Why Champ Bailey Is Backing Kyle Orton for Broncos' Starting Quarterback

May 2010
With an open competition under way for the starting job, the Denver Broncos' four quarterbacks participated in the team's passing camp Monday, battling 35-45 mile-per-hour winds and trying to show off their throwing acumen on a day when a tree blew over onto the team's practice field. Last year's starter, Kyle Orton, completed just five of 20 passes, according to The Denver Post, but his teammates didn't perform much better. Newbie Brady Quinn had a bit more zip on his tosses and completed six of 14 passes, while last year's third-stringer, Tom Brandstater, went one for two. Rookie Tim Tebow completed two of three attempts on the day. Champ Bailey, the Broncos' longtime star cornerback, says competition for the quarterback job is a good thing, but he's standing behind Orton. "They're obviously, like, polished vets," Bailey tells reporters. "They're on top of their stuff. It's going to be a good battle, but I tell you what, Orton---until he shows anything different---he's my guy." ESPN also publishes Bailey's words with reporters, adding that Orton played well enough last year to have earned another shot at running the offense. Broncos head coach Josh McDaniels is backing up Bailey's praise, but he warns reporters that it's an open battle and that the best player will start. It's clear McDaniels isn't sold on Orton, considering he traded for Quinn earlier this spring and surprised the football world by picking Tebow in the first round in April's draft. "Right now, (Orton) is the best player. He's in there first in the huddle. He knows the most," McDaniels tells reporters (via USA Today). "Does that mean that that's a guarantee for this season? No, and he knows that. Every quarterback knows that."