With camp starting in just over a month, one spot on the Bears that remains neck and neck, as well as wide open, is that of quarterback. The competition between Rex Grossman and Kyle Orton has not been decided between coach Lovie Smith, and it appears that it’s going to be a competition that lasts well into training camp. “I think right now it is highly competitive,” offensive coordinator Ron Turner said. “They both have done a great job doing what we ask them to do up to this point.”
Grossman has been trying to prove since his meltdown in the Super Bowl vs the Colts that he should still be the teams starting QB, but the problem is he has not played well enough to prove it. Things got so bad for he and the Bears last season that the team turned to journeyman QB Brian Griese, who the team won’t be able to turn to in 2008 as they traded him to the Buccaneers.
Last season in 8 games Grossman had a QB rating of 66.4, throwing for 1411 yards, 4 TD’s and 7 picks. Two years ago in being the QB that led the team to the Super Bowl, Grossman threw for 3193 yards, 23 TD’s and 20 picks. Turnovers continue to be a huge reason why many think that Grossman will flame out and end up as Orton’s backup at some point in the 2008 season.
Orton seems to have a long way to go as well, as he only played in three games last season, throwing for 478 yards, three TD’s and two picks. In 2005 when he played in 15 games, many felt the offense lived off the defense, and that was due to how limited Orton as a rookie – played. He had a QB rating of 59.7, throwing just 9 TD’s, 13 interceptions and 1869 yards. We’ll see early on how much he’s grown even since last season.
Bottom line is it’s a position that very well may hold the Bears back in the 2008 season. It’s the hope of the team that one of the two players is going to finally step up and take the role of offensvie leader. From the past though, that is asking a lot of two players who long term have yet to prove they have what it takes.