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Sunday, April 05, 2009

The Next Dave Krieg?

A lot of folks like me, Packer, not Bears fans, are freaking out, thinking Chicago just got better with the trade for Jay Cutler. I'm not, in fact, I think Chicago just assured themselves of staying in the .500 club for the next few years.

As I watched the Jay Cutler trade unfold this week, my thoughts turned to Kyle Orton, the guy who got moved to Denver from Chicago, along with some draft pics for Cutler. There are big differences between the two, obviously. Orton's never been to a Pro Bowl, Cutler was there in February. Cutler has an arm like a Orion rocket, Orton's is more like a bottle rocket. Cutler can make every throw, Orton can't. The big one too me, though, is that with excellent receivers and a good offense, Cutler is a career .500 QB. Orton has a 21-12 starters record, without ever having good receivers or a great offense.

While Orton benefited from a good offense in 2005, in 2008 he had a defense that was about as bad as Denver did, but ended up 9-7, while Cutler with all his skills, and an excellent offense was 8-8.

Cutler is a product of hype, a guy who's going to be the next big thing. He won SEC Player of the Year with a .500 record, and big numbers. He's often compared to Brett Favre, with the "gun slinger" mentality evidenced by his number of boneheaded interceptions.

Orton reminds me of a couple of past quarterbacks in the NFL, Dave Krieg and Steve DeBerg. Both, like Orton, were considered "servicable" NFL quarterbacks. Never flashy, never "the guy", and always one draft away from being benched, traded or cut. Like Orton all they ever did was win with average teams, and make other folks better.

I think in the next few years Chicago finds out having the next big thing isnt' always what it's cracked up to be. And Denver finds out that sometimes a quarterback who doesn't lose games for you is just as important as one who can win them for you. My guess is that Denver ends up a play-off team before Chicago after the trade, and everyone will ask why.

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