Chicago Sun-Times

Orton named the starter (for now)

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Working through the reaction at Halas Hall following the naming of Kyle Orton as the starting quarterback for the 2008 season.

Here is the most telling quote from the afternoon from coach Lovie Smith when he was asked if the quarterback derby between Orton and Rex Grossman was over:

"Is it over?'' Smith said. "Nothing is ever over with any position. We don't name any guys starters for a lifetime or anything like that. But we feel real good about Kyle just like we feel good about Olin Kreutz being our center, Lance Briggs being our will linebacker."

There's some realism from the man with the glass that is half-full. Note that he was also able to take a page out of the book of John "Bluto" Blutarsky, which by our standards is always a good thing. A very good thing.

Check back later on for more reaction.

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23 Comments

So, they basically looked at Grossman at Seattle to see if he could handle a weak O-line and saw him turn into the classic Bad Rex...

Makes sense why Orton barely played in that game - they wanted to preserve him before Seattle tore him apart.

I'm sure we'll still see them split starts this season. If the line is that easy to run through, Orton will be out with serious head trauma by Week 4.

Biggsy,

When reporting this story did you ask Lovie: "Well, what they hell we supposed to do you moron?!?"

I take this in stride with any "mis"-information coming out of Halas Hall this season. At some point, Jerry Angelo will stick his greasy fingers back into the pot.

To be honest, no one - including Smith - has any credibility in this organization. The whole Lovie "You need to trust me" scolding he gave fans and media with the release of Ron Rivera for Bob Babich was the beginning of the end. When it comes to Angelo, he's incompetent and a liar and I believe most of Bear nation wants him out of town the sooner the better.

Some people say that releasing a GM and finding his replacement can cost several million dollars to an organization. Me and a coupla guys from the 7-11 around the corner can do it for $500, no questions asked. Any takers?

Today Bears coach Lovie Smith named Kyle Orton the starting quarterback for 2008. I can't convey how demoralizing this egregious decision makes me feel. The Bears will need to win games 13-10 because KO cannot throw the ball downfield.

Rex Grossman is 21-13 as the starter and lead us to the Super Bowl just two seasons ago. If this plays out the way I think it will then Lovie Smith and offensive coordinator Ron Turner both have to be fired. Furthemore, with Bob Babbich at D/coordinator the Bears will probably surrender 20 plus points per game anyway.

Finally, I hate to admit this but we have to hope that Orton gets injured. Its the only thing that could possibly lead the Bears to victory. Perhaps, I am wrong? I certainly hope so. I have not been so vehemently opposed to a coaching decision since Jim McMahon was traded to San Diego in 1989. And, you know what Mike Tomczak was not the answer and neither is Kyle Orton!


Take heart, Kyle and Caleb lovers.

From the looks of the O-line on Saturday night, everyone is going to get to see their favorite QB's play this season.

This could be a verrrrry comical year. Entertaining in a bad-football sort of way.

Without a good O-line it doesnt matter who's under center.I think Rex is a better Qb than Orton but with a weak O-line Ortons the better fit.

I was listening to people down benson for his production, while look a Forte without a Line nothing is going to work.I think its time to give up some draft picks for some O -Lineman now before we start the season

I was a Rex promoter and I still believe he was better than Kyle but Kyle is now the QB so lets back him.

I will still bet that by game three if Kyle is not performing the Boo Birds will be calling.

Lets remember Bears fans always like the #2 more than the #1 QB.

I thought this was how it would turn out, and it has nothing to do with the line, Kyle came in at the end of the season and showed growth last year. It is his turn to see if he can run the show and get the team wins, I saw somebody say that with Kyle at the helm the Bears would win games 13-10, so the what the hell is wrong with that idiot, the idea is to win games, and improve, the same person keeps ragging on about Rivera, fact of the matter is and I said this before, Rivera was supposed to be a head coach by now, and that was the outlook two seasons ago, get over this issue as well. Now for the kicker everyone rags on Angelo, yes right; this is the same idiot who brought us Hester, Anderson, signed Idonje and Gould, had the foresight this season to draft Forte, and the balls to release Tank. You guys are no BEARS fans, you all focus on the darkside of everything, its a new season, and players have to step up simple as that. The same people most of you are bitching about are the same two people that got us to the Superbowl 2 yrs ago ( Lovie & Angelo), or were you complainers not born then ( before they got here we couldn't even spell playoffs).....Look the team has to get better offensively for sure, but some these posts make no damn sense, yes when you get old ( Miller, Big Rube) you have to replace them with young players and live thru the growing pains.....that's right Beekman, Orton, Bennett, Barton all these guys were drafted by the same guy who drafted Anderson, Harris, Brown, Hester, etc....give the guys some games on the field to see what we got, if any of you watch the NFL network you'll see other teams with issues also, even the Pack and the Cowboys have problems to fix, that's why they call it coaching, and as my man Herm Edwards says; that's why they play the games.....GO BEARS....KICK SOME AZZ THIS SEASON.....

My my how we forget.

Yeah the Great Ron Rivera who had the Bears ranked #1 in total defense until Novmeber in 2006. After that opposing teams racked up plenty of yardage and points. Yeah, Ron lost Mike Brown in week (7) and Tommie Harris soon after that year but didn't Babbich lose many more to injury a lot sooner ie. Mike Brown, Dusty, D. Walker, Adams, Vasher, Payne, Garray, even McGowan, Briggs and Tillman missed a few starts in 2007, plus Urlacher suffering through his bad neck and arthritic back, the total dissaster of Adam Archuletta ect....

Minnesota 348 yards
St Louis 433 yards
Tampa 357 yards
Detroit 327 yards
GB 373 yards

Playoffs

Seattle 306 yards
NO 375 yards
Indy 430 yards with a whopping 24 first downs and 38:04 time of posession.

In that same span the Bears surrendered 172 points or a lofty 24.5 points per game average. Ron ran himself out of town by not making adjustments in the big games. The 2005 playoff game vs the Panthers and nearly blowing the 2007 Seattle playoff game and letting the Colts eat the defense alive in the SB.

Yup. That 2005-2006 season playoff loss at home to Carolina was a disgraceful defensive coaching performance and that game made me lose all hope that this staff will ever have what it takes to lead the Bears all the way.
Yeah, they made the Super Bowl the following year, but it was an extremely weak NFC. The challengers were an injury-depleted Seahawks team that pretty much bumbled the game away to us, and a totally green Saints team that was coming off a last place season.
In the Super Bowl, the defense was appalling as 3rd and 5 after 3rd and 5 was easily converted by the colts simply dumping off to a running back right in the soft middle of the bend-but-don't-break defense. That was when the mighty Dominic Rhodes wasn't busy running all over them.

This regime just doesn't have what it takes. They peaked during the Super Bowl year. Lovie is stealing those $4.5 million he collects annually on a contract extension he should've never gotten, I don't care how many Tony Kornheisers of the world who know nothing about the situation were clamoring for him getting his contract re-done with a year still left on it.

Kyle Orton is going to be a good NFL QB for the Bears. Other than throwing Orton right to the wolves as a rookie, the Bears have done the right thing as far as developing a QB with Orton. Orton was clearly not ready as a rookie, coming out of Purdue, Orton was mostlty in the shot gun, very seldomly under center. As a rookie, Orton had problems with the center snap exchange and then sitting his feet to throw, to name one fundamental problem Orton had. Kyle Orton was then benched at the end of his rookie season, which was the right thing to do with Orton at the time. The time spent running the scout team the last 2 seasons for the Bears has worked wonders for Kyle Ortons development into an NFL QB. A lot of people forget, not every player can come right into the league and be a starter, especially at the quarterback position. Orton is clearly a different player than he was as a rookie back in 2005. I knew Orton had potential as a rookie, 6 of his games started he was 60% comp percentage on his passes. So far this pre-season Orton is in the 60's again as far as completion percentage. Orton is also safe with the ball, this is key for a running team. Give Orton time to now get all the reps with the first team wide receivers, to get in sync, and I think Orton is going to surprise a lot of people GO BEARS!!

BensonSucks,

Holy Shiat on an altar, you want to compare Ron Rivera versus Bob Babich? Really? You're going to point at Rivera's record vs. "Big Bad" Bob? I've heard some retarded arguments in my time but for the love of Ditka, you really want to sit down and compare???

Bob Babich hall of shame:
How about Chicago takes a 13-3 lead into the 4th quarter and the Lions - THE FRICKIN' LIONS - scored 34 points in ONE FRICKIN' QUARTER - an NFL record. I mean it's not like a team record or a division record, that is a NFL record in a league that plays hundreds of games each year and - yet - after thousands upon thousands of games Babich holds the record!

How about the following week when Chicago won despite Brett Favre torching the defense for 243 yards in the FIRST FRICKIN' HALF!?!

Or maybe when Adrian Peterson of the Vikes ran for a (then) club record 224 yards and 3 touchdowns the week after the Green Bay game?!? I mean Tarvaris Jackson was EN FUEGO with his 9 for 23 showing for 136 yards and a TD so how COULD the Bears and Babich know to stop the run? I mean when you face a GREAT qb like Tarvaris Jackson something has to give right???

Oh and maybe we give him a vote of confidence in Week 17 when 3rd string RB Pierre Thomas TORCHED the Bears for 226 yards on 32 touches with a touchdown. Granted New Orleans didn't win so Bob Babich should get credit for that???

For the love of Ditka, talk about ADD and short memories in Chicago!

I DON'T KNOW WHY THEY DON'T PLAY BOTH OF THEM, NEITHER ONE OF
THESE GUYS IS GOING TO START EVERY DOWN DURING THE SEASON, ONE
IS GOING TO GET BENCHED AND THEN THE OTHER ONE WILL PLAY, AND
THEN THE REVOLVING DOOR WILL START, MARK MY WORDS BEFORE THE END
OF THE SEASON A NEW QUARTERBACK WITH NAME RECOGNITION WILL PLAY
FOR THE BEARS!
ORTON NOR GROSSMAN CAN EVER SAY THE BEARS WEREN'T LOYAL TO THEM!
MAYBE TO LOYAL!

who the hell in there right mind would stand up for jerry, chitownbear? so, he brought us hester, if you remeber correctly he was trying to get randle el and if that would have happened we would be sitting back watching hester against us. so he got lucky he didnt get randle el. how big of a fool he was for getting rid of tank, enough said!!! you see where anderson is right now dont ya, hes the backup again, he couldnt handle being a starter. how can you say jerry took us to the superbowl, he didnt do jack, he set in his office taking credit where it wasnt deserved, the players took the team to the bowl, duh. now for orton, i really hope he can do good, but i dont see it happening. with the crappy line we have, he wont get time to do anything and will probably end up getting hurt. ron turner doesnt know how to call a game so there will be alot and i mean ALOT of 3 and outs. i wont be surprised one bit if i hear the crowd and people on here begging for rex by week 4. the one thing i can say about rex is atleast he brings excitement to the game and has a go for it attitude. i see the bears being a mediaocre team at best this year, how disappointing!!!

I have to disagree with Daniel about Orton's (and quite frankly most of the national media's) assertion that Orton cannot throw downfield. Does anyone actually watch games any more? Sure, Grossman has a stronger arm, but it isn't like Brett Favre compared to Chad Pennington here. If you would have watched the Packer game at the end of last year, you would have seen that Kyle not only has the arm strength to make all the throws, but has the gun to make all of those throws in what Favre called the worst passing conditions of his career. Balls were sailing off target all day, but Orton was drilling guys in the chest. One ball hit Muhammed so hard in the end zone that it bounced 10 yards back towards the line of scrimmage. his strength was downfield passing in Joe Tiller's offense at Purdue, and the only reason he dinked and dunked in 2005 was that he wasn't ready to play, and the coaching staff didn't want him to take chances. He has learned, and he has made himself into a professional quarterback. Pity Grossman couldn't do the same.


This is the right call for the Bears this year. I also think there is a strong case to be made to get rid of Grossman rather than keep him on the roster. This decision says that Rex is not in our long term plan, so if Chris Simms or another veteran comes loose that is attractive to the team as an alternative, I would think they would consider letting Rex go. Unless you want to go into the season like we have, where we expect the carousel at QB. Our line is going to be bad, but I would like to see them give Kyle all 16 games to show what he's made of. I think we will all be pleasantly surprised

Jon, Do you know the difference between the draft and Free agency, Randle-El was attempted to be signed as a Free agent, and if Angelo would have got him it would have been a great move, it would have had nothing to do with the drafting of Hester, and you know what we got their, Angelo does a good job of filling holes with late round picks, players who impact the team positively, we can point to mistakes on players Benson, Tank, but they were players most of us on the blog would have taken also if we had the chance, tank played well here, just could'nt stay away from pistols....As a fan, I try to find positives and when I read the blog, I see most of you look for negatives, Marriotti does enough of that for all of us....Hell, the Bears had over 10 years of not even being able to win 7 games and most of you complain about people who have made the team relevant again nationally. I can remember when the BEARS were never in primetime, get a clue guys our team is better for having Angelo and Lovie at the helm, the job is not done by no means, but unless Parcells is coming into town, these guys stay put

What is going on at Halas Hall this year?
Let me give it a shot for starters,JO just completed the impossible, He failed to put the franchise tag on our best WR and only deep threat (lost Berrian), admitted that the #4 overall pick in the '05 draft (Benson was a mistake). And Finally, you waited 3 additional months to quietly tell the world that your franchise QB (Wrecks "that offense is Gross-Man") that you drafted in the first round will no longer be under center.
Welcome to the revolving door that is the Chicago QB situation, 19 QB's in the time that Favre was a Packer, and a whoping 33 QB's in 119 games. WHEN IS THIS GOING TO STOP? You were right in on off season statement, The Bears will definately get off the Buss running this year. Running for their lives from any defensive front 4 that is.
GOD HELP US

This is all the Bears can do: Throw Hester at QB with Garrett Wolfe and Matt forte in the backfield. Line them up in Shotgun with the backs side by side and run an option west coast system, running about 70% of the time. That way they at least have a completely new scheme to present other teams. You can throw passes from hester to the flats and run reverse passes by Marty Booker. Lets face it Booker and Hester cant be any less productive than Orton or Grossman. it wouldnt work (probably) but at least it would be fun to watch!
Its gonna be a long year with that oline regarless. They are as bad as I've ever seen. Probably the worst bears team since Kordell Stewart took the helm.

Joe I would be surprised if we see Orton for 16 games this year, I agree he has a decent arm but his downfield accuracy is still suspect and in those games against GB and New Orleans Kyles numbers were not very good and you can thank Hester for the win against the Saints. Also Kyle playing against the Saints D isn't proof of anything Rex has torched them as well, because they are one of the worst defensive teams in the NFL. As for that GB game the Pak phoned that game in. Look at his preseason game against the Chiefs, he put up below average numbers against one of the worst teams in the NFL and got all of 3 points and 50 yards against a Seattle D that stopped blitzing and had pretty much finished for the day when he came in. Kyle has not played in a game that has meant something sense 2005. The Reason I think he will not play 16 games is that line will not support him enough to get him through 16 games in one piece, the way the line looks I would say we will see Hanie the last 2 or 3 games of the season. That line lacks any kind of starting talent and has almost no depth. Also let me know when Forte averages at least 4 yards a carry because so far he has not been able to pull that off, I believe he is around 3 yards a carry as it stands and thats him trying hard. Not saying it's his fault but if we can't control the ball and the clock we can't win games. There are going to be a lot of injuries on the defense this year. Orton, Rex it don't matter niether is good enough to carry a team without a running game or decent Recievers and an Oline that is just as bad as they come. Notice if you will that Angelo said when he first got here way back when that he would fix the offensive line, he has yet to do that and yet to draft a compitent left tackle in his 20 years of working drafts

What does it matter who starts as QB? Orton will get beat up just like Grossman did against Seattle. Orton will get knocked out of the game and Grossman will replace him and get beat up as well. THERE IS NO LINE! Season over.

Wow. Lots of negativity, and for good reason. Does it really matter, Bears fans, if they aren't gonna win it all? They either are or are not good enough.

I think right now they are clearly not good enough to win it all. The expectations are low. Usually, the Bears do good when everyone "writes them off", and hopefully, this year will be the same. They are currently picked to finish 3rd in a very weak division where John Kitna is the best QB. LOL.

I think the Bears need to start thinking about trading 2 players for draft picks. They have a ton of good (not great) D-ends. They could trade Anderson to whomever for a 2 or a 3 &5. They could trade Jamar Williams to whomever for a 4 & 6 rounders. They could get 3-5 more draft picks next year and still have plenty left at the deep positions. They need to start to think about that because their needs list is big (QB!!!, 2 OL, 2 Safeties, WR?). Knowing that only half of the draft picks will be servicable means they need to double up on those positions to guarantee having them filled.

They need the extra picks for trade bait as well. Either Quinn or Derek Anderson will not be on the Browns next year. They are both too talented to be back-ups (compared to our 2 QB's who are both not good enough to be NFL starters so far), and will demand out of Clevland.

With all that being said, I still think they could win this division with a 9-7 record. This division is the weakest of all divisions this year. Det sucks every year, Minn has no QB, and GB is in a change and vastly overachieved last year.

Go Bears!!

It is like beating a dead horse but the QB issue is not even the biggest issue on this team. Why is it that the National Media keeps pounding on this? Do they watch the games? The Bears do not have a #1 Wide Receiver, Running Back and mostly importantly an Offensive line.

Also like I have stated before, putting Devin at Wide Receiver spells doom. Look at what happened the other night when he got his clock cleaned. As I stated, what happens to our return game if he gets injured? Don't give me Earl Bennett because he is no Devin. There is only one Devin!

Da church of da caoch,

I don't recall every posting that I wanted to compare Ron to Bob but since you brough it up....

Do you seriously believe that Ron Rivera would have magicly schemed some way to prevent Detroit form picking off Brian Griese for a Defnsive TD, prevented Detroits special teams from returning our OnSide kick back for another TD and kept the Bears Defense together as long as Babich did when he was without Nathen Vasher, Charles Tillmam, Mike Brown, Lance Briggs and lost his starting rookie SS Kevin Payne half with through the first quarter with a broken arm ??

You remember that game, we started Trumaine McBride and Daniel Manning at CB, Payne and McGowan and safety. The secondary was a mess and I was surprised they held Detroit to (3) points through (3) quarters personaly...... To say the defense gave up (34) points in that quarter is misleading because (14) of those points came from Offense and Special teams mistakes while the Defensive unit was on the sidelines watching.

Yeah, Brett Favre smoked us in the first half but unlike Ron Rivera, the Bears actually adjusted at halftime and ended up shutting Brett Favre down completely in the second half, holding him to 79 second half passong yards, forced him into (2) INT's and gave up only (1) second half FG.

True, AP owned us with those (3) long runs and (3) TD's.... Lowsy tackling and poor techniques definetly falls on the DC's shoulders but carma is a Bi-otch because AP destroyed the Chargers for 283 rushing yards later in the season and the funny thing is that Ron Rivera was coaching up those LB's as a memeber of the Chargers D-staff....

Here the Bears last four regular contests.
St Louis: Bulger 356 yards 3 TD's
Tampa: Rattay 268 yards and 3 TD's, Gradowski 57 yards
Detroit: Kitna 283 yards and 3 TD's
GB: Favre 285 yards and 1 TD.

That's a staggering 1249 passing yards and (10) TD's given up heading into the playoff's ... Not very good. The Bears Defense broke down once Tommie Harris broke down after Mike Brown however, the Bears Defense in 2007 lost many more starters to injury and it showed on the field.

Relax everyone !! Sit back and and enjoy a 4-12 season with Orton and this O-line. Reading all these comments, I still have to remind you folks that Jester Jerry hired Lovie by default,that we could have Nick Saban (lol)!!! Rex will be gone after this season, and we are now offically in the Tim Teabow sweepstakes. Of course, based on Jerry's fear of first round pick's, he'll probably draft an O lineman with a bad back

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on August 18, 2008 5:06 PM.

Final thoughts on Bears-Seahawks (mostly QB free) was the previous entry in this blog.

The quarterback decision: Orton, Lovie, Turner speak is the next entry in this blog.

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