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News » Job battle nothing new QB Kyle Orton has been fighting to keep his starting job throughout his career.


Job battle nothing new QB Kyle Orton has been fighting to keep his starting job throughout his career.


Job battle nothing new QB Kyle Orton has been fighting to keep his starting job throughout his career.
Kyle Orton is here and Mark Sanchez is not.


Instead of a franchise quarterback, the Broncos took a franchise running back in Knowshon Moreno. Call draft day a win-win for Orton.

"There's no question about it, a good running game is the best friend for a quarterback," Orton said. "We've got a good group of running backs and Knowshon should fit in well."

The veteran Orton is attending the Broncos' rookie minicamp this weekend while the rookie Sanchez is nowhere near Dove Valley.

The Broncos thought about taking Sanchez, a pro-polished quarterback from USC, with their first pick in the NFL draft. They even flew to Los Angeles to give Sanchez a private workout five days before the draft, and discussed the possibility of moving up as many as four spots from their No. 12 overall pick.

Rather quickly, the Broncos decided it would be too costly to move up in the draft, and as it turned out, they weren't going to get Sanchez. He went to the New York Jets with the far-too-pricey No. 5 pick, and the Broncos stayed still at No. 12 and took Moreno.

"Oh, yeah, you hear about it, but like I said before, you're going to compete for your job every year," said Orton, the most likely candidate to replace Jay Cutler as the Broncos' starting quarterback this year. "And I don't have a problem competing."

Most teams hold three minicamps during the offseason. Orton will participate in five. He had one with the Chicago Bears before he was dealt March 2 to the Broncos in the Cutler trade and will participate in four with the Broncos , who were granted an additional minicamp because McDaniels is a first-year coach.

Better believe Orton will receive his $100,000 workout bonus this offseason.

"He threw himself into the playbook," McDaniels said. "I don't know what time he's leaving here (tonight) but I know it's not early."

To be clear, Orton isn't proclaiming himself the starting quarterback, only that he's competing for the position with another veteran, Chris Simms. McDaniels says this, too, although Simms is the underdog after essentially not playing the past three seasons.

The Broncos wound up drafting a quarterback last weekend, but not until the sixth round, where they selected the raw but promising Tom Brandstater from Fresno State. For his rookie season, Brandstater will be asked to perform two functions: observe and absorb.

At least he didn't spend his first day Friday getting the rookie treatment from Orton or Simms.

"They could easily not help me at all, but they've taken a liking to me, I hope, and they've been helping me, and I'm appreciative of that," Brandstater said. "And when I mess up on the field, they give me the corrections in a nice way."

Brandstater will not present the threat Sanchez would have posed, not that Orton would have been inexperienced in such a situation. In 2005, Orton won 10 games, more than any rookie quarterback since the 1970 merger except for Ben Roethlisberger's 14 wins in 2004. Yet Orton was yanked as the starter before the 2005 playoffs.

By 2007, Orton was behind both Rex Grossman and Brian Griese and was so lightly regarded the Bears planned to replace him as the No. 3 quarterback by drafting Florida's Chris Leak.

"Didn't bother me at all," Orton said.

Orton outplayed Leak in the preseason and by the end of 2007, the Bears reached an epiphany: There was something about Orton. He has been starting since.

Sanchez? Even if he had been drafted by the Broncos , no one should have been surprised if he spent his rookie season watching Orton play.

"I've certainly been through a lot the first four years of my career, but I'm excited to be here," Orton said. "I think I've done a lot of good things in this league and a lot more good things to go."

Mike Klis: 303-954-1055 or mklis@denverpost.com



Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: May 3, 2009

Kareem Brown Name: Kareem Brown
#98
Position: DT
Age: 24
Experience: 2 years
College: Miami (FL)
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