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Orton Awful in Broncos Debut Throwing Three Picks in Setback

If the Broncos had concerns about their starting QB spot, Friday night’s preseason opener in San Fran did nothing to stop those concerns. Starting QB Kyle Orton, who the team acquired in the offseason mega trade for Jay Cutler, was simply awful.

Orton’s linescore said it all: 9-for-16 for 89 yards with THREE interceptions. Three of the four Broncos drives that Orton was in for ended in a turnover, and new coach Josh McDaniels likely had to swallow hard as Orton killed drives for Denver in the 17-16 loss.

McDaniels supported Orton, who needed it in the postgame. “That’s great. That’s certainly what you need in this league is the support of your coach,” Orton said. “I’m not worried about it. I’ve got a lot of confidence in myself. I think my team has a lot of confidence in me. … I don’t want to make those decisions and throw three interceptions.”

While it’s just the first preseason game, there is going to be a lot of talk already in Denver about Orton, and if maybe the starting job should shift over to Chris Simms. For now, McDaniels says it’s still Orton’s job to lose.

“I feel very confident in where we’re at,” McDaniels said. “There’s no reason to start tailspinning into this and that when we’ve only had one preseason game.”

Many more outings like Friday, and that confidence will be gone for both coach and QB.

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