Cutler, Orton backlash baffling

 
 
Published10/22/2009 12:01 AM

Jay Cutler has his contract extension, and there's already talk in Denver that Kyle Orton deserves one as well.

And people on both sides of this QB swap have absolutely flipped out with anger, which had me baffled even before a couple strange things happened Wednesday.

 

First, I heard a rabid exchange between partners on a national radio show in which one called Orton the MVP of the league, and the other blasted him as a poor man's Jeff Hostetler.

And it wasn't even a sports show!

Then, I got an e-mail slamming the Bears for making the trade and asking when I'd be taking credit for predicting great things for the ex-Bears QB.

But there's no credit to grab because all it ever said here was that Orton wasn't the worthless slug he'd been made out to be in this town, and that he hadn't gotten a fair shake on or off the field.

The belief here was that if given the chance with good coaching in a good system with good receivers and a good line, he could be a good NFL quarterback.

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Not an MVP. Not Jay Cutler.

Not anything more than what he is today, a good NFL quarterback who protects the football first and foremost, and then tries to make the best play for his team, not for Kyle Orton.

Hey, lesser players have won Super Bowls.

But I didn't think the Broncos would be 6-0 or that Orton would have the kind of numbers he's put up.

And if you've seen their games, he's played well, but not as brilliant as his stats would suggest. Brandon Marshall is so good - maybe the best receiver in the NFL - that he's making Orton look great on paper.

Still, it's hard not to root for the guy. He's a tough, Midwest kid who kept quiet even while getting jobbed here, and left Chicago with the same class he always displayed even while the town dumped all over him.

He got a raw deal his rookie year when the Bears threw him in with no reps, unwisely dumbed down the offense, took the ball away from him, and then demoted him to third string the following year while Rex Grossman fumbled away the Super Bowl.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

In 2007, it was just more of the same, and finally last year, after two years of total inactivity, Orton got a chance. Despite the rust, he played well until he got hurt.

On a bad ankle in the second half he wasn't very good.

Only a few games into his Denver career, we don't really know what Orton's capable of, but the Broncos should find out next year when he's got a full season, minicamps, and a summer of the Denver offense in his head.

In the meantime, he's the same Kyle Orton the Bears had here.

He's not as good as Cutler in any facet of the game, except protecting the football and winning games, which some towns find admirable qualities.

But make no mistake. The Bears are lucky to have Cutler, and he's got more physical talent in one arm than Orton has in his whole body, even if Cutler doesn't always show it.

As for Orton, knowing the way he comported himself here, and the way he was treated, we should be happy for him that he's found a home in Colorado.

The Bears are better off with Cutler, and Orton's better off in Colorado.

So with the deal working out for both teams, and both QBs, why in the name of Steve Fuller and all that's holy do people get so worked up every time Kyle Orton's name is mentioned?

Baffling.

Ivan Boldirev-ing

This just in-Cristobal Huet is bad.

And to whom is this news, besides Dale Tallon?

Huet's ability, or lack of it, certainly wasn't a secret in NHL circles when the Hawks signed him, marking four teams for Huet in five seasons, not to mention three teams in five months.

But sign him they did, and now you have Huet for $5.6 million this year. And next year. And the year after that.

Tallon's gone, but he really is the gift that keeps on giving.

Howling

Congrats to Chris Chelios and the Wolves for getting together on a deal. It's great for the player, the team and the fans, for however long it lasts.

Assuming Chelios plays well, you have to believe sometime between now and the postseason, at least one NHL team that gets hit hard by injuries is going to be calling.

Meantime, his first game for the Wolves is Friday at home (7:30 p.m.) against Manitoba.

Stocking stuffer

So now the talk is that the White Sox might move Gordon Beckham to second, which would be his third position in three years.

You would think since Beckham is their best defensive player, and his natural position is shortstop, that he would move to short and Alexei Ramirez would move back to second.

But Ozzie Guillen continues to insist that Ramirez isn't moving.

OK.

Swinging away

It's great that the Cubs snagged Rudy Jaramillo as hitting coach, and we fully expect miracles - the first of which would be bringing with him Ian Kinsler and Nelson Cruz from Texas to play second and right.

Whatever happened to-

-Derrick Rose?

Best headline

Sportspickle.com: "NHL Network Deportes lands its first viewer.''

And finally-

S.F. Chronicle's Scott Ostler, on why Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson should never be paired in any team event: "Tiger would rather read 'War and Peace' in Russian than Phil's putts."

brozner@dailyherald.com

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