Toast of the Town … Friday Cup O’Chiefs

It’s just another unusual factoid in what has been an unusual 2011 season for QB Kyle Orton and the Chiefs.

On Saturday, Orton will start for the second time this season against the Oakland Raiders. But it will be only his first start against the silver and black while wearing a Chiefs uniform.

Way back on September 12, Orton opened the season behind center for the Broncos against the Raiders. It was a good AFC West battle to start the schedule and Oakland ended up getting a 23-20 victory.

It would also turn out to be Orton’s best day passing until he helped shoot down the unbeaten Green Bay Packers last Sunday. Against the Raiders, Orton hit 24 of 46 passes for 304 yards, one TD and one INT.

And now here he is 15 weeks later, getting another shot at the Raiders, and with another chance to lay claim to a contract and roster spot beyond these final two games of the ’11 schedule.

“All I’m thinking about is the Oakland Raiders, nothing else beyond that,” Orton said this week.

A host of others are thinking beyond Saturday’s Raiders game. They are pondering whether Orton showed in his performance against the Packers that he may be a factor in the Chiefs quarterback future.

That included head coach Romeo Crennel, who said several times this week that if Orton backs up his Green Bay performance with similar winning efforts against Oakland and Denver, then consideration of his future is something that will have to be done within the Chiefs organization.

“You see what kind of production a player has and then you make a determination whether that production will continue and if you want that type of player on our team,” said Crennel. ‘If he continues to do what he did, then I would say yes.”

Crennel would also say yes that what Orton got done against the Packers was a surprise to him.

“Because he had a finger (injury), hadn’t practiced a whole lot, was new to the team and new to the system,” Crennel said in explaining his surprise. “The thing that I knew about him was I knew he was a pro quarterback and has played in games in the NFL before and has a good arm and so those things we knew about him but we didn’t know how it was going to play out on game day and it played out very well.”

And now you expect it again this week, don’t you coach?

“Definitely,” Crennel said with a smile.

Did Orton surprise himself with how well he played?

“No, not at all,” Orton said. “There are too many passes I would have loved to hit. They (coaching staff) had a great game plan for us. Whenever you play quarterback, as long as the guys around you are doing their job, it’s a pretty easy position to play. My teammates allowed me to play well.”

Offensive coordinator Bill Muir thinks there was a good dose of Orton allowing his teammates to play well that factored in the outcome of the game.

“I think that he has some instincts I guess that’s the right word,” Muir said. “But he seems to have the ability to make quick decisions and the ball comes out of this hand quickly. I think that was pretty evident last week. The offensive line always appreciates somebody who throws the ball quickly.”

He throws it quickly and with a willingness to spread the ball around. The Chiefs had 10 different receivers catch at least one pass, seven of them caught two passes or more.

“Kyle was able to go through is progression and get to the open receiver many times and that occurs when the offensive line gives you time to go through that progression and the line did a good job of protecting and Kyle did a good job of reading and then the receivers, they did a good job of finishing their routes so that they could be open. And so it all worked hand-in-hand and it worked well last week.”

One reason it worked well is the extra work that Orton is asking his receivers to do with him every day in practice.

“It’s tough, because we are not going to make up for the lost time, that’s just reality,” Orton said. “We are going to work as hard as we can to be on the same page. I don’t think it’s ever going to be what you want it to be this late in the season. The tough thing is I’m asking these guys to go pretty hard and full speed in practice. It’s pretty hard on their bodies this late in the season.

“I need the reps and I need to see how they are going to do it so we can get it right in against Oakland I’ll be here for that.”

But Kyle, what about the future? You are currently the toast of the town.

“Oh great,” Orton said in a demeanor that showed he’d been the toast of the town before and had been burned to a crisp by that status a one.

“The team played great. It wasn’t an offensive win, it wasn’t a defensive win. It was a whole team win and we’ll have to have another one against Oakland.”

16 Responses to “Toast of the Town … Friday Cup O’Chiefs”

  • December 23, 2011  - rufus says:

    I think he’s got it going for himself. You just don’t move to another team, bust your hand and then light it up with barely a week’s practice reps without really focusing.

    Guess we’ll see saturday.

  • December 23, 2011  - bhive01 says:

    I’m a bit worried that Orton had so much time because the GB defense isn’t that good. OAK and DEN have a much better D. I sure hope that with the increased time that he has to adjust at the line because of the change in play calling and better blocking schemes that we can move the ball on Sunday. It will be a good game. I just hope we have a chance to win a playoff spot. How cool would it be to be atop the AFC West again? Even if our division is crap recently…

  • December 23, 2011  - rufus says:

    That would be awesome. I would chuckle about that.

  • December 23, 2011  - Anonymous says:

    It will be interesting to see what the Chiefs do if Orton strings 3 good games together. I think Pioli would love it if Cassel panned out. But if Orton plays well, can they take that chance? Orton does seem to make quicker and better decisions on passing plays. Neither player should be compared with the NFL’s elite quarterbacks, but with Matt Barkley deciding to go back to school and the Chiefs probable draft position, chances of drafting one of those seems pretty bleak. So we’ll probably need to pick the best of the two and continue to develop the rest of the team until that Super Bowl quarterback finds his way onto this team.

  • December 23, 2011  - Craig says:

    One of the knocks on Cassel has always been his indecisiveness under center; He holds the ball too long. A quick release makes the OL look better and seem to play better. Orton has a stronger arm than Cassel. If he plays well we will have a QB controversy on our hands. The question is can Pioli swallow his pride unlike peterson could not and keep the better QB. If this scenario plays out. Go Chiefs!

  • December 23, 2011  - ED J says:

    That’s million dollar question Craig. Will Pioli swallow his pride said he made mistake in Cassel if Orton continues to light it up. We already have future investment in Stanzi and probably will draft another QB late this season. So it wouldn’t make sense to keep both Cassel and Orton. ONe you don’t want to put Romeo (if given head coaching job) in a situation like he was in Clevland. We need to go with one guy and let that be it. Qb controversey never work out. Most of time teams struggle and both guys feel too much pressure to perform. My thing is we’ve seen 3yrs of Cassel and he never put kind perfomance Kyle did in one game. Then you factor who has Cassel beaten in 3yrs here. Which good to elite QB has he outplayed in a game in 3yrs. Its clear Kyle has more upside he’s the same age as Cassel and my thing its just time to move on. Chiefs fans and media has to remember we made mistake in keeping Grabac over Gannon this turning out to be similar situation we can’t make same mistake again.

  • December 23, 2011  - el cid says:

    Orton is trying out for the entire NFL. Be a stud and he will pull in a big pay day.

    Stats say Orton and Cassel are similar guys, I see the difference is Orton makes quicker decisions because he has been a starter for several teams and knows success. Cassel is a backup all his life, his brain still requires time to evaluate and decide what move to make, makes him look slow. Don’t imagine Pioli will change horses in the middle of his rebuild. We are stuck.

    Have a good holiday and Merry Christmas.

  • December 23, 2011  - Rick says:

    In my NSHO, Cassel has shown that he’s pretty mediocre at best. New England had him pegged correctly as a backup.

    I’ve thought since Orton first got to Denver, that he looked to be a better QB than Cassel. One thing to remember is the dud supporting casts Orton was surrounded by in both Chicago and Denver. Orton has a better bunch of receivers working with him now than he’s ever enjoyed in his previous stops. Now contemplate adding Moekai and Charles to that mix, plus perhaps a better o-line, and I think he could do very well in KC. Cassel, not so much.

  • December 23, 2011  - Niblick says:

    I’m not worrying about the potential quarterback controversy right now. I just want a win this week over the Raiders and hope for losses by the Broncos and Chargers.

    Everyone have a great holiday.

  • December 23, 2011  - napahank says:

    In the partial season where Orton had a good compliment of receivers, TE’s and RB’s he was far and away above Cassel not only in stats but also in the way he moved the ball around-and yes his quick release.

    I like Cassel but the one big problem he has (that you can see) is the demonstrative way he steps into his throws. It takes extra time and requires that no rusher is coming straight at him. He needs this to deliver the ball with more velocity and accuracy.

    Orton has always thrown a very tight spiral which allows less throwing movement with the legs-hence a quicker release. As far as going through his progressions quicker, the proof will come in the way of stats regarding spreading the ball around.
    This could also be affected by the passing game plan (especially if potential receivers are used as decoys or to clear out a zone)

  • December 23, 2011  - cychief24 says:

    I do understand the love for Orton. He did struggle in the Red zone, but what a great performance under the circumstance like Romeo said.
    He has a quicker release and many more years of playing experience, which shows.
    What I don’t understand is the hate for Cassel. He was our QB when we won the Division last year while being $30 mil under the cap.
    We saw what a disaster it is when a team has 2 pitiful back up QBs. IMO the smart thing is to keep both and let them battle it out in camp.

    Neither one will be successful if the O-line catastrophe isn’t fixed.

  • December 23, 2011  - ED J says:

    Nobody hating on Cassel people presenting facts. Cychief aka cassel lil brother. He didnt lead us to anything Jamal Charles did. Last i checked our passing game ranked bottom in the league last 3 yrs he been Qb. You dont lead nothing being at the bottom he was along for the ride much like Alex Smith is doing for 49ers

  • December 23, 2011  - Michael says:

    Cassel threw for something like 27 TD’s with 7 INT last year, and when he was out of the lineup the offense could do nothing; so saying he was just along for the ride is not quite right. Just because we may not think Cassel is the answer as a starter for KC doesn’t mean he can’t play in the NFL. Cassel has continued to improve with the more experience he’s gained. He is not, and likely never will be, an upper echelon QB, but he can be an upper echelon NO 2 QB, and a borderline starter in the NFL. A very well-stocked team with an excellent ground game and above average defense could win with him starting.

    Bring back both Orton and Cassel next year. Orton will have to clearly outplay Cassel to push Cassel to NO 2. If they are even, you pick one and trade one to avoid a QB controversy, or if Stanzi or another young QB looks like they can handle the NO 2 spot, the trade option is there again.

  • December 23, 2011  - ED J says:

    No one is saying Cassel is a bum. Did he manage the game yes. He threw bunch touchdowns in redzone, but bottom line is that’s one season he hasn’t done anything to earn right to return to compete for anything. The guy lost to a guy who completed 2 passes. He’s had games where he’s thrown for an abysmal 91 yards. Outside of Alex Smith he’s the only other starter that has thrown for more times under 200yards this season. When giving opportunity to carry this team he’s failed miseribly. With him at helm our offense ranked bottom in league in passing yards and passing touchdowns even when our run game was #10 in the league. We complained about how terrible line was all yr but then we look at how Orton operated behind that line and they actually looked good thanks to his quick decision making and quick release. Bottom line is Cassel needs to be moved on he had 3yrs to impress hasn’t done it time to move on. No doubt if Orton keeps this up he should be shoe in to be the starter next yr.

  • December 23, 2011  - cychief24 says:

    You know Edj, you’re amazing. You make posts before you watch the game on DVR, you can’t recognize a screen pass when Orton ran 4 of them vs. Packers, and you misquote people unending.
    Nowhere did I say above the word lead (because I knew it would be a hot button for you haters).

    Micheal points out FACTS 27td-7int. The rest of the posts are opinions, none of us are NFL coaches. I did coach HS football for many years, but that doesn’t qualify me as an NFL talent expert, just a little more knowledgeable than some.

    I have no problem acknowledging that Orton has more experience and a quicker release than Cassel.
    He has also had 2 teams dump him for a reason.

    If Orton is our starter next year and Cassel is the back up AND we are winning then I will be a very happy Season Ticket Holder.

    But as much as I want the O-line disaster fixed, I also want a solid back up QB. This season went down the toilet because we had the worst back up QBs in Chiefs history.

    We are $30 mil of cap room to fix the O-line, add depth and keep both of our winning QBs.

  • December 24, 2011  - Tenand6 says:

    Jim Zorn is a West Coast offense guy. I wonder if he was more heavily involved in the game planning. The offense had more of a West Coast offense feel last week. Orton has played that style of offense in his past. Seemed like a good fit.

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