It’s hardly surprising that Bears head coach Lovie Smith has named Kyle Orton the starting quarterback for the preseason opener against the Chiefs tomorrow. Partly because Orton was thrust into the role during his rookie season in 2005 and the team won 11 games, but also because Rex Grossman is his primary competition for the full-time job.
Nothing has officially been decided for the season — Smith indicated that Grossman would start next week’s preseason game in Seattle — but the CHICAGO SUN-TIMES’ Brad Briggs has an interesting theory on why Orton will be under center at Soldier Field tomorrow night:
If the decision had anything to do with the cool reception Grossman received Friday during a practice at Soldier Field, the team never would say. It makes sense to go in this order because a rocky performance by Grossman could throw off the whole competition. Whether they want to admit it or not, the Bears are conscious of how their decisions are received publicly.
Jeebus. Grossman wouldn’t stand a chance in Green Bay, where young kids don’t hesitate to tell Aaron Rodgers “we don’t love you … you suck.” And he’s actually shown promise in limited playing time.
If there’s any consolation for Bears fans, it probably doesn’t much matter who lands the starting gig. This team has so many holes, particularly on offense, that the Packers could send them Brett Favre and they’d still win four or five games. But there is a silver lining - At least Grossman won’t get his feelings hurt by those insensitive fans as the club positions itself for a top-5 draft pick next spring.