With Kyle Orton’s impressive breakout season this year upon us, it’s still a shocker to many that The Chicago Bears may have found their franchise quarterback. But those who look at the eerie similarities so far in their NFL career’s between Kyle Orton and Drew Brees, it is not that surprising. These 2 men share a lot more in common than just an Alma Mater.
Drafted with the 1st pick of the 2nd round in 2001, it took Drew Brees 3 years of poor play and learning, to finally breakout. His Passer ratings in his first 2 seasons as the starter for the Chargers were 76.9 and 67.5 respectively. Orton also struggled in the NFL with the Bears for his first 3 years. He also put up less than impressive passer rating in his first 2 seasons with 59.7 and 73.9. Ironically enough much like Brees he has begun to breakout in this, his 4th season in the NFL.
The similarities did not just begin in the pros. Orton and Brees have been comparable back to their days at Purdue. Both are tied for the all-time record for passing yards in a single game with 522. He and Brees also both started 3 consecutive Bowl games while at Purdue.
Whether Orton continues to have the amount of big time success his Purdue predecessor has had as of late remains to be seen, but he appears to be on his way. Most of us had given up on Orton’s chances as a star in the NFL, much like with Brees a few years back. In fact the Chargers were so confident he was not going to be the guy they drafted Eli Manning with the first pick of the 2004 draft, who was eventually traded for Philip Rivers and additional picks ( which turned out to be pro bowlers Shawn Merriman and Nate Kaeding). It was only because of a Philip Rivers holdout that Brees was given a chance to be the opening day starter.
With Orton’s career being as similar to Brees’ to this point it begs wondering if he can continue it, and become a future pro bowlers and potential MVP candidate, just like the man he followed at Purdue, the cradle of quarterbacks