Tuesday, December 05, 2006

For Not Benching Grossman

While the Chicago sports media is busy calling for Lovie's head because he keeps stating that "Rex is our quarterback" with little elaboration, I can't help but wonder if they're really all so nearsighted as to not have noticed that Lovie isn't exactly interested in discussing every nuance of his decision-making process with the press. Frankly, I doubt that the reason Lovie is standing behind his quarterback is that he has failed to notice how shitty he's been. It's probably more along the lines of "he needs to play through this slump" type of a thing. And, I guess, I can sort of understand that. Personally, I would've benched Grossman at halftime in the last game. He was just so obviously messed up in the head that you could quite literally see his self-doubt affecting the way the ball flew out of his hands. He did not once set himself in the pocket and throw the ball. In fact, it even got to the point that he tripped over his own legs dropping back to hand the ball off. But I would have benched him out of pity for him and not because I thought it would be better for the team. From the very beginning of the game, it was pretty obvious that the Bears defense was going to be able to handle anything that the Vikings did, and really it wasn't going to be necessary for Grossman to do anything for the Bears to win. And, looking beyond that, judging by the rate at which the team has been able to win over the past two seasons without an offense, there's not really any reason to expect that they won't make the playoffs, no matter what Grossman does. Which basically means that the Bears have to really figure out what they have in Grossman. We already no what we have in Griese: a pretty competent quarterback who plays at a steady average level, one who could in all likelihood manage the offense Turner gave to Orton last season with the same level of aptitude. That offense will manage not to lose games for the Bears, and if they switched to Griese now, they'd go into the playoffs knowing that they can't rely on the offense to ever win the game for them, so they just have to hope that the Defense and special teams would manage to pull out wins. Frankly, I like their chances even given that possibility to at least make it to the NFC championship game, where, worst-case scenario, they'd face Romo and the Cowboys, a team that I'm pretty sure they could handle as well. The thing is, with Grossman, we have seen that he has the potential to be pretty damn good and run a pretty spectacular offense. At this point, it is obvious that the only thing holding Grossman back is himself. So, really, I think you kind of have to let him try to play through it. If he hasn't managed to pull himself out of it in the next two games, then I think you have to pretty much pull the plug on the guy for good. He's just not able to handle the pressure of the league, at this point. Maybe give him some intense sessions with a sports psychologist over the off-season, try to bring in a legitimate long-term option to compete with him for the starting spot next season and then see what happens. But, if you bench Grossman now, you still won't know what you have with him. Is he capable of becoming the great quarterback he obviously has the talent to become? Grossman has been an unknown quantity for the Bears for the last several seasons, and there's not really any reason to continue having him on as an unknown quantity. Give him every last chance in the world to correct himself, and if he doesn't, he's done.

Or something like that. I think Lovie has a much more complicated idea for what's going on than what he expresses to the media, and I think he's done enough in the past that it's probably okay to trust that he'll make a good decision when it comes time for the decision to be made. But, really, there's just no reason for that decision to be made immediately.

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