It was December 18, 2005 and the second half of a game against the Atlanta Falcons that Rex Grossman relieved a struggling Kyle Orton at quarterback.
Orton had went 2 for 10 for 12 yards for the game, when Rex Grossman entered the game to a thunderous roar of the crowd. The excitement was all over the stadium, and on the field. You could see the posture of all of the players on offense change when Grossman came in. It was like their body language said, now we are going to play, we have a quarterback. They did, and for the first time I saw the Bears offense move down the field with Grossman completing his first pass in 15 months for 22 yards and that drive was capped off with a 1 yard TD run by Thomas Jones.
But, this touchdown wouldn’t have happened, had Keion Carpenter not fumbled a Rex Grossman interception that Justin Gage recovered. Rex Grossman had dodged his first NFL BULLET. Who would have known that one play would represent the Grossman era. Flashes of brilliance, followed by flashes of incompetence and indecision. A passer rating that went from three digits, to one digit. Is it possible we are at another crossroads? A time like we observed in that game in December of 2005, I think so.
I think I observed something Sunday night, similar to what I observed that second half against Atlanta. But, it was exactly the opposite. I saw group of guys on offense that were simply defeated, tired and maybe hopeless. A team on defense that were wore down by having to shoulder the load once again. I think , though you wouldn’t here anyone say it….yet. Rex Grossman has lost the confidence of his team.
Was Tommie Harris just kidding when he said he’d love to have Donovan McNabb playing in Chicago? I don’t know, but I should think after last Sunday, he would have forfeited part of his salary this season to garner a trade.
“I just felt like we needed a spark,” Rex was ready to go. He had that look about him.” Lovie Smith said in that game in 2005.
I think he will be saying it again, this time in practice tomorrow and this time It will look like this “I just felt like we needed a spark,” Smith said. “Brian was ready to go. He had that look about him.”
He also said after that fateful game in 2005, when asked who would line up behind center next week, Smith said, “We’ll go back and look at the tapes and decide who’s starting.”
It sounds like an interview quoted on Chicago sports.com “Will Rex Grossman start Sunday? Well, our evaluation process is going on right now,” Smith said. “And if you come out to practice Wednesday, you’ll have a better idea of who will be starting at all positions.”
I have a feeling We will see Brian Griese lining up under Center tomorrow afternoon. Gone is the company line, “Rex is our Quarterback” and it is replaced with: “the evaluation process is going on right now.” If past history and coaching statements are any indicator, Brian Griese will start Sunday against the Lion’s. So on goes the quarterback carousel in Chicago, and an end to the long-suffering, and hopeful, faithful Bears fans who wanted Rex to succeed.
Those who wanted an end, to the long list of quarterbacks in Chicago who have lined up under center since Brett Favre has started for the Packers. If Brian Griese starts Sunday, expect the talk to continue, and expect to hear the number 21.