According to this report on ESPN.com, Tim Tebow will get his first NFL start in Oakland. Bill Williamson reported that a source from within the Broncos told Adam Schefter that Tim Tebow will be the man under center when the Broncos take on the Raiders on Sunday.
Earlier in the week, Broncos interim head coach Eric Studdesville had said Kyle Orton would be the team’s starter. Speculation began to increase as the week went on that this would not be the case. Kyle Orton did not make any throws the entire week of practice. Tim Tebow got the majority of the first team reps.
Teams are often vague about the starting Quarterback in the days leading up to their game. The hope is that their opposition will not be able to focus in their preparation for just one Quarterback. More often than not, this practice is meaningless, as the game plans and style of attack do not change much from QB to QB. This is one case where it probably will.
Kyle Orton is a typical pocket passer and Tim Tebow is anything but that. While his NFL experience thus far has been limited to a few wildcat situations, it is probably a safe conclusion to make that Tebow will be far more active with his feet than Orton ever was. The Raiders man-to-man defense makes them vulnerable to QB runs, but not as much so to giving up big plays in the passing game when the QB breaks the pocket.
Tebow may need to break the pocket often. The Raiders defense currently leads the league in sack percentage and the Broncos offense is 17th in sacks allowed percentage. The pressure he is likely to face is going to be a big test for his decision making and highly scrutinized release.
One thing is for certain, this game will get a lot more national attention now.