Orton only answer to headless Bears

By Jeremy Werner

Supporting Rex Grossman was a full-time job last year. As I watched games last year with my friends, I found myself defending his every move. One interception was the receiver’s fault for not finishing his route. Another was just mechanical problems, and Rex is so inexperienced that he’ll learn from it and become better.

But that never happened.

Now, Brian Griese steps in as the next in a seemingly perpetual, ever-changing line of mediocre Bears starting quarterbacks.

Since Brett Favre made his first start for the Green Bay Packers, the Bears have named 21 different quarterbacks as starter. The Bears’ most prolific passer of all time is Sid Luckman, who passed for 14,686 yards from 1939-1950. Only two quarterbacks in Bears history have a higher passer rating – Erik Kramer and Jim McMahon.The Bears luck with quarterbacks does not look like it will change anytime soon.

Rex Grossman has been destined to fail this season. His city, and it appears his teammates, do not support him whatsoever.

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Grossman may start again this season because he is the most talented quarterback on the Bears roster. But his contract is up at the end of the year, and it would be best for both parties if the Bears cut ties with Grossman.

So where does that leave the Bears for this year and the future? Griese is a capable quarterback. He’s a pretty good decision-maker and seems to have more leadership qualities in the huddle than Grossman. However, he is just a stopgap.

Some Bears fans may shudder at the thought of giving Kyle Orton, the bearded wonder himself, the reigns of their proud franchise, but there is some hope. Bears fans seem to forget that Orton led Chicago to a 10-5 record as a rookie in 2005. Granted, they weren’t the prettiest ten wins, but he showed great composure as a quarterback, especially for a rookie.

Also, fans tend to forget Orton’s success at Purdue. Orton led the Boilermakers to a 5-0 record to begin his senior season, throwing for 18 touchdowns and zero interceptions. Many publications praised Orton as the Heisman trophy front-runner and a possible first-round draft pick before injuries forced him out of the starting lineup.

Who knows, maybe Orton can solidify himself as the most consistent starter since Erik Kramer. At worst, the Bears try and shake up the offense and ignite their 1-3 team. But one thing is for sure: Orton’s beard in itself is a force to be reckoned with.

Jeremy Werner is a junior in Communications. He can be reached at [email protected].