Tim Tebow a Broncos starter ... at running back?

Training camp officially opened for the Broncos on Sunday, with a record-setting crowd turning out simply to breathe (almost) the same air as Tim Tebow, third-string quarterback.

Whether these folks will get the chance to see Tebow under center during games that count remains a major question. But there's no doubt they'd see more of him if he could show off his undeniable mobility from the running back position.

As recapped by the Denver Post, the Broncos went from having a running-back logjam to being seriously short of legs. First, they traded away J.J. Arrington. Then, both Knowshon Moreno and Correll Buckhalter went down with injuries.

While both Moreno and Buckhalter are expected to be available by game one, their wounds (to the hamstring and upper back/lower neck, respectively) are the type that can often hamper performance for a significant amount of time long after they're cleared to play. And even if they were both 100 percent, neither has shown much aptitude for taking over games. The running-back-by-committee strategy is popular these days, and it makes sense, given how often backs get hurt. But the Broncos' committee is pretty underwhelming, especially considering the fact that Josh McDaniels spent the twelfth pick in the 2009 draft's first round to get Moreno.

Tebow, on the other hand, is a hard, physical runner who's been pretty damn durable, as this Gator injury history post documents. That's why the Broncos are coming up with so-called Wild Horse schemes to be deployed in short-yardage, red-zone or change-of-pace situations.

Am I seriously suggesting that Tebow should shift positions? Of course not. But unless the Broncos start the season 0-6, he's going to spend more time flattening his ass on the bench than flattening linemen during a bruising goal-line plunge.

Then again, given the running back situation at present, a terrible beginning is hardly beyond the realm of possibility.

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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