Josh McDaniels naming Kyle Orton starter means nothing

Yesterday, Broncos coach Josh McDaniels said Kyle Orton remains the team's starting quarterback -- but he added that there would still be competition for the position.

That's another way of saying McDaniels hasn't committed to a starting quarterback yet -- and you can bet he hasn't. So why bother making these comments in the first place? Because his remarks may at least put a damper on the brewing quarterback controversy for a few months during the off-season, allowing the team to focus on issues like the draft, as well as finding a center to snap the ball to whoever winds up sliding his hands between the cheeks of his ass.

Which may be Orton. Or it may be a rather handsome someone else.

Simply put, McDaniels wouldn't have traded for Brady Quinn if he was sold on Orton as a long-term solution at QB. While Quinn looks mighty good holding a clipboard (and doing pretty much anything else), he's too young to be regarded as a career backup.

That means he's here as a potential starting quarterback -- and if he impresses during training camp, the amount of time he gets with the first unit will increase, no matter what label McDaniels slapped on Orton in March. And if Quinn continues to outperform KO during the preseason, he'll take the starting job before game one, relegating Orton to the bench.

Do I think that'll happen? Frankly, no. Nothing Quinn's done in his NFL career to date convinces me that he's a significant upgrade over Orton, who had his moments last year, particularly during the first eight games. McDaniels clearly believes he can turn anyone into a quality pro signal-caller, and the Quinn experiment will go a long way toward determining if he's right, or if he's living in a fantasy world where the man behind the curtain in New England wasn't really doing anything to make Tom Brady or Matt Cassel better.

Still, if Orton actually wins the starting gig, as opposed to being pretend-bequeathed it, he could still get yanked after a game or two of ineptitude in favor of Quinn. McDaniels doesn't want either player getting comfortable at this point, despite his public comments.

His words were the equivalent of a time out, before the real quarterback showdown begins.

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