Posts tagged ‘kyle orton’
by Sean - posted Saturday, April 4th, 2009
Over the last few days the articles about Jay Cutler have been flying fast and furious. They’ve taken approaches as wide ranging as ‘Cutler is a whinny baby who will regret leaving Denver’ to ‘Jay Cutler is the savoir and Jerry Angelo is the messiah for bringing him here.’ I think the rational Bears fan knows it all fall somewhere in between.
But perhaps the most stunning and inexplicable article I’ve read was one posted over at si.com “Kyle Orton could throw more TDs than Jay Cutler”. The bloggers five reasons are: receiving corps, offensive line, defense (Orton will play from behind), Josh McDaniels’ offense, and that Orton is underrated.
It an argument that on the surface looks completely reasonable and to some people might make them think that “hey, the Broncos didn’t make out so bad in this thing after all”. But I find the flaws in that to be nearly as bad by judging a starting pitcher simply on his win-loss record, too many other factors are involved.
Anyway, the whole point is this article prompted me to finally put down some thoughts on the situation. This is especially aimed at the writers and pundits who’ve been ripping Cutler and overhyping Orton since the deal… I’m looking at you Rick Morrissey, Gene Wojciechowski, Trent Dilfer and Mark Schlereth, Hub Arkush, Mel Kiper Jr., and this idiot who also wrote “Broncos won’t lose much if they trade Cutler”.
As a Bears fan I wish Kyle Orton the best in Denver. He was a solid football player for us and made the best of his talents and situation.
As a football fan I won’t be stupid enough to act like the Bears didn’t pay a premium for Cutler or believe that “giving up 2 first round picks isn’t a big deal because the GM would’ve screwed them up anyway” is a valid argument.
But for all the people on the “Kyle Orton is underrated” bandwagon, you are in for a bumpy ride. People talk about Orton’s great first half before the ankle injury but all it was were 3 good games against 3 terrible pass defenses (Detroit, Atlanta, Minnesota) and that’s it
Orton lacks anything that really resembles mobility; he doesn’t side step the rush or extend plays. Additionally Orton has a ton of problems when having to come off of his first read, and if he does it’s generally to play it uber-safe and dump it to a running back.
It should also be noted that Orton completed one, ONE pass that traveled more than 30 yards in the air all of last season. That one pass was in the last game of the season, was under thrown, and would’ve been picked if Hester had not come back underneath the defender to make the catch.
It’s not a lack of arm strength, because his shorter and medium passes have zip, but a lack of trajectory as Orton just chucks up rainbows on any pass over 25 yards. And for a guy who’s 6’4″ he has an absurd number of passes batted down at the line of scrimmage.
As for Cutler, as a Bears fan I realize he’s not a savior. He’s not Brady or Manning yet. He’s a gunslinger prone to mistakes from trying to make throws not even his incredibly gifted arm allows. I openly acknowledge and admit to all of that.
But this is also the first time in my lifetime the Bears have anyone playing the most important position in sports that is even remotely worth the term “franchise”. For once as a Bears fan I can talk about the QB making the players around him better instead of frantically figuring out how they were going to get better at the other 10 spots to raise the game of an average QB.
Jerry Angelo filled the biggest gap in any franchise in sports history. The Bears are THE original NFL team and yet Sid Luckman still holds 75% of our passing records. So should Bears fans care that he’s a “whiner”? Maybe it’s more likely that Cutler’s just a QB who has the leverage to get himself out of a situation he didn’t want to be in and did so. Isn’t that how the Broncos got John Elway in the first place?
There is a difference in weapons and offensive philosophy that could mean Orton throws more TDs than Cutler, but in this record breaking offense last year with the best players in the league the guy Josh McDaniels initially wanted – Matt Cassel – threw just 21 TDs, so this is no guarantee. More importantly I’ll take the balance of this new Bears offense that will not only be able to run the ball but throw it effectively to all three levels: short, medium AND deep.
Orton is what he is: 58% completion with a dink-n-dunk approach. He is passable and the very definition of an average QB. Jay Cutler brings a lot more than to the table right now and has the chance to get better. To get better here in Chicago and grow as the face of the franchise for the foreseeable future, as a Bears fan two first-round picks and a third-round pick is a small price to pay for that.
by Sean - posted Thursday, April 2nd, 2009
Reported on ESPN.com and NFL.com the Bears have traded for disgruntled Broncos’ QB Jay Cutler.
While ESPN and NFL have not reported the details of the trade they have announced on ESPN 1000 that the Bears sent Kyle Orton, this year’s first-round (#18 overall) and third round picks, and a first-round pick next year to the Broncos.
This is completely stunning as a Bears fan… it’s almost inexplicable, but the greatest gap in any franchise in any sport has finally been filled. With Cutler under center the future job security of Jerry Angelo and Love Smith, not to mention the entire outlook for the team just shot through the roof.
While some have questioned in recent days whether it was worth a steep price to acquire a player seen in some circles as a prima donna or a malcontent, it was undoubtedly the right move. Quarterback is such a unique position in sports and one that it is so important to have filled. This season Bears fans will witness a quality of play in the blue and orange never before seen.
Being strong at QB can make the other 10 players on offense better. It’s a much easier situation to work with than what the Bears have tried to do since Jim McMahon, and that was have the other 10 players raise the quality of the quarterback.
This is truly a special day for all Chicago Bears fans. I’ll have a full analysis of the trade up later tonight and a special episode of Bearscast coming soon, but for now let’s all sit back and enjoy this ray of sunshine Jerry Angelo has brought Chicago on a cloudy day.
by Sean - posted Thursday, February 5th, 2009
In a jump start on the free-agent process the Chicago Bears signed former Northwestern quarterback and Big Ten 2005 offensive player of the year Brett Basanez to a two year deal. While Jerry Angelo did come into this off-season saying that adding competition at the quarterback position was his #1 priority, Bears fans are hoping this isn’t what he had in mind.
Basanez spent the last three year with the Carolina Panthers, two of those mostly on the practice squad and 2007 on injured reserve with a wrist injury. He saw action in only one game back in 2006 when he went 6 for 11 for 56 yards and an interception against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Prior to that Basanez set or tied nearly every major school passing record at Northwestern, which he left as the winingest quarterback in school history. His other claim to fame was falling just 4 rushing yards short of being the first QB in NCAA Div-I history to pass for 10,000 and rush for 1,000 career yards.
While Basanez has stated that he intendeds to come out and try and compete for the starting job, he also mentioned that where he fit on the depth chart was not part of his discussion with the team. It’s safe to say that he isn’t here to take Kyle Orton’s job and will more likely be competing with Caleb Hanie for third string, while the other will land on the practice squad. Other rumors persist that the main reason Baz was brought in is because the Bears have moved their off-season mini-camps up to March and wanted to be sure of having 3 QB’s on the roster at the time.
That said the Chicago Tribune reported that Basanez did draw interest from Jacksonville, New Orleans, Minnesota, and San Francisco. More than likely though getting a call from his hometown team was the deciding factor for the Arlington Heights native.
None-the-less Brett Basanez will get to live out the dream of so many other Chicago Bears fans, young and old. And from there who knows, if he make it on the field it wouldn’t be the first time a 4th string quarterback ended up playing for the Bears.