Friday, April 3, 2009

13 comments Kyle Orton - Leader of Men

Dude, you have to check this out, Clark Judge - it's like a wrongness world record attempt

If Bears live, die by run, why did they get Cutler?

...because he's like...a top ten* quarterback.

This is my take on the Chicago Bears deal for Jay Cutler: They were better off with Kyle Orton.

You heard me.

"you heard me"...ah, the mating call of the obnoxious moron.

Orton can't throw the ball as far or as straight as Cutler, and you won't find anyone drooling over the velocity of his passes. But he has something Cutler does not

a dinosaur.

and that's a high score in the leadership department

998,101, one summer in Louisville, it was awesome. I remember it like it was yesterday, we were all eating pizza, getting stoned and watching Russ Meyer films and Kyle is like "dude, I'm totally acing this game of "The Leadership Department" and we were all gathered around like, glued, fucking GLUED man. And Gonzo is like "more like weinership department". Classic. Anyway, top that Steve Wiebe!

and, sorry, but I'll take that over physical ability any day.

ah, the Eckstein clause of sports debating. You sly dog.

As a rookie, he led the Bears to a 10-4 record -- including an eight-game winning streak -- before Rex Grossman returned. A year ago, he was back as a starter and was there for critical late-season overtime defeats of New Orleans and Green Bay. OK, so the Bears didn't make the playoffs but don't blame Orton. Blame Chicago's 21st-ranked defense, a unit that blew three 10-point leads and self-immolated in a last-second loss to Atlanta.

ugh, I promised myself I wouldn't look up stats for an NFL article in April, but here I am. Fine. Let's take a look at these four defeats.

@Carolina, the Bears had a 17-3 lead with 5:24 remaining in the third, and lost 17-20. Orton's performance? A scintillating 19/32 for 149 yards. Oh boy, wave the towel's he's smoking. I do confess he didn't throw an INT, but no TD either, a better quarterback definately could have staved off this loss.

@Atlanta, what Judge doesn't tell you here, is that the Bears looked TOAST here, were down 10-19 with just over four minutes left. They then had a bad onside kick situation happen to lose 20-22. Orton was fine here, 26/43 for 286 yards and a TD, this is a push, but it's not a "lost victory" at all as much as a crazy game.

As for those two other games? Chicago won, yeah. Let's look at the other losses, one Grossman started, so that gets thrown out.

4 games, 68/126 (54.0%), 798 yards (199.5pg), 7TD, 5INT...and only one of those games was to a playoff team. You ask me, that's a below average QB. You wanna know how many games all season Cutler threw for less than Orton averaged in these games? THREE.

At the NFL winter meetings last month, Chicago coach Lovie Smith said the Bears were a running team that had to play good defense, and no one disagreed. So what's a running team doing acquiring a quarterback who can throw the ball the length of Michigan Avenue? You tell me, because I think the Bears were better off with Orton.

aside from that being retarded, the Bears missed the playoffs last year, so are they "better off". You concede Cutler is more talented right? So how could this be such a horrible move, how could they be better off with Orton, who couldn't get them even to the playoffs? Surely it's worth a try, a more talented player, really if you're honest, light years more talented, to make this team a playoff contender? What's wrong with being good at passing AND running? What is possibly bad about getting better at an aspect of playing football? Maybe that isn't "aside", maybe it's just retarded.

He fit their personality.

their personality of losing football games. Great. They wanna CHANGE the personality, so the teams results change, because they weren't good. Understand? No? OK; too much, too soon.

He wasn't flashy, but he was effective before suffering an ankle injury. He was tough. He was gritty. And he won. Look it up: His record as a starter is 21–12, not bad for someone whom critics portray as the NFL's version of the Venus De Milo. Cutler is 17-20, never made the playoffs and never had a winning season.

so let's get this straight. When the defense is poor, and Orton loses, it's not his fault, but when it's great and he wins, he's awesome. Pick a side, you can't have the cake and eat it too. Plus, didn't you just say the defense was bad? Right? So, I guess that means another aspect of the team needs to be good to make up for that right? Right?

So the Bears trade away Orton and three draft picks and, sorry, Chicago, your team just got fleeced. You need offensive linemen. You need receivers. You need a defense that must play better. Yet you just traded away the first round for a couple of years for a guy who throws a pretty pass and can't play .500 football in the AFC West.

I find this truly incredible. The whole wave of anti-sportswriting blog stuff has been to mock the excessive QB love. The whole neglecting the other positions on the field, easy way out, lazy, slap dash approach to football analysis has somehow culminated in this. It's turned back on itself and we have someone suggesting that the QB is essentially the least important position on the field, and that is absurd. Look, if you want to paint this as an ill-begotten attempt to cash in on a half baked team way too early, trading their future for the now when they aren't that good, be my guest, but the team is immediately and markedly better right now, very probably a playoff team IMO, that was clearly their goal, they are likely to succeed.

Tell me Chicago knows what it's doing.

you can debate the goal, say it's sacrificing some long term goal, fine, but for the goals they want to achieve, yes, I will take the Clark Judge Challenge - Chicago knows what it's doing.

Smith had it right when he said you win in Chicago by running the ball and playing solid defense. The 1985 Bears had Walter Payton, a lights-out defense and Jim McMahon at quarterback. McMahon was tough, gritty and capable of big plays when you needed them, but he was hardly the second coming of Sid Luckman. He was perfect for that team because he epitomized its personality -- which was tough, gritty -- yeah, I think you get the idea.

Anyway, the Bears have to be that way because when it's November and December on Lake Shore Drive you don't win by having Jay Cutler throw the ball into 40 mph winds.

Farve, Brett. And before you shreik in disgust at my blasphemous suggestion, fuck it, maybe he can be that good. Why not? No one knows for sure and he's goddamn talented, I know that.

You win by running, locking down your opponents and avoiding mistakes. Anyone have any idea how many interceptions Cutler launched last year? I do. It was 18, and only Brett Favre had more.

even you, Judge, make that comparison, in a contrived, convaluted, Jimmy distorting your entire argument kind of way.

Then there's the matter of what Chicago gave up -- two first-rounders, a third-rounder and Orton. Are you kidding me? So Cutler was a Pro Bowl quarterback. Big deal.

well yeah I agree, it is a big deal. Oh wait, you're being sarcastic. Let me try! Sure, Tom Brady has two Superbowl MVP's, 4 Pro Bowls and three time Superbowl champions, BIG DEAL. Cutler is a tremendous talent who is still only 25. His QB rating is 87.1 already. McNabb's is 85.9 and nine years older. Matt Hasselbeck? 84.5 and 10 years. Eli Manning? 86.4 and three years. This guy is for real and he's damn good. Oh, and for reference sake? Orton is 79.6 and three years. That's a pretty marked fucking difference if you ask me. Maybe not 2 1sts and a 3rd, but maybe. I'm terrible at assessing draft picks in the NFL, but I will say, he's MUCH, MUCH better.

DeAngelo Williams wasn't elected to the team, which should tell you about the credibility of the honor.

we're not talking about D'Angelo Williams...stay focused Clark.

won't argue that Cutler is one of the most talented quarterbacks in today's game

well I mean, apart from today, where I am spending several hundred words to this exact effect.

but I also won't argue that he's one of the most spoiled prima donnas, either.

All you need to know about this guy is that he once said he had "a stronger arm that John [Elway], hands down" and that "he'd bet on it against anybody's in the league" -- as if that somehow measured his greatness. First of all, I don't know that he has a stronger arm than Elway. I don't know that anyone does.

so you don't know, Cutler does. And hey, fuck it, is this such a terrible fucking thing? He has confidence, he's even a bit of a dick, awesome. His role is to win games, fuck up the other team, show bravado down by five with a minute and a half off the clock and fuck your girlfriend. These are the time honoured attributes of the successful quarterback, and confidence, even arrogance, even being a dickness, might not only be acceptable, but a necessary condition.

Second, Elway made a name for himself not with his arm but with wins and fourth-quarter comebacks. In his second year, Elway went 13-3 and won the AFC West. In his third year, he was 11-5. And in his fourth, he was in the Super Bowl. That's how you measure quarterbacks, Cutler, not by arm strength.

yeah, but the quote's about arm strength, not about quarterbacking in general. So, maybe he's right, as you said, you have no real opinion on the issue. Reading comprehension is fundamental for a journalist.

Third, let's say you buy into Cutler as a franchise quarterback. OK, fine. So where's his franchise wide receiver? Devin Hester? Please. Earl Bennett? You've got to be kidding. There isn't one.

you're absolutely right. My God, you're right. EVERYBODY, NO FOOTBALL IN CHICAGO EVER! There's no point improving the team at all, because other areas won't be great. It's a sad day, but Clark Judge has opened our eyes and unshackled us from our blissful ignorance, it's hopeless. Black, everywhere black, as night!

I imagine they'll find them anyway

false alarm! FOOTBALL IS BACK ON!

but they just mortgaged the future for a quarterback who, when faced with winning only one of his last three starts last season, couldn't close the deal.

setting aside the fact that every Orton failure is someone else's fault and every victory is a resounding triumph of his winning-leadershipness in your Universe and Cutler can do no right, isn't it possible that this was an embarrassing hiccup from an inexperienced quarterback that he could learn from, vow never to repeat? Surely that limitless pride you referred to before would have taken a hit, he'd have taken this to heart and be determined to prove something to everybody. *shakes fist* Prove to everybody! Anyway, isn't this HOW quarterbacks learn and become leaders and have steel for bones, ice for veins and a silly hat with a a propeller on it with "LEADER" written on the front?

Now he's going to magically transform the Bears into a division champion all over again when he couldn't do it with Mike Shanahan in the AFC West?

I dunno...maybe. I don't think he'll use magic as much as propelling the ball forward using his biomechanics and the laws of physics. But sure, why not? Those 10-6 Minnesota Vikings looking a bit imposing for you Judge? That massive 1.0 game canyon too much to cross? Give me a break, this article couldn't get more ridiculous if...

There's a better chance of Terrell Owens serving as grand marshal at the next Mummers Parade.


And who's going to protect Cutler's back? Chris Williams? He can't protect his own back. I know the Bears think he'll be OK, but that's what they said when they drafted him, and look how much he started last year. He didn't. Orlando Pace? St. Louis was only too glad to let him walk, and the Rams’ offensive line was horrible last season.

well at least try to improve the passing game, and part of the improvement is the QB right? I mean look at Romo or Roethlisberger, Romo's line is good, Ben's is not, but both use mobility to make themselves tough targets in the pocket. Who's to say Cutler can't do this. That's one point. Secondly, while I am pretty sceptical of Pace (and this is from the poor bastard who keeps picking the Rams), he's still a HoF tackle, it's not like LUDICROUS to suggest he could help is it? My point is, Cutler is better than Orton, by extension, the Bears too will be better, much of this other stuff is just conjecture, you can make an argument either way, fine. So why are you being such a, for lack of a better word, dick, about this? Why not just admit you just don't know? And of course, the existence of the site is why, you want a "story" instead of writing intelligently about sports.

*Quick check

Tier 1 - Brady, P.Manning
Tier 2 - Brees, Warner
Tier 3 - Romo, McNabb, E.Manning, Roethlisberger, Palmer
Tier 4 - Cutler, Hasselbeck, Rivers, Ryan
Tier 5 - Schaub, Delhomme
I hereby call my claim defensible


Bengoodfella said...

I went ahead and took the liberty of adding the "a lot of cursing" tag to this post because of all the awesome cursing. If I had known Cutler getting traded would have caused many a bad article to be written, I would have advocated it earlier.

Let me sum up my feelings. The Bears overpaid because they had to, now they can draft wide receivers with their two 1st round picks if they want, the Bears were not better off with Kyle Orton (this coming from the guy who wanted Orton to start over Grossman every single year in Chicago), and this move just put the NFC North on notice the division title runs through Chicago.

Clark Judge is way, way, way off on this issue. Kyle Orton is an average QB, Jay Cutler is a way above average QB and it was worth the draft picks for the Bears to get him.

Great post. This was an insanely bad article. I like Kyle Orton in a "I feel very confident with him as my backup quarterback and a spot starter" way and nothing more.

The Casey said...

Wait, how can the Bears draft WRs with their first-round picks if they just traded them away?

I seem to recall Cutler being fairly mobile in college, so I think he has a little escapability. I haven't really seen many of his NFL games.

Other than that, I agree with you on this. It's an upgrade at QB for the Bears, but I think they overpaid. I think they'll have a shot at the division. And having Cutler doesn't mean the Bears can't still focus on defense and the ground game. It just adds a little more threat to their passing game to try to keep opposing defenses honest.

Bengoodfella said...

Dammit, Casey, don't prove me wrong even in my comments! I am kidding, I was just typing and not thinking.

Ok, they have no receivers but they still had to make this trade. Really, they do need receivers but having Cutler is always a start. They do have Olsen at TE, which Cutler is going to like.

I think this was a trade the Bears had to make. They overpaid but they should be able to find a receiver at some point in the draft (though they need an actual good receiver and not just a receiver, I am trusting their scouting). The Bears can run the ball with Forte and they have kept their defense in tact. I like the trade for them and think the North just got more competitive.

J.S. said...

Hey kids,

look, they may have mortgaged their future, I don't dispute that. As said in this article, I can't understand first rounders in NFL as I can in NBA and MLB, maybe it's a terrible trade long term, but right now? Shit, this is a no brainer right?


Chris W said...

Thank God you did this, because otherwise I was going to have to.

Awful, awful article by Clark Judge

Bengoodfella said...

Smart move by the Chicago Bears for the long term and the short term in my opinion. I had problems with Cutler going to the Bears for Urlacher yesterday, which is stupid (i.e. came from Mariotti), but even though I do think the Bears overpaid, they absolutely had to.

It is hard for me to see what 1st round picks are worth in the NFL sometimes too, but I don't know if the Bears could have drafted a quarterback as good as Cutler this year. I am down on Cutler for being a cry baby, but the Bears just got a 25 year old quarterback for two first round draft picks, which is going to help them this year and down the road. I look at it as only really giving up one first round pick anyway, because I think the QB's in this draft are not on Cutler's level so they would not be able to draft anyone better. They may have overpaid a little but this was worth it.

Cutler does have a tendency to force the ball into a crowd but with the Bears defense behind him, he doesn't have to worry about outscoring the other team.

Clark Judge is absolutely, horribly off base here.

ivn said...

it's weird that Orton is such a great leader considering he is incapable of putting a team on his back and winning...all year I got the impression that the Bears were not going to win a game without a special teams touchdown, 100 yards from Forte, and decent defense.

the Bears didn't lose any of their picks this year (and I truthfully doubt that they were going to get any blue-chip quarterback in the next two years) so they can still add Harvin, Hayward-Bey (Ben you live in ACC country right? how much of him have you watched) or any decent offensive line that comes to them at their #19 pick. not a bad trade. it's not like they're trading for Matt Schaub or something.

also, Rick Reilly's column on Hasheem Thabeet is so very corny. just a heads up.

Bengoodfella said...

That's the thing, is that Cutler can carry the team as a quarterback, while the Bears would need everything you just listed to win a game with Orton behind center. Again, I would love to have him as my backup QB but not a starter.

I have not watched too much of Heyward-Bey, though what I have watched (2-3 games) has been fairly impressive and his combine numbers were good as well. This is going to sound silly but the reason I am not as high on him as others may be is because when I watched him play he never seemed to dominate the competition. Whether that was the offense Maryland ran or the lack of a great quarterback, but I felt like he was not a difference maker. Ironically, the best game of his senior year, and the one I was impressed with was against Wake Forest and Alphonso Smith. I just watched him play and don't like him as much as I like Hicks from NC and Britt from Rutgers.

I have that Thabeet column bookmarked and it was horrible, I just don't know if I am going to be able to squeeze the horribleness into a post or not. It deserves it though.

ivn said...

whoops the Bears gave up this year's #1 and next year's, I thought they gave up their #1's in 2010 and 2011.

I guess this means they'll go for a reciever with their second round pick, which means another low-impact guy (D'Wayne Bates, Dez White, Mark Bradley, Bobby Wade, Justin many mediocre wideouts have these guys grabbed in the 2nd and 3rd rounds in the past decade?)

Bengoodfella said...

I don't know, I have to say getting a mediocre guy would be better than what the depth chart currently looks like. I have to say the Bears have never been too good at drafting WR and QB's. Though I thought Earl Bennett was going to be a surprise and might turn out to be a decent 2nd receiver...shows how much I really know.

Martin said...

I look at it this way, fewer QB's drafted with a first round pick work out then don't, so is a top flight QB worth 2 first round picks, espescially if he gets teh team to the playoffs and the pick would be 24 or lower? Absolutly. The Bears were going to have to draft a QB this year, next, very very soon, or start all over again. The defense is on the verge of needing reloading, so hopefully getting Cutler will help the Bears now, and in that near future.

The picks help the Broncos right now, but that's four first round rookie salaries they are going to have to contend with, and that's gonna be expensive. Figuring that the Bears were gonna use one of the two picks on a QB anyway, I only think they traded 1 first, not 2, and it becomes a much more reasonable price, but doesn't diminish the value that the Broncos received. They need to draft a QB though, and to be truthful, I sure as heck am not sold on Stafford, Sanchez or anybody else this year, and Bradford and teh rest do nothing for me that I see showing up next year either.

Martin said...

Also, does anybody think that Orton was any kind of "leader" on the Bears? I would guess he was more of a guy the defense told "Don't F this up asshat" instead of being a "leader". The first season he played, I honestly think any poster on this blog could have done. Go look at his stats. They were horrific. I can throw a football 20 yards. I can make sure I throw it nowhere near an opponent. I'm sure Ben can go 6-14 for 48 yards if he has to when the Panthers call.

A person cannot lead until they have lead. I know it sounds Yoda-ish, but leadership has to be proven and shown, not jsut something thrust upon someone. My bad analogy is the mini-series Band of Brothers. It showed various people placed into leadership roles and were jsut lousy at it, while the best leaders are ones who emerged from necessity or after demonstrating competence and earning respect. Kyle Orton, McDaniels, Xanders, a bunch of folk involved in all this haven't ever done anything that would make people follow them out of a burning building, much less into a football game.

Bengoodfella said...

Martin, you are absolutely right. Orton was never really a leader, he managed the game and tried not to screw it all up. The leader of those Bears teams was always the defense and Orton was supposed to not screw it all up and he didn't.

This was a good trade for the Bears because I don't there was a QB in this draft that was of Cutler's caliber.