We stated Monday that we didn't want to lose focus of the quarterback this offseason, so we'll turn to Lovie Smith for comments on the position.
His teleconference this afternoon was the first time he has spoken publicly since general manager Jerry Angelo made his comments about the position two days after the regular-season ended. Smith was asked about Kyle Orton and the state-of-the-position:
Q: JERRY SAID ESTABLISHING COMPETITION FOR KYLE WAS A TOP PRIORITY. WHAT WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THAT AND WHERE KYLE STANDS?
LS: Well, first off, I don't think Jerry said that our No. 1 priority was that. Jerry talked about the quarterback position and he needed to see more from Kyle. You heard my statements, our statements, Ron [Turner], all of us around here, and Jerry's saying the same thing. We like what Kyle Orton was able to do this past year. Ten minutes after our last game, as I was asked about our quarterback position, I talked about Kyle Orton then. I'm saying the same thing now. I think our quarterback position is in the best shape it's been in going into the offseason.
I'm excited about Kyle Orton having a chance to go into the offseason as a No. 1 quarterback, getting a chance to work with the receivers, taking the majority of the reps and things like that. But at the same time, there's a good chance that Rex Grossman won't be with us next year. Rex has other options and things like that. I think as much as anything Jerry was probably talking about that, of bringing in another quarterback. Just in general, you need so many quarterbacks in here. Again, we don't want it to sound like we don't have faith in Kyle Orton. It's the complete opposite. I have a lot of faith in him and what he can do for our team."
Q: WILL YOU BRING IN A BACKUP OR SOMEONE YOU WILL LOOK TO BE IN COMPETITION WITH KYLE?
LS: Every job we have is a job where you come in and you have a chance to compete. We start off from scratch every year. That's what I say at the end. That's what I'm saying now. As we bring a guy in, you don't look for guys that have backup-type physical ability. You're looking for guys with starter-type ability with every man on your 53-man roster, and that's what we'll do at all positions. Quarterback is no different.