Wednesday, September 7, 2011

3 comments Woody Paige Closes His Eyes and Wishes It Will All Go Away

Woody Paige is very sad. Tim Tebow has not been named the starter for the Denver Broncos. Woody has written approximately 97 columns about how great Tebow is and how he needs to be the Broncos starter. Unfortunately, the John Fox coaching staff is the second Broncos coaching staff that seems to disagree with Woody about Tebow's current starting potential. But, oh, Woody Paige isn't defeated quite yet. He thinks if he writes enough about Tebow he can get him back in the starting spot for the Broncos. Of course, first Tebow has to take over the backup quarterback job from Brady Quinn.

In the first article, Woody says Tebow will be the starter at some point and then plays around with facts about John Fox in order to give his readers the impression Fox is an open-minded coach when it comes to playing young quarterbacks or switching quarterbacks on the fly. He's not. What's interesting is that Woody will put the words "open competition" in parenthesis during this column, as an acknowledgment that Fox didn't give an open competition for the starting quarterback job, yet he expects Fox to be more open minded in the future for some reason.

Tonight, in the Broncos' first exhibition at home, Orton, who was on the sideline for the last two regular-season games at home, is the starter — and will be followed by Tebow and Brady Quinn, but not necessarily in that order.

Don't forget Adam Weber. He's in the mix as well.

New coach John Fox's "open competition" is closed. No matter how well Tebow or Quinn plays in this exhibition, Orton will begin the season at quarterback.

What I think is really funny is that Woody Paige has been talking for months about the open competition at quarterback and how Tim Tebow was going to get a fair shot to win the starting job...fully expecting Tebow to be named the starter of course. Now Woody is being all snide and sarcastic at the idea of "open" quarterback competition in Denver. I knew there wouldn't be an open competition and probably posted my opinion too often on this blog. Woody cited, and continues to cite in this article, Fox’s past in Carolina as a reason why Tebow would have a chance at the starting quarterback job. I just laughed at this because the only way Fox would change quarterbacks in Carolina was based on injury or death to his starter.

However, in my opinion, he won't close the season at quarterback.

If the Broncos are out of the playoff chase at that point, this is quite likely. What does it tell Woody the Broncos won’t start Tebow when they still have a chance to be competitive, but will start him when they are out of the playoff race? This happened last year as well. Apparently it tells Woody nothing.

Unlike last year, Quinn has entered the conversation — based on performances in the team's scrimmages and at Dallas, with and against scrubs.

I’ve always enjoyed how Woody takes Tebow’s success and failure personally. He has written at least 3-4 articles about what a shithead Kyle Orton is and now he is basically saying Brady Quinn only looks good when going against other scrubs. He always finds a way to demean other quarterbacks in an effort to propel his boy Tebow into the starting gig.

Unlike his predecessor, who told me he would never change quarterbacks in a game or a season (barring injury), Fox has shown a willingness and necessity to do both.

I would love to learn a little bit about this alternate universe I never got to experience in the time John Fox was the head coach of the Carolina Panthers. Apparently in this alternate universe he had a willingness to switch quarterbacks based on performance and not based on an edict sent from the owner, the General Manager cutting Fox's favorite starter or because of an injury to Fox's favorite starter. He tends to stick with his guys to the very bitter end.

In 2010 Moore beat out prized rookie Clausen to start the season.

Now Woody Paige will give examples of this. Not surprisingly he only includes last year when Fox showed a “willingness” to switch quarterbacks. I say it is not surprising because Jake Delhomme was cut from the roster for the simple reason he would have been the starter had he been on the roster. Fox’s “willingness” to switch quarterbacks was forced on him by the front office and by injuries to Fox's other "guy," Matt Moore. Woody fails to mention this of course. Facts? Who needs those?

But after Moore suffered a concussion and four interceptions and a fumble, Clausen took over.

Fox was willing to play Clausen because Moore wasn’t active for the game. It beat not having a quarterback start the game and running the Wildcat offense all game, though rather than have Chris Weinke throw too many passes in a game Fox had the offense run the Wildcat offense and refused to throw the ball for nearly an entire game.

I'm not kidding.

However, when Clausen struggled for three games, Moore was named starter again.

Basically, Fox switched back to the more-veteran quarterback that he preferred anyway. This is something Fox does. He prefers veteran quarterbacks to young quarterbacks.

In a game against the Saints, Moore was hurt again. Clausen went in, played poorly and was yanked for another rookie, Pike.

Pike was put in the game during the fourth quarter because Clausen performed poorly. As if anyone needs further proof Fox isn’t open to young quarterbacks starting NFL games, the Panthers then signed Brian St. Pierre, who was retired, and 5 days later he started a game for the Panthers.

John Fox would rather have signed a veteran quarterback off the street and 5 days later have him start an NFL game, than start Clausen. This says a lot about Clausen’s talent level and about how Fox feels about young quarterbacks.

The Panthers signed journeyman backup St. Pierre, who started one game — and stunk.

He wasn’t absolutely terrible for a guy who walked off the street 5 days earlier and then was forced to start an NFL game.

If Orton had wound up with the Dolphins, the Broncos' situation would be totally different — with comparisons and a real open competition in camp and exhibitions between Quinn and Tebow.

If Orton went to Miami, the Broncos would now be in the situation where they didn’t have an NFL caliber starting quarterback on the roster. Apparently this is a preferable situation in the opinion of Woody Paige.

I also like how Woody is now bitter towards John Fox that there wasn’t a “real” open competition in camp. He blatantly ignored Fox’s record as an NFL head coach when he was getting all jittery-excited at the thought his favorite little man Tim Tebow might have a shot at being a starter this year. Anyone who has followed Fox’s coaching career would know Orton would have that starting job, almost regardless of what Tebow did. Like any biased beat writer, Woody reports on what he wants to happen rather than reporting on reality.

In one scenario for the Broncos — if, say, they keep the three quarterbacks and Quinn were to start 12 games — the outlay to quarterbacks would be more than $21 million, which is Manning money.

And of course this is Kyle Orton’s fault for making so much money and being a quality NFL starter. It definitely isn’t Tim Tebow’s fault, even though he has been given a lump sum of $6.28 million for this year to be the 3rd quarterback on the depth chart. God knows if Kyle Orton was the backup and made $6.28 million then Woody Paige wouldn’t let us hear the end of how terrible Orton truly is.

So then after writing that Tebow will be the starter by the end of year, due to the Broncos not making the playoffs based completely on the terrible play of Kyle Orton, imagine Woody's horror when Mike Silver of Yahoo Sports wrote an article saying the Broncos players liked Orton better over Tebow and saying an undrafted heathen devil named Adam Weber was looking better than Tebow in camp.

This is a direct attack on the Church of Tebow and must be met with anger and derision by Woody. By saying anything negative about Tebow's football skills, Mike Silver was also attacking the very foundation of the Church of Tebow that Woody belongs to. The foundation being, "any criticism of Tim Tebow must always been taken personally and is not to be taken as an independent and fair evaluation of his current performance." So saying Tebow isn't the best quarterback on the Broncos roster AND his teammates agreeing is seen as completely counting Tim Tebow out and this pisses Woody Paige off.

Go ahead, give up on Tim Tebow.

Gang-tackle him, and use whatever mechanically flawed arm motion and mentally faulty thought process you've got to fling the young quarterback to the curb.

I think journalism schools should use Peter King's material on Brett Favre from about 1998-2008 and Woody Paige's columns on Tim Tebow as great examples of sports writers getting too emotionally involved with the athletes they cover. I'm at the point I think Woody Paige would jump on a grenade or murder a person for Tim Tebow.

Berate and belittle him, demean and demote him, sneer and jeer at him, barrel and Merril him, but Tim is stronger of mind, body, soul and heart than you are.

I can’t believe the Denver Post allows Woody Paige to write shit like this for them. These are the words of an adolescent child who isn’t getting his/her way, not the written words of a grown man who is supposed to be very good at his chosen career.

Tebow "can't play. He can't throw," Esiason was quoted as saying, and Beuerlein offered, "I'd say he's closer to third-teamer than a first-teamer."

Oh no! Criticism of Tim Tebow! Can’t the media just leave Tebow alone when it comes to evaluating his football skills and only pay attention to what a good person he is? It’s so unfair to him. Why can’t the cameras follow Tebow around telling word of his good deeds and not critique his skills at football?

In a Yahoo Sports article, veteran NFL writer Mike Silver wrote he was told by "one highly knowledgeable member of the (Broncos) organization Monday: 'If everything was totally equal, and this were a competition based only on performance at this camp, Tebow would probably be the fourth-string guy. (Kyle) Orton is far and away the best, and Tebow's way behind (Brady) Quinn too. And I'm telling you, Adam Weber is flat-out better right now.' "

The key part about this group of sentences are the last words in these group of sentences. “Right now.” This is the part Woody Paige and other overly-supportive Tebow fans don’t get and is what causes them to get all up in arms over any criticism of Tebow. This statement by the unknown Broncos official isn’t a complete indictment of Tebow as a person or Tebow’s quarterback skills two years from now, but is the reality of his skills right now.

ESPN analyst Merril Hoge is the engineer on this runaway locomotive, but so many others — inside and outside the Broncos — are traveling along for the ride.

I'm not jumping aboard.

Of course Woody isn’t jumping aboard. He is not capable of being impartial when the topic of Tim Tebow comes up in discussion, so he throws all ability to reason out the window.

Less than a month ago, Tebow was deemed to be the Broncos' starter —

By you. He was deemed the starter by you. The head coach for the Broncos, John Fox, stated there was a competition for this position. Even you, Woody Paige, have stated repeatedly there was a quarterback competition for the starting job. Let’s not let the details get in the way of Woody Paige writing his column though.

the returning starter.

Tebow was the returning starter under a different head coach and the only reason Tebow started at the end of the year was because the Broncos were out of contention and Josh McDaniels had nothing to lose by starting Tebow to see what he can do. Though Tebow didn't do poorly, saying he was the returning starter is a bit misleading.

And Orton, for those who have forgotten, was about to be traded to Miami — at his own and the Broncos' wishes.

Because he is an NFL quality starter and doesn’t want to sit behind a lesser quarterback. That's why he wanted to be traded. I can’t really blame him for feeling this way.

Much has been made of Orton's lack of a running game and a miserable defense in such starts as Oakland (59-14), San Diego (35-14) and Arizona (43-14). Tebow had the same backs and defense at Oakland (39-23) and at home against Houston (24-23) and San Diego (33-28).

Tebow had the same defensive backs in those three games, but the defense also gave up 137 points in Orton’s three starts described here and the defense gave up 95 points in Tebow’s three starts described here. That’s 42 less points the defense gave up, or two touchdowns per game, when Tebow started. So while Orton and Tebow had the same defense, the defense played better when Tebow was the starter. Clearly this is the product of the defense responding to Tebow's massive intangibles and leadership.

So what explains why many of the current players are on record as saying they want Orton to be the starter in 2011. If the defense doesn't play well for Orton and he doesn't have the world famous intangibles like Tebow why do the Broncos players prefer Orton? Perhaps Woody should think about this and then try to figure the answer out.

In the 13 games Orton started, the Broncos scored touchdowns inside the red zone on 17 of 104 trips (one on a Tebow run). With Tebow as the starter, the Broncos scored touchdowns 6-of-8 times inside the 20.

Tebow is great in the red zone. This means he is valuable to have when the Broncos are in the red zone and doesn’t mean he is ready to be an NFL starter.

When the deal with the Dolphins couldn't be completed, Orton was back at No. 1, and Tebow was dropped to No. 2. The so- called "open competition" never really developed because Tebow and Quinn rarely worked with the first unit.

Have you noticed that Tebow’s fall on the depth chart is everyone else’s fault except for his? I’m not saying Tebow wasn’t hurt by John Fox’s love for a veteran quarterback or he wasn’t hurt by the lockout, but Woody has never pinned the fall in the depth chart on anything Tebow did or didn’t do. Woody has no reason for Tebow to be the starter, he only has reasons Kyle Orton and Brady Quinn suck.

This was clear: The lack of organized team activities hurt Tebow's progress;

True. Quinn and Orton were learning a new offense as well and quarterbacks were allowed to practice on their own during the lockout, so each quarterback was on a similar playing field...the difference is Tebow just doesn't have the experience Orton has right now.

the new offense was not tailored to Tebow's shotgun strengths;

Translation: It was a pro-style offense, not the offense he ran at the University of Florida under Urban Meyer.

If Cam Newton fails in Carolina, can he use the fact the Panthers don’t use the spread-style option style offense that he ran at Auburn under Gus Malzahn as a reason?

So again, it isn’t Tebow’s fault he is falling down the depth chart, he just doesn’t have the skills right now to run the pro-style offense that John Fox prefers. For any other quarterback, this would be a bad thing and he would be criticized (see: Alex Smith), but for Tebow this is an excuse to be used.

and the adjustments in Tebow's throwing mechanics and his practices under center were not going as smoothly as everyone wanted.

Based on this statement, wouldn’t you say the adjustments in Tebow’s mechanics are hard to change and could make it hard for Tebow to be a starting NFL quarterback? This is essentially what Merril Hoge criticized Tim Tebow for that got Woody Paige all worked up. So apparently Woody agrees in part with Merril Hoge, he just doesn’t come to the hard conclusion Hoge came to.

In the first exhibition, Orton led the Broncos inside the Cowboys' 10 — and a field goal was the result. Tebow completed a 43-yard pass (from under center), but the drive was stalled at the Cowboys' 24, and the Broncos kicked another field goal. In his fourth series, Tebow was the beneficiary of an interception, and set up at the 7-yard line. He ran for a touchdown that was called back because of a holding penalty. The Broncos kicked a third field goal.

In the fourth quarter, Quinn led touchdown drives of 39 and 79 yards.

Tebow was dropped to No. 3.

In the Bills' exhibition, Orton was at quarterback for two touchdowns, Quinn for one and a field goal. Tebow barely played.

I hope Woody does know coaches decide on the depth chart based on more evidence than just what happens in preseason games. So we can’t conclude Tebow’s move to 3rd on the depth chart is because solely on what happened in the games.

Now, if "one highly knowledgeable member of the Broncos organization" is correct, perhaps Weber will get playing time against the Seahawks and the Cardinals, and Tebow will be dropped to No. 4.

Weber did not get playing time against the Seahawks, so Tim Tebow probably will stay at #3. Even if the knowledgeable member of the organization is correct and Weber versus Tebow are competing for the 3rd quarterback spot, it may not matter which quarterback looks better because Tebow is going to stick on the roster no matter what happens. He is a 1st round pick from 2010 and incredibly popular, there is no way he will be cut this year in favor of Adam Weber.

Earlier this month ESPN's Rick Reilly quoted John Elway as saying Tebow "didn't get an offseason to work on (playing from the pocket). He didn't get much of that in college. And it's a completely different thing than the shotgun. Plus, he's only had one (NFL) season. But he's amazing football player. I'd never give up on Tim Tebow."

When quoting something Rick Reilly has said in order to help prove your own point, please understand this is basically admitting that you have no point. Even in the case of Reilly quoting John Elway, I would be suspicious of something Reilly has printed.

What’s interesting is Woody Paige is proving my major criticism of the Church of Tebow followers. They take any criticism as an insult and an indication the person saying that criticism believes that Tebow will NEVER get be an NFL quarterback. That’s not much of what Mike Silver’s column said. It indicated Tebow wasn’t the third best quarterback on the roster right now. Obviously things can change in a few years and Adam Weber won’t make the roster at the expense of Tim Tebow for this year. The article didn’t say the Broncos organization had given up on Tebow, but any criticism of Tebow has to be blown out of proportion and made to be a bigger deal than it is. The Church of Tebow does not allow for criticism of their idol.

I didn't give up on Steve Young or John Elway, and I won't give up on Tim Tebow, either.

But so many others have — prematurely.

It is annoying how Woody Paige refuses to give up on Tim Tebow, but he also refuses to give Kyle Orton the benefit of the doubt. It’s like Woody can’t accept that Tebow isn’t the best quarterback on the roster right now and has to demean the coaches, the front office or anyone else who indicates the reality of the situation. How sad for him.


rich said...

In 2010 Moore beat out prized rookie Clausen to start the season.

No offense BGF, but saying either of them "beat out" anyone in a QB competition is pretty funny. Your argument was much, much better, but to compare Orton/Quinn/Tebow to Moore/Clausen is kind of ridiculous.

Neither Moore nor Clausen are starters on any team in the NFL (well maybe Seattle or SF). Orton pretty much starts for half the league.

So his analogy fails (again, beyond what you said already) because Fox didn't have any starting quality QBs in Carolina. He has one in Denver.

But after Moore suffered a concussion and four interceptions and a fumble, Clausen took over.

So his starter got hurt.

However, when Clausen struggled for three games, Moore was named starter again.

And was given his job back. So how exactly does that prove Fox will pull Orton?

the outlay to quarterbacks would be more than $21 million, which is Manning money.

Ya, but you're including the friggin' backups. If you include the backups, the Giants are close to 17M.

Go ahead, give up on Tim Tebow.

This is the worst kind of argument ever. Just because Tebow isn't a starter doesn't mean anyone is giving up on him. Aaron Rodgers sat behind Favre for what? Five years?

The Broncos threw a ton of money at the guy, money that means they likely won't give up on him. They're just trying to put him in a position to succeed in the future, which helps both the franchise and Tebow. Why does Woody want to see the Broncos rush Tebow into the game? Let him develop for another year or two and then put him out there. That strategy works far more often than rushing the guy.

With Tebow as the starter, the Broncos scored touchdowns 6-of-8 times inside the 20.

I believe this qualifies as a small sample size? Oh and in the red zone having a big athletic guy is really helpful.

Unfortunately, the red zone is only 20 yards, the other 80 yards, give me Orton.

the new offense was not tailored to Tebow's shotgun strengths;

How dare the coaching staff not tailor their offense around a backup!

and the adjustments in Tebow's throwing mechanics and his practices under center were not going as smoothly as everyone wanted.

So what you're saying is that an NFL quarterback was struggling taking snaps under center and was having issues with his throwing mechanics? And yet you wonder why the guy lost his job?

"So, you really want to be a rocket scientist huh?"

"Yes sir. I love rockets."

"Okay, I see here you aren't very good at math and you're struggling in physics."

"Yes, but I graduated with honors"

"... didn't you get a degree in art history?"

"Ya, but what does that matter?"

Tebow ... was stalled at the Cowboys' 24, and the... Tebow was the beneficiary of an interception, and set up at the 7-yard line....The Broncos kicked a third field goal.

In the fourth quarter, Quinn led touchdown drives of 39 and 79 yards.

Ya, four series (one starting from the 7!) and two FGs. Ya, he's the guy I want, not the guy who had two TD drives.

Orton was at quarterback for two touchdowns, Quinn for one and a field goal. Tebow barely played.

News flash: Tebow sucked the last game and with the shortened season, getting extra reps for your starters is crucial.

But so many others have — prematurely.

Said after quoting Elway as saying he wouldn't give up on Tebow.

I think Woody is just trying to get us all to laugh at the absurdity that is journalism these days. He's completely aware that his articles are bad, but he wants to prove a point about the industry. He deserves a whistleblower award for his work.

Arjun Chandrasekhar said...

at this point woody is a caricature - i was literally laughing out loud through this whole column. i love how he kept telling us that elway loved tebow and would only bring in a coach that believes in tebow; yet now when orton is almost certain to start, woody throws a hissy fit at these people for not giving tebow a chance. clearly tim tebow is not capable of screwing up, so these fools need to stop being so objective. seriously, he criticizes john fox for not using a shotgun-based attack? wtf? first of all what did he expect, second does woody paige seriously think fox should be expected to tailor his system to tebow when fox has a superior quarterback who happens to fit a conventional offense? oh wait nevermind orton is a terrible quarterback in woody's mind because he can't play defense or run block. in woody's mind any criticism is unfair, it makes you a hater - i mean, seriously woody you want us to believe that the broncos organization conspired against its own player that it spent a first round draft pick on? yes, he saw right through them, pat bowlen is actually a satan-worshipper who drafted tebow so he could try to make him fail, and he brought in coaches and executives who would help him fulfill this vision, but church of tebow disciples like woody paige cannot be fooled - they still hold out faith that their savior will resurrect himself into the greatest nfl quarterback ever!!! seriously, this is the kind of stuff low level bloggers and fan boys do, not actual journalists who are supposed to show at least some semblance of professionalism. considering how many smart sports minds i follow on twitter and the internet, it is really disturbing that people like woody paige, dan shaughnessy, gene wojciekowski, jay mariotti, etc. can have jobs and are considered that us bloggers are considered the evil ones, the pesky rebellious ones who are ruining sports coverage - if woody paige is considered the right way to cover sports then i want to be wrong.

i am so with you on the gospel of tebow thing. i thought it couldn't possibly get worse than when he was at florida (insert disturbing thom brennaman/tim tebow joke), but woody paige has somehow taken the irrational love to a whole other level. he is compromising all of his journalistic integrity and authority as a sports analyst with this drivel. every single one of his orton/tebow columns are grounds for firing him for sheer incompetency - and truth be told he would probably welcome the free time so that he could work on his tebow shrine and make a spinoff of that video from that britney spears fan a few years ago. at this point i just feel stupid for having dignified that atrocious column with a response

Bengoodfella said...

Rich, none taken. Last year was a disaster all around for so many reasons for Carolina. Fox has a starting quality QB and he just came off a season w/o one...why wouldn't he go to Orton? Nothing of what Woody said or in Fox's history said he would pull his starter. It took a broken wrist for Delhomme to sit for Moore. Woody needs to do better research.

That's what I am talking about when I say the Tebow fans take things to the extreme & any "insult" to Tebow is taken with such gravity. They want him to succeed and he may not be ready to start. Why rush him? It serves no purpose. By not starting Tebow, he has been given up on.

If Woody is showing the terribleness of sportswriting in 2011 he is doing a great job. I wish he would come out and just say he is showing the absurdity b/c I don't get it yet!

Arjun, Orton is a perfect fit for the offense Fox wants to run. He can manage the game but do a little more if needed. He also isn't so talented he will hate being held back by the offense.

"this is the kind of stuff low level bloggers and fan boys do, not actual journalists who are supposed to show at least some semblance of professionalism. "

Exactly. I would have more respect for Woody if he would just say he likes Tebow as a person and that's why he wants him to succeed, so he will put down anyone in Tebow's way.

It is insane how any criticism or even a non-elevation (is that a word?) of Tebow in any way is taken as a huge knock against him that can only result in a huge attack against that person. That's how it feels. The Broncos merely want Tebow to sit longer, it doesn't mean they've given up on him.

I don't dislike Tim Tebow. I dislike how any criticism of Tebow is taken as a direct attack against him. Boomer Esiason said Cam Newton had a 2% chance of succeeding this year. He may be right. If someone said that a/b Tebow, then I feel Woody Paige would come back w/ a harsh response. I think Tebow in 1-2 years can be a productive QB. He just isn't there yet.