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Big Day for Bears Rookies

By Benjy Lipsman in News on Aug 29, 2005 5:33PM

Yesterday was a busy day at Halas Hall, as perhaps the two biggest stories for the Bears this season -- other than Rex Grossman's injury -- broke on Sunday.

Early in the day, Bears coach Lovie Smith called rookie QB Kyle Orton into his office to inform him he was being named the starting QB. Orton has played very well throughout the preseason while former Grossman back-up Chad Hutchinson has not. Through their first 4 preseason games, Orton had a QB Rating of 92.3 while Hutchinson's was a horrific 23.1, including a 0.0 in Friday night's game against Buffalo. With Hutchinson bumped all the way down to 4th on the current depth chart behind Jeff Blake and Kurt Kittner, we may have seen the last of Hutchinson in a Bears uniform. Chicagoist sure is glad that Lovie is a bit more responsive to performance-based personnel changes than a certain baseball manager is. Lovie recognized that somebody wasn't doing the job and he wasted little time in handing over the reigns to somebody more capable.

While one rookie was making news for his work on the field, another Bears rookie who's been making news for his absence from the field finally signed a contract. Yes folks, Cedric Benson has finally agreed to a contract. Benson and the Bears have agreed on a 5-year deal, which he will sign once he arrives in Chicago today. The terms of the deal have not been announced yet, so it's unknown whether the Bears caved in and gave into Bensons demands, whether the deal on the table really was their final offer or whether they even took money off the table.

While he will speak at a press conference annoucing the signing, it's unknown whether he'll take part in the team's 1:30pm practice. After holding out for 36 days, he has less than two weeks to prepare for the Sep. 11 opener. He joins the team third on the depth chart behind incumbent Thomas Jones and Adrian Peterson. Will he have time to win the starting job before the season begins? Chicagoist isn't sure about that, although we forsee him sharing duties with Jones soon after the season begins.

With Orton, Benson and WR Mark Bradley, the Bears offense's success depends a great deal on these rookies. Should be interesting to see how they fare this season. At least there's little worry about performing better than last year's league worst offense.