LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) -Even before he arrived at Purdue, Kyle Orton followed Drew Brees' advice - so it only made sense he would also follow Brees' example once he got there.
When he wasn't sure what to do, all he had to do was pop in the video.
``I remember freshman year, if I needed to find out how to run a play or a certain look, I'd just go off what he did,'' Orton said.
Those weren't the first assists he got from Brees. A big one came before he even arrived in West Lafayette, Ind.
As the Chicago Bears and New Orleans Saints prepare for another high-stakes game at Soldier Field on Thursday night, the quarterbacks couldn't help but drift back to a different time, when Brees was wrapping up a record-setting run at Purdue and Orton was wondering if he should follow him.
As a senior at Southeast Polk High in Runnels, Iowa, Orton was thinking about reneging on his commitment to Purdue in favor of Colorado. A conversation at an Elite 11 football camp in California with Brees, a counselor, doused that thought.
want to get a great education, want to have a chance to start four years, play in the Big Ten and throw the ball 50 times a game, then you should come to Purdue,''' said Brees, Purdue's all-time passing leader with 11,792 yards. ``It was really that simple.''
Orton recalled: ``It was good advice.''
Brees probably wasn't offering any tips this week - not with so much at stake.
Two years ago, the Bears beat the Saints in the NFC championship game at Soldier Field and, last year, they squashed New Orleans' playoff hopes on the final day of the season. Now, at 7-6, both teams are trying to keep their playoff hopes alive without much room for error.
The Bears have to figure out a way to contain the league's top offense and the prolific Brees, who with 4,100 yards passing is challenging Dan Marino's single-season record. They also need a steady effort from Orton, coming off his best game since spraining his ankle last month.
Orton still was relatively quiet, going 20-of-34 with 219 yards, two touchdowns and an interception in a 23-10 win over Jacksonville on Sunday. Not exactly Brees-like, but a big improvement over the previous three games, when he completed 49 percent of his passes.
Against the Jaguars, he looked more like the quarterback who beat out Rex Grossman for the starting job - and the Bears could use that.
Orton opened plenty of eyes before he got injured, including Brees'.
``There was just this air of confidence about him that, 'Hey, this is my job and I know what it's going to take and I'm going to get it done and I'm going to be the starter,''' Brees said. ``Everything that he kind of said was going to happen has happened, so just the fact we're going to be playing against each other after going back (almost) 10 years when I was helping to recruit him to Purdue is kind of funny.''
Orton started against the Saints as a rookie in 2005, when Brees was in San Diego, and again last season. But he was just a game-manager three years ago and was simply trying to convince the Bears he was worth a look the last time.
Now, the shackles are off - and the expectations are higher.
The Bears are trying to make the playoffs, and standing in their way is another Boilermaker who happens to be one of the league's best quarterbacks.
``He was a big reason why I went there,'' said Orton, who was third on Purdue's all-time list with 9,337 yards passing when he left. ``I wanted to throw for all those yards and put up the numbers he did. No question, he was a big influence.''
They're not exactly best friends, but they are friendly. They see each other at functions every now and then, have a mutual respect, and when someone jokingly asked if the real story Thursday is two Purdue quarterbacks going at it, Brees couldn't help but grin.
cks have thrown more touchdowns in the NFL than any other college.''
Actually, he's wrong.
Purdue is second to Notre Dame in that category, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, but it does boast a long list of successful quarterbacks from Len Dawson, Bob Griese, Gary Danielson and Jim Everett to Brees and now Orton.
``I've been very happy for him,'' Brees said. ``I think he's done a great job.''
---
AP Sports Writer Brett Martel in New Orleans contributed to this story.

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