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.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.