This was the last thing the front office and coaching staff wanted to see happen.
Brian Griese did not come into Soldier Field with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and get a victory. He came in and single-handedly directed an improbable comeback by setting a record against the Bears with 67 pass attempts. The quarterback that wasn't good enough to compete for the starting job here has to be a frontrunner for the NFC offensive player player of the week award at the expense of the defense he used to go against in practice all the time.
There were three years remaining on Griese's deal but a personality clash with the coaches, above all else, led the club to push the eject button. It's not like the Bears didn't know he was capable of this. They saw it first-hand last season when he rallied the offense 97 yards for a game-winning touchdown at Philadelphia.
"You know what, I don't know,'' Griese said when asked if he expected to be back with the Bears. "I was traded. Obviously, they didn't need me.''
And that's exactly what the Bears are going to keep telling themselves, that they didn't need Griese. The Bucs sure are glad to have him. They're calling him "Top Gun" in Tampa today.
From the For What It's Worth Department ... J.T. O'Sullivan tossed two touchdown passes Sunday in San Francisco's win over Detroit to raise the 49ers to 2-1.
Count the Bears thankful Kyle Orton was sharp with the exception of one misguided pass straight to defense end Gaines Adams that was returned 45 yards for a touchdown. Orton made some tough throws and show grit and determination running out of the pocket and collecting 21 yards rushing. We might have been writing about his game-winning drive had Rashied Davis not had a perfect pass over the middle hit off his hands, his second drop on third down in two weeks.
*** Speaking of Davis, there is an issue with the No. 2 wide receiver right now. Davis simply has not been productive in three games with the kind of playing time it took him three months to get last season. It's not like Devin Hester was proving to be a breakthrough at the position either before his injury. Brandon Lloyd is stepping up just fine and is making his former college coach Ron Turner look pretty wise.
It could not have been an accident that Turner was the one put on a conference call following Lloyd on the day he was signed. That clearly signaled the addition of Lloyd, who had troubles in San Francisco and Washington, was squarely on Turner and not general manager Jerry Angelo or coach Lovie Smith.
The question is what to do across from Lloyd? Veteran Marty Booker at least deserves a look. If he's not going to get one, why is he on the roster? Clearly rookie third-round pick Earl Bennett hasn't shown a lot of improvement since the end of preseason because he remains down on gameday. Mark Bradley didn't get any chances on the field against the Bucs.
Can Brandon Rideau, the practice squad player, be any worse? Maybe it's something that needs to be explored sooner rather than later.
*** I'm still not sure how you explain Griese's clean uniform after the game. For those who talked about him being an immobile pocket passer, the Bears did nothing with it. Griese dropped back to pass 68 times and was not sacked once, this with a rookie guard Jeremy Zuttah filling in. Zuttah, by the way, was taken 13 picks after Bennett in the third round.
The Bears explained that the Bucs went max protect an awful lot. If that was the case, it probably should have given the Bears a better chance to cover on the occasions Tampa sent only two or three receivers out in the pattern.
"I think they were getting rid of the ball quick,'' defensive coordinator Bob Babich said. "We had some guys come clean on pressures and they were able to get rid of it. They did a good job. I give them a lot of credit. They kept hammering away and they ended up getting a lot of yards in the passing game."
The bottom line is the Bears never rattled Griese. Without doing so, is it a surprise he picked them apart?
*** We'll see what the stats show when coaches finish reviewing them, but press box numbers credited defensive tackle Tommie Harris with one stop. He had one through the first two games. Harris was on the field a lot against the Bucs. We'll have play-time statistics to review later in the week.
*** Has defensive end Mark Anderson lost more than his starting job? None of the linemen covered themselves in glory on Sunday, but Anderson has been conspicuously quiet through three games.
*** Robbie Gould is continuing to do a solid job on kickoffs. He got another touchback and the Bucs' average starting field position on kickoffs was their own 22, eight yards worse than the Bears.
*** The more you see running back Matt Forte as a receiver out of the backfield the more it's apparent the Bears need to look for him in mismatches every week. He had linebacker Barrett Ruud beat on the interception in the end zone but Orton's pass hung up a little bit. Still, Forte either had to catch the pass or make sure Ruud did not catch it.
According to the Bears PR staff, Forte trails only San Francisco's Frank Gore in yards from scrimmage. That was going into the night tilt in Green Bay. It's solid evidence Forte is the complete back the Bears billed him to be.
*** Corey Graham was credited with two tackles on special teams and is quickly emerging as one of the top cover men for Dave Toub.
*** Looks like the Bears have a chance of catching Philadelphia without at least one key player. Running back Brian Westbrook reportedly left the stadium in Philly Sunday night on crutches after spraining his ankle. He's one of the most explosive players in the conference and any time he misses will be tough for the Eagles, who count on Correll Buckhalter as a top replacement.
*** We'll how the accusation by Tampa Bay right tackle Jeremy Trueblood that a Bears player grabbed his groin in a tussle on the field goes over today when the locker room is open to media. It's not an uncommon accusation but it's one no one takes lightly.
*** And finally, with the Packers' loss to Dallas in the night game, the Bears remain tied with Minnesota just a game behind front-running Green Bay (2-1). Of course, Detroit and St. Louis are the only other NFC teams with more than one loss in conference to this point.