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Between The Laces: Kyle Orton

April 5, 2009
Kyle Orton

Kyle Orton

I know that I always start a column, do it two weeks straight, stop it, and never do it again. Some classic examples might be: The Beat, What You Didn’t Know, and our power rankings. But, I swear that I have enough material this time to make it more than 2 weeks without quitting on it. It is called Between The Laces. The name is dedicated to my first ever NFL blog by the same name which came right before Bronco Madness.

The idea of it, is to dive deep in to the life, skills, weaknesses, and talents of a certain player that we might not know about at this point and should better understand. As you might guess after the Jay Cutler trade there is nobody we need to understand better than our new Quarterback Kyle Orton. That is why today’s look Between The Laces is about him.

Take one look at Kyle Orton and the first thing you might think of is: 25 year old idiot who likes to go out, party, and get drunk A LOT. You probably wouldn’t be wrong when multiple photos of him wasted and with women have surfaced all across the web and he has become the ridicule of the media and many Chicago Bears fans. 

That does not mean that he hasn’t achieved a great level of respect though. But he hasn’t earned it off the field. He has earned it in the locker room. Orton is a proven leader and he has been referred to by Bears Linebacker Brian Urlacher as “one of the best leaders, and teammates I have ever gotten to work with.” If a raving review from Urlacher isn’t enough proof that a player is a good leader I don’t know what is. 

His character off the field, partying does not reflect on him at all. And Kyle doesn’t care: “It doesn’t bother me. I pick and choose times to have fun. I don’t do it when it will affect my job. That’s my personality, I go out and have fun. If someone puts it on the Internet, so be it. It doesn’t affect me or bother my family.” As our friends at Blog Down Chicago Bears pointed out, there is not another QB like that in the league. 

But he is not like some players like this at other positions: Orton has no criminal record in 4 years of partying in the NFL. As long as he doesn’t have a scratch on his record I could care less and I am sure he feels the same way. But while some might take away his character as negative, every once in a while it shows through. 

prod1One way we might know this is why he wore #18 in Chicago. It was to honor quarterback Brook Berringer, who led the Cornhuskers to the 1994 national championship and subsequently was killed in a plane crash on April 18, 1996. 

All of that aside, Orton is most of all a Quarterback and it started early in his career. He was ranked as No. 2 quarterback in nation by SuperPrep and No. 7 by Rivals.com. His career passing statistics were 208 of 450 (46.2 percent) for 3,176 yards with 24 touchdowns and 18 interceptions and he received team’s Coaches Award (leadership on and off the field) and Fit-to-Hit Award (player who conditioned himself the hardest).

Orton was 70 of 113 (61.9 percent) for 1,150 yards with 11 touchdowns and six interceptions his junior season and his stock soared after great showing at NIKE Camp in Champaign, Ill., and Elite 11 Quarterback Camp in California. He did a bunch of excellent things in college at Purdue too. At Purdue he lead the entire team in all time scoring, passing, and yards. He even beat out Drew Brees.

Kyle Orton has never changed doing one thing. 

That would be winning games. There is just something about Kyle Orton that just helps win games. He has that kind of presence and just talent that has boosted Chicago up through what was thought to become the biggest offensive collapse in league history. He avoided that and made a name for himself as a player who made few mistakes. 

Last year, Orton threw for 45% less Interceptions than Jay Cutler and while also had 30% less yards and Touchdowns, it might of mainly been with the running game that Chicago inputs into its offense. Not to mention, he had the worst receiving core in the NFL with Devin Hester the lead receiver only having over 600 yards catching. 

While his accuracy is good and his arm strength is really lacking, there are a lot of thins to like about Kyle Orton. Maybe you just like his neckbeard. That’s okay too. 

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