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Grossmans Last Chance

Frustration and anger were apparent on his face as he was carted off the field. This guy seemed to go on the injury list more times than he started games. Well, that's it, I thought. Time to get started on writing off the Chicago Bears.

After all, they had just lost their most important player. Then I realized something. Something that could very well change your life. This was Rex Grossman, not anyone good.

Patrick Ramsey getting hurt would make a bigger impact than this guy being on the DL. It was not, in fact, the end of the world for Bears fans.I mean, when you look at it, what has Rex Grossman done? The Bears picked him at the end of the first round in 2003. He has started a grand total of 6 games. He has missed 13 games because of injury already. He will most likely miss more than 10 in 2005.

And he hardly put up Pro Bowl numbers in the games he did start. In 2003, in 3 games as a starter, he put up an amazing(if your name is Craig Krenzel) QB rating of 75, in addition to getting 2 touchdowns, 1 interception, 437 passing yards, and a completion percentage of just 53%. These are not good number, not even decent numbers. These aren't even good enough to be Vinny Testaverde numbers. But he did go 2-1, which is why the media and the Bears front office labeled him as their franchise savior and quarterback of the future. Unfair expectations? Definitely, but it's not like the Bears had a better option.

Grossman had a rough 2004 season. He again started just 3 games(sense a pattern?), and amazingly, did worse than before. His passer rating fell to 68, his touchdowns went down to 1, and his interceptions rose to 3.

Hard as this is to believe, Chad Hutchinson had a better year in 2004 than Rex Grossman. Don't believe me? Look at the stats. And after starting his 3 game quota, Grossman got injured. This led to a 5-11 season from the Bears. This seemed to solidify the belief in people's minds that Grossman was a good quarterback.

This is odd, because Grossman's record as the starter was only 1-2. At this point, a man with more career interceptions than touchdowns and only 6 starts to his name was being hailed as, essentially, a franchise quarterback.Fast forward to 2005, and Rex Grossman gets injured in a preseason game. This is unfortunate, but it does allow for Kyle Orton to emerge and get a shot at starting. Kyle Orton has the potential to be a very good NFL quarterback. In fact, if he hadn't gotten injured, he probably would have been in the Heisman race last year.

He has looked good in the preseason, especially against the Bills, where he led an 81 yard touchdown drive and seemed confident. I'm not going to proclaim that Orton is a good quarterback based off of a few preseason games, but he has the potential to be a solid quarterback. He is ultimately the same as Grossman; neither have significant starting experience. Grossman has never proven that he can be a good quarterback, let alone stay healthy.

So why not try Orton? He could end up being better than Grossman ever was. It would be hard to be much worse.

.Vikas Paruchuri is a sports columnist who writes on the NFL, NBA, NHL, and MLB.

He maintains a website at http://www.thehomefield.com with sports analysis and opinion columns.

By: Vikas Paruchuri



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