Orton says he’s sore but not injured
Denver Broncos quarterback Kyle Orton says he’s sore but not
”I don’t have a dead arm,” Orton insisted when asked about his
poor play the last two weeks. ”I was throwing the ball 70 yards
last week in practice, so my arm’s feeling fine.”
Other parts of him are bruised and battered, though.
Orton suffered bruised ribs against the Cardinals on Sunday but
stayed in the game, leaving rookie Tim Tebow on the sideline
Interim coach Eric Studesville reiterated Wednesday that he’s
sticking with Orton as his starter when the Broncos (3-10) visit
Oakland (6-7) this weekend.
Orton has gone from a prolific passer to a pedestrian one in
losses at Kansas City and Arizona sandwiched around the firing of
his biggest booster, former coach Josh McDaniels, who was sent
packing amid the team’s worst skid in four decades and the Spygate
II videotaping scandal.
In the first 11 weeks, Orton averaged 306 yards passing. Over
the last two, he’s averaged just 141.
He’s been sacked a career-high 34 times already and it shows.
He’s spent plenty of time in the training room this week and was
more than a half-hour late to his weekly news conference Wednesday
because he was getting treatment.
”Just sore,” Orton said, declining to say which body parts
were bothering him.
Orton refused to blame his poor play this month on all the bumps
and bruises, and Studesville said that while everybody is banged up
this time of the year, he didn’t believe his quarterback was
How then does he explain Orton’s drastic dive the last two
”That’s the question we’re trying to answer and that’s why
we’re working at it, the coaches are working at it, he’s working at
it,” Studesville said. ”We’re all taking great pride in
(recognizing) that it has been a problem the last two weeks. And
we’re trying to solve those problems.
”And the best way to solve it that we know is to go to work, is
to keep working and trying to get everybody on the same page,
everybody doing what they have to do: offensive line, the backs,
the tight ends, the receivers and the quarterbacks.”
Tebow warmed up Sunday after Orton hurt his ribs in the second
half and had trainers look at him on the bench between series. When
the Broncos got the ball back, Orton trotted back onto the
How close did he come to staying on the sideline?
”They asked me and I said I wanted to keep going, so I guess
not too close,” Orton said.
Like many a banged-up starting quarterback who refuses to allow
that he’s hurting, Orton’s main motivation to stay in the game may
have been to prevent Tebow from getting a crack at taking his
”Well, we were getting beaten pretty bad and if my teammates
are going to be in there getting their butt kicked, then I’m going
to be in there getting my butt kicked, too,” Orton said. ”That’s
my approach to it, I guess.”
Orton did a good job of hiding from the public just how bothered
he was by his two bum ankles last season, and he acknowledged that
even if he were injured, he wouldn’t say so to the media.
”Would I tell you? No, I wouldn’t. No, I wouldn’t,” he said.
”That’s for coaches and trainers to know.”
Orton said he doesn’t pay attention to the fans clamoring for
Tebow to get more snaps or even a start as this lost season winds
down with the Broncos standing at 3-10.
”No, I don’t listen to it. I guess their opinion doesn’t have
any factor in the way I play. I don’t think it has any factor on
the way my teammates think of me and so that’s pretty much how I go
about it. I don’t really have an opinion on it,” Orton
Surely, he can understand the fascination with Tebow, a two-time
national champion and former Heisman Trophy winner whom McDaniels
stunningly selected in the first round of the draft in April.
”I can’t understand it because I don’t think about it,” Orton
said. ”So, I don’t have much to say about it.”
Since winning his first six starts in Denver, Orton has presided
over just five wins in Denver’s last 23 games.
”It’s been tough. It’s been a tough season,” Orton said. ”I
would imagine for everybody in the locker room it’s been a tough
season. You know, unless we start playing better, these three weeks
are going to be tough. So, I’d love to go out and play well and
finish the season on a positive note.”