Monday, December 10, 2007

Kyle Orton to Return on Monday Night

Chicago Bears Head Coach Lovie Smith reported today that Kyle Orton will be starting next Monday Night in Minnesota. Orton hasn’t thrown a regular season pass since his 5 completion 59 yard performance against the Vikings nearly 2 years ago to end his rookie season. The 4th round pick came off the bench to help lead the Bears to an 11-5 record his rookie season replacing oft injured/embattled starter Rex Grossman. That 2005 team was led mainly by a staunch defense and grinding running game with Orton trying to keep the Bears alive, and ultimately being replaced by Grossman vs. Atlanta in the division clinching Sunday Night Game with 2 weeks to play. Orton led the team admirably through his first 15 starts leading the Bears to a 10-5 record. Grossman, who started that season like the 2 before it as the teams starter who went down early to injuries, played in 3 of the remaining four games showing glimpses of the future with a combined total of 2 TDs 3 INTs and QB ratings in the 40s 50s and 60s. We shoulda seen it coming. In contrast Orton had an above average season for a rookie quarterback amassing 9 TDs and 13 INTs (5 of which coming in his terrible performance at Cincinnati). Orton was pulled for the fan favorite vertical passing game led by Grossman that has since self-destructed on multiple occasions since. Meanwhile Orton has stayed in the background through the back and forth of mediocre at best Griese and bi-polar Grossman who can’t decide if he wants to have a QB rating above 80 or below 50 (rarely falling between the two). With this season as good as over, and Grossman ready to re-up in the off-season, why not see what Orton can do. If he is equal to Grossman, and perennial back-up/starter/back-up Griese is still signed, why pay Grossman’s fee for a continually embattled made of glass QB. Orton could be the shot of adrenaline this team needs going into next season. Not that I’m putting that much confidence in a man who has looked like this before. But still it’s a nice chance for him to display that he can do something, and could make this offseason a lot less stressful for the Bears front office. Not to mention I can't even count how many times I have looked exactly like that before, either one with or without beard, Lowest Common Denominator would have to be that beautiful bottle of Jack Daniels in at least one hand. And yes, sometimes standing on a bar.