LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Rookie Kyle Orton was in the weight room when he was summoned to coach Lovie Smith's office and given the news he expected to hear: He's the Chicago Bears' starting quarterback.
"I was happy. I wasn't surprised, kind of thought it was going to happen," Orton, a former Purdue star, said Sunday when the Bears made yet another change.
"I obviously know the recent history, so I know the city and all the fans want a talented quarterback who's going to go out there and play well and win a lot of football games and hopefully I'm that guy," Orton added, showing his confidence.
"I think I will be."
While Orton was promoted due to a strong performance in Friday's 16-12 exhibition win over Buffalo, struggling Chad Hutchinson was demoted all the way down the depth chart.
"As of now he's not in the rotation. We want to take a look at the other guys ," Smith said, announcing that recently signed veteran Jeff Blake is now Orton's backup and Kurt Kittner is No. 3.
"We've seen him (Hutchinson) all through training camp so we really want to get a look at the other guys," Smith added.
Orton led an 81-yard scoring drive by completing 7-of-9 passes against Buffalo's second-team defense, while Hutchinson was 3-for-14 passing with two interceptions and three sacks in a half of play against the Bills' first team. It was Hutchinson's second straight shaky outing since replacing the injured Rex Grossman, who broke his ankle Aug. 12 against the Rams.
Orton, who played at Purdue, was a fourth-round draft pick. He slipped in the draft after he was slowed by a hip injury in his senior season.
Now he's a starter on a huge stage. In the preseason, he's completed 27 of 42 passes for 409 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions, mostly against backups.