Brandstater shifts to Broncos driver’s seat |

Brandstater shifts to Broncos driver’s seat

Mike Klis
The Denver Post
Broncos # 3 Tom Brandstater running drills during practice Tuesday at Dove Valley. Joe Amon / The Denver Post

To find the essence of a man, get to know his first car. Tom Brandstater, the newest brand of Broncos starting quarterback, drove a 1967 Chevy truck.

“It was painted metallic root beer,” Brandstater said. “We called it the Brown Bastard. It was awesome.”

Brandstater will be Denver’s starting quarterback in the final preseason game Thursday night against defending NFC champion Arizona primarily because the Broncos’ top two quarterbacks, Kyle Orton and Chris Simms, are hurt.

Orton only has an injured finger, but as a quarterback, he might have been better off sustaining an injury to his entire lower extremity.

“The index finger is the last part of your hand that comes off the ball when you throw,” said former Broncos quarterback Preston Parsons, who still lives in the Denver area. “You can’t throw a spiral without your index finger.”

Orton, the Broncos’ usual starting quarterback, sustained an open dislocation to a knuckle on the index finger of his right (throwing) hand Sunday in the preseason game against Chicago. His finger was reset and his skin wound was sutured. But that still only gives his finger two weeks to heal in order to apply the necessary pressure grip on the football to effectively throw a pass in the Broncos’ season opener Sept. 13 at Cincinnati.

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