Coach Lovie Smith isn’t the only one who says Kyle Orton should remain Chicago’s quarterback. “Kyle did a great job for us all year,” tight end Greg Olsen said. “He’s the kind of guy you want behind center. He’s in control. There’s no doubt he’s our guy.”
Coach Lovie Smith isn’t the only one who says Kyle Orton should remain Chicago’s quarterback.
“Kyle did a great job for us all year,” tight end Greg Olsen said. “He’s the kind of guy you want behind center. He’s in control. There’s no doubt he’s our guy.”
Orton finished a lowly 25th in NFL passer rating (79.6), and the Bears were 21st in passing yards, but those are solid marks by Chicago standards. Orton’s 2,972 yards ranks fifth in Bears’ history, and even his passer rating is 16th best.
“Even though he’s had an up-and-down season,” agreed defensive end Adewale Ogunleye, “you can see he has a steady feel about himself. He’s the kind of guy I like to get behind.”
Cowboys add to Bears’ pain
The Bears felt bad after losing to the Texans. They felt worse when they saw the Eagles crush the Cowboys, knowing that would have sent them to Minnesota as a wild-card team if they had only beaten Houston.
“It definitely adds a sting that things bounced our way and we just didn’t hold up our end of it,” Olsen said.
“Yeah, that hurt bad,” Ogunleye said. “Coach said it. Coach told us 10 wins is going to get us in, even when it looked hard. It panned out that way. We just didn’t hold up our end of the bargain.”
Williams in, St. Clair out?
Rookie No. 1 draft pick Chris Williams, who played little this season after back surgery, is already penciled in to start next year.
“We drafted Chris Williams to be our left tackle. There is no reason to think Chris can’t develop into that,” Lovie Smith said. “From what I saw of him going against our starting defensive ends, he has a bright future ahead of him.”
John St. Clair filled in admirably at left tackle this year but is now an unrestricted free agent. He said he’d like to stay with the Bears, even if that means moving to guard.
“I always said I wanted to be back here, but it is what it is,” St. Clair said. “I haven’t heard anything. We’ll see how it goes. I’ve played everywhere. If it’s good for the team, I’m all for it. I’ve always been a team player. I can play all the positions.”
Ogunleye points finger at himself
Tommie Harris and Brian Urlacher received most of the defensive criticism this year, but Adewale Ogunleye pointed the finger at himself. He started the season as the NFC Defensive Player of the Week in an upset of the 12-4 Colts, but he finished with five sacks, tying his career-low in seven years as a starter. He also had no fumble recoveries and no forced fumbles. His combined total of sacks (nine), forced fumbles (six) and fumble recoveries (three) fell from 18 last year to five this season.
“I need to really get my numbers back up on sacks and quarterback hits,” Ogunleye said. “That was really a low point for me this year. I was active with tackles (58), but not big plays. I’ve got to help the defense a lot more.”
Rockford Register Star assistant sports editor Matt Trowbridge can be reached at 815-987-1383 or email@example.com.