Kyle Orton will be the Bears opening day quarterback, the team announced Monday afternoon.
Coach Lovie Smith is expected to formally announce the elevation of Orton over former starter Rex Grossman later in the day.
"The decision was based on Orton's body of work dating back to his performance late last year," stated an article on the team's website.
Seeing his first regular-season action in two years, he completed 43 of 80 passes for 478 yards with 3 touchdowns, 2 interceptions and a 73.9 passer rating as the Bears lost to the Vikings before closing 2007 with back-to-back wins over the Packers and Saints.
Prior to facing the Vikings Dec. 17 in Minnesota, Orton hadn't stepped on the field since compiling a 10-5 record as a surprise starter during his rookie season in 2005.
All signs are pointing to Kyle Orton beginning the season as the Bears starting quarterback, both the Tribune and Sun-Times report.
"It seems pretty obvious which way the Bears are going at quarterback," Brad Biggs writes in the Sun-Times.
With 20 days until the start of the regular season, all signs are pointing to Kyle Orton being the starter Sept. 7 at Indianapolis. Coach Lovie Smith didn't give any indication Saturday night after a 29-26 overtime loss at Seattle, but did he have to?
"One of these workdays," the Tribune's David Haugh writes, "expect Orton to get a promotion that appears to have been in the works for a while."
Neither quarterback says they've been told anything about the battle, according to Haugh, but the tea leaves appear easy to read following Rex Grossman's pummelling in the Bears' 29-26 exhibition loss to the Seahawks Saturday.
Unless one takes Rick Morrissey's suggestion that the Bears give undrafted rookie Caleb Hanie a shot.
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