Time to promote Tebow, demote Quinn

It’s time for the Denver Broncos to promote Tim Tebow to their No. 2 quarterback, if only to keep him upright.

The Broncos have way too much invested in Tebow for him to being playing behind a third-string offensive line any longer. Plus, the current No. 2 quarterback, Brady Quinn, showed nothing in Sunday night's 33-24 loss in Cincinnati to prove he deserves to be a backup NFL quarterback.

Let’s face it: Tebow is the future in Denver. Quinn is not. Move the kid up.

Tebow was fairly solid in his NFL preseason debut. He completed 8 of 13 passes for 105 yards, but he was harassed all night.

It’s clear Tebow must get used to the speed of the NFL game. Even in the speedy SEC, the former Florida star didn’t face anything like this. He also must work on protecting the ball. Still, Tebow showed his patented gutsy running on a 7-yard touchdown run on the final play of the game.

It’s time for Tebow to play more in the preseason and that can be done if he is made the No. 2 quarterback. Denver is going to use Tebow in special packages during the regular season anyway, so he might as well get backup repetitions now.

Tebow threw the ball well a few times and was let down by receiver Matthew Willis early. After throwing a perfect strike, Tebow, who entered the game late in the third quarter and stayed for the rest of the game, saw Willis drop the ball. Late in the game, he threw a nice pass to set up his scoring run. Like all rookie quarterbacks, Tebow has a lot of work to do, but there is promise.

Quinn didn’t show any promise. He bumbled his way through his performance as he completed just 6 of 16 pass attempts for 68 yards. He also threw an interception that was returned for a touchdown. Quinn looked completely lost, more like an emergency quarterback.

The Broncos must make that status official this week and give Tebow more playing time Saturday against Detroit in his home debut.

Meanwhile, starter Kyle Orton extended his fine summer by throwing two touchdown passes. Orton looked very sharp. It was a stark contrast to last year’s preseason opener when he threw three interceptions in his Denver debut.

In Denver, it is clear the quarterback pecking order must be this: Orton, Tebow and Quinn.