Posts tagged ‘Rex’
by Sean - posted Monday, June 1st, 2009
Rex Grossman…His name alone brings about a staggering variety and range of emotions that just might match the peaks and valleys in his play. He is the most polarizing Chicago sports figure of the new millennium, and maybe any millennium for that matter.
Not an easy task when you consider that Sammy Sosa went from helping the Cubs get to within five outs of a World Series to more or less run out of town after the following season.
His fall from grace might have been one of the roughest and most brutal ever for an athlete who didn’t break a rule, law, or get involved in some sort of crime/sex scandal.
As one of the last off the Rex bandwagon I can personally attest it was a bumpy ride.
How did he go from NFL Offensive Player of the Month for September 2006 and starting Super Bowl XLI to:
* Having his agent twitter about him just to make sure everyone knows he’s still around and didn’t secretly retire or give up football.
* Watching Kyle Boller, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Dan Orlovsky, Patrick Ramsey and Joey Harrington all find jobs before him.
* And have his name surface as a possible try-out candidate for a new four-team football league that might last slightly longer than the XFL.
Where exactly is the rock that stops this bottoming out?
This is the end result of all the injuries, fumbled snaps, interceptions, constant media and fan scrutiny. A player with obvious talent, that once exuded unshakable and infectious confidence, being so broken that he can’t find a job in a league that employs the likes of Brock Berlin, Ken Dorsey and Marques Tuiasosopo.
But it’s easier to look back on Rex’s tenure in Chicago now, now that we’ve got Jay Cutler.
What was once a painful nightmare, an open wound, is instead just scar. Something fans can look back on with the confidence of someone who’s climbed the mountain and has a begrudging respect for all the trials and stumbles along the way.
The way Red Sox fans can embrace Bill Buckner.
The way Cubs fans will apologize to Steve Bartman—and they will once the Cubbies win it all.
Fans can look at Rex Grossman now and with wistful sympathy say, ‘He was simply over-matched.’ Injuries that derailed his development left him unprepared for the pressure of filling the most important position for the most important team in Chicago, especially during a title run.
Kyle Orton couldn’t do that. Jay Cutler can.
Jay Cutler makes it possible for a fan to suggest bringing Grossman back to be the veteran back-up this team needs and having people in the room pause just long enough to escape without bodily harm.
The Bears may never bring him back for an opening coin toss or to make an appearance at the fan expo, but at least people won’t go out of their way not to mention his name. Jay Cutler has done that.
And whether he plays in the NFL this season—as Rosenhaus insists he will—or not Rex will be remembered differently this year than anyone expected. Maybe he should send Jay a thank you card.
by Sean - posted Friday, August 22nd, 2008
Sitting in section 207 of Soldier Field’s United Club is certainly a vantage point I’ve never seen a game before. And afterward I think I need to get my eyes checked because what I saw as the Bears lost 37-30 to the San Francisco 49ers was almost inexplicable. Touchdown passes, big plays, consistent movement from the offense. All balanced by poor tackling, constant over pursuit, and general lethargy by the defense. It felt like I was in the freaking Twilight Zone.
One thing merely confirming that feeling was Kyle “Neckbeard” Orton looking like a real bona fide NFL QB. His first TD pass to Rashied Davis (for which Davis ran an outstanding route) was the kind of thing we haven’t seen much in Chicago. Orton finished the game 10/17 for 147 yds and two TDs behind a vastly improved pass blocking performance by our offensive line. He even had a third TD pass dropped. My potential shame of having my own neckbeard is diminishing by the day (now the only problem will be how it plays with the ladies). Toss in some solid runs from Matt Forte, an impressive debut by Kevin Jones, and even a Mark Bradley sighting and I dare say we may have ourselves an offense.
Unfortunately much of that glee was stolen from me by a pathetic performance by the Bears defense. I haven’t seen them look that bad since they were Urlacher-less in 2004. They were overmatched by misdirection, constantly over pursuing and being beat to the back side, and giving up in coverage as mobile QBs created extra time and beat lazy DBs. Seriously, we were getting lit up by J.T. O’Sullivan! I am going to let this slide because it’s the preseason, but it was hard to watch.
Finally we get to the guys fighting for roster spots. Marty Booker was a no-show and I gotta figure he’s not making the team. Garrett Wolfe fumbled a kickoff and was unimpressive outside of that. Without the ability to carry four RBs his days in Chicago are probably numbered. After making a brief reappearance Sunday, Ricky Manning Jr. was once again nowhere to be seen and we can all wave good-bye to him. Michael Okwo was likely saved by Rod Wilson’s broken forearm; he should send him a card. And finally Dan Bauzin continues to look unimpressive and with the versatility of Israel Idonije (get on the I-train) is probably out of a job.
There is one final spot I’d like to highlight and that was the play of Rex Grossman and Caleb Hanie. Rex looked like a defeated man as he completed only one pass and was constantly booed. He lacked any kind of focus or bounce in his step and it’s obvious he took the decision hard. Hanie on the other hand is pretty impressive close up. He’s obviously got a long way to go but he showed mobility, arm strength, and good presence as San Fran came after him pretty hard. I was joking at the end of that game that we should all live our lives by asking: What would Caleb Hanie do? (WWCHD?) And he answered at the end of the game by throwing a 51-yd Hail Mary TD to Brandon Rideau. But after watching both Rex and Caleb play I am wondering if WWCHD? next isn’t take Rex’s roster spot…
by Sean - posted Tuesday, August 5th, 2008
Is it just me or is the Rex Grossman v. Kyle Orton QB battle turning into your typical election where neither option really excites you, and at the end you throw your support behind the lesser of two evils? All of it is so distastefully politically correct. Right down both players’ comments and Lovie’s coin toss, like some debate moderator trying to decide which candidate gets the first question. Personally I get the feeling of Kerry v. W. Bush or maybe Dukakis v. H. Bush, just one of those uninspiring decisions where either way the people are probably getting screwed.
Both Quarterbacks are flawed. Rex is prone to just as many fumbled snaps and poor decisions as he is to the big plays that have kept Bears coaches enamored with him. Orton on the other hand, besides from having possibly the world’s worst facial hair, has never moved the Bears offense with consistency and seems to check down to a fault. Perhaps the gods will bless us the ability to put Rex’s arm and flair for the big play on to Orton’s body and the Bears can finally have their franchise QB, but given the unlikelihood of that we’ll have to make do with just one of them as is. So what do we know about both?
Orton is often lauded for his care-taker play that allowed the Defense and Special Teams to carry the Bears to victory. He won 11 games as a rookie and 2 out of 3 during trial run at the end of last year. The stats are underwhelming: 54% completion, 160yrds/gm, 3 TDs, 2 INTs. But you do need to take into account that one of those games was played in horrible windy conditions against Green Bay where the Defense and Special Teams scored and the Offense focused on running the ball and controlling the clock. That aside Orton had 1 good game, 1 bad game, and 1 average game and makes me think that he might by the “myth of consistency” that Brian Griese was supposed to be last year.
Rex on the other hand might be the most polarizing sports figure in Chicago in my lifetime. Despite leading the Bears to a Super Bowl his limited goodwill with the fans has been thrown away in strings of careless mistakes: taking bad sacks, fumbled snaps, and throwing off his back foot into double coverage. And yet to watch Rex at his best is the closest thing we’ve had to a legit QB in the last 15 years. Rex had an awful start to last year, but after replacing Griese in the middle of the Oakland Raiders game actually played 3 very solid games. In his second stint at the helm Rex threw for 897yrds, 3TDs, just 1 INT, and averaged 6.7 yards per attempt. But the Bears only went 2-2 in those games and he took a whopping 16 sacks. It’s hard to say if improved line play would help that, but we can be certain that last years 2nd incarnation of Rex was a lot better than the first.
So where does that leave us? I’m personally throwing my support behind Rex because I believe the player he was in the second half of 2007 gives this team their best chance to win. I don’t want to revert all the way back to 2005 and watch 8 and 9 men in the box completely stifle rookie Matt Forte. The Bears need a threat at QB, even if it’s an inconsistent one, because outside of Devin Hester they don’t have one anywhere else. That’s why I am voting for Rex in ’08.