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Officially, Tebow is neither third string nor second string

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While doing some research (yes, I do some research . . . sometimes) for today’s PFT Live, I noticed something odd on the Broncos online depth chart.

Though it’s widely believed that Tim Tebow is the third-string quarterback in Denver, he isn’t.  But he isn’t the second-stringer, either.

On the team’s three-deep depth chart, the second string quarterback is “Brady Quinn or Tim Tebow.”  Given the elimination of the emergency quarterback rule, it doesn’t matter who’s No. 2 or No. 3 if both guys will be among the 46 active players on game day.  But the team’s reluctance to apply the official second-string or third-string label makes little sense.

It could be that the Broncos don’t want to expose Tebow to the official indignity of being the third-string quarterback, and that the team also doesn’t want Tebow to be in the on-deck circle behind the starter on a team that could once again struggle.

Either way, at some point the fans will demand — loudly — that Tebow plays.  And it won’t matter where he is on the depth chart.  For more, check out the first segment of today’s PFT Live.

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80 Responses to “Officially, Tebow is neither third string nor second string”
  1. WingT says: Sep 14, 2011 3:51 PM

    Or it could be that the Bronco Web site has simply made a mistake – happens all the time

  2. achap39 says: Sep 14, 2011 3:51 PM

    There it is…I was wondering where my daily Tebow story was.

  3. suckleague says: Sep 14, 2011 3:52 PM

    He’s fun to watch, and that sells tickets. Let me go out on a limb, Kyle Orton is boring.

  4. ebenezergrymm says: Sep 14, 2011 3:52 PM

    Tebow is soft and over rated. 3rd best quarterback on his team honestly.

  5. scudbot says: Sep 14, 2011 3:52 PM

    Wasn’t this crucial fact reported two weeks ago?

  6. yahmule says: Sep 14, 2011 3:55 PM

    When asked to comment, Neckbeard Orton belched up a watery brown substance onto the collar of his polo shirt.

  7. acanniv says: Sep 14, 2011 3:56 PM

    Seriously, stop.

  8. Foresight2011 says: Sep 14, 2011 3:56 PM

    John Fox would rather hide underneath a rock then try to explain this mess. Leave the poor coach alone.

  9. wewantmoretebowandfavrearticles says: Sep 14, 2011 3:56 PM

    Or it could be based on matchups and the flow of the game/if Tebow was effective earlier in packages. You know, like applying logic instead of drama mongering?

  10. rollerino1 says: Sep 14, 2011 3:56 PM

    I am in awe of how poorly the Broncos front office is handling this situation.

  11. jnks10 says: Sep 14, 2011 3:57 PM

    You guys seriously wrote a story about this. Man you are reaching to keep him in the news.

  12. warrenmoon says: Sep 14, 2011 3:57 PM

    At first I thought he might be fourth string behind Brian Dawkins… since he can still do it all

  13. kylexitron says: Sep 14, 2011 3:57 PM

    honestly the broncos should trade tebow, it’s not worth all the drama at this point. It’s obvious they have little faith in him if they are even entertaining him competing for 2nd string with …. Brady Quinn.

    I actually feel bad for Tebow. Never been a big “fan” of his per say but you know the guy doesn’t want to be the cause of all this drama. It all could have been avoided if the Broncos weren’t shopping Orton around and then ‘settled’ for keeping him. Should have either never shopped him (the guy played well last year) or traded him to miami.

  14. Fan On Fire_Maurice Barksdale says: Sep 14, 2011 3:57 PM

    If the Broncos don’t start winning, they will be forced to play Tebow. The fans will continue to call for him, whether they like it or not.

    Kyle Orton is a really good backup, and Quinn is better suited to be a backup as well. The only way the Broncos will solve the Tim Tebow problem is to play him and let his play dictate their actions.

    If he really can’t play, it will show on the field.

  15. weightshakes says: Sep 14, 2011 3:57 PM

    The Tebow freakshow continues….

  16. dayumyou says: Sep 14, 2011 3:58 PM

    achap39 says:
    Sep 14, 2011 3:51 PM
    There it is…I was wondering where my daily Tebow story was.


    Ha!!! I was thinking the same thing.

  17. phinfan says: Sep 14, 2011 4:00 PM

    Just checking… but did you notice if he was listed as a Tight End?

  18. citizenstrange says: Sep 14, 2011 4:00 PM

    Is this one of those trick question riddles where the answer is “Neither because you don’t bury survivors.”

  19. fthrvic says: Sep 14, 2011 4:01 PM

    So the Broncos have two backups, and when you think about it, its hard to compare Quinn to Tebow. Its probably better to rank them 2 and 2A. At least that way the Quinn Nation won’t be too offended by the Gridiron Jesus.

  20. favreforever says: Sep 14, 2011 4:01 PM

    When the team loves to string you along, it doesn’t matter whether it is from the #2 slot or the #3 slot.

  21. dafixisin says: Sep 14, 2011 4:01 PM

    Tebow Tea Partiers of the world unite! Time to twitterbomb the Broncs! Please start this kid long enough so that my Raiders can crush Denver at home. Fans of a team this orange deserve this indignity.

  22. favreforever says: Sep 14, 2011 4:03 PM

    Tebow at third string remains more interesting than Newton at first string. Weird.

  23. skinsrock says: Sep 14, 2011 4:04 PM

    I know Tebow lacks something that other good QB’s have in this league. BUT… When Tebow is on the football field in a real game… Competition just lights his fire… Orton doesn’t have that “it” factor when it comes to leadership that Tebow has. Sometimes, talent doesn’t always win out.

    “Leadership is overrated!”
    – Jeff George

  24. drobstad says: Sep 14, 2011 4:04 PM

    Kid is a winner… Can’t measure heart. If you were going to pick apart roethlisberger’s talents he wouldn’t be a spectacular QB either. Bottom line is the kid knows how to be a leader and how to win in competition. Kyle Orton… uhh… Is good in fantasy?

  25. rando74 says: Sep 14, 2011 4:04 PM

    Not every fan wants Tebow to play. A BIG majority of us, the fans who actually know football, are fine with Orton and if not we still dont want Tebow. I’m sick of reading about this. If he could play, he’d be in there. Get over it and find something else to write about. I’m tired of this site and its writers speaking for all of us. Give it a rest.

  26. vaporiizz3r says: Sep 14, 2011 4:04 PM

    They just dont want to list him as the 3rd string to not make the Bronco fans riot.

  27. drshakedown74 says: Sep 14, 2011 4:05 PM


  28. beerbaron says: Sep 14, 2011 4:05 PM

    Tebow is fun to watch? Sure, a halfback option pass is fun to watch once in a while but you don’t want that guy throwing the ball on every play.

    The NFL is a passing league and if you can’t throw the ball, you can’t win.

  29. rdrs68 says: Sep 14, 2011 4:07 PM

    This is what is known as Donkey Logic.

  30. mmmpieyummy says: Sep 14, 2011 4:07 PM

    Officially, Teblow is not even an NFL quality quarterback.

  31. tiffpats4eva says: Sep 14, 2011 4:07 PM

    Same here.

  32. 7pints says: Sep 14, 2011 4:08 PM

    Timely reporting. The website had the depth chart listed this way before week 1. Good work.

  33. sirmixalotalotalot says: Sep 14, 2011 4:09 PM

    just because the guy is a Christian, doesn’t mean he is a good football player.

  34. tenteamparlay00799 says: Sep 14, 2011 4:10 PM

    Tebow is a Bad player on a very bad team.

  35. favreforever says: Sep 14, 2011 4:11 PM

    Tebow is neither second string or third string. He is first string. John Fox isn’t aware of that yet because he has been operating without his hearing aid. Which was removed because it was interfering with his pacemaker. Something to do with the conductivity of the metal in his replacement hips.

  36. instantlunch24 says: Sep 14, 2011 4:12 PM

    Would you do some research as to how many people, officially, care?

  37. castleofcheese says: Sep 14, 2011 4:12 PM

    I’m still waiting for my Matt Leinhart update.

  38. scudbot says: Sep 14, 2011 4:13 PM

    The Lord will cause fire and brimstone to fall on Denver and annihilate the Broncos infidels unless Tebow gets his shot. No, wait – He already visited the Plague of McDaniels on them, so maybe they’ll get a pass here.

  39. clavette says: Sep 14, 2011 4:13 PM

    week 8-10 he will be the starter.

    and to the moron saying hes the third best qb on the broncos, have you seen brady quinn play in the nfl?

    tebow deserves a shot whether its with the broncos or somewhere else. brady quinn had his shot and failed miserably

  40. vernhh says: Sep 14, 2011 4:16 PM

    Officially, WHO CARES!!!

  41. winkeroni says: Sep 14, 2011 4:19 PM

    It’s hard to feel sorry for Tim Tebow when he’s got a pretty good gig. He collects a check and all he has to do is practice. It’s likely he’s the #3 qb so if Orton gets hurt he can still hold a clipboard and wear a baseball cap. A guy can make a pretty good living holding a clipboard.

  42. paulsdamnblog says: Sep 14, 2011 4:20 PM

    And this is news why???

  43. packerfan1000 says: Sep 14, 2011 4:22 PM

    Maybe the Broncos shouldn’t list anyone on their depth chart at QB. You know, since they have zero legitimate starters on their roster.

  44. seneca1ss says: Sep 14, 2011 4:25 PM

    “Why is my son being crucified?”
    Sincerely, Jesus H. Christ

  45. petehemlock says: Sep 14, 2011 4:30 PM

    Trade him to Indianapolis.

  46. glac1 says: Sep 14, 2011 4:32 PM

    Great character and a great attitude but most knew he wasn’t cut out to be a NFL quarterback.

  47. Spencer says: Sep 14, 2011 4:34 PM

    LOL. People are going to be so surprised at how this little drama ends.

  48. essentialsausage says: Sep 14, 2011 4:36 PM

    It’s sad that the Broncos are forced to play this game where they have to be careful not to hurt Tebow’s feelings.

  49. tombrookshire says: Sep 14, 2011 4:37 PM

    Looks like backlash from Tebow-adoring fans and media has hurt him with coaches and team mates and make it impossible to keep him around. The most celebrated, has been, never was in the history of the NFL, and the kid never did a thing to bring it on but be true to himself and honest with others.

  50. zmcgee8 says: Sep 14, 2011 4:38 PM

    Let’s take a poll people… Overall would teams be more successful if…
    A) coaches make decisions on who plays or
    B) chanting fans in a crowd make decisions on who plays

  51. deepseabreeze says: Sep 14, 2011 4:39 PM

    rest in peace andy whitfield

  52. jimmysimpson55 says: Sep 14, 2011 4:43 PM

    I don’t have much of an opinion on Tebow’s talents, but I am becoming a fan due to all the bashing going on. When all you turds make fun of his religion, just remember that a lot of us believe in the same religion. When you make fun of how he throws, just remember that you probably don’t have the talent to be a ball boy. Nobody knows what kind of quarterback he will be until he plays. Steve Young once looked like an idiot loser interception machine when playing for Tampa Bay. Just knock it off

  53. tdrizzle74 says: Sep 14, 2011 4:43 PM

    Raider fan critiquing play at the quarterback position is very ironic.

    The last time Raider fan had a proven winner at QB, dude was wearing the single bar face mask…and Lester Hayes was dripping activator juice all over his jersey.

    Talk about something you are an authority on like how to hot glue the darth vader helmet over your king kong/planet of the apes mask.

  54. vegasbronco says: Sep 14, 2011 4:46 PM

    What is this man-love you have with Timmy.
    Give us a break……………..

  55. packerbacker12 says: Sep 14, 2011 4:47 PM

    Just because Tim Tebow had a great college career doesn’t mean he deserves all this hype. Just shut up about him already.

  56. juiceboxsupply says: Sep 14, 2011 4:47 PM

    Denver’s coaches are going to hell

  57. alaricsrevenge says: Sep 14, 2011 4:51 PM

    You know what, start him. Let the fans see what he really is. The Broncos are going nowhere and they might be in the Andrew Luck derby next year.

    Sink or swim kid, whatever it may be.

  58. whitecastleisafoodgroup says: Sep 14, 2011 5:00 PM

    If Tebow marries a Kardashian the media world will implode. Let’s keep a good thought.

  59. numberoneinthehoodg says: Sep 14, 2011 5:03 PM

    If they don’t want to label him as third string to possibly hold trade value etc… why not just name all three as first string?

  60. hendeeze says: Sep 14, 2011 5:16 PM

    PFT why not get Brett Farve’s take?

  61. Deb says: Sep 14, 2011 5:35 PM

    It won’t matter if the fans demand–loudly–that Tebow plays. Fox can’t hear them.

  62. thefiesty1 says: Sep 14, 2011 5:36 PM

    He’s not even sixth string on my depth chart. Bigger bust than what’s his name that was at Oakland. See there, I can even recall his name. I wish that was so for Timmy.

  63. jacksrants says: Sep 14, 2011 5:39 PM

    Hey TDizzle I guess you don’t remember a guy named Rich Gannon ? The stupidity from some people astounds me . You do know Gannon won a MVP award during his tenure in Oakland and they went to a Super Bowl don’t you ?

  64. tenteamparlay00799 says: Sep 14, 2011 5:50 PM

    Broncos stink.Get ready for Andrew Luck.Here is my prediction for the Broncos 2012 Q.B. rotation.

    Starter: Andrew Luck
    2nd string:Kyle Orton
    3rd string:Brady Quinn

    Tim Tebow:Traded to Oakland for a 6th round draft pick.

  65. fancyleague says: Sep 14, 2011 5:52 PM

    Tebow should be given ten years to have a good season. Just like Michael Vick was.

  66. tatum064 says: Sep 14, 2011 6:20 PM

    tdrizzle74 says:
    Sep 14, 2011 4:43 PM
    Raider fan critiquing play at the quarterback position is very ironic.

    The last time Raider fan had a proven winner at QB, dude was wearing the single bar face mask…and Lester Hayes was dripping activator juice all over his jersey.

    Talk about something you are an authority on like how to hot glue the darth vader helmet over your king kong/planet of the apes mask.
    I know, a 59-14 beat down last year, a 63 yard FG a 77 yard punt, McFadden running through and around you for a buck 50.

    I know it hurts….bring the smack, we ran all over their offensive front and you know it.

  67. tdrizzle74 says: Sep 14, 2011 6:22 PM

    jacksrants…I remember Gannon

    decent journeyman qb who never won a superbowl as I recall, but I also remember

    Marc Wilson
    Jay Schroeder
    Todd Marinovich
    Jeff George

    and my personal favorite
    Jamarcus Russel.

  68. muttbolts says: Sep 14, 2011 6:29 PM

    The next ken will be playin in the cfl in no time.

  69. souldogdave says: Sep 14, 2011 6:35 PM

    If ownership caves to fan pressure and starts Tebow, they will get what they deserve. Tebow won’t fit in a “system”, you have to design one for Him. They would have to rebuild the offense around Him, and game-plan for Him. The Coach would have to re-write the playbook for, you guessed it, Him. Not gonna happen.

  70. tdrizzle74 says: Sep 14, 2011 6:37 PM

    You know… all that me and my fellow Bronco fans could talk about on tuesday morning was that 77 yard punt…that stings dude.

  71. tinopuno says: Sep 14, 2011 6:53 PM

    “Officially, Tebow is neither third string nor second string”


    When I read the header for this piece, I naturally assumed he was now 4th string.

  72. gatorfan1 says: Sep 14, 2011 7:01 PM

    Lets see:


    TD–INT 5-3
    Passing yards 654
    QB Rating 82.1
    Rushing Yards 227
    Rushing Touchdowns 6

    2011: Preseason:

    23-30 with 2 dropped passes for over 250 yds. Horribly inaccurate.

    Yep, people on this site certainly know their football!

    Considering the consensus view is that Tebow can’t complete passes to his receivers in practice when NO ONE is covering them; something seems to be amiss with his stats during game time.

    Me thinks there is another agenda at play.

    Because stats don’t lie. All the arguments go both ways. If the numbers are skewed because Tebow is playing 2nd & 3rd teamers, so are Quinn’s for the same reason. And his last appearance with the 1st team was horrendous.

    And if the reasoning is because of the lack of competition with the 3 games he started at the end of last year, remember, those were still NFL players. The Broncos WERE supposed to lose those games at the end of last year, they stunk, remember.

  73. bucforever says: Sep 14, 2011 7:19 PM

    Tim Tebow has God on his side whatever he is doing on or off the field. John Fox has to take into consideration that John Elway is also no Tebow’s side. So it looks like he is straddeling the fence on where to put him in the line up. He may make a better politician than a coach. Always keep your options open coach!

  74. rajbais says: Sep 14, 2011 9:21 PM

    Just trade him already!!!!

    If not, make him play running back because Knowshon Moreno can’t!!!

  75. jaypace says: Sep 14, 2011 11:11 PM

    Gatorfan good point. People say he’s awful but the numbers don’t say that. If he’s as bad a passer as people say then why are his accuracy numbers good? I never hear a good argument on this site for not playing him. Here’s the problem with waiting to play him. If Denver starts slow, say 2-6. And you wait to play him and he’s a mixed bag some good some bad you still don’t know what you have going into next season. Maybe the team thinks they will blow with whoever starts and want to draft luck. Play the guy good or bad it will put people in the seats.

  76. yahmule says: Sep 15, 2011 3:43 AM

    Orton is one of countless NFL QBs who have managed to start a number of games because they are reasonably proficient between the 20s. Also known as a guy who is just good enough to lose for you.

  77. joetoronto says: Sep 15, 2011 6:01 AM


    The last time the Donkey’s had a good QB was John Elway, which was way before Rich Gannon.


  78. gatorfan1 says: Sep 15, 2011 7:46 AM


    Here’s what I think. When John Fox was hired I believe TT name was obviously bought up in the hiring process. And my feeling is Fox, who likes older players wanted a year to see if they could make Orton a WINNER. Not a QB who is good between the 20’s.

    Since this is a final year of his contract (Orton), Elway gave Fox the year, with his total support in backing the QB fox wanted. That’s what he should do. However, seemingly with Orton being Orton, eventually a change will have to be made. I think Fox was hoping for stability at that position with a more experienced guy. Which has always been his motif.

    That would explain the various reports that Elway would work with TT separately at times to teach him the QB position. I don’t think Elway is looking to dump TT, like everyone says. Elway & Fox want to be sure about Orton before making any kind of switch.

    This is a free year anyway for Fox. That’s why they paid TT his 7 million dollar contract.

    Unfortunately you cannot get a reasonable post on TT because of all the incredible hate and strong opinions that have NOTHING to do with football.

  79. robcypher says: Sep 15, 2011 8:34 AM

    If Tebow can raise the dead (and come back from the dead himself after three days), then surely he can manage a QB rating at least in the 90s, right?

  80. ready4doomboom says: Sep 15, 2011 2:03 PM


    When asked to comment, Neckbeard Orton belched up a watery brown substance onto the collar of his polo shirt.


    Love it.

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