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The line picks up the blitz, Orton picks up the check

A lot has been said about the chemistry between wide receiver Mushin Muhammad and QB Kyle Orton, including a story posted here, but this article from the Chicago Tribune talks of chemistry that might be more important, that between QB and offensive line.

Kyle Orton has learned many lessons in his young NFL career, including perhaps the most important one: When they hand you the bill, just pay it.

Orton accepted the offensive linemen's invitation to join them for their customary Thursday night dinner, one of the longest-running team traditions. Naturally, when you're a rookie, even if the check reaches into four figures, you pay.

"Only once," Orton said, laughing. "They've been real good to me about that."

They have been real good to Orton in other areas that matter far more, such as keeping him healthy. Indeed, the offensive line has quietly accomplished one of the most remarkable mission statements in the NFL this season:

Establish a running game for the Bears' offense when everyone from the parking lot attendant on in knows what is coming. And do it while protecting a rookie quarterback from harm. They've allowed just 16 sacks.

It is good that a line that is full of vets, some of who have sat through this whirlwind the Bears call a QB situation, but I still would be more interested in seeing the deep ball connection finally start working.