Chicago Sun-Times

Bears make this Sunday compelling viewing

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Yes, the Bears may have been bumped from their prime time perch by the forces that be in the league office and at NBC, but Sunday's meeting at Seattle will be telling no matter what the start time is.

Some have jumped out and declared the Bears right back in the mix of things following the comeback 17-6 victory at Oakland. It may be a little premature to do that until they put together the most modest of winning streaks -- two games -- but you certainly cannot count them out.

Five of the nine teams that entered the weekend ahead of the Bears in the NFC were losers on Sunday. The wild card race could really begin to take shape right after Thanksgiving. There are eight teams in the conference with four or five victories right now.

So, what's it going to take for you to believe -- not hope -- the Bears are smack dab in the middle of this? Do you need to see Rex Grossman named the new starter? Need Cedric Benson to roll for 100 yards on less than, say, 35 carries? Are you already a believer?

Make no mistake, it will be another interesting week at Halas Hall.

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We've seen it again and again. Grossman make a wonderful, spectacular throw. The kind of thing that, when we first saw it in the pre-season that rookie year, made us all sit up and lean towards the television set or put down our hot dog and drink and pick up the field glasses.

But it never came to fruition. He does not have that last little bit of DNA that great quarterbacks have. Many can throw the ball. Many can lead the team down the field. But only a few have it all. And sometimes the ones who do not have it can cost you game after game--just when you think you are on your way.

A Brad Johnson or a Trent Dilfer--or a Rex Grossman--can lead you to victory again and again when the opposition scores no points. But a Brett Favre or a Peyton Manning or a John Elway can win a game all by themselves, almost WILL the team to victory.

We have one of those kinds of quarterbacks sitting on the bench. Not Greise, although he is better than Grossman. Kyle Orton is a gunslinger. He led the team to 10 victories--as a rookie--while not starting the season and while being kept under wraps and severely constrained in what he was allowed to do. He threw a slew of interceptions against a team that made a slew of interceptions the next week against Brett Favre and led the league in interceptions that year. So Lovy told him to throw the ball away if he didn't have an open receiver. Throw it away? He can throw a ball through an open car window from thirty yards.

You don't tell gunslingers like Favre, Marino, Elway, and a kid like Orton to throw the ball into the second row of the stands because YOU, the coach are afraid he will get an interception on a close play. Favre leads the NFL all-time in interceptions. Babe Ruth led the major leagues all time in strike outs.

Orton has the best arm of any of the three quarterbacks and maybe one of the best arms in the league.

Or....just let Orton go. People want to see him play. And if the Bears let him go, he'll be starting for the first team that picks him up. And the Bears will still be floundering.

The reason we're floundering is that the defense does not believe. You have to believe you can win. Even when the Packers had absolutely no one, they belived that they could win. Because they had a gunslinging quarterback who could win.

We still have the players. We still have the spectacular defense and we have a hell of a lot better offensive line than the one that put Orton on his back about half of the time the year he played. And we have receivers who can really catch the ball, not just hold it for a second, like Mike Hass. Forget speed. Find someone who can get open, like Hass, or David Ball whom we let go. Get the ball down the field. Orton will do that.

Grossman is a great guy. And has a great arm and can throw spectacular passes. But anyone with two eyes can see the difference between Grossman's inability to move in the pocket, to spot open receivers and get the ball to them. It is not that Grossman does not have "grace under pressure." Don't mistake courage for capability. The kid takes hits that would stop a bus, and gets up and doesn't blink. But he does not have that, pardon me, Tony Romo ability to find that third receiver or to instinctively move around so that he can't be stopped.

But, if we are going to keep Grossman, let's all agree that we should let Kyle Orton go. He has a starting job out there somewhere and it is unfair to keep him sitting in his cage here when he could be entertaining real football fans.

Remember, the Bears were losing to the pitiful Raiders with just over 3 minutes left. So I am not a believer. I thought they would win yesterday, and I still think they will finish up at 6-10, maybe 7-9 if they continue to get help from the refs. And those records will not be good enough to make the playoffs, even in the NFC.

OMG - what have you been smoking? The Bears were neck and neck with the worst team in the league yesterday and squeaked out a win. So THAT makes next w/e compelling viewing??

You've been sniffing too many jocks up there in LF...this team is bad with holes at every position but TE, D line and cornerbacks.

Compelling...yeah, ok

I think you are unrealistically optimistic, but that is no crime. In fact I share your sentiments, but admit that they are "sentiments." I have been and remain a Rex supporter. Who convinced Joeyo that Orton has a great arm? I might agree that he's the smartest quarterback of the three, but definitely Grossman has the best arm.

Kyle Orton has a great arm? Look, he's not a terrible QB and he deserves credit for helping the team get on a roll and into the playoffs two years ago. But let's not forget that the team's formula for success that year was to play ball-control with Thomas Jones and win the field-position battle with Brad Maynard's punts. Then they let the defense try to win the game for them. There was no deep threat and Orton rarely attempted a pass outside of 15 yds downfield. And you're telling us it's because he SECRETLY had a great arm, but Lovie was afraid he would use it?

I'd love to hear your theories on Area 51 too.

Paul, Orton has the best arm and the most ability on the team...the fact that you support someone with pedestrian ability....I'm embarrassed for you and all the "never talk Rex in public" supporters...

Seattle will beat the Bears @$$ this week...but...just like 3/4 of the Raiders game...I won't watch it....I've been insulted enough, thank you very much're right..and I too want to see Orton go somewhere else and, an option Grossman wont have next year

Angelo, Lovie, Grossman, and Benson = blacked out games

Thank God I'm a bigger fan of football than I am of the Bears....there is no reason to watch this team...and I'll tune back in when RexandCed are gone

With 7 games left and the wild cards only 2 games up on the Bears, they have as good a chance as anyone else in the NFC. The Bears get to play one of them later this year (Giants), and have already played the hardest part of their schedule. The defense is getting healthier and will play much better the second half of the season.

I'm glad Rex is back! I hope the Bears let him finish out the season as the starter to see if he can be the long term QB the Bears need.

Let's see the Bears win 2 games in a row this year before we start talking about playoffs.

Let's see the Bears score a touchdown by the offense in the first quarter before we start think about playoffs.

With the way this team is playing right now a win is a win. If they happen to get enough of them to make the playoffs, great, nothing like mediocrity in the NFL to spark playoff hopes.

What I want to see this team do is sustain drives. Take the ball 60+ yards down field with consistency all game long. Too many times you see a big play for 15 + yards for a first down followed with a run for no gain or a loss, followed by an incompletion, followed by a 3 yard pass to Adrian Peterson when he needs 8+ yards. Then a punt. Enough of that. Design some short passing plays designed to get 5 or 6 yards to the Tight ends or RB's to mix up the vanilla, run the ball for .5 yards on first down. A play action pass on 2nd and 4 is a lot more effective than on 2nd an 8. Do some stunts with receiver routes that will isolate Berrian or Hester and allow them to run after the catch. If the O-Line isn't run blocking the power runs for Benson, then bring in AP or Wolfe and run some sweeps or reverses. Move the ball with some consistency. This offense seems to stop itself as often as the opposing defense does. I'd like to see that change with consistency before I "believe."

Rex is by far our best shot at making a run. As many times I have wanted to jump through the tv and smack Rex right across the logo on his helmet, it's still the truth. When Rex is hot, the kid's is flat out hot, and of course when he's not my grandfather could handle the ball better.

Granted Rex played bad in the start of the season, but you can NOT put the blame all on him. Defense was allowing to many points, can't run the ball, if you can't run you can expose play action to take high percentage shots down field. O line was getting pushed around. Turner wasn't calling good plays. Then all the injuries. What position always takes the blame, quaterback.

Now Rex obviously has his flaws, bad pocket presense and needs to control the ball but the guy can throw, give him a bit of time with no pressure and he'll produce. Go to the tape, every time he is under heavy blitz packages, we start to pray, but when he has time to throw he makes plays.

Orton the best arm of the three?? You might as well put Craig Krenzel and Jonathan Quinn back in. Orton always played it to safe and the defence brought us to the playoffs in '05.

NFL teams live on momentum, Rex just gave us a spark, lets hope he can light the fire.
I believe, Go Rex!!

Grossman throws one nice pass to a wide open Barian against a second string back on a lousy defense and all of a sudden he's the answer to our prayers. He had an interception dropped and he does act skittish and scared in the pocket.
I guess people have pretty short memories. Griese started 5 games not counting the Raider game, and he played well in 3, bad in two. The first game against Detroit was his first start in 2 years coming off an injury in 05, so that one really should not be held against him. He played badly in the Detroit games but well in the other 3, and threw 2 long 4th quarter TD's against Minnesota, and led the comebacks in GB and Philly. So, in 3 of his last 4 starts he played quite well. He had more TDs than int's which he has done throughout his career. Grossman has thrown way more int's than TD's and only had one TD in 3 games this year.
Grossman played well (not great) in Sept last year (got lucky with a lot of cheap interference calls when he threw the ball up for grabs) and since then has been pretty consistently bad (often terrible) except for one nice pass Sunday. It wasnt the greatest pass ever as some are saying and anyone who thinks Griese couldnt have made the same pass is a moron. Plus, Grossman saved his biggest choke job for when it mattered most in the SB, and that is why he is a national joke even though a lot of moronic Bear fans dont seem to understand that.
Orton did not "lead" the Bears to the playoffs in 05, he was along for the ride with the defense and running game. When asked to open it up he played badly, turned it over and actually regressed during the season. He was not great at Purdue. He may turn out to be a decent backup but there is no evidence that he is some great saviour at the QB position, that is just dreaming.
I say start Griese and if the Bears are out of the playoffs, which they will be given the number of teams ahead of them, play Orton the last few games. Let Grossman go elsewhere, rest assured he will never be a star, although like any QB he may have his moments.

Hey, Hitman, save your embarrassment for someone who cares about your opinion. Asserting that Orton has the best arm does not make it so. Read Jim's post. He at least offered some detailed support for his contentions, unlike your opinionated and erroneous babble.


Thanks for stating the truth to the obvious in denial Bear fans.

Reality check for the Bears...your teams performance against the likely worst team in the NFL was pitiful. For gosh sakes was Oakland!!!! and you almost lost and people are supposed to somehow think the last minutes of that game somehow constitute a beginning run to the playoffs? Only Bear players and their fans can believe such bologna. Get guys are far from over the hump.

Hey Dave
Us Bear Fans are not in denail, but rather living on hope. We are all aware of the position were in. Yes we did play Oakland and yes Oakland is a bad team and yes we are far from the hump.
Therefore, Rex's TD pass in Oakland was the beginning step to climbing over that hump, starting him this Sunday was the second. Granted, it was only Oakland but a win is a win and that started momentum. If we can defeat Seattle in their house, which they play very well at home, then we have a chance to make a run. Are we going to win the Super Bowl, realisticly no, but we are a much better team than we are right now and I think they will prove it. So when they do you can take you previous words and shove them right up your crank shaft.

Oh Jim
I almost forgot.
No short memories around here or for the coaching staff for that matter. Rex is starting, because he is the better quaterback!!
He didn't play up to his potential in the Super Bowl but played well against NO and Seattle in the playoffs to get us there. Shouldn't always focus on the negative.


"Rex's TD pass was the beginning step"? To what-more turnovers and crappy QB play? Hey I hope Rex does great, Im a Bears fan, but Im not stupid and Im not blind, I dont decide based on alleged "potential" as you do, I judge on results and play on the field. The reason "Rex' is starting is Angelo and Lovies ego, they dont want to admit they made a mistake saving the job for Rex the last 3 years and they know that given the teams situation they are not going anywhere this year so whats the difference. Your boy "Rex" will be gone next year and will never amount to much because the fact is he is not good.
If you think atrocious play in the SB doesnt matter thats fine. The Bears win that game with even average QB play. He wasnt as bad in the playoffs, but he was hardly great.

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on November 12, 2007 6:11 AM.

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