What Can Lovie Smith Have Been Thinking to Give Up Kyle Orton?

Scott McGrathCorrespondent IOctober 20, 2009

SAN DIEGO, CA - OCTOBER 19:  Quarterback Kyle Orton #8 of the Denver Broncos throws against the San Diego Chargers during Monday Night Football on October 19, 2009 at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)

One year removed from his days with the Chicago Bears, where he was seen as worse than the infamous Rex Grossman, Kyle Orton has begun this season with a start that he may have never thought he had in him.

I realize it is only six games into the season, but the change Orton has had is not just improvement, it is a complete and utter turn around.

Last season, Orton appeared in 15 games and threw 12 interceptions, the season prior he only appeared in three games, and still threw for two interceptions. Then, in his worst season of all, four years ago, Orton threw 13 interceptions in 15 games and had a measly 59.7 passer rating in those appearances.

Now in his first six games, Orton has thrown for nine touchdowns and just one interception. His passer rating is over 100 on the year in his six starts.

Surely, his numbers could go downhill as the season progresses, but the fact that Orton has been able to consistently put up these solid numbers as well as that the Denver Broncos are a rejuvenated football team behind the play of rookies such as Knowshon Moreno, a defense featuring eight new starters, and a new head coach Josh McDaniels.

Sure, the Broncos traded away potential superstar QB Jay Cutler, for a barely NFL-proved QB, but it seems like it is paying off.

Not only did they get a more consistent Kyle Orton, but they also received two first round draft picks and a third round draft pick, to add even more to the talented roster.

While Lovie Smith may be happy with Jay Cutler and the new offensive look the Bears have, you have to wonder about Orton. Is the dramatic change because of McDaniels coaching as opposed to Smith? Did Orton just become a better player? Are the Broncos simply a better suited team for Orton?

Obviously, it would appear that the answer to all of these questions is yes, even though it's a little too early to tell.

But, I'm sure McDaniels is thrilled.

This article was first featured on http://thesportsage.blogspot.com/ .