NFL: Orton, O’Sullivan get their chance
CHICAGO ó Kyle Orton has a starting job and J.T. O’Sullivan will try to lock one up, too.
While Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith declared Orton the winner in the race with Rex Grossman, San Francisco 49ers coach Mike Nolan wasn’t quite ready to say O’Sullivan is the regular-season starter.
Sure, he will take the first snaps at Soldier Field tonight, but Nolan stopped short of declaring the competition with holdovers Alex Smith and Shaun Hill over.
“Some are getting more reps than others, but I’ve been pleased with all three of them,” Nolan said. “I do feel confident we have three guys who can win games. Two of them I know can because I’ve played with them in the past and continue to take a look at J.T.”
In Friday’s games, it’s Tennessee at Atlanta, Philadelphia at New England and Houston at Dallas and Green Bay at Denver.
Saturday’s schedule is Cleveland at Detroit, New York Giants at New York Jets, Jacksonville at Tampa Bay, Washington at Carolina, Kansas City at Miami, New Orleans at Cincinnati, Baltimore at St. Louis, Pittsburgh at Minnesota and Arizona at Oakland.
On Sunday, it’s Buffalo at Indianapolis in the first game at Lucas Oil Stadium.
On Monday, Seattle is at San Diego.
The third preseason game usually is a rehearsal for the opener, but if O’Sullivan is going to start the opener against Arizona the announcement apparently will come later. That’s fine with him. He’s just focusing on the upcoming game after starting the first two.
“I’m just worried about this week and I don’t really let myself feel anything about it,” said O’Sullivan, a sixth-year pro with his eighth team. “I’m really trying to kind of worry about the preparation for this game this week. You know, it’s a short week. We’re kind of crunched for time so I’m just spending as much time as I can getting ready for Chicago.”
The same goes for Alex Smith.
“I’m worrying about Chicago and the reps I’m going to get, and what I need to do with them,” he said. “I’m not worrying about any of that other stuff right now.”
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