Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator Bill Davis began working on a plan for Kyle Orton after hearing reports Monday that Tony Romo might not play Sunday.
Davis is preparing for Romo, who completed 28 of 47 passes for 317 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions in the Cowboys’ 17-3 victory over the Eagles on Oct. 20. But he also knows, from media reports, that Orton could be the quarterback the Eagles face Sunday.
“You always prepare for their starters to start and be at their best,” Davis said Tuesday in quotes distributed by the team. “Now for instance, this week we say, ‘Let’s put a lot of emphasis on Orton as the backup, because we know it’s a proposition we have no control of, and we have to be prepared for both.’ I don’t think the offense changes too much with one or the other. I think we’re prepared for both of them, and we’re prepared to get the Dallas Cowboys’ absolute best no matter who is the quarterback.”
Orton has made two starts against Davis-coached defenses. In 2005, when Davis was the defensive coordinator in San Francisco, Orton’s Chicago Bears beat the San Francisco 49ers 17-9, though Orton was only 8-for-13 for 67 yards and an interception. In 2010, Davis was the defensive coordinator of the Arizona Cardinals, who beat Orton’s Denver Broncos 43-13. Orton went 19-for-41 for 166 yards with no touchdowns and three interceptions in the season finale that year.
“I know Kyle Orton is a highly efficient quarterback,” Davis said. “He started 70 games in the NFL. He has a great presence and sees the field well. He’s always distributed the ball equally to the open guys. I think some guys have favorites; some don’t. Kyle Orton is a great system quarterback in that he understands the coverage and what position in the routes, and he does a great job of getting the ball out of his hands and accurately throwing to the open guy. So we’ve got a great challenge no matter who the quarterback is. Kyle Orton can start for a lot of teams in the NFL.”
Foles vs. Orton
A possible Nick Foles vs. Kyle Orton matchup is not what anyone envisioned when the schedule was released in the spring. But Foles has started the past nine games in place of Michael Vick, winning the job while Vick was nursing a nagging hamstring injury.
Foles threw seven touchdown passes and had a perfect passer rating of 158.3 in a Nov. 3 game against Oakland. He leads the NFL with a 118.8 rating.
But the Austin Westlake product had his worst game against the Cowboys on Oct. 20, going 11-for-20 for 80 yards before leaving with a concussion. The Eagles lost 17-3, the only time in Foles’ starts this season they have scored fewer than 24 points.
Offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur said he didn’t recognize the Eagles team that played that day.
“I kind of hit on what it is,” Shurmur said Tuesday in quotes distributed by the team. “We dropped balls. We weren’t on the same page at times with who to block. We threw the ball inaccurately at times. We didn’t do a good job coaching and give them the best opportunity to succeed as players. We just weren’t very good. I don’t want to take anything away from Dallas. They did a lot of good things to defend us. We threw interceptions. So we did not play well. We can’t do that this Sunday.”