Chicago Sun-Times

Camp notes: Columnist wonders why Grossman is in QB race

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Mike Freeman from came to town and wondered how Rex Grossman is still in a battle to be the team's starting quarterback. Well, he wondered how Grossman is still on the roster, actually.

One point worth noting is that the Bears have not gone out and made a bold play for a passer. General manager Jerry Angelo, in seven drafts, has selected three quarterbacks.

Grossman with the second of two first-round picks in 2003.

Craig Krenzel in the fifth round in 2004.

Kyle Orton in the fourth round in 2005.

Angelo has signed veterans, a handful of them, from Brian Griese to Chris Chandler, Jonathan Quinn, Chad Hutchinson, the list goes on and on.

The point Freeman makes it the quarterback position, the boogeyman for the Bears, is not going to solve itself. At some point, you have to do something about it.

The Bears' hope, which springs eternal, is that the winner of the Grossman vs. Orton battle will more than suffice this season. If not, Angelo figures to be in the market for a quarterback. Again.

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Angelo should be in the market for a job, of course, right after Lovie and the rest of this idiotic staff they've assembled; that can't seem to "teach"; "prepare"; "gameplan"; "draft"; "develop"; "blah"; "blah"; "whooseewhatsit"; "eeecheewhawha". Geez, how do you keep your job after failing to develop an "elite" offensive line, when that was the one most important position on a team expecting success from the talents of a Grossman or Orton. Horrible! Watch this coaching staff get schooled all year long, and unable to stop the run later in the year when this 2 deep defense proves, once again, to be too basic, prone mistakes and unimaginative. When are we going to understand that Lovie's idiotic idea that "it's the scheme" that wins games is the thing that is absolutely not PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALL! You need the HORSES kids. If I have to watch another season of Lovie's deer in the Dick Jauron Headlights syndrome, I swear, I might have to actually decide to spend time with my family on Sundays!!!!

Considering the Bears haven't had a franchise QB since Sid Luckman, the law of averages only work if you actually pick more than 3 QB's out of the 50 or so picks JA has had the last 7 years.

1st time head coach....1st time G.M......failed Big Ten coach O.C....first time D.C.....

Notice a trend, Bears fans? When was the last "experienced" head coach? Shouldn't the founding franchise of the N.F.L. be more than a training ground for all key coaching and management positions?

Well, guess what....the McCaskey's don't like paying out those contracts to fired employees.

So the coordinators will continue to change, but don't expect any major changes until contracts are up.

U have stated it so well that I will just print your comments and watch the Bears lose 12 games this year. I won't be spending 1 penny on the Bears..........or the Bulls this year.

Angelo & Lovie are high priced trainees! Last years second and third
round picks are a joke, considering that they could have picked two offensive linemen with those picks!

The stumblimng bumbling Gimp Grossman's track record shows that he is incapable of leading the Bears. His trip against KC is typical
of his inability to get the job done!

Lovie dumped Riveria for Babich and put more inexperienced (low payed) coaches on the staff. The wil finish last in the NFC central!

Woo hoo, Yeah lets Go Bears! This is exactly what i been saying forever, look around the league. The only teams that manage to stay a competative playoff team year after year are the teams with good or great QB's. Why doesnt JA get this, didnt his one and done Super Bowl team teach him anything. How do we see this so clearly, but yet the professionals that get paid to put this team together don't. It finally hit me yesterday that there is a good chance Rex is going to be the starter again this year, HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE?!?!? Argghhhhhhhh! we may end up with the 1st pick, but that already seems like its going to be a big effin headache, beacuse we all know the success JA has had with high draft picks! 4-12 season here we come!!!

Hey Alex, Grossman track records shows A Super bowl, the trip was a guard stepping on his foot. And Babich can't be judged until he has a healthy unit. And what type of Bear fan are you? oh the one that became a fan when after we beat the Saints in the playoffs in 2006. Get your facts straight and football I.Q up! Let's go Bears

All kidding aside, this was a pretty good article. I find it funny that we still think of McMahon as a great QB. he was good, not great. We had a Hall of Fame defense, an all-time great at running back, and a solid special teams game. All McMahon had to do was what we are asking this year's crop to do: don't mess it up, and make a few plays a game when we need them.

Wouldn't it be nice to have an elite quarterback for once? Sure it would, but the sad thing is 30 teams in the NFL are saying the same thing. outside of Brady and Manning, there are none. There are good QBs with the potential to be great, but none are in that class of player at this point.

I would be happy with 16 starts, and less than 16 picks. I think it has to be Orton if we want that. I think he can manage 20-25TDs, 15 picks, and 3,300 yards in 16 starts. We have all seen what Grossman can manage in 16 starts, and I don't think that in his 6th year, he is going to suddenly become consistent and make all of those mental errors go away. If anything, I think he is less passionate about the game than he was. When you hear him talk now, he throws out the laissez-faire attitude like it's going out of style. He may be working hard, but he isn't growing where we need him to, which is between the ears. When you are in your 6th year, and you still fumble snaps in practice, and trip over your center dropping back, or throw off balance, or continue to stare down your primary receiver, or not notice the blitz, and for the love of God don't move your feet and step up in the pocket when pressured, you are not growing as a quarterback.

Our coaching staff is mediocre at best as far as player development,with a tendency towards poor. We aren't going to help Grossman get any better. We need to put him on the bench, and let him stare at the clipboard for a year. He is mentally weak, as evidenced by the fact that the Bears decided to not start him in Chicago because of the fan reaction. Any observers of camp saw it as an even race up to that point, so why wouldn't they give the nod to their starter from last year? because he might crumble if the fans booed him. When will they finally realize that Spurrier quarterbacks, no matter how physically talented they may be, are damaged goods by the time he is done with them? He gives them zero skills that will help them beyond when he needs them, and leaves them with nothing but fun memories of the swamp. They are mindless extensions of his offense, and that simply is not good enough in the NFL. They have to be able to think on their feet, read the entire field, and look off the defense. Rex can do none of those things at all, and will continue to make us rip our hair out game after game until he is out of the league. No one will sign him if we cut him, so it's not like he will come back to haunt us. If he does come back with another team, great for us. It means one more win for the Bears

It should tell you something that Ron Rivera thinks he is weak mentally. Chico was one of the smartest players I have seen on the Bears in my lifetime, and if he thinks you can't cut it as a quarterback, odds are you can't cut it. Outside of Halas Hall, is there anyone who believes in Rex? Sure doesn't seem like it, so why continue to hang our hat on a wall with no hook?

The Bears had a bad year last year, but remember what they did the year before? Come on!1 The first regular season gme has yet to be played.


Just last years? I did the research and posted this in a forum a few days ago over at the trib, but it's worth repeating. Here are all 26 of Jerry Angelo's picks rounds 1-3 (pick number, year, round, overall pick, selection):

1 2008 1 14 Chris Williams T - Well on his way to bust status after only one practice
2 2008 2 44 Matt Forte RB - Looks good but compared to Cedric "2-yars and a cloud of Bust", who couldn't?
3 2008 3 70 Earl Bennett WR - Looked shaky but too early
4 2008 3 90 Marcus Harrison DT - Showed some flashes but way too early
5 2007 1 31 Greg Olsen TE - Solid TE and lots of potential
6 2007 2 62 Dan Bazuin DE - Should be cut this season but he was Angelo's pick so probably will be on the roster until he's bounced from league
7 2007 3 93 Garrett Wolfe RB - Too early though a disappointing rookie season
8 2007 3 94 Michael Okwo LB - More than likely will end his NFL career before this season begins
9 2006 2 42 Danieal Manning DB - Has started for Chicago but was he really better than Chris Harris? Jury is still out.
10 2006 2 57 Devin Hester DB - The greatest pick of Angelo's career.
11 2006 3 73 Dusty Dvoracek DT - Injuries and more injuries have marred this guys career. Leaning toward bust.
12 2005 1 4 Cedric Benson RB - 100% bust and likely out of the NFL. When he couldn't win a starting job Jerry forced it upon him by trading Thomas Jones; another trademark of Angelo, drafting a bust then compounding it further.
13 2005 2 39 Mark Bradley WR - Bust. Bradley still hangs on to a job some how though he only showed flashes his first season before being lost to injury ... again and again.
14 2004 1 14 Tommie Harris DT - The 2nd best pick in Angelo's tenure. If Harris can stay healthy, he's one of the best DTs in the league.
15 2004 2 47 Tank Johnson DT - Where do I start with this pick?
16 2004 3 78 Bernard Berrian WR - A solid deep threat but nowhere near worth what he was paid by Minnesota.
17 2003 1 14 Michael Haynes DE - Started four games in 3 seasons. Never played another game in the NFL after Chicago released him.
18 2003 1 22 Rex Grossman QB - With the blind faith in which Angelo clings to this guy I'd call him a bust but it's somewhat debatable.
19 2003 2 35 Charles Tillman DB - Solid and professional. One of the most underrated corners in the NFL.
20 2003 3 68 Lance Briggs LB - Excellent linebacker and perennial Pro Bowler.
21 2002 1 29 Marc Colombo T - Finally has found a home in Dallas but could never get on the field or stay on the field in Chicago.
22 2002 3 72 Roosevelt Williams DB - BUST.
23 2002 3 93 Terrence Metcalf G - In his 6th year Metcalf may start but so far this is a wasted pick for a guy who still has not showed why he was worth a 3rd round pick or 6 years in Chicago.
24 2001 1 8 David Terrell WR - I'm sorry, I found myself laughing uncontrollably.
25 2001 2 38 Anthony Thomas RB - One good season followed by a few more years of doing nothing. At least he got the one good year.
26 2001 3 68 Mike Gandy T - After an up and down three years in Chicago, Gandy has caught on as the starting LT in Arizona.

Mg that is your right but you nimrod you already spent more than a penny with your crybaby post. I you were so good at it you would have the job. A draft is a crap shoot and a lot of times that's just it you get crap but there is no excuse for not building a offensive line instead of the Okwo's and Bauzins of the world. But every pro team is going through the same thing in one way or another so go ahead don't spend any more who gives a crap anyway.

Hey- Just more Rex Bashing- Something Chicago Fans have a PHD in. For many of you, you don't understand ANYTHING about quarterbacking. Look at Favre- does he have as many td passes if he doesn't take the chance to throw it? probably not- and with those guts he has more INTs then anyone in history also. I will live with the bad to get the good. You all boo Rex for the bad, but He won 15 games with that stratagey and passed for 24+ td's. That hasn't happened since 1995. I DO NOT want Charlie Checkdown under center- He will be booed by the 6th game for 3 and outs. And we will have to settle for FG's only because Hester put us in good field position. You all like to point out fumbled snaps and int's... But Kyle just fumbled- when NOBODY HIT HIM!! And Kyle has fumbled more snaps in camp then Rex, thrown more pics in camp then Rex. Rex Grossman gives us the Best Chance to win. Many of you begged for Brian Griese- well you got him, and how did that work out? BAD!! It's become this "As long as it's not Rex" mentality and it sickens me!
PLEASE I implore you all to stop believeing what Jay Mariotti and Mike Freeman write- they are complete football idiots. Lose the Rex bias and just watch with a clear head the plays on the field...I promise you Rex will be better. Ok I'm off my soapbox. Go Bears Go Rex! Rex bashing 367- Rex Support- 1.

Freeman is a jerk, he opens the article by quoting Tank "Jailbird" Johnson throwing Rex under the bus. This after Tank embarrassed the Bears organization when they supported him by visiting him when he was in jail. Frankly he should keep his mouth shut, and Freeman should quit quoting criminals to make his points.

I too believe that the Bears should be more aggressive in pursuit of a franchise quarterback. But there is no excuse to keep heaping this abuse on Grossman. The guy has been classy throughout the whole ordeal. We all understand the Bears problems with offense, but let's move on to some other subject. This is getting as tiresome as the Brett Favre saga.

Patrick I agree with you 100%
I wish more people would see it that way

Rex is the best QB the Bears have had in twenty years if these so called fans had a clue they would give credit where it is due and without rex play to start the 2006 season and without REX GROSSMANS late game throws in the PLAYOFFS there would be only one NFC championship in Bears History . If the Fans in Chicago would Open There eyes and start acting like they know the NFL they would get behind Rex. The OLD EX Packer Cry Baby had 16 years with one team and has two NFC titles and One Superbowl and you fools act like this guys a god . GO BEARS GO REX ps only a complete fool calls a player they have never seen play a bust because he is out 8 weeks with an injury you negative CLOWNS.

Patrick: I am with you....bashers 2.5M, supporters....2. I have never ever seen such a weak set of fans as we have in Chicago. I frankly wish they would shut up. Grossman is our only chance at another playoff run. He has really decreased the mistakes made this year, and has thrown less than a handful of INT's since his return from the bench last year including training camp. Orton has more fumbles, more INT's and no long ball to boot.

So called fans:
If you are not at the practices, maybe you should take a look at the highlight films that Roy from the Sports Fan Network is putting out every day after camp practices. I think if you did, you would agree that we are seeing a more mature Grossman. He looks really good, better than he ever has. If ONLY YOU fans can give him some support....

T Rex has more talent than Orton, look at the stats.

Becoming a good NFL QB usually does take some time, remember Rex spent two years injured.

This is going to be Rex's breakout year, he will commit significantly less turnovers than in the past, he has shown that last year after the benching and this year during practice. I really think he is starting to get it.

How good is any QB without a good O Line and no running game? Well that was Rex last year. Cedric would watch instead of block the oncoming rushing D as Rex was sacked and sacked again and again.

The Bears have already stated they will have more two tight end sets and now they have two running backs that can catch and block out of the backfield. Just fix the O line and who knows. The West coast offense is designed for quick reads and moving the chains, there are some playmakers to get that done.

Some of you guys should not even watch the games as you think the season is over before it has begun. The Bears can win even if the offense is mediocre, what about Baltimore that won a Superbowl with no real offense, Tampa Bay the same deal, the Giants last year really won more because of the defensive pass rush that caused Brady all kinds of problems than the last rally by Manning.

I do know that the Chicago fans should support the chosen QB Orton or Grossman)instead of booing him by the middle of the first quarter of the first game after a few incompletions etc.

I really don't care what you say the Bears are going to win the division this year and who knows when the playoffs start what can happen? The 85 Bears certainlywon more games due to the dominant D than the offense, although the offesne was good too.

Why does everyone always jump on Rex? He is 21-13 as a starter if you include the postseason. And, he lead us to a superbowl already too. Everyone forgets that in 2006 half way through the year the Bears had the #1 offense in the conference. Furthermore, the defense broken down toward the end of the season. Thus, Rex did have an important role in getting to the Super Bowl. For example, the huge pass to Davis against the Seahawks.

Additionally, has everyone forgotten the Falcons game in week 15 2005? The entire stadium gave Rex two standing ovations in .30 seconds because he can through down the field and Orton can't. Think about Steve Stenstrom, Will Furrer, Mike Tomczak, Jonathan Quinn, Henry Burris and Peter Tom Willis when you want to rip Rex.

Lastly why do people keep saying oh the Bears haven't had a qb since Sid Luckman? What? SEE JIM McMAHON!!!!

I'm sorry Dan, Dahli, Bill, Keith, Sahrish, Patrick, Spongebob, Squidward ...

Rex has shown unfathomable skills in the past, but we are no longer in September of 2006. I love Rex, think he's a great guy, but he's absolutely lost it since the SuperBowl disaster.

Yeah, he has a winning record. But so does Kyle. I wonder if it had anything to do with the defense? Hmm. Rex can make impressive throws, sometimes, but at the same time make mistakes I don't even see at high school games.

Do any of you remember the Colts preseason game? Zeus almighty, when a pro-QB can't handle the snap, I mean multiple times, it's just embarassing as a fan and native Chicagoan.

Patrick you had this to say: "Many of you begged for Brian Griese- well you got him, and how did that work out? BAD!!"

Actually Griese did pretty well considering his situation. If you check the stats you'll see Ron Turner had him throwing 40-50 times a game. Neither Rex nor Kyle were asked to do that. But of course! In your eyes Rex had no receivers, no o-line, no run game etc. etc. etc. While Griese is just a bum.

I don't much like the Rex bashing myself, he's not to blame for being re-signed, but at the same time I see why so many fans are frustrated with him. I would love to see Rex go to Hawaii, but seriously, what has he shown since 2006 to make the pro-bowl a realistic prediction?

Da Church of Da Coach -
1) Those 2001 picks were done by Mark Hatley and not Jerry Angelo
2) You need to show all of Angelo's picks....because he has done quite well overall. 1-7 every draft. Vasher, Mark Anderson are a few that come to mind.

from what i've heard so far this training camp is that orton has thrown almost twice as many ints as rex and has a handful more fumbled snaps.

Last year, I was very close to comparing Eli Manning to Rex as far as never being able to put it together. But then Eli had that great run in the playoffs, where he didn't turn the ball over (I think he had 1 INT) and took over the team from players like Strahan and Shockey. He became a good NFL quarterback, and had a great run of games. Rex had virtually no competition for leadership on offense outside of Olin, who is more of an "I'll take care of my guys, you handle the rest" type leader who will focus on his linemates, and let the skill guys deal with themselves. He has assumed the mantle of leader by default, but has not taken the steps in his game to warrant respect from his teammates.

You can say all you want about inexperience, but the fact remains that this is his 6th year. When he was hurt, he should have been engrossed in film study, and reading defenses. I don't blame him completely for his shortcomings, as I believe the coaching staff shares in the blame 50/50, but I think we need to cut our losses and move on. Our coaching staff doesn't have what it takes to polish a rock, so all the raw talent in the world will not matter once they get on the team. Rex has a great arm, throws an excellent deep ball, and has pretty good touch on many passes. Where he struggles are his fundamentals: footwork, reading the field, recognizing the defense, and progressions. Pep Hamilton, Greg Olson, and whoever else we have thrown back there as a QB coach haven't gotten him markedly better in any of those areas, so regardless of whether he is "safer Rex" or not, he is still the same poorly prepared player. Orton already has a tendency towards better decisions, but doesn't show the willingness to take chances. A lot of that had to do with the coaching directive in 2005, where his only job was not to turn the ball over. They gave him low-risk passes, which had the opposite effect. The defense crept up, and only had to defend the first 20 yards in the passing game. Now that he gets the full playbook, and practice reps with the first team, you can see his confidence growing, and his field vision improving. While Rex has looked good as well, he has looked good in every camp, every year. When they don't start him in Chicago because of fan pressure (whatever else they tell you, it was a factor in the decision), that should tell you about confidence in himself, his game, and the team's confidence in him. I hope he proves me wrong, but I haven't seen or heard anything to say he is turning the corner.

The bottom line is we need a finished product, not a project, as our quarterback. Going into year 6 of the Rex Grossman experiment is way too long. He is still a project. In year 4 of the Kyle Orton experiment, we may still have a chance to make something out of him. Is he our franchise guy? I highly doubt it. But I also think Grossman had his chance, couldn't maintain any sort of consistency, and needs to be bagged. I think our QB position next year will have to be very different than what it is today. Neither of these guys appear to be our long-term solution, but we have taken a long-term approach to find this out. So we will see how they do the rest of the preseason, and figure out who the guy will be for the start of the season. I think both will play a lot, because our line will get them killed.

If Chris Simms is cut loose, I could see Jerry going after him. But if he does, I wonder if the loser of the starting battle would be released, so they don't have to stow Hanie on the practice squad, where he might draw interest.

Left tackle, quarterback, wide receiver, running back....all have big question marks attached to them. Can we have any more instability? It would be nice if a couple of those positions sort themselves out before the end of the month...

I have to chime in here on all this Lovie bashing I've seen recently especially when it comes to the defense and the hiring of Babich. Lovie wanted to bring in Marinelli first when he got hired, but Tampa rebuffed this, so he went with incumbent Rivera who did a nice job, but if most of you remember Ron was supposed to have been a head coach by now, he had countless interviews and was reeally hurt by the Bears run to the bowl in 06'. The record should reflect that Rivera was planning to be out of Chicago last season, the hiring of Babich who was already on staff was to bring continuity to the defense which it did ,and early last season they were bringing Urlacher more and generating pressure on the opponents QB, it was until the injuries piled up that the defense started slipping. I think the defense will be alright, they got their wake-up call last week and have according to reports been dominating the offense this week, look for them to force a turnover or two this week against Seattle, this season will tell us if Babich can get the job done or not, I'm not ready to throw him under the bus yet.....Go BEARS

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on August 11, 2008 9:03 PM.

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