Advertisement

 LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) -Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith is prepared to let quarterbacks Rex Grossman and Kyle Orton compete for the team's starting spot until the fourth and last game of the preseason, though he's hoping it doesn't come to that.
``Ideally you would like to have someone in place going into that last week of the preseason,'' Smith said Saturday, following the second practice of a three-day minicamp at Halas Hall. ``But we'll just let it play out. If it's not clear by then, we'll let it go right up until (preseason's end).''
The Bears' last two preseason games are at home against San Francisco on Aug. 21 and at Cleveland on Aug. 28.
The Bears' defense hasn't made it particularly easy for coaches to evaluate the two in minicamp. Saturday, they intercepted each of the two quarterbacks three times in non-contact scrimmages.
``I think we're both good quarterbacks,'' said Orton, who started the final three games of 2007 and 15 games in 2005. ``We both know the system well, so I think it'll be something going into the preseason.''
At stake beyond starting quarterback is the future for both players, especially Grossman, who's signed only through 2008.
Grossman, who led the Bears to the Super Bowl, signed a one-year deal for $3 million with a possible $1.5 million more in incentives in February. The Bears extended Orton's contract one year through 2009 for a possible $5 million including incentives, and $1.6 million in bonus money.
``I think anybody going into their last year of their contract or signing a one-year deal, it's added pressure on them to have a good season,'' Grossman said in his first news conference since signing his one-year deal. ``And I'm excited about the opportunities if that were the case.
``Who knows what's going to happen? I've got one thing in mind: that's having a good season this year.''
In offseason practices and in training camp, the Bears will alternate first-team snaps between the two.
``I think it's the only fair way to evaluate them - to let them both have an opportunity to play and work with the No. 1 offense,'' Smith said.
Grossman lost his starting spot last year to Brian Griese, who has been released. He regained the starting job due to an injury to Griese, then suffered a knee sprain and lost it to Orton.
``I think I have a little bit of a chip on my shoulder striving to prove myself in this league and get myself over that hump, or whatever, to become a great quarterback in this league consistently,'' Grossman said.
Grossman has 32 career starts and 33 interceptions to 31 touchdown passes for a passer rating of 70.9. Orton has a 62.2 career passer rating.
Orton can see himself improving because of the increased first-team practice time. He carried a clipboard on the sidelines throughout the Bears' 2006 Super Bowl season.
``Definitely, it's always tough when you come into a season without playing at all the season before,'' he said. ``To get the three games at the end of the year that I did, and get a lot of work in so far in the offseason, I feel like I'm a better player.''

Recent NFL Discussions

1/2 plays pro for sun. sun sept. 25th on Sun, Sep 2016 by Michael Cash
2nd set pro plays on Sun, Sep 2016 by Timmy1961
1st set of nfl plays for sunday the 25th on Sun, Sep 2016 by sharkey11
3rd set coll. plays now on Sun, Sep 2016 by Michael Cash
Advertisement

NFL Top Stories

Thumbnail Bears vs. Cowboys Prediction Will the Cowboys cover as a nearly a touchdown-sized favorite tonight when they host the Bears on Sunday Night Football at 8:30PM ET?
Thumbnail Bears vs. Cowboys Odds Sunday’s busy NFL schedule closes out tonight with the Dallas Cowboyshosting the Chicago Bearsat 8:30PM ET on NBC. Here is the latest look at the odds for this game.
Thumbnail Rams vs. Bucs Prediction Will the Bucs rebound from their ugly loss to Arizona last weekend with a win and a cover in their home-opener today vs. the Rams at 4:05PM ET?
Thumbnail 49ers vs. Seahawks Prediction Will the Seahawks cover this afternoon against the 49ers as a double-digit favorite when the two teams square off at 4:05PM ET?
Thumbnail Supercontest Week 3 Top Picks Which teams are the top plays for Week 3 in the NFL Las Vegas Westgate Supercontest?
More inNFL Articles  

NFL Team Pages