9:12 AM CST, November 23, 2011
If “A’’ is Caleb Hanie and “B’’ is Kyle Orton, then I’ll take “C’’ --- none of the above.
Neither should be starting for an NFL team that has Super Bowl hopes. Neither quarterback can win the Super Bowl in a quarterback-centric league.
But for now, for this week and for the next month-and-a-half, the Bears aren’t going to win the Super Bowl. They wouldn’t even if Jay Cutler hadn’t fractured his right thumb.
What the Bears need now is a quarterback who won’t lose a playoff spot, and that’s why claiming Kyle Orton off waivers or signing him as a free agent is such a no-brainer: He’s more experienced at not losing games than Caleb Hanie. That’s what it comes down to for the Bears until Cutler comes back. If Cutler comes back.
Either way, the Bears need to get their hands on Orton, and then start him.
Orton is not a franchise quarterback. Duh. The Bears are one of two franchises that already found that out. They also have a good idea that Hanie isn’t one either.
Orton doesn’t have Cutler’s arm, but then, neither does Hanie. Orton certainly doesn’t have Cutler’s feet, and while Hanie is more mobile, it’s sort of a crazy mobile that gets out of control and then so do his attempted passes.
What the Bears need is a game-manager, and that’s Orton. I believe he puts “Game Manager’’ on his 1040 forms. Orton has worked this fill-in gig here before, going 10-5 as a rookie in place of injured Rex Grossman. As a veteran, Orton certainly knows the deal. He knows how to make enough plays to keep hope alive until the running game, defense or special teams gets the ball in the end zone.
Orton is exactly what the Bears need even if Mike Martz doesn’t know it.
Martz, see, likes “his’’ guys. Hanie isn’t one of “his’’ guys. J.T. O’Sullivan and Josh McCown might still be “his’’ guys because they played in his system. But they’re not as good Orton.
Thing is, Martz doesn’t run Martz’s system anymore because the Bears can’t block it. As much as the offensive line has improved and as much as the tight ends and backs have handled blitzes and odd fronts, the Bears still don’t drop back seven steps everytime.
Martz also has cut out a lot of his precious presnap motion in parts of games, which made the offense run smoother, if only because it minimizes false starts.
And if those reasons weren’t enough to deny Martz one of “his’’ guys, then I have two words for you: Todd Collins.
In my world, Martz gets no votes. Martz has to be Martz-proofed here. The Bears have to be Martz-proofed here.
Orton is a perfect backup. To Cutler, not Hanie. And the Bears need a backup for Cutler right now. If the Bears land Orton, it would be too late in the process to start him Sunday, but I wouldn’t be shy about letting him finish.
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