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Chiefs coach Haley says Orton has a shot to start vs. Bears

Updated: December 30, 2011 8:20AM



Chiefs coach Todd Haley said Tyler Palko is his starting quarterback but left the door open for Kyle Orton to start against his former team Sunday, when the Chiefs face the Bears at Soldier Field (noon, Ch. 2).

Palko, a fourth-year reserve from Pittsburgh, has thrown six interceptions and no touchdown passes in two games since replacing injured starter Matt Cassel. He threw three interceptions and fumbled a snap in the Chiefs’ 13-9 loss to the Steelers on Sunday night.

‘‘Tyler’s the starter,’’ Haley told reporters at his news conference Monday. ‘‘But as we do every week and with every position, if we feel Kyle or Ricky [ Stanzi] gives us a chance to win, we’ll make that determination.’’

Orton, who was 21-12 as a starter with the Bears from 2005 to 2008, was acquired by the Chiefs on waivers from the Broncos last Wednesday. He has had only one practice with his new team. But Haley said that Orton’s unfamiliarity with the Chiefs’ playbook would not preclude him from starting against the Bears.

‘‘Kyle [is] a really bright football guy,’’ Haley said. ‘‘That won’t be an issue. [It’s] who can run the offense most efficiently given how we’re built.’’

The Bears also put in a waiver claim for Orton, but the Chiefs’ claim had priority because they had the worst won-lost record of the teams making claims.

Not into ‘Tebowing’

Caleb Hanie’s 50 rushing yards on five carries were the most for a Bears quarterback since Lovie Smith became the coach in 2004. Kordell Stewart gained 52 yards on nine carries in a 24-21 victory over the Raiders at Soldier Field on Oct. 5, 2003.

But Smith didn’t sound too excited about using Hanie even more as a runner.

‘‘I don’t think you can ask for any more than [the 50 yards],’’ Smith said. ‘‘There are opportunities with some coverages teams play.

‘‘The quarterback is not accounted for in most defenses. So if you have a guy mobile enough to do that, we will occasionally take advantage of it.’’

Peanut makes plea

Cornerback Charles Tillman deserved a shared sack with defensive end Julius Peppers when he beat running back Michael Bush to get to Carson Palmer at the same time Peppers got there. Tillman isn’t asked to blitz in the Bears’ defense, but he relishes the opportunity.

‘‘I do . . . coach Smith,’’ he said, looking directly into television cameras for emphasis. ‘‘But I know my role on this team is not blitzing. But if they do send me, it would be nice.’’

The Big Janikowski

Raiders place-kicker Sebastian Janikowski kicked five field goals in that 2003 game, the longest a 49-yarder that tied the game with 3:30 left.

Former Bears kicker Paul Edinger won it with a 48-yard field goal as time expired.

Janikowski also had a 47-yarder blocked by defensive end Phillip Daniels.

With his six-for-six performance Sunday, Janikowski is 13-for-14 on field goals in three games against the Bears.



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