This article is part of our Team Previews series.
STATE OF THE FRANCHISE
After starting the 2009 season 6-0 under new head coach Josh McDaniels, the Broncos have crashed, going 6-20 and looking to start over in 2011. With a 4-12 finish last season, the Broncos decided to hand the team over to former Panthers' head coach John Fox, who led the Panthers to a 2-14 finish in 2010, the worst record in the NFL. Fox never lost more than 9 games before last season and did bring the Panthers to the Super Bowl in 2003, qualities that new team president John Elway was looking for in his new coach.
Fox inherits a team with a quality quarterback in Kyle Orton, the NFL's surprising leading receiver in Brandon Lloyd and the 2009 sack-leader, Elvis Dumervil, back from injury. Oh yeah, and they also have a former Heisman Trophy winner named Tim Tebow, who has his share of supporters.
An open competition for the team's starting quarterback spot was announced in conjunction with Orton being placed on the trading block, seemingly opening the door for the Tebow era to begin. Unfortunately, the team couldn't find a trade partner, as Orton demanded a contract extension from the Dolphins, who were ready to acquire the veteran until the contract negotiations went south. So, instead of Tebow being handed the starting job, Orton is back and working with the first-team offense.
That should be good news for Brandon Lloyd, who surprisingly (maybe even shockingly) led the NFL in receiving