As a Bears fan I am obligated by state and federal law to weigh in regularly on the Kyle Orton/Rex Grossman issue.
I got to watch the first half of the game last night, and they went into the half ahead, 21-14. At that point, the announcers pointed out that Orton was already at a career best three touchdown passes in one game. In the second half both teams netted only field goals.
Three being a personal best is kinda sad, yes. But keep in mind two things: the Bears have always had a better running game than passing game, and we haven’t had a good quarterback since George Halas. Above average, sure. Good? God no.
When we drafted Grossman everyone was excited because the kid had a hell of an arm. And he does, there’s no doubt. Orton, not so much. Both are about on par with one another for general accurracy, too. The real difference is confidence, and if you play Orton and Grossman on splitscreen from different games, it’s blindingly apparent. Orton knows what he wants: he leads the offense, he likes to keep the tempo up with no-huddle plays. He’s confident (sometimes perhaps too much so) in the pocket, relying on his line. When he misses a third down and comes off the field he’s gritting his teeth in annoyance, knowing where he or his team went wrong.
Grossman doesn’t have that. He always looks a little shaky. If the line breaks up a little he’ll rush a pass and dork it up. On those 3rd downs he’ll come off the field looking shaken up a bit, usually like he’s questioning himself… which he should be doing, frankly.
And in the end, Grossman will go down in history as another lame duck quarterback. Orton, a backup QB nobody expected much from, will rise to the level of… well, probably Jim McMahon at best, but he’ll be remembered as above average, which is about as good as it gets for the Bears.