Kyle Orton: Not very good, but a really good guy

The Broncos' miracle win against the Cincinnati Bengals has inspired the sort of out-of-proportion optimism among fans that will almost certainly be crushed, and crushed brutally, a few weeks from now -- especially as it concerns quarterback Kyle Orton, who had a miserable game. True, former Broncos QB Jay Cutler looked awful, too, in his debut under center for the Chicago Bears -- but at least his errant passes had some zip to them, as opposed to the lazy wobblers Orton sent into the ether. However, this skills disparity is balanced by Orton's other attributes according to Joel Klatt, the former CU quarterback who now co-hosts The Klatt and Kreckman Show on Mile High Sports Radio, at 1510 AM. Yesterday afternoon, Klatt talked at length about how Cutler is a short-tempered fit thrower, while Orton is a cool, calm field general who doesn't get on other players when they drop passes and is beloved in the locker room. In these respects, he compared him to another former Broncos signal-caller -- not Brian Griese, whose arm is about as weak as Orton's, but Jake Plummer. And Klatt feels Orton has better pocket presence than Plummer, too.

Be still my beating heart. So Orton is nice. How many points will the NFL reward the Broncos for that? If niceness equated to football greatness, Mr. Rogers would have been the league MVP twenty years straight. And if the best compliment Klatt can find for Orton is that he's on par or superior in a couple of categories with Jake the Snake, whose inability to get the Broncos over the top led to him being replaced by none other than Jay Cutler, we're in for an even longer season than I thought.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts