Lost in all of the hoopla over Kyle Orton being benched for Tim Tebow is the lack of respect that Brady Quinn is receiving.
When Broncos head coach John Fox named Orton the starting quarterback at the start of the season, he also named Quinn the primary backup. With calls and chants from fans for Tebow to be the starter, Fox caved on Tuesday and named the former Heisman Trophy winner the starter for Tebow's homecoming to Florida when Denver faces the Dolphins on October 23rd.
Quinn recently caught a flight to be by the side of his girlfriend Alicia Sacramone, a top qymnast who had surgery on a ruptured Achilles tendon. In some ways, Quinn has been missing in action even when he put his pads on every Sunday.
What's disconcerning is that Quinn wasn't even mentioned as the possible replacement for Orton. Fox basically decided that it came down to the either having confidence in Orton, or giving the fans what they want by starting Tebow. Quinn was not even in the equation.
It's hard to blame Fox for choosing Tebow. There have been pressure from fans and media to give Tebow a shot at the starting job, and if he had chosen Quinn, there would have been a loud backlash. Fox, to his credit, had the common sense to give the fans what they want, whether it's good for the team or not.
For the sake of the 2011 season, Quinn might be just as good a choice at the starting job as Tebow.
The idea of choosing Tebow over Quinn as part of a youth movement doesn't wash. Quinn is only two years older than Tebow, and reportedly was performing better in practices.
The argument that Tebow has done better than Quinn in their short playing careers doesn't really wash, either. Quinn struggled in Cleveland, but so has basically every quarterback that has played with the Browns since Bernie Kosar about 20 years ago. Quinn completed better than 52 percent of his passes in his career in Cleveland, and in 2009 had to make due with a collection of subpar receivers, and no legitimate big-play threat.
Meanwhile, Tebow has completed less than 49 percent of his passes in his career. On his touchdown pass to Knowshon Moreno on Sunday, it was the running back who used some creative moves to elude tacklers and find the end zone after a short pass. Tebow is a threat to scramble, which is a great asset, but it will be interesting to see how he performs over the course of a season. Many running quarterbacks have struggled to stay healthy, as Steve Young and Michael Vick can testify.
Quinn has patiently waited his turn, and he has barely been acknowledged. The former Notre Dame star sat out the entire 2010 season, so he's probably well-rested and healthy, and has a strong understanding off the Broncos offense.
Choosing Tebow might indeed prove to be the right decision, but Quinn at least deserved to be considered for the starting job.