Could Tim Tebow finally be on his way to the starting quarterback position on the Denver Broncos?
Speculation out of Denver is ever-present, but it seems to be growing after the Broncos' ugly 49-23 loss to the Green Bay Packers last Sunday.
The Broncos are now 1-3, tied for last in the division with the hapless Kansas City Chiefs. Their scoring differential sits at -30. And up next on the schedule? First-place San Diego.
And with each loss comes the talking point: When will Tim Tebow become the starter? Should he become the starter?
Broncos fans have been discontent with incumbent starter Kyle Orton since the preseason, when Tebow's poor performance forced head coach John Fox's hand. Orton has been among the middle of the pack in terms of most statistics, but that has not kept fans from salivating over the possibility of Tebow.
Orton is tied for 18th in the NFL with an 80.9 quarterback rating and is 20th in completion percentage at 59.9. He also ranks 22nd in passing yards per game and 24th in yards per attempt.
The below-average ranks force groans from anxious fans. And it has caused an interesting dilemma for Fox, who has to juggle fan, player and organizational interest.
I think first of all, we opened it up for competition, Fox said in a Monday news conference. It's not something where we took a fan poll or we took a vote. We watched practice, watched the competition, and we're four games into that. And so, I don't know that we're in any place different than we've been all along.
The first dynamic, of course, is the fans. Even after Tebow's horrid training camp and preseason, fans wanted him as the starter. Already last week, billboards popped up in Denver advocating for Tebow to start.
But Fox also has the players and his bosses to please. The simple solution is, seemingly, to start Tebow and end the firestorm. End the questions from the media. End the calls for Fox's job along with Orton's.
Players have stuck by Orton unwaveringly throughout the season. Willis McGahee told reporters Monday that everybody needs to get over it. Linebacker Joe Mays urged fans to be more supportive of Orton.
That's where Fox treads the fine line. He cannot upset the balance in the locker room, yet at the same time the locker room is facing a firestorm about the potential replacement.