Orton Does What He’s Told

From Arrowhead Stadium

“We asked him to protect the football and not turn the ball over,” Romeo Crennel said of Chiefs starting QB Kyle Orton. Check.

“Take what the defensive is giving you.” Check.

“There were some times when he was stressed, but he ran his progression and found the open receiver.” Check.

Orton got things done in the Chiefs 19-14 victory over the Green Bay Packers. Following the script presented by Crennel and offensive coordinator Bill Muir, he made his first start with the Chiefs a memorable one.

“It was all positive for us,” Crennel said of his quarterback.

Orton couldn’t agree more.

“This is about the most fun as I’ve had on a football field,” Orton said after the game. “You go through practice and all that stuff but your teammates don’t really know you until you get in that huddle. That’s a special time for me, inside the huddle.

“I kind of turn into another person.”

Whatever that personality might be, it worked for the Chiefs against the Packers.

“He ran the huddle, he ran the whole team,” said RB Thomas Jones of his quarterback. “He’s a veteran. He knew what to do. He knew his assignments, he made plays. He had a great game. He understood the game plan, ran it almost to perfection.

“It’s tough to do that in your first game with a new team and a new system. I’m really proud of him.”

Orton’s numbers on the afternoon were impressive. He completed 74.2 percent of his throws (23 of 31) for an average of 9.7 yards per attempt (299 yards) and no interceptions. He was also not sacked and despite words from the coaches about protecting the football, he went deep several times in the game, missing on a couple, but hooking up for 33 and 39-yard deep completions to TE Leonard Pope.

“I thought our tight ends showed up,” Orton said of Pope and Anthony Becht, who combined for four catches for 92 yards. “I don’t know if coach expected them to catch that many passes, but they were open and did a great job. I think everybody stepped up. It was a total team win.”

Especially helpful to Orton’s day was the ability of the Chiefs to get a contribution from their running game. It made the play-action passing package something the Green Bay defense really had to honor. That also helped the K.C. offense build a time of possession advantage over the Packers that as huge at 12 minutes, 22 seconds.

“I think that was the key to the game,” said Orton. “We talked about it all week. I thought we did a great job of having success on first down. We had a bunch of 2nd-and-3 plays. We could throw play action, we could run the ball, we could take shots and we did them all. I thought (offensive coordinator Bill Muir) called a great game, was aggressive and gave us a great chance to have success.”

Crennel helped matters as well when early in the week he named Orton the starter, benching Tyler Palko and moving rookie Ricky Stanzi up to the backup role.

“It was good for not only me, but for all my teammates,” said Orton. “No matter what, the quarterback has to lead the team through the week of practice and lead them into the game. I always try to be the most prepared guy on the field.”

The head coach thought it was important for the rest of the team to know early, even more so than Orton.

“It gives them an opportunity to learn his cadence and his voice and how he operated,” said Crennel. “Adapting to that was beneficial to us.”

And what of the future for Orton; he’s got two games remaining on the contract the Chiefs claimed on waivers from Denver. QB Matt Cassel was there on the sidelines Sunday, helping in any way he could.

“We play Oakland next week,” said Orton. “That’s the only thing you think about. We had so much to think about this week; we played a great team in the Packers and now we will play a big rival in the Oakland Raiders and try to get a win.”

6 Responses to “Orton Does What He’s Told”

  • December 19, 2011  - Blake says:

    The things that impressed me about Orton, he looks like is just flat out the most accurate QB that the Chiefs have had since Trent Green. That deep pass to Baldwin was right on the money! Too bad Baldwin couldn’t pull it in… The players really respect him and like how he took control of the huddle, not sure but it really seems like the players keep pointing this out. I don’t know if that is a shot at Cassel or not but I haven’t heard the players brag about a QB taking command of the huddle like this maybe it is just cause he is so much better than Palko! He spreads the ball around! He goes through his reads, something that Cassel needs to learn! I am going to be disappointed if he is not resigned and at least given the chance to compete with Cassel.

  • December 19, 2011  - Craig says:

    This was the best Quarterback play we have seen all year. I think there is a quarterback controversy on the horizon which would be a good thing. I was surprized. Good job Orton and Romeo. GO Chiefs!!

  • December 19, 2011  - Tenand6 says:

    Same D coordinator. Same O coordinator. New QB.

    Let’s see how Orton performs in the final two games. If he doesn’t implode, the Chiefs will either cut Cassel or lose fans. Everyone likes Romeo and Muir must not be as bad as the mob said. The question is who will play QB for this team?

    We don’t know the answer other than it better not be Cassel.

    Orton’s ball handling skills, his ability to find the open man in the pocket or when forced out, his accuracy….all point to an upgrade. I’ve watched Orton for years and it was always clear he was a better QB than Cassel. He isn’t a franchise QB but he is an upgrade.

    I hope we can sign Orton and move up in the draft. I just don’t want to go to war with Cassel any longer. He missed playing too many years to be an instinctive, skilled QB.

  • December 19, 2011  - RW says:

    It’s obvious the Chiefs are a different and far better team under Orton/Romeo. If the ‘geniuses’ running this team (owner & GM)can’t see the obvious when it bitch slaps them upside the head, I don’t know what will.

  • December 19, 2011  - brainsmasher says:

    I think what we witnessed yesterday was addition by subtraction. I think Orton is a little better than Cassel; but Cassel is good enough with a decent gameplan and decent playcaller.

  • December 19, 2011  - napahank says:

    I agree with brainsmasher. I watched a lot of Denver games from last year and when he had weapons available he made the throws.

    His best two traits are that he throws a very tight spiral and is very good on his progressions…especially looking for TE’s down the seam and RB’s leaking out of the backfield.

    I also like Cassel and would like to see him with the Muir/Zorn play-calling and the offense as fired up as yesterday.

    The only way you can compare Orton and Cassel in an “apples to apples” comparison is to have the same players, play-calling, leadership and game plan. For that you need to re-sign Orton and then see what happens next year.

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