos have picked Kyle Orton as their starting QB. What's really gob-smacking about this is that with Chris Simms was his only serious competition for the position.

On the theory that perhaps I was misremembering how unremarkable Orton's and Simms's careers have been, I took a look at some of their numbers. For comparison, I included numbers for Brian Griese, Jake Plummer and Jay Cutler while they played for the Broncos. Here's a summary of what I came up with:

PlayerGSWin% Cmp%TDIntTD/IntTD/GS
Jake Plummer5472.2%59.1%71471.511.31
Jay Cutler3745.9%62.5%54371.461.46
Brian Griese5152.9%62.3%71521.371.39
Kyle Orton3363.6%55.3%30271.110.91
Chris Simms1546.7%59.1%12170.710.80

The Bad News

Neither Orton or Simms seem to be anywhere close to the quality that even Brian Griese demonstrated (at least when he was healthy and playing for the Broncos). Orton's winning percentage looks pretty good, but you have to remember he was playing with the benefit of that dominating Bears' defense. He's sure not going to win 10 games this year if he stays on the same touchdown and interception pace shown above.

If Orton and Simms tank, or get injured, the only other quarter back the Broncos have on their roster is their 6th-round draft pick, Tom Branstater.

Is There Any Good News?

The Bears haven't had the most amazing receiver corps for their quarterbacks to throw to; they've been a defense plus running game team for a long time. Kyle Orton's numbers almost have to improve just by having some decent receivers to throw to. Whether they improve enough for him to keep the starting QB job is another question.

Or maybe the Blue Fairy will visit Chris Simms and turn him into a real quarterback...