We'll turn the blog over to the men involved today.
A look at the Q&A's with Kyle Orton, Lovie Smith and Ron Turner.
"Obviously I'm excited. I want to try to make the most of it and win football games."
WHAT DID THEY TELL YOU?
"It was kind of the same thought as we were going in, just consistent play and just doing the right things on offense, not that Rex didn't do that or anything. I think Rex has played well. I just focus on myself and getting ready to play."
DID YOU FEEL LIKE IT WAS A LONGTIME COMING?
"I'm real excited. This is obviously one of my goals going into the season. As a team, we've got a lot of goals to accomplish and this is just the start of it."
HOW MUCH OF A RELIEF WAS IT?
"I think it's a relief and now it's just all about the unit and knowing what everybody's going to do and just kind of tailoring things to the way that we like it."
HOW DO YOU EVALUATE YOURSELF?
"I think I've just continued to get better in the preseason--in the games and in practice--so this will be another step to take. We'll get a lot more playing time this week and just try to get ready for Indianapolis."
CAN YOU BE YOURSELF A LITTLE BIT MORE NOW?
"Oh yeah. Plus now you can try to establish yourself as a leader.20It's not going to happen overnight, but just with work ethic and performance just try to establish yourself as a leader on this offense."
DID TELL YOU INDIVIDUALLY?
"Lovie called me up and told me and then talked to Rex I believe."
NOTICE A DIFFERENCE IN PRACTICE TODAY?
"This is a quick turnaround for us with the long flight from Seattle and then we play on Thursday, so I don't think people have too much time to sit around and think about it right now. We've got to get ready for San Francisco on a short week."
WAS IT A GOOD TIME FOR A DECISION?
"I'm sure all along this was in coach's game plan, just the fact that we're going to play so long together as a unit in this game and then probably not all that much the next game. I'm sure he had that thought in his mind the entire time."
HOW FAR HAVE YOU COME SINCE YOUR ROOKIE YEAR?
"People make such a big deal about that, my rookie year and everything, but I think everybody on this team has gotten better since they were a rookie, not just me. That stuff's just in the past and I'm just focused on playing good football right now."
WHAT IS THE BIGGEST DIFFERENCE?
"Just being in the same system. This is my fourth year. My accuracy has improved. My command of the offense has improved. And just being able to play at a high level."
"To come to a decision like that, we've taken a lot of things into consideration: last year, how we finished the season, OTAs, training camp, preseason games. In the end it comes down to a gut feeling that you have. I feel good about Kyle leading our team. We have big plans. The first game we got a little bit done. Second game we had a couple things we need to clean up. This third preseason game you normally play your group quite a bit. We plan on doing that and going from there."
DID YOU HAVE A GOOD IDEA AFTER THE SEATTLE GAME?
"When I said things were becoming clearer, every day things have cleared up a little bit. You learned a little bit more to confirm some things that you know. But I think when you say you have a competition, you have to let the guys compete and I feel like going through two preseason games we had a chance to let the players have one last look. But it wasn't based on just the preseason games or just training camp--not one thing--just a lot of different things."
IS THE QB DERBY OVER?
"Is it over? 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."
DID A LOT OF THINGS GO INTO THE DECISION?
"When I say a lot, you're going to have to go with that. I'm talking about just different things on how we've evaluated the players. When you get to just the quarterback position, there were a lot of things--you name it--from completions to turnovers to just the feeling we have on who can manage the game the best for us. All of those things for us. The good thing about evaluating both Rex and Kyle, we've had a long time to do it. It's been quite a few years we've had a chance to see both guys play."
WHAT WAS REX'S REACTION?
"Disappointment. Of course, no competitor will agree with a decision when it doesn't go their way. But Rex is a team player. He's been in this situation before and he'll do whatever he needs to do to help our football team win."
DID KYLE'S WINNING PERCENTAGE HAVE A LOT TO DO WITH IT?
"That's what it's all about in the end, our quarterback leading our team to a victory/ We'll ask him to do certain things. Some games we may ask him to pass more, other games we may not. There's a lot of things that we ll ask him to do and you have to feel good about that guy being able to do that and we feel that way about Kyle."
WAS THE DECISION DIFFICULT GIVEN THE PLAY OF THE OFFENSIVE LINE?
"Not necessarily. Both guys were in the same situation, which is the good part about it. Both guys played both preseason games with the same line and we let both players throw to all the different receivers. I think we did about what we could to let them compete fairly for the position."
TOUGH DECISION, EASY DECISION, ONE YOU HAD TO MAKE?
Tough decision because both guys played well. Both guys really accepted the challenge, both guys prepared and played well on a consistent basis.
ARE YOU GLAD IT'S OVER?
We were ready to move on and start preparing. We've got to start getting ready for the first week. This was another step.
WAS IT A DISTRACTION AT ALL?
I didn't see it as one. And I thought both of them handled it very well.
CAN YOU EVEN COMPARE ORTON TO WHERE HE WAS IN 2005, OR IS HE TOTALLY DIFFERENT?
Oh no. He's so far ahead of where he was then. His knowledge of the system, his physical condition, the way he is throwing the ball, everything.
HOW SCALED BACK WAS THE PLAY BOOK IN 2005?
Oh a lot. No question about that. Obviously, we won't have to do that.
DID THAT MAKE IT TOUGH TO PREPARE FROM WEEK TO WEEK THAT SEASON? YOU DIDN'T HAVE AS MUCH TO PULL FROM?
It always does. The more you can do. You could see things you wanted to do and then you just couldn't. The more you can do the better. It gives you a chance to spread it out a little more and do some things.
WHAT SPECIFICALLY DID YOU SEE FROM KYLE TO MAKE YOU SAY HE'S READY?
Consistency. Consistency in running the offense. And both guys. That's not to say that didn't come from Rex.
HOW DID REX TAKE IT?
He's a competitor. He wanted to be the guy. But he's also a team guy and he'l do whatever he can to help this team win and be ready to go when his time comes.
DID ORTON'S CONRACT SITUATION VS. REX'S WEIGH ON THE DECISION?
It never even came up. Not at all.
IN A NUTSHELL, WHAT LED TO THE DECISION?
Again both guys played well and it's just a decision we made and we're moving forward with it. I don't know if there's any one thing.
DID KYLE DO ANYTHING BETTER THAN HE DID IN THE PAST?
He's got a lot better grasp of the offense obviously being here another year. Physically he's in really good shape and he's playing the best football of his life.
DID REX NOT DO SOMETHING YOU NEEDED TO SEE?
No, no, no. He did a good job and both guys competed their butts off. And both guys played really well. Rex didn't do anything to make us wonder about him or anything. We know we can win with him and we believe that, just like we can with Kyle.
WHAT IS YOUR SITUATION WITH THE RECEIVERS?
We're zeroing in on that. That's sorting itself out. We have another game and they'll all play in this game coming up, but that's starting to take shape.
WILL PLAYING TIME THURSDAY BE AN INDICATION OF WHAT WE CAN SEE IN THE SEASON?
Maybe a little, but not totally because there's some guys that we still that we want to get a good look at just to make sure. I don't think it necessarily makes a statement of what we said, there might be some guys that we know what he can do and maybe he doesn't get as many reps and somebody else gets more who we want to look at, so you can't say Oh, he's getting a lot of reps he must be the guy well, it might be but it might not be.
IS IT TOUGHER TO IDENTIFY EVERYONE'S STRENGTHS WHEN YOU HAVE SO MANY MOVING PARTS?
Not really because you can see everybody still has an opportunity to go play, every guy out there has had an opportunity to play every day in practice and in the two preseason games that we've had so far. So no, even though we're moving guys around a lot they're still out there taking snaps.
DID YOU PLAN TO MAKE AN ANNOUNCEMENT AT THIS TIME ALL ALONG?
We were hoping. We never set a timetable and said we have to have it done by this date. We were hoping to have something so we can get in the huddle and get things in place.