Bears fans have clamored for a replacement to dejected quarterback Rex Grossman for months. Yet head coach Lovie Smith refused to make a change, sticking by his young outcast, insisting the quarterback would eventually turn it around and play like someone fans didn’t even recognize.

That’s just what happened Sunday when Grossman’s steady, un-Grossmanlike play keyed the Bears to a 27-24 overtime win over Seattle. In post-game interviews, his coach looked like a genius for predicting the QB’s metamorphosis.

“I thought Rex played a great game today,” said Smith. “Just two turnovers. One of which was hardly his fault. He definitely didn’t look like himself out there.”

Smith hopes Grossman — whose 282 passing yards were a league high for the week — continues to play like a player other than himself as the team prepares to face the New Orleans Saints steady defense in the NFC Championship at Solider Field next Sunday.

“All I ask is that he finishes next week’s game with a passer rating higher than single digits,” said Smith. “Back-to-back performances that don’t stink by Rex will set us up for success because we all know our defense and special teams will probably outscore our offense anyway.”

Added Smith: “Just don’t screw it all up Rex. That’s all I ask.”


heckler editorial staff