In case you haven’t heard, Jay Cutler hasn’t played since the Monday night loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. Since then, Brian Hoyer has taken over the quarterback position. Hoyer is 1-1 in his first two starts, losing to the Cowboys and getting the win Sunday against the Lions.
The fan base is split once again on who to have as quarterback. Some want Jay, some want Brian. We’ve seen this debate before between Jay Cutler and Josh McCown.
Let’s wind the clock back eleven years.
2005 Chicago Bears
The rookie in 2005 out of Purdue University, Kyle Orton. I watched him beat Ohio State in a 24-17 win at Ross Ade Stadium. When the Bears drafted him, I was ecstatic.
Rex Grossman went down in the first game of the 2005 season against the Washington Redskins. Next man up, Kyle Orton. He started his first game against the Detroit Lions and got a win, 38-6. First of all, Orton and Hoyer have one similarity already, both got their first win as a Bear against the Lions. Second of all, they were backups to their respective starters Rex Grossman and Jay Cutler.
First of all, Orton and Hoyer have one similarity already, both got their first win as a Bear against the Lions. Second of all, they were backups to their respective starters Rex Grossman and Jay Cutler.
The Bears went 11-5 that year with Orton being the main man under center. I’m not going to brag about another quarterback to come out of the “Cradle of Quarterbacks”, Orton wasn’t all that and a bag of chips in 2005. He threw nine touchdowns and 13 interceptions for the year. Not much to write home about, but he won plenty of games that year.
In both of these circumstances, the backup quarterback arguably played better than the starter. As Lovie Smith loved to say, “Rex Grossman is our quarterback.” That wasn’t the most popular saying amongst the fan base. Since Jay Cutler has arrived in Chicago, there has been a similar ongoing debate about whether or not he should be the quarterback in the Windy City.
Rex Grossman and Jay Cutler are two different quarterbacks, Jay is statistically the best quarterback in Chicago Bears history, but his record doesn’t show it. Rex Grossman was just another average Bears quarterback, except he went to a Super Bowl.
When Rex returned to action in the playoffs against John Fox and the Panthers, the Bears lost 29-21. To this day I am still sour that Orton did not get that start against the Panthers. Rex Grossman was cold and not up to the same speed that Orton was playing at.
Now the question becomes, will the Bears follow history and fall short when the starter comes back? Or will the Bears keep back up Brian Hoyer in as the starter and see if that has a better outcome?