Well, it's all happening again. Rex Grossman's critics have already started in on the starting quarterback of the Chicago Bears.
Many of you remember my column last year "Rex Grossman's Critics Are Idiots." I'm here to tell you that they are all STILL idiots!
In my first column (written at 4am on Ambien) I showed you that in spite of the criticism Grossman had a stellar first year as a starter compared to numerous hall of fame quarterbacks. Not to mention he helped his team get to the Super Bowl where he played well until he had to start coming from behind thanks to the poor play of the usually dominant Chicago defense.
The attacks this year are focussed on Grossman's last outing against the Colts and, as usual, completely ignore his previous game. In game one against the Texans, Grossman was great. He completed 80% of his passes, had no turnovers, and left the game with an 87.5 qb rating. Remember, Grossman marched his team up the field with ease, but the Bears failed to score because of special teams play.
In the game against the Colts, things didn't go as well overall for Grossman. So what! It's the preseason!
This time around, Grossman threw one INT while fumbling the ball 3 times (two at the snap ... the third could not have been avoided). He coughed the ball up to the Colts twice in the game. Of course, this means that Grossman should lose his job immediately according to some "experts."
It was a performance that did nothing to ease doubts about whether he can lead the Bears to another NFC championship.
Obviously, there is an overriding question as the season approaches. How long will coach Lovie Smith stick with Grossman?
He stayed with the quarterback when he struggled last season, but it's unlikely Smith will show as much patience this time. Not with the Bears' expectations soaring.
Grossman figures to start the remaining two preseason games and the opener against San Diego, but if he continues to falter, the calls for backup Brian Griese will likely reach a deafening level.
I like the assumption that Grossman will "continue" to make mistakes. This was written after only one poor performance, and it completely ignores the improvements Grossman made. We'll get to that later.
Vic Carucci - NFL.Com:
I think the Chicago Bears should be worried about Rex Grossman.
I think they should be worried that he is trying too hard to end his bumbling ways. I don't think they should be worried to the point of going with a different starting quarterback, namely Brian Griese, for the regular season. But I also don't think Grossman's multiple turnovers against the Indianapolis Colts on Aug. 20 should be dismissed as a function of preseason rust. He looked nervous. He looked jumpy. He looked uncomfortable.
For those of you familiar with Vic ... this is a stark contrast to his writings about Romo and Young. Both of them are perpetual fumblers, and error makers. Vic will point out the struggles they've had right before dismissing them, and talking about the confidence the team has in them, and the confidence they have in themselves. When Vic writes about Grossman, however, it's stark at best.
Scott Engel - ESPN:
Grossman will be the same erratic, up-and-down performer he was in 2007. He simply can't be trusted as a fantasy player.
Nice prediction, but Grossman won me a lot of fantasy games last year.
There is plenty more attacking out there, and much of it more personal, but you get the idea.
I told you that Grossman did improve on some things in the game against the Colts. By the end of the game his completion percentage was higher (81.8), he threw for more yards, average yards per throw went up, and he showed Bears fans that he was willing to run for a touchdown. That's been something he's been afraid to do since he tore his ACL.
No one who's writing about Grossman is even paying attention to the fact that he's completed 81% of his passes, that his footwork looks like the Rex of old, or that he is protecting the football better than last year (after the snap). These are all improvements being made by a young quarterback entering into his second season as a starter.
I'm not saying his performance was great, or even good. There is, however, signs of progress being ignored. Let's not forget that Grossman has been far superior to the other quarterbacks in camp this year. Why don't we talk about how bad Tom Brady has been this preseason? Maybe he's too distracted with his soon to be born child to play this year.
What amazes most is how little effort goes into sports writing as far as facts are concerned. It's all one dimensional and emotional responses without context. Not to mention the hypocrisy of sports writers. To them, the only good quarterback is a perfect quarterback, or at least one that can run fast.
Lord knows sports writers love quarterbacks that can't pass, but can run. Fumbles and inconsistencies be damned, but the moment Grossman commits 1/3 of the errors those "running qb's" do ... he's demonized because he isn't exciting.
Since Grossman is being criticized for fumbles ... let's examine some other qb's that fumble just as much as Grossman, and more.
In 2006, Grossman fumbled 8 times. If we are going to criticize him for fumbles we might as well criticize everyone else.
- Tom Brady - 12
- Drew Brees - 8
- Jay Cutler - 8
- Brett Favre - 8
- Damon Huard - 9
- Jon Kitna - 11
- Matt Leinart - 8
- J.P. Losman - 13
- Eli Manning - 9
- Carson Palmer - 15
- Philip Rivers - 8
- Tony Romo - 9 (10 Starts)
- Alex Smith - 10
- Michael Vick - 9
- Vince Young - 12
Many of these quarterbacks are considered top quarterbacks in the league. Young even made it to the Pro Bowl, and the cover of Madden, and he stunk last year. He performed worse than Grossman in every category, and won less games yet he is treated like some kind of hero.
No doubt some of those names surprised you ... like Brady and Palmer. Are any of the sports writers going to talk about those gremlins? Is anyone going to point out that Young has yet to prove he can actually throw a football? Nope.
My point with all of that was to prove that there are several qb's in the league, that are top qb's, who are more likely to fumble than Grossman. Yet no one is concerned about their history in failing to protect the ball. There is no indication in Grossman's history to suggest that he is a risk to consistently fumble the ball. Nor is there anything in his history to suggest that last year's errors were anything but an anomaly.
That's what you get with the Maddenisation of football. Everyone who plays Madden Football now thinks that they can coach a team, and that they can turn a bad player into an icon by adding to their attribute points. Problem is, that is fantasy ... this is reality.
It takes time for quarterbacks to develop, and for coaches to start winning. Football fans used to understand that, but not anymore. We've grown too impatient, and ignorant of how this game is played. As a result, great players are cast out because they didn't "develop" fast enough for us. Only to resurface several years later to show us all the great players they actually were, but with only a couple of years left in their careers.
Grossman has vowed that fumbling the snap will not be a problem, and has accepted full blame. That is the Grossman I've been watching since he suited up at Florida, and I haven't seen him since he tore his ACL. When I see Grossman jumping around like a little kid on Christmas morning again every time he makes big play ... I'll know he shut out all of his critics, and the real Rex Grossman will give us one hell of a show.