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Thursday, November 15, 2007

Orton staying ready despite not playing in two years

From the Bears Website-
LAKE FOREST, Ill. – When Rex Grossman was asked how difficult it was to remain mentally sharp during five games on the bench, he replied: “It’s hard work. It’s like studying algebra or something.”
If that’s the case with all quarterbacks, it probably feels like math class never ends for Kyle Orton. The 2005 fourth-round draft pick started 15 games as a rookie after Grossman broke his ankle in the preseason but hasn’t played a single snap in the past two seasons.
Kyle Orton was selected by the Bears with the 104th pick in the 2005 NFL Draft.“It’s been hard,” Orton said. “You just keep your nose down and keep coming to work and trying to prepare like you’re going to play. When it doesn’t happen and the next week comes around, you just do the same thing. It’s not an easy situation to be in, but it’s just what it is.”
Despite the inactivity, Orton feels that he’s a better quarterback now than the one who completed 51.6 percent of his passes for 1,869 yards with 9 TDs, 13 interceptions and a 59.7 passer rating in 2005. Backed by a strong defense and running game, he compiled a 10-5 record as a starter as a rookie, helping the Bears win the first of two straight NFC North Division titles.
“I’m two years older,” Orton said. “I’m two years better. Physically, I’m in better shape. Mentally, I’m a better player and I throw the ball better. I’ve had two years to be able to improve and hopefully I get the chance to show it some time.”
Brian Griese participated in practice Thursday on a limited basis after sitting out Wednesday’s workout with a sprained left shoulder he sustained in last weekend’s win over the Raiders.
If Griese is unable to play Sunday in Seattle—a decision will come later in the week—Orton would serve as Grossman’s backup. Regardless, the former Purdue star will be ready if needed.
“I prepare every week like I’ll see the field,” Orton said. “I haven’t been able to play yet, but if the opportunity comes, I’ll definitely be ready and play well.”

While we at this website have obviously been torn this past week between rooting for Rex and our love of Kyle, make no mistake, should Rex fail in this opportunity we will be glad to see them hand the ball to our neckbearded hero, and even should Rex play well and re-sign in the offseason, we'd very much like to see the Bears boot Griese and make Kyle the main backup. Because really, what more epic duo is there than the Sex Cannon and Captain Neckbeard?

#1- I F%#king Hate You, Cade McNown, You Weak Armed, Snot Nosed Little Sh*t Bag

We finally reach the worst Bears quarterback of my lifetime, and this should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with Bears football. Cade McNown was a horrendous disaster of a quarterback, and no other period of my life as a Bears fan has been quite as painful as his two year reign of terror. The scars of the Cade McNown experience have never quite faded away, and every quarterback the Bears sign or draft is immediately scanned for the potential to be the next Cade. So now, I present to you the story of Cade McNown: "Quarterback", Douchebag, Failure.

The story of Cade's journey with the Bears begins before the 1999 NFL draft. The Bears were one of the teams looking to cash in on the 1999 Quarterback Crop, which was supposed to provide the next generation of great NFL quarterbacks. The crop was compared to the 1983 quarterback class which featured Dan Marino, John Elway, Jim Kelly, and Jim O'Brien. Heading into the 99 draft Kentucky's Tim Couch, Oregon's Akili Smith, Syracuse's Donovan McNabb, UCLA's McNown, and Central Florida's Daunte Culpepper were all touted as first round picks and sure-fire NFL stars. Smith, McNabb, Culpepper and McNown were featured on the cover of ESPN the magazine

Cade, the only white quarterback on the cover, looks ridiculously out of place in that picture with his powder blue UCLA jersey and surly toeheaded apperance. God, I hate him. I hate him so much.

On draft day, as expected, Couch went number one overall to the Browns, McNabb went at number two to the Eagles, Smith went to the Bengals at three, Culpepper went to the Vikings at
11, and McNown went to the Bears at number 12. As of the 2007 season, only McNabb and Culpepper are still in the NFL, only McNabb is with the team that drafted him, Smith is a Canadian Football League backup, and Couch and McNown are not playing at all.

Erik Kramer was supposed to be the starter until McNown was ready, but he was cut before training camp, as the Bears had every intention of letting McNown win the starting job. In the first asshole move of many, Cade held out throughout training camp, and Shane Matthews was given the starting job, though first year head coach Dick Jauron promised that McNown would play at least one series every game to accumulate experience.

The 1999 Season

Jauron stuck to the plan for the first five games of the season as a red-hot Shane Matthews propelled the team to a 3-2 start and McNown looked solid, if not spectacular, in his one series per game. Matthews pulled his hamstring, however, late in the fifth game of the season at Minnesota and the door was open for the beginning of Cade's Hell.

Cade started the sixth game of the season against Philadelphia, the first of his many losses as a starter for the Bears. Cade followed that loss with an embarassing 9 of 23 passing performance in another loss against Tampa, and with the Bears at 3-4, Jauron tried to start the gimpy Matthews in the next game against Washington, but Matthews again aggravated the hamstring injury, and Cade finished the game, which the Bears lost in blowout fashion thanks in no small part to Cade's 3 interceptions. Cade then started the next week's game against Green Bay, but was injured in the first half and replaced by Jim Miller, who rallied the Bears to their miracle win dedicated to the memory of Walter Payton, who had died earlier in the week.

Jim Miller then started the next three games for the Bears, rolling up huge passing numbers and winning two of three before being suspended for taking a banned over the counter substance. Cade then started the last three games of the season, passed for 300 yards and four touchdowns in an impressive win over Detroit, then followed that with two mediocre games against St. Louis and Tampa Bay, both losses. Cade finished his rookie season having played in 15 games, starting 6 games and going 2-4 in those starts. Cades stats for the year were as follows:

127 of 235, 1,465 yards, 6.2 ypa, 8 tds, 10 ints, 66.7 QB rating.

All in all, one would suppose those weren't bad numbers for a rookie, but in reality, of his 15 games, the 1 good one was against Detroit, the other 14 ranged from decent to absolutely horrendous.

The 2000 Season

Before the 2000 season, Cade "won" the starting job in a battle vs. Matthews and Miller, in a competition that many felt was rigged in favor of the youngster. The season began well statistically for Cade, as he rolled up 290 yards passing, 87 yards rushing, and a combined 3 touchdowns against Minnesota in the season opener. Over the next six games, however, McNown regressed to the bad form he had shown throughout most of his rookie season, refusing to set his feet, overthrowing his receivers, and showing a general lack of arm strength that had concerned Bears fans since before the draft. The Bears went 1-6 in their first seven games under Cade, as fans chanted for Jim Miller each week. Coach Jauron stubbornly stuck by his young quarterback, despite his unpopularity with fans and his own teammates. What Jauron failed to do, however, Cade's own weak shoulder did for him, as he left the team's eighth game against Philadelphia with an injury to that area after getting sacked.

Miller took over and nearly rallied the team to a win, though he fell just short. Miller would play well in his three starts, winning two of them, before being injured himself and replaced with Shane Matthews. Matthews started five of the teams last six games, going 3-2 but playing badly enough that Jauron gave McNown one final start against San Francisco, a game where Cade was an appalling 9 of 29 passing. Cade's final line for the 2000 season:

154 of 280, 55% comp., 1,646 yds, 5.8 ypa, 8 tds, 9 ints. 68.5 QB Rating

Bringing Cade's two year totals as a Bears player to

25 games, 15 starts with a robust 3-12 record. 281 of 515, 54.6% comp., 3,111 yds, 6.1 ypa, 16 tds, 19 ints, 67.7 QB Rating.

But Cade's statistics are not the sole reason why we hate him. You'll actually notice that, for the most part, they aren't that bad, especially in comparison to the other quarterbacks on this list. But while its true that Cade's numbers are mostly deceiving because of the 2 or 3 great games he had, which balanced out his 23 bad to godawful games, the main reason we hate Cade is because he is possibly the biggest dickhead in the history of the Chicago Bears. Note the following reasons:

Feuds with Teammates:

-When asked about his poor performance in one game in which he badly overthrew his receivers on multiple occasions, Cade suggested that his wide receivers maybe were just "too tired" to catch up to his passes.

-Cade openly admitted that he did not prepare very well before his miserable game against San Francisco in 2000, and was unapologetic about this fact.

-Multiple Bears players were reported to have gone to Coach Jauron before the 2000 season finale against Detroit to tell him that they would not play if Jauron started McNown over Shane Matthews.

Feuds with the Law, Press, and Fans:

-Cade was once investigated by the FBI in a possible point-shaving scandal while at UCLA.

-Cade was charged and plead no contest to illegally using a handicapped parking permit while at UCLA.

-After being booed after yet another terrible game, Cade announced to fans that if they "want to boo, they can just stay home". Not a popular move among management.

-Cade once plowed over a camera man while running out of bounds during a game, helped him up, then walked back to the sidelines and informed his teammates that he helped said reporter because "I had to make it look like I cared"

Feud with Tim Couch:

-At a party shortly after the draft in 1999, fellow rookie quarterback Tim Couch introduced Cade to his girlfriend, Playboy Playmate Heather Kozar. Cade then stole Kozar from Couch after sending her flowers on multiple occasions and buying her a Porsche. Fear not for Tim, though. Once Kozar realized the bag of douche Cade was, she left him and returned to Tim. They are now married. Here's a picture of Mrs. Couch for good measure:

Thankfully after two years the Bears had had enough, and traded Cade to the Miami Dolphins for a seventh round draft pick. Cade spent the 2001 season on the bench as the Dolphins 3rd stringer, and then was traded to the 49ers, where he also spent the season on the bench as a 3rd stringer before being cut before the 2003 season. Since then Cade has stayed out of football, biding his time before dying and going to hell.

Cade is, unfortunately, not entirely gone, at least not in the hearts and minds of Bears fans forever haunted by his terrible attitude and quarterbacking. Many of us winced on draft day when Rex Grossman was picked and announced that he would wear the #8 jersey once worn by Cade. Even the rare sightings of Cade merchandise can send Bears fans into a panic, as Iggins! and I once discovered one day while he was cleaning out his closet, when we discovered a Cade jersey and a Bears hat signed not only by Cade, but also by 1st round Bears runningback bust Curtis Enis. Iggins! dropped the hat as both of us recoiled in fear, but we so far have been unable to destroy it for fear of the evil it would release upon the world, and also so that might it serve as a warning of what might be when first round picks go wrong.

I fucking hate you Cade.

The Bottom 10 Bears Quarterbacks of My Lifetime 5-2

#5- Henry "Crazy Legs" Burris

Henry Burris is slightly different than most other candidates on this list because, well, for unexplained reasons, I just like Henry Burris. He seemed like a talented, viable young prospect who might have potentially been an NFL success if given the time and proper coaching. No part of the last sentence was true. Henry was the best passer in the history of Temple University, a school that hasn't had a winning record since 1990 nor gone to a bowl game since 1979. Henry then went to the Canadian Football League, where his scrambling ability and strong arm made him an ideal player for that league. In 2001, Henry signed with Green Bay Packers, spent a year floating between their practice squad and third string, then was cut without ever seeing in NFL playing time. The Bears then followed their age old tradition of "he wasn't good enough for Green Bay? Well, give him a shot here then" and signed Henry before the 2002 season. After watching what was left of Jim Miller's right shoulder and Chris Chandler lead the team to a 4-11 record through the first 15 games with Henry seeing spot duty in five of those games, fans finally prevailed upon Coach Dick Jauron to start Henry against the soon to be Superbowl Champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Memorial Stadium. In what people in the football business term "an unmitigated disaster", Henry was hammered all night long, threw four interceptions, and the Bears lost by the uncomfortably bad score of 15-0. Henry was cut shortly thereafter. He returned to Canada, where he has led the Sasketchewan Roughriders and the Calgary Stampeders to the playoffs in four consecutive years, and his games occasionally appear on Comcast Sports Net late at night in the summer, typically prompting either Iggins! or myself to see them and text the other with "Holy Fuck! Crazy Legs on CSN!"

Henry's Line: 6 games, 1 start, 18-51, 35% comp. percentage, 207 yds, 4.1 ypa, 3 tds, 5 ints, and a spectacular 28.5 quarterback rating.

-One other Henry Burris story of note, during my sophomore high school football season, my football team went on a weekend retreat, where games of Madden 2003 were played on an epic stage. In one game late that night, my head football coach, a Packers fan, and our defensive coordinator, a Bears fan, squared off in a game in which the HC's Packers knocked out both Jim Miller and Chris Chandler, forcing our DC to play the 45 overall rated Henry Burris against a 12-4 Madden Packers team. To the surprise and glee of all, Crazy Legs managed to rally the Bears from a 21-7 halftime deficit and win the game 28-21. Viva Crazy Legs!

#4- Kordell Stewart

Do not be confused, Henry Burris and Kordell Stewart are two distinctly different players despite their similar appearance and propensity to wear #10. Henry Burris was a wildly innaccurate passer who utilized his scrambling ability ineffectively and was a sad excuse for a quarterback. Kordell Stewart was all of those things as well, but was paid more and is rumored to be gay. So, see, there's a difference. Kordell was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1995, and earned the nickname Slash during his rookie season as he was used as a quarterback, runningback, and wide receiver throughout the season and was a widely popular player in that role. During the 1996 preseason Kordell was given the chance to compete for the Steelers starting QB job, but lost the competition to Jim Miller, who he would ironically replace in Chicago. After Miller and Mike Tomczak combined to suck for Pittsburgh in 96, Kordell was named the starter for the 1997 season and threw for 21 touchdowns to lead Pittsburgh to an 11-5 record and a trip to the AFC title game. After that, however, Kordell showed the inconsistency that would eventually run him out of the league, and never again approached his numbers of 1997, although he did manage to lead Pittsburgh back to the AFC title game in 2001, and threw three interceptions in that loss. After a slow start to 2002, Kordell was benched for...guh...Tommy Maddox and was cut after the season. The Bears, apparently enamored with the idea that Kordell could be a Michael Vick type quarterback (that was considered a good thing back then) signed Kordell in April 2003 to a $4 million deal and named him the starter over crippled Chandler and rookie Grossman. Kordell then started the first 5 games of the 2003 season, going 1-4 in those games, throwing 4 tds versus 7 interceptions and playing bewilderingly bad. The Bears also used the genius mind of offensive coordinator John Shoop to devise special plays for Kordell, including my favorite, the play action quarterback draw. For those of you not familiar with the verbiage, play action is designed to fake a run and then throw a pass, thus drawing in the linebackers close to the line of scrimmage so one can then throw over them. A play action quarterback draw meant that Kordell drew the linebackers in, then ran right at them. The play usually ended thusly:

With the pictured tackle taking place about four yards in the backfield. After the 1-4 start, Kordell was benched, but managed to appear in 4 more games with two more starts after injuries to (imagine this) Chris Chandler and (also suprising, I know) Rex Grossman, and the Bears went 2-2 in those 4 games, bringing the Bears record in games played by Kordell to 3-6.

Kordell's Line: 9 games, 7 starts, 126 of 251, 50.2 % comp., 1,418 yds, 7 tds, 12 ints, 56. 8 QB rating.

#3- Jonathan Quinn

Take a long look at that photograph. For you are gazing upon the visage of the least talented quarterback in Chicago Bears history. No one in their right mind can explain why Jonathan Quinn has ever set foot upon an NFL field. The man is the anti-Rex Grossman, and not in the safe, good way that so many want. This man could not throw the ball downfield if his life depended on it. Any pass that was not a wide receiver screen, half back screen, or dumpoff pass was beyond the capabilities of young Quinn. Quinn was also the most indecisive quarterback known to mankind, staring down his receiver until the last second, then either getting sacked or throwing the ball into the stands. Unintentionally. Quinn's statue like pocket presence was in fact the origin of Iggins! father's famous declaration that "the Bears favorite play must be the Dropback-and-get-sacked."

Quinn came to the Bears before the 2004 season following the hiring of Lovie Smith as head coach. Lovie named Kansas City Chiefs quarterbacks coach Terry Shea as the offensive coordinator, and Shea brought with him a ridiculously long and complicated playbook and also recommended that the Bears sign Quinn as their backup. Not surprisingly, Shea was fired after the 2004 season for being a fucking moron. After Rex Grossman started the first three games of 2004 and performed well in the vertical pass based offense before getting injured against Minnesota, Quinn finished the game against the Vikings missing badly on all three of his pass attempts on the final drive. Quinn then started the next three games against Philadelphia, Washington, and Tampa Bay, going 0-3 and forever burning in the minds of Bears fans just how horrible quarterback play really can be. Quinn was then benched for Craig Krenzel, proving the time tested theory that if Craig Krenzel is a better option than you, you should just quit. When Krenzel got hurt in a Thanksgiving game against Dallas, Quinn came in to play the second half and went 10 of 21 for 86 yards, no touchdowns and 2 interceptions in two quarters of play that no Bears fan probably watched. Quinn was cut after the 2004 season, and I cried hot tears of joy.

Quinn's Line: 5 games, 3 starts, 51 of 98, 52% comp., 413 yds, 4.2 ypa, 1 td, 3 ints, 53.5 QB rating.

#2- Rick Mirer

Not surprisingly the only picture of Rick Mirer as a Bear features him runnng for his life while Andy Heck gets killed. Awesome.

Rick Mirer holds the unique distinction of being one of the only players in NFL history to have been a first round bust for two different franchises. Rick was drafted number 2 overall by the Seahawks in the 1993 NFL draft after a stellar career at Notre Dame. He was touted as the next Joe Montana, but as we know, that label is usually a curse (see Stenstrom, Steve). Mirer then started all 16 games as a rookie for the Seahawks in 1993, and the majority of their games through the 1996 season, and was a disaster, throwing for 41 touchdowns vs a whopping 56 interceptions. Not to be deterred by four years of evidence to the contrary, then Bears head coach and douchebag Dave Wannstedt decided to trade his first round draft pick in 1997 to the Seahawks for the troubled Mirer. Thus making Mirer a bust worthy of two first round picks. The Bears then signed Mirer to a 3 year, $11.4 million dollar deal that still ranks as one of the worst in franchise history. Before the 97 season the Bears named Mirer the starter the day he was acquired, but were forced to backtrack as former starter Erik Kramer was healthy and clearly outplayed Mirer in every way in training camp and the preaseason. Wannstedt declared Kramer the starter, but remarked that Mirer would start when he was ready.

"Ready" for Mirer apparently meant "as soon as we're 0-3 and there's no reason why not", and after going winless the first three weeks, Mirer started the next three games of the season against New England, Dallas, and New Orleans. Mirer went 0-3 in those games as the Bears were outscored 78-23 and Mirer played absolutely atrociously, looking scared at all times, heaving duck passes left and right and scrambling erratically at the first sign of trouble. Mirer was cut after the Bears finished 1997 4-12, and the painful nightmare was over for Bears fans.

Rick's Line: 7 games, 3 starts, 53 of 103, 51% comp., 420 yds, 4.1 ypa. 0 tds, 6 ints, and his miraculous 37.8 QB rating


Goddamnit. The Iowa football team sucks enough without another goddamned arrest. But here we are, with three anonymous University of Iowa football players under suspicion of sexual assault. I thought, somewhat naively, that Pierre Pierce would end the crime-ridden chapter at the U of Iowa. But clearly not, as 15 arrests have been made during the season, and more might come from this incident. If a Fulmer Cup existed for the season, Iowa would be pwning it right now. My shame is unparalelled. But this picture is funny. Go to edsbs to check out their take on it, and this swank picture:

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

By the way, yes I am an Iowa student, and yes there were cops outside Hillcrest. I can't be sure that the entire campus feels the level of shame I do, but it seems like they all expected this. That makes me sick.