Kyle Orton: Wikis


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Kyle Orton

Kyle Orton during the 2009 NFL season.
No. 8     Denver Broncos
Personal information
Date of birth: November 14, 1982 (1982-11-14) (age 27)
Place of birth: Altoona, Iowa
Height: 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) Weight: 225 lb (102 kg)
Career information
College: Purdue
NFL Draft: 2005 / Round: 4 / Pick: 106
Debuted in 2005 for the Chicago Bears
Career history
 As player:
Roster status: Active
Career highlights and awards
  • Honorable mention All-Big Ten (2003)
  • First-team All-Big Ten (2004)
  • AFC Offensive Player of the Week (Week 5, 2009)
Career NFL statistics as of Week 17, 2009
TD-INT     51-39
Passing yards     9,121
QB Rating     76.9
Stats at

Kyle Raymond Orton (born November 14, 1982 in Altoona, Iowa) is an American football quarterback for the Denver Broncos of the National Football League. He was drafted by the Chicago Bears in the fourth round of the 2005 NFL Draft. He played college football at Purdue.


High school and college career

Kyle Orton attended Southeast Polk High School in Pleasant Hill, Iowa, where he also participated in basketball, tennis, and track and field. By the end of his high school career, Orton was ranked as No. 2 quarterback in nation by SuperPrep and No. 7 by His career passing statistics were 208 of 450 (46.2 percent) for 3,176 yards with 24 touchdowns and 18 interceptions. He earned honorable mention all-state and first team all-conference honors as a senior after completing 95 of 192 attempts (49.5 percent) for 1,366 yards with 12 touchdowns and 5 interceptions. Orton's high school coach was Kent Horstmann.[1]

Orton wore uniform No. 18 in honor of former Nebraska Cornhuskers' quarterback Brook Berringer, who died in a plane crash in 1996.[2] Orton grew up a Husker fan, but chose to attend a program with a stronger passing attack. Orton tied former Purdue quarterback Drew Brees' record for the number of passing yards in a game (522 vs. Indiana Hoosiers) and is one of only three Purdue quarterbacks to start at least three consecutive bowl games (Brees and Mark Herrmann being the other two). Orton started in the 2001 Sun Bowl, the 2002 Sun Bowl, the 2003 Capital One Bowl, and the 2004 Sun Bowl.

In 2004, Orton was the preseason third-team "All-American" quarterback, behind USC's Matt Leinart and Oklahoma's Jason White. Orton had a nice start to the season, having led Purdue to a 5-0 start with 18 touchdowns and no interceptions. Orton was a Heisman Trophy hopeful, until a late 4th quarter Orton fumble was run back for a touchdown to give undefeated 12th ranked Wisconsin the winning score in West Lafayette and gave 5th ranked Purdue its first of several losses that season. Later that season, he received multiple injuries in consecutive games against Michigan and Northwestern that forced him out of his starting position for a month, while being replaced by Brandon Kirsch during that time.

Professional career


Chicago Bears

In the 2005 NFL season, Orton was rushed into the Bears starting lineup as a rookie after a preseason injury to starter Rex Grossman, and the poor play of back up Chad Hutchinson. Orton started 15 games of the season, however was replaced by Grossman after halftime during the Bears' Week 15 victory against the Atlanta Falcons. After sitting for Week 16, Orton started the regular season finale game against the Minnesota Vikings, whose outcome for the Bears would not affect their post-season hopes; the Bears had clinched the NFC North championship and a first-round bye in the playoffs with their Week 16 victory over the Green Bay Packers. Grossman would go on to play in the Bears playoff loss to the Carolina Panthers.

Overall, the Bears had a record of 10-5 in games that Orton started, including an eight-game winning streak after a 1-3 start. Despite the team's success, Orton finished with the lowest quarterback rating in the NFL (59.7) among all "qualified" quarterbacks (those with 224+ pass attempts).[3] Despite the low rating, the Bears coaches repeatedly insisted that they were pleased with Orton's performance. The coaching staff asked Orton to minimize mistakes and to let the rushing attack and the defense win ballgames rather than employing an aggressive passing attack. Measuring Orton by victories, his rookie season was a successful one even by historical standards. Orton's 15 starts and 10 victories are both rookie records for Bears quarterbacks, and the 10 victories are the third most in the NFL since the NFL-AFL merger in 1970, behind only Ben Roethlisberger's 14 victories in 2004, and 11 victories by Joe Flacco in 2008.

Following the 2005 season, the Bears signed veteran Brian Griese as the team’s second string quarterback. Orton, now demoted, became the Bears’ third-string quarterback, and did not see any playtime throughout the entire 2006 season.

Orton (left) throws a pass to Garrett Wolfe

The following off-season, the Bears acquired Chris Leak, who had previously led the Florida Gators to a BCS Championship, shortly after the 2007 NFL Draft. Leak struggled in training camp, while Orton, who had trained in the off season, excelled.[4] According to the Chicago Tribune, he was en route to overtaking Griese's (then) second string position.[5] Orton continued to show signs of improvement in the preseason. He completed sixteen of twenty-five passes for 151 yards and one touchdown en route to leading the Bears to a comeback victory over the Houston Texans.[6]

Kyle Orton during the 2008 NFL season.

After the Bears lost their chances of making a post-season berth, Lovie Smith chose to start Orton over Griese, who served as Grossman’s back-up.[7] Orton made his first start in nearly two seasons on December 17, 2007 against the Minnesota Vikings, the last team he started against before relinquishing his starting role to Grossman. The Bears lost the game by a score of 20-13, with Orton finishing with 22 completions on 38 attempts, with 184 yards and 1 interception.[8] He improved in the final two games of the season; leading the Bears to two consecutive victories by throwing three touchdowns and an interception for 294 yards.[9]

On February 25, 2008 the Bears and Orton agreed to a one-year contract extension running through the 2009 season. Competition for the starting quarterback job was to be expected to be fierce with Rex Grossman during training camp. On August 18, after deadlock against Grossman in games with the Kansas City Chiefs and Seattle Seahawks, Bears head coach Lovie Smith named Orton the team's starting quarterback for the 2008 season in week 3 of the preseason, despite not throwing a pass over 17 yards or a touchdown pass in the first two preseason games.[10] On September 7, 2008, Orton lead the Bears to a 29-13 victory over the Indianapolis Colts in the first regular season game of the 2008 season. Orton threw for a career high 334 yards and two touchdowns, while completing 24 of 34 passes in a 34-7 victory over the Detroit Lions.[11] He finished the game with a then-career high passer rating of 121.4.

From the start of November 2008, Kyle Orton passed for ten touchdowns, and four interceptions, leading the Bears to a 4-3 record. Orton sustained an injury to his ankle against the Detroit Lions in Week 9 of the NFL season,[12] and missed his subsequent start. Orton rushed himself back into the starting lineup a week after Grossman had a solid outing for someone coming off the bench against the Titans. After his return, Orton threw eight touchdowns, and eight interceptions while averaging a quarterback rating of 66.9, including ratings of 39.1 against Minnesota, 49.2 against New Orleans, and 48.7 against Green Bay.[9]

The Bears finished the season with a 9-7 record, while missing the playoffs by one game.[13] Coach Lovie Smith was pleased with Orton's performance and believed he would be the team's starting quarterback for the following season.[14] However, Jerry Angelo, the team's general manager, stated he wished to further solidify the quarterback position in the long run.[15]

Denver Broncos

Orton coming on to the field to start a drive.

On April 2, 2009, the Bears traded Orton (along with their first and third-round draft picks in 2009 and their first-round pick in 2010) to the Denver Broncos for Pro Bowl quarterback Jay Cutler. The Bears will also receive the Broncos' fifth round pick in 2009.[16] On June 13, Broncos head coach Josh McDaniels declared Orton the starting quarterback for the season, and Orton led the Broncos to a 12-7 victory in the 2009 season opener against the Cincinnati Bengals. The game was won on a deflected pass that landed in the arms of Brandon Stokley, who took it 87 yards for a touchdown.[17] Orton led the Broncos to a surprising 6-0 record to begin the season. His most impressive effort to date came against the New England Patriots, when he threw for 330 yards with a 73% completion rate and orchestrated a 98-yard drive to tie the game and allow it to go into overtime. He led another drive for the game-winning field goal in overtime.[18]

On Nov. 15, Orton suffered an ankle injury on the road against the Washington Redskins. He came out of the game at halftime with a career high passer rating of 134.7. The injury kept him from starting the next game at home against the Chargers. He did return partway through that game, replacing an ineffective Chris Simms.

Through fifteen games of the season (with fourteen starts), Orton has thrown 20 touchdown passes and 9 interceptions, ranking him at 14th in the league in passer rating and 15th in the league in passing yards. By comparison, through the same number of games, Jay Cutler ranks 23rd in passer rating and 14th in total passing yards. [19]

On Tuesday, October 13, 2009, Kyle Orton was named the AFC Offensive Player of the Week for his week 5 performance in which he completed 35-48 passes for 330 yards in leading the Denver Broncos in their 20-17 victory over the New England Patriots.[20]


Passing Stats (Regular Season)
Year Team G GS W-L Cmp. Att. Cmp.% Yards Avg. TD Int. Long Sacked Sack
Yards Lost
QB Rating
2005 Chicago 15 15 10-5 190 368 51.6% 1,869 5.9 9 13 54 30 190 59.7
2006 Chicago 0 0 0-0 0 0 - 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.0
2007 Chicago 3 3 2-1 43 80 53.8% 478 6.0 3 2 55 2 12 73.9
2008 Chicago 15 15 9-6 272 465 58.5% 2,972 6.4 18 12 65 27 160 79.6
2009 Denver 16 15 8-8 336 541 62.1% 3,802 7.0 21 12 87 29 159 86.8
Totals: 49 48 29-18 841 1,454 56.5% 9,121 6.3 51 39 87 88 521 75


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ Mayer, Larry, Slimmed-down Orton turning heads in camp (August 1, 2007), Retrieved on August 5, 2007.
  5. ^ Mullin, John (August 11, 2007). "Veterans relive exhibition but some Bears have things to prove". Chicago Tribune: pp. 1; 8. 
  6. ^, Texans fall to Bears in Schaub's debut, (August 11, 2007). Retrieved on August 13, 2007.
  7. ^, Excited Bears quarterback settling in under center. Retrieved on December 17, 2007.
  8. ^ Yahoo! Sports, Minnesota 20, Chicago 13, Retrieved on December 17, 2007.
  9. ^ a b, Kyle Orton: Game Logs, Retrieved on February 9, 2008.
  10. ^, Bears name Orton their starting quarterback, Retrieved on August 18, 2008
  11. ^ Yahoo!Sports,Chicago 34, Detroit 7, Retrieved on October 15, 2008.
  12. ^ Seligman, Andrew (2008-11-02). "Grossman comes off bench to help Bears beat Lions". Yahoo! Sports.;_ylt=AumMmD3BWEfhL8ROGtK2WFRDubYF?gid=20081102003&prov=ap. Retrieved 2008-11-02. 
  13. ^ Biggs, Brad (2008-12-19). "Bears have no one to blame but themselves after loss". Chicago Sun-Times.,CST-SPT-bear29.article. Retrieved 2009-01-01. 
  14. ^ Crist, John (2008-12-31). "If Not Orton, then Who Under Center?". Retrieved 2009-01-01. 
  15. ^ Mayer, Larry (2008-12-30). "Solidifying QB position remains one of Angelo's top priorities". Retrieved 2009-01-01. 
  16. ^ "New home Chicago: Broncos ship disgruntled QB Cutler to Bears". Retrieved 2009-04-02. 
  17. ^ "Stokley catches tipped pass, runs 87 yards for winning TD", 13 September 2009. Retrieved 13 September 2009.
  18. ^ Orton orchestrates game-tying drive as Broncos finish off Patriots in OT
  19. ^ Yahoo! Sports, Kyle Orton - Denver Broncos - Game Log
  20. ^ Denver Post

External links

Preceded by
Brandon Hance
Purdue Boilermakers Starting Quarterbacks
Succeeded by
Brandon Kirsch
Preceded by
Rex Grossman
Chicago Bears Starting Quarterbacks
Succeeded by
Jay Cutler
Preceded by
Jay Cutler
Denver Broncos Starting Quarterbacks
Succeeded by


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