Minutes after signing his name to his one-year contract extension, Kyle Orton visited with media in a teleconference from Halas Hall Tuesday afternoon.
HOW MUCH DID STARTING IN THE FINAL THREE GAMES OF 2007 HELP YOU?
KO: Just my attitude, it made the offseason a lot easier and just left a little bit better taste in my mouth and I’m obviously ready to get back to work and excited to get back and compete.
DID THEY HAVE TO CONVINCE YOU THIS WOULD BE A REAL COMPETITION WITH REX?
KO: Obviously, I wouldn’t have signed the deal if I didn’t think that. Like I said, I’m excited for this year. I think I’ve got a great opportunity here, I’ve got great teammates around me that I know and I am just ready to get back to work.
HOW TOUGH WAS IT BIDING YOUR TIME TO GET A CHANCE?
KO: Yes, I’m sure you all know it has been difficult for me and sometimes I handle it better maybe than other times but that stuff is in the past and I think I’ve got a great opportunity here for the future and would love to make the best out of it and have a nice long career here in Chicago.
HAVE YOU TALKED TO REX?
KO: I haven’t. No.
HOW DO YOU LOOK AT IT, YOU’RE SIGNED THROUGH 2009 AND REX JUST 2008?
KO: I guess I don’t look at it. I look at what I thought was a great deal financially for my family and a chance to be locked into Chicago for one more year. That’s what I looked at in making the deal.
HOW MUCH DO YOU SEE THEM RETOOLING THE OFFENSE?
KO: I think Jerry has started and done a real good job. I don’t know what they want to do draft-wise or free agent-wise or anything like that, but I think we’ve got a good base of guys, a good group of guys to work around on offense and fill a couple holes here and there and we should be ready to go.
WERE YOU SURPRISED WHEN THE TEAM CAME TO YOU?
KO: No. My agent and I had thought maybe something would get done. We didn’t know how serious it was going to be but the deals have just gotten better and better. Coach [Lovie] Smith and Jerry [Angelo] and Ron [Turner], I think they showed confidence in me with this deal and I appreciate it and I think it’s a great deal.
HAVE YOU SPOKEN WITH BRIAN GRIESE?
KO: Yeah, I think Rex is out of town or something. That’s what I haven’t, it’s not like we’ve been playing phone tag or anything. I talked to Brian once and just had a personal conversation with him. Obviously, he’s a guy that I trust and trust to be able to, he’s been through it before and it’s always nice to have a guy who’s been through it where you can shoot some questions at him.
WHAT WILL IT BE LIKE IF HE’S NOT AROUND?
KO: Well we’ve developed a good friendship and hopefully he is back. I don’t know what the next few weeks is going to hold, but hopefully he is back and we can have three good quarterbacks in here to compete and have a nice unit. It certainly is a business.
WHAT EXCITES YOU THE MOST?
KO: I’m just excited to finally get a chance to get a lot of reps in practice and compete for a job and get better. I’m more excited about the reps I am going to be getting and just the opportunity.
THIS IS GOING TO BE A HIGH PROFILE COMPETITION. CAN IT BE AWKWARD?
KO: I don’t think so. Rex and I have been around each other for quite a while now and I think we’ve got a good relationship and we’re comfortable around each other. I expect it to be a stiff competition. I think that’s how both of us want it, I know that’s how I want it and just looking forward to it.
DID YOU CONSIDER SAYING NO THANKS AND HEADING OUT IN FREE AGENCY AFTER THIS COMING SEASON?
KO: No. I feel comfortable in Chicago. I love the city. I think I’ve got a very loyal group of fans and I want to try to do everything possible to be here and be a great player here.
DIDN’T ENTER MIND AT ALL?
KO: Obviously, there is always a business aspect of it that yeah, you’ve got to explore options, but as we explored and looked away, it kept on bringing us back here.