Lovie Smith announced after practice today that Kyle Orton will start the preseason opener against Kansas City on Thursday, but indicated that both Orton and Rex Grossman will get an equal number of reps with the first team offense.
What this means, essentially, is that Grossman is more likely to have success. Coaches prefer to play their starters for about a quarter in the first game, but Lovie says the first string offense will probably play the entire first half. Which means, it is likely that Orton will face the first team defense and Grossman will get reps against Kansas City’s second string unit.
If Grossman can’t take advantage of a second string defense, then Orton surely will gain the upper hand in this battle.
As always, Grossman can expect a round of boos when he takes the field, but those boos could very well turn to cheers if he takes the offense down the field for a score.
Lovie declared that there was no rhyme or reason for picking Orton ahead of Grossman, but theorists will suggest one of two things:
1. It’ll be Orton’s turn in the rotation to start with the No. 1s on Thursday, anyway.
2. Lovie’s worried about Grossman’s psyche in front of the home crowd and would prefer he gets the start next week on the road in Seattle.
I suspect it’s option No. 1, but, sometimes, you just never know.
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