Good Rex, bad Rex redux

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
 
 
Published9/17/2007 6:22 AM

If Rex Grossman is ever going to shake the tag of a mediocre, can-he-get-it-done-for-us quarterback, he's got to stop having games like Sunday's.

 

After completing 65 percent of his first-half passes and generally managing the game well enough to help give the Bears a 17-7 halftime lead over the Chiefs, something went so characteristically wrong.

An interception. A sack on third-and-4. Another interception.

That's how three consecutive drives ended in the second half, all giving the Chiefs plenty of life to steal a game on the lakefront.

Fortunately for Bears fans, the Chiefs' offense was basically dead on arrival.

"Thank God we've got a great defense to bail me out," Grossman said.

Indeed.

Grossman was fine in the first half, helping engineer a pair of efficient drives to give the Bears a 17-7 lead.

Then the wheels came off midway through the third quarter. That's when Grossman floated a screen pass to rookie running back Garrett Wolfe in the middle of the field.

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The play was slow in developing, the 5-foot-7 Wolfe got lost amid the massive bodies, and Northwestern product Napolean Harris swooped in for an easy interception.

"It wasn't that I couldn't see him; I could see him," Grossman said of Wolfe. "When I was ready to throw, it wasn't there and it just sailed on me."

Said Harris: "I saw a screen developing, so I just broke on the ball. We were getting pressure coming in, and Grossman, I guess, just happened to throw it off his back foot."

The pick led to a Chiefs field goal and the Bears' lead was cut to 20-10.

On the Bears' next possession, Grossman was facing third-and-4 at his own 45. He went back to pass and Harris came through the line like a rocket.

If there wasn't a rule for forward progress, Grossman probably would lost 25 yards on the play. Instead, it was just 10 and a punt.

"They did a good job of mixing it up," Grossman said.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

He was asked if what the Chiefs were doing confused the offense in the second half.

"A lot of those things were they had a good scheme to bring a guy where we weren't blocking a guy," Grossman said. "We'd fix that on occasion on the sideline, then they'd bring another look. I'll take responsibility for a couple of those."

Is he not recognizing where the blitz is coming from?

"It's a little bit too complicated to just answer," he said. "But when we don't have someone protected, most of the time there's a hot route. … It's different in every single case. You can't just generalize it into one answer for every time they blitz."

When the Bears got the ball back again, Grossman flung a ball right into linebacker Donnie Edwards' hands, and he returned it to the Bears' 25. That was a play where Grossman was looking at his second option -- and he took full responsibility.

"I didn't see the SAM linebacker," Grossman said. "I've got to see him. I've got to understand where he's at and what he can possibly cover in that coverage. It was my fault."

Said Edwards: "I saw it last night in my dream. Seriously, I visualize a lot of things like that. It seems like I played it already last night in my head. It makes it a lot easier."

Meanwhile, it's getting harder for Bears fans to trust Grossman. And harder for them to dream.

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