Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

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15 Aug 2008

The Week In Quotes: August 15, 2008

compiled by Vince Verhei

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS: RBBC FROM HELL

"If we would keep four quarterbacks, I would think we could keep five running backs."

-- Patriots coach Bill Belichick, suggesting his team may carry five running backs into the regular season this year. In 2001, Belichick and the Pats carried four quarterbacks: Tom Brady, Drew Bledsoe, Michael Bishop, and John Friesz

"From our standpoint, (having all of us here) benefits our team. We can all do different things. We're our biggest cheerleaders."

-- Patriots running back Sammy Morris, who may regret those cheers if Belichick changes his mind and Morris winds up behind Laurence Maroney, Kevin Faulk, Heath Evans and LaMont Jordan (Boston Herald)

TENNESSEE TITANS: RBBC FROM NASHVILLE

"I probably should clarify things right now as far as the starting running back position is concerned."

-- Titans coach Jeff Fisher, making fantasy football players sit up and take notice

"We're going to use a number of running backs, and the starter, as far as I'm concerned, will be the guy that plays the first play in the game, not because one has earned the privilege to start over another. It'll be based on what we decide to do as an offensive staff to start the game."

-- Fisher, making fantasy football players slap their foreheads and moan

"They're going to play, and obviously, we're going to have two players, and as it looks right now, it's going to be LenDale [White] and it's going to be Chris [Johnson], and we're going to interchange them throughout the game and back them up with the other guys."

-- Fisher, making fantasy football players weep softly (Nashville City Paper)

PROOF THAT PLAYERS CAN UN-RETIRE WITHOUT HOLDING THE NATIONAL SPORTS MEDIA HOSTAGE

"If there is a situation that comes up, I will definitely look at it, but it has to be something with the Pats. There is no sense in me going to another locker room when I have my guys in that locker room that are going back and hopefully trying to finish what we started."

-- Currently retired linebacker Junior Seau, considering returning to the field once he has fully recovered from offseason shoulder surgery (Boston Globe)

THE COOLEST DECOR IN OUR HOUSE IS THE JAWS DIORAMA FROM McFARLANE TOYS

"He passed his physical this morning, and he is a Raven."

-- Ravens coach John Harbaugh, announcing that fullback Lorenzo Neal, formerly a member of the Chargers, will play in Baltimore this year

"The thing about him is that the players all know him. They all respect him. All of our linebackers have been hit by him. [Defensive tackle] Kelly Gregg has been hit by him. As a matter of fact, he threw off Kelly Gregg's facemask a few years back. Kelly still has the facemask in his den."

-- Harbaugh, describing the feng shui nightmare that exists in the Gregg household (Baltimore Sun)

WHAT THE HELL IS UP WITH THE BALTIMORE TRAINING STAFF?

"What, are you crazy?"

-- Ravens cornerback Chris McAlister, when asked if he would be undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery before the season

"Nope, I've never been under the knife, and I'm not going under the knife."

-- McAlister, who apparently only practices reliable, time-tested medical practices, like perhaps leeches (Baltimore Sun)

"It's day-to-day right now, it's a little bit more in-depth than you've been hearing about. I can't really explain it at this point because I've been researching it myself, but I figure I might be all right."

-- Ravens safety Ed Reed

"We'll see, man. We'll see."

-- Reed, on whether he will be ready for the season opener against Cincinnati

"I'm not doubtful [that Reed will play against the Bengals] at all, based on what we've been told by the doctors ... We've got plenty of experts working on it."

-- Ravens coach John Harbaugh (Carroll County Times)

THIS WOULD BE THE FUNNIEST STORY EVER FOR ANYONE WHO IS NOT A BENGALS FAN

"Don't put any stock in NFL.com. I don't think (the story) has any legs for any reason."

-- Bengals coach Marvin Lewis, responding to a report that the team was interested in re-signing Chris Henry, who is currently suspended by the league (Cincinnati Enquirer)

"I think we can win without him and I think we can win with him. Chris can play football. I don't want to get into it that much because I think it's unfair to a certain degree. It would mean somebody who has busted their tail and been here the whole time would be out of a job. I guess what it boils down to is (the other receivers) have to play. If they show the team they can make plays, there'd be no need to bring him back."

-- Bengals receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh, on a potential Henry return (Bengals.com)

THAT'S THE BEST DESCRIPTION OF A GROIN INJURY WE'VE EVER HEARD

"We feel like it's important that we deal with a little short-term misery and put that element of his injury behind us."

-- Steelers coach Mike Tomlin, explaining that cornerback DeShea Townsend will skip the team's preseason contest with Buffalo so his nagging groin injury will have a chance to heal (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)

ONE YEAR AGO, WE THOUGHT THIS GUY WOULD BE JAGUARS' STARTER FOR MANY SEASONS TO COME

"I was impressed simply by the fact he was a quick study. He was able to step out there and step in the huddle, spew the verbiage out, get people lined up and actually get the ball around."

-- Steelers coach Mike Tomlin on new quarterback Byron Leftwich, signed only after incumbent backup Charlie Batch went down with a broken collarbone

"Any time you put on shoulder pads and helmets for the first day, it's always tough. I haven't had a chance to put this stuff on since November when I got hurt, so it's good to be out here and good to be part of an organization like this."

-- Byron Leftwich (ESPN.com)

"I texted him to congratulate him on his contract and getting back into the league. I knew he'd be fine. I'm happy to see him back out there. He definitely has the skills to be an NFL quarterback. That's definitely not a question. I was just happy to see him get a job."

-- David Garrard, who took Leftwich's job in Jacksonville (Florida Times-Union)

YOU ARE ON NOTICE, JACOBY JONES

"It's something that will get fixed, I promise. Because whoever's going to be back there is going to protect the ball."

-- Texans coach Gary Kubiak after his punt returner Jacoby Jones fumbled a return against Denver, leading to a Broncos field goal

"[Jacoby] needs to learn to just get his foot in the ground and turn upfield more. He's got to quit playing street ball."

-- Texans specials teams coach Joe Marciano

"The sad part about it is we've addressed it over and over in practice. It's not like we didn't see this coming. He wasn't even hit (on the turnover against the Broncos). He just dropped it."

-- Marciano

"I'm going to have a conversation with him before he goes on the field — every time. He'll be the last one to find out what the return call is. He'll have to come to me and get it, and then we'll go over everything he needs to be thinking about."

-- Marciano, the good cop

"We're going to change him. We're tired of talking about it. We've been teaching softly, and now it's going to get a little harder. He's still swinging the ball around, and we can't have that. The bottom line is he's not going back there anymore if he turns the ball over."

-- Kubiak, the bad cop (Houston Chronicle)

AFC WEST INJURED SUPERSTAR ROUNDUP

"I don't want to push it too much in the preseason and set myself back, so I'm going to be careful with it. But I want to be out there."

-- Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey, who may miss Saturday's preseason game against Dallas (Rocky Mountain News)

"Right now it hurts when I walk. It definitely hurts breaking on the football. I'll continue to be limited in whatever I'm doing but I don't think it's a big issue."

-- Raiders cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha after X-Rays of his right foot came up negative (Contra Costa Times)

"It looks better than it feels ... It's not as comfortable as it looks. I got through it. The pain is tolerable."

-- Chargers tight end Antonio Gates on the status of his left big toe

"My goal is to start the season and finish the season. I refuse to come back early and fall short in the regular season, fall short in the postseason."

-- Gates, vowing to stay off the field until he feels his body is ready (San Diego Union-Tribune)

WE KNOW, LOVIE, WE KNOW

"There's no rhyme or reason why we're doing this in this direction."

-- Bears coach Lovie Smith, referring directly to his decision to start Kyle Orton at quarterback in Chicago's preseason opener, and indirectly to virtually every quarterback decision the Bears have made since Jim McMahon left town

"No coin flip, we didn't want to do that again -- no rock, paper, scissors."

-- Bears offensive coordinator Ron Turner, after the team flipped a coin to see whether Orton or Rex Grossman would open training camp as the team's top passer (NFL.com)

YOU KNOW WHO ELSE THINKS THE BEARS' OFFENSE IS A JOKE? EX-BEARS

"It's where receivers go to die."

-- Panthers wide receiver Muhsin Muhammad on his former team, Chicago (Sports Illustrated)

"[Former Bears lineman Tank] Johnson didn't seem to care that a journalist and several fans were well within earshot. Johnson called Grossman brittle and, in so many words that can't be repeated, he also called him soft."

-- CBS Sports columnist Mike Freeman (CBSSports.com)

"Bobby Wade came here and developed, got better and if he hadn't developed and gotten better, the Titans wouldn't have wanted him. Minnesota wouldn't have wanted him ... Justin Gage, the same way. If he hadn't have come here and gotten better, he wouldn't have gone there (to the Titans) and gotten $14 million. Bernard Berrian, if he hadn't developed, he wouldn't have got $42 million with Minnesota."

-- Bears wide receiver Darryl Drake, trying to defend his team by pointing out that plenty of marginal receivers have gotten the hell out of town at the first opportunity

"I don't pay attention to any of that. I don't really have an opinion or a comment on that. They have their own reasons why they need to talk about things. I just do my job and keep quiet."

-- Bears quarterback Rex Grossman

"No comment."

-- Bears quarterback Kyle Orton

"Anytime anybody says something about guys on this team, you take offense to it."

-- Bears Offensive coordinator Ron Turner

"I thought those guys were my friends."

-- An anonymous source identified only as "a miffed Bears Pro Bowl player" with an early candidate for quote of the year (Daily Herald)

TED THOMPSON JUST LOVES TALKING ABOUT QUARTERBACKS

"I don't know. Yeah, I suppose he can. Competition's all over this place. You never know how it's going to work out."

-- Packers General Manager Ted Thompson, when asked if seventh-rounder Matt Flynn could beat out second-rounder Brian Brohm for the team's backup quarterback job

"I don't think we've decided who's who yet. That's how they entered the game (Monday night), but I'm not sure we're at that stage with a lot of positions."

-- Packers offensive coordinator Joe Philbin on the Brohm-Flynn duel (Wisconsin State Journal)

AND WHO WOULDN'T WANT TO TRADE FOR A 36-YEAR-OLD WIDE RECEIVER COMING OFF A 27-CATCH SEASON?

"I'm even contemplating giving some money back to further this thing along. I'm ready to get it solved and move on. The longer I stay here, the worse it's going to get."

-- Falcons wide receiver Joe Horn, who wants to be traded and is "contemplating" returning money if it will help

"I'm healthy. It's frustrating to sit to the side. I tweaked a little hamstring. It's nothing major. I know I can still play, and I'm ready to go. It's just frustrating sitting out here and dealing with this."

-- Horn, who has not practiced, claiming that he is ready to go

"Joe is under contract, and it's our policy not to discuss particulars of his contract."

-- Falcons General Manager Thomas Dimitroff, not discussing Horn's contract (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

IF HE CAN GET BY THAT GUY, HE CAN GET BY ANYBODY

"I've come out a couple of times and actually played defense and chased him down and made him work to explode and cut."

-- Buccaneers coach Jon Gruden, on the recovery of running back Cadillac Williams

"He's getting really close. I can't tell you how excited we are about how far he's come in such a short period of time. I have to keep it in perspective, but we're going to be very smart here and I'm not going to do anything until the trainers give the green light. Right now we're still on yellow and we're still working hard. There's a little bit of caution but boy, he's looking good and we're excited and happy for him."

-- Gruden

"Thrilled. I was gushing with thrill."

-- Gruden, when asked how he felt about his team's long list on injured players (Pewter Report)

AFTER ALL THAT BALLYHOO, THEY'RE APPARENTLY THE SAME QUARTERBACK

"The ball comes out on time. If you ask every guy what we see out of Chad, that ball comes out on time. Receivers turn their heads and it's almost hitting them in the face sometimes. It's amazing to see that on day one."

-- Dolphins cornerback Andre Goodman after new quarterback Chad Pennington's first practice with the team (CBSSports.com)

"Whatever route you have, you better run it hard because the ball could be coming. If you're not looking, you may get hit in the head."

-- Jets receiver Jerricho Cotchery, explaining how his new quarterback is such a great upgrade over his old one (Lowell Sun)

THE WEEK IN HERM

"Kind of that 'Gong Show' deal. It kind of goes to show you, you miss some guys in the draft; you miss some guys in free-agency."

-- Kansas City head coach Herm Edwards, drawing some kind of bizarre correlation between The Gong Show and free agent rookie running back Dantrell Savage

"I can't tell you that for sure. And I don't want to say for sure. Generally, when you say that, things happen, and then I'm on television saying this is what you said a month ago. Right now, they're our quarterbacks."

-- Herm, not explaining the team's quarterback situation

"Not to my knowledge. I don't answer my phone. I have one; I don't even have the number."

-- Herm, assuring reporters asking questions about Brett Favre that he does own a phone, although he doesn't know his number (Kansas City Star)

"I probably wouldn't want to listen to it. There are probably a couple words I don't want to hear."

-- Herm, on the amateur rap music produced by Chiefs tackle Tank Tyler (Kansas City Star)

Posted by: Vince Verhei on 15 Aug 2008

78 comments, Last at 19 Aug 2008, 12:38pm by Marcumzilla

Comments

1
by RaiderJoe (not verified) :: Fri, 08/15/2008 - 10:57am

First!

2
by BOOM!ImChrishHanshen (not verified) :: Fri, 08/15/2008 - 11:13am

SO not the real raiderjoe. Nice try, though.

3
by Mike (not verified) :: Fri, 08/15/2008 - 11:19am

Kind of a dick move by Moose. I'm not disputing that Chicago's been bad for receivers, but Chicago's been bad for offensive players, period. That's a management issue; Angelo needs better scouts on that side of the ball.

Also, Moose isn't a very good receiver any more. When the QBs managed to get him the ball, he tended to drop it. As for Tank...the man didn't figure it out. It would have been nice to keep him around, but he was a PR disaster.

So...there's that. I'm sure it's going to sound like sour grape, but whatever. I'm thinking Moose is getting some cheap shots come week 4.

4
by Doug Farrar :: Fri, 08/15/2008 - 11:31am

Sorry, Herm -- take a seat. "I was gushing with thrill" makes Gruden this week's champion.

5
by Jimmy (not verified) :: Fri, 08/15/2008 - 11:49am

#4

At least Gruden seems to know that what he is saying is dumb, and is playing with the reporters. Herm is just dumb.

6
by JJcruiser (not verified) :: Fri, 08/15/2008 - 12:02pm

I just can't get over how brazen the Bears are about not wanting to find a better quarterback. They could have drafted someone, they could have traded for someone, they could have signed guys off the street that would be better. I would be so frustrated if I was on the Bears defense. It's totally perplexing to me.

7
by young curmudgeon (not verified) :: Fri, 08/15/2008 - 12:03pm

To begin with, the real Raiderjoe would have written "Frist" and we'd be wondering if he was making a bizarre allusion to the former senator from Tennessee or the campus center at Princeton.

Second, Herm's comments on Tank Tyler's rap production actually make sense to me--I probably wouldn't want to listen to it either. So now I'm in agreement with a Herm comment. Should I start worrying? Seek professional help?

8
by Some Dude (not verified) :: Fri, 08/15/2008 - 12:25pm

7: I would only worry if, like Herm, you don't know your own phone number.

9
by Tom D (not verified) :: Fri, 08/15/2008 - 12:40pm

Re 6:

I've been over this with people who feel similar to you all off-season. It basically boils down to this: Grossman and Orton aren't as bad as everyone makes them out to be, and to get a significant upgrade they would have had to give up too much. Thus it wasn't worth it upgrade at QB, when upgrading another position will have a bigger impact on the team.

10
by SuperBears (not verified) :: Fri, 08/15/2008 - 12:42pm

#6 try being a fan and knowing that some Sundays that will be the only game local TV will show. At least with a new guy there could be hope, instead the hope is that either QB just magically learns to be a good QB.

11
by SuperBears (not verified) :: Fri, 08/15/2008 - 12:44pm

#9 did you read PFP 2008? They are both below replacement level on a career basis. They let their best QB leave in Griese.

12
by Jimmy (not verified) :: Fri, 08/15/2008 - 12:53pm

Maybe the reason that the Bears aren't too concerned with their QBs is that Rexy Orton has a combined win/loss record of 31-17 (or 65%). Yes they are pretty average QBs at best, but the Bears have won two divisional crowns and been to a Superbowl with them. Yes QBs are important, but there are 21 other players on a field with them. I would love the Bears to have gone out and grabbed a franchise passer, but there weren't many (or any) available this last offseason without shipping an awful lot of freight to get them.

The biggest mistakes the Bears made with QBs in recent years were the decisions to not pursue veteran players like Garcia (when he went to the Browns), Kitna (not great, but better than anything the Bears have) and especially Drew Brees (we would have won the bloody Superbowl). All three were freely available, and would probably have liked to have played for the Bears. I really hope that if another decent veteran QB hits the market Angelo makes the move he needs to make.

13
by justanothersteve (not verified) :: Fri, 08/15/2008 - 12:54pm

7 - young curmudgeon. Are you agreeing with Herb because the record may have a couple of words you don't want to hear? Or do you not want to hear it because you think it'll suck even more than Shaq's?

14
by Marko (not verified) :: Fri, 08/15/2008 - 1:32pm

"I’m thinking Moose is getting some cheap shots come week 4."

Actually, that will be in week 2.

"#6 try being a fan and knowing that some Sundays that will be the only game local TV will show."

Huh? Assuming you live in the U.S., you will get at least 2 games (assuming you can receive Fox and CBS) during the day and the night game on NBC. And if you are a Bears fan (as suggested by the name "SuperBears"), how is the number of games you can watch on a Sunday relevant to your comment about the Bears' QBs? Presumably, you would want to watch your team play, no matter what.

15
by morganja (not verified) :: Fri, 08/15/2008 - 1:35pm

Re: 3
Amazing how it was that Muhammed went from putting up great numbers to him 'not being a great receiver anymore' once he went to the Bears.

A rational person might speculate that the biggest change was that Muhammed went to a team with bad quarterbacks and a bad offensive system.

But I guess it would be a 'dick thing to say' that their offense sucks and everyone who leaves puts up better numbers in other systems.

How is Chicago going to attract talent in the future when Muhammed is stating the obvious? That's where offensive players go to see their careers stagnate and die?

By the way, why should Mushin Muhammed worry about cheap shots in the week 4 game against Atlanta?

Will proud loyal Chicago Bear players be moonlighting there to try to get some decent stats? That's sad to consider.

16
by Flounder (not verified) :: Fri, 08/15/2008 - 1:38pm

Re: 4

Agreed. I think "I was gushing with thrill" is an early runner for quote of the year.

17
by brasilbear (not verified) :: Fri, 08/15/2008 - 1:45pm

Match the stat line to the player:

DVOA -15.4%, DPAR -2.6
DVOA -16.1%, DPAR -3.1
DVOA -16.5, DPAR -1.2

Orton
Griese
Grossman

18
by dryheat (not verified) :: Fri, 08/15/2008 - 1:46pm

#9...define "too much"? What price is too high to pay for a player who can lead the offense to points and take some pressure off the defense and special teams? I would imagine you could get any backup QB in the league for a third round pick. Even a guy like JP Losman, Sage Rosenfels, Charlie Frye, Damon Huard, or Billy Volek would likely be a considerable upgrade. Maybe a little more for Kurt Warner. Is that too high a price? With Chad Pennington, Daunte Culpepper, and Byron Leftwich all available as free agents recently, one could've been signed with no trade compensation. Is that too high a price? With highly rated quarterbacks available in the draft, all they had to do was write a name on a piece of paper. Is that too high a price?

I'm not sure one can overstate the value of even above-average quarterbacking.

19
by MCS (not verified) :: Fri, 08/15/2008 - 1:56pm

re. Thompson and the QB talk.

From JSOnline, "Backup QB Brian Brohm didn't appear to respond well to McCarthy calling him out Thursday with his announcement that Matt Flynn had gained on Brohm. He was shaky again and threw a terrible out pass to Taj Smith that Charles Woodson easily picked off for a would-be touchdown. The pass by Brohm, which was only about 12 yards, had a vicious wobble on it. Flynn also threw an interception to Woodson in 7-on-7 and nearly another to Al Harris."

So, not only is Thompson making comments, but McCarthy is publicly calling him out.

20
by Yaguar (not verified) :: Fri, 08/15/2008 - 2:08pm

Since 2005, it has been clear to anybody reasonable that Grossman and Orton both suck donkey balls. I couldn't believe my ears when the announcers kept gushing about how the Bears now had a passing threat at the end of 2005 when Grossman was looking lost and putting up a 59.7 QB rating (and an even more atrocious playoff game against the Panthers.)

Since that offseason, the Bears have passed on Drew Brees, Daunte Culpepper, Jon Kitna, Steve McNair, Trent Green, Chad Pennington, Joey Harrington, Matt Schaub, Sage Rosenfels, Josh McCown, Jeff Garcia, Chris Simms, Kellen Clemens, Kevin Kolb, Drew Stanton, Trent Edwards, Brian Brohm, Chad Henne...

Don't say that the Bears couldn't have found a better quarterback. It's downright insulting to about half the league.

21
by witless chum (not verified) :: Fri, 08/15/2008 - 2:15pm

#10,
Try being a Lions' fan for the last 15 years. Then call me.

22
by Mike (not verified) :: Fri, 08/15/2008 - 2:24pm

The Bears STILL could have Daunte Culpepper. He may not be a pro bowlers any more, but is there any way he's actually worse than Grossman/Orton?

23
by Diane (not verified) :: Fri, 08/15/2008 - 2:32pm

"Gushing with thrill" is actually longhand for "thrush" ... right?

24
by Phil (not verified) :: Fri, 08/15/2008 - 2:35pm

Whatever route you have, you better run it hard because the ball could be coming. If you’re not looking, you may get hit in the head.”

– Jets receiver Jerricho Cotchery, explaining how his new quarterback is such a great upgrade over his old one (Lowell Sun)

Really? You had to search the "Lowell Sun" for that quote?

25
by Tom D (not verified) :: Fri, 08/15/2008 - 2:36pm

Re 20:

Wow, annointing rookies as better than a 6th and 4th year veterans is pretty presumptuous. Not to mention 2nd year players that only played a few games. If I showed you Grossman's DVOA for the 1st 5 games of 2006 would you believe it was over 20%? Then you have players on that list that aren't even better than what the Bears have. Trent Green the Miami version, no thanks.

There are a few players on that list that are definitely better than what the Bears have but it looks like this: Drew Brees, Jon Kitna, Steve McNair, Chad Pennington, Joey Harrington, Matt Schaub, Sage Rosenfels, Jeff Garcia. Even with this list, I can find flaws. I saw Garcia play with the Lions, and given the Bear's supporting cast that's what I would have expected. McNair was too old, we want a long term solution not a one year stop gap. Rosenfels and Shaub could both kings of small sample size. I would have concerns about Pennington's and Kitna's arm strength in Soldier Field. I would rather stick with the devil we know that give up draft picks or players for a guy who might only be a small upgrade, or not one at all.

BTW: Garcia on the Bucs: 19.5% DVOA
Garcia on the Lions: -13.6% DVOA
Griese on the Bucs: 20% DVOA
Griese on the Bears: -15.0% DVOA

26
by BOOM!ImChrishHanshen (not verified) :: Fri, 08/15/2008 - 2:37pm

19 RE: Packers back-up QB

Speaking of picking QBs off the scrap heap, the Packers situation is STILL interesting in that:

1. Rodgers is unlikely(?) to be healthy/proficient enough to play every down (or at least not for the next 256 games like what's-his-name).
2. Brohm is apparently being outplayed by Flynn.
3. Brohm has close to a million in guaranteed salary/bonus, so is unlikely to get cut.
4. If the Pack can find a Chris Simms-type to be the experienced backup to Rodgers, either Vroom or Flynn can go to the practice squad, where another team gets a shot at them (see Thigpen, Tyler).

So the team has a dilemma: perhaps lose one of their young guns, or go into the season with the unprecedented status of having no QB with a regular season start on the roster.

27
by Sidewards (not verified) :: Fri, 08/15/2008 - 3:02pm

RE: 25
Well, I'd also add Byron Leftwich to that list of QBs the Bears could have picked up.
And yes, QBs do badly in bad situations. Regardless of that, it's much easier to run an offense with someone like Leftwich, who can get the ball where it's supposed to be when it's supposed to be, than Grossman or Orton, who don't.
Plus, a rookie QB with promise is much better than a 4th year or 6th year player without. Especially when that rookie is better. See Trent Edwards, drafted in the third round a year ago. A third round pick for a QB with at least average skills and some promise is definitely worth it. Same with Clements, or a couple other QBs.
The Bears have royally screwed up their QB situation, and not because their QB of the future got injured, or their team had gaping holes at other positions that needed to be filled in the draft. They just failed.

28
by dryheat (not verified) :: Fri, 08/15/2008 - 3:07pm

I would rather stick with the devil we know that give up draft picks or players for a guy who might only be a small upgrade, or not one at all.

But don't you have to at least give it a shot at some point? The devil you don't know might turn out pretty good. To not even bring in competition for two known (middling) commodities is inexcusable.

29
by young curmudgeon (not verified) :: Fri, 08/15/2008 - 3:12pm

re 13: the latter, by all means. I'm not worried about hearing words I don't want to hear, I'm worried about hearing music I don't want to hear. (uh oh, I'm sounding more like Herm all the time.)

30
by Tom D (not verified) :: Fri, 08/15/2008 - 3:13pm

I actually have a theory that Grossman's career is more derailed by injury that people think it is (he was much, much more mobile early in his career, but this is hard to prove with sample size). The Bears could have upgraded the QB position (and should have went after Brees in hindsight), but they chose to devote resources to other areas. Considering they are 1 of 11 teams to play in the Superbowl since Angelo took over (1 of 7 since Lovie became coach), and have made the playoffs nearly half the time, I can't be too critical of the management.

31
by phil (not verified) :: Fri, 08/15/2008 - 3:27pm

#20

funny that you mention "small sample size". now give us grossman's dvoa for all his other games.

32
by phil (not verified) :: Fri, 08/15/2008 - 3:28pm

whoops, i meant #25.

33
by dryheat (not verified) :: Fri, 08/15/2008 - 3:33pm

Considering they are 1 of 11 teams to play in the Superbowl since Angelo took over (1 of 7 since Lovie became coach), and have made the playoffs nearly half the time, I can’t be too critical of the management.

Sure you can. With better quarterbacking they may have been able to get to multiple Super Bowls and make the playoffs every year in this window of defensive excellence.

34
by Temo (not verified) :: Fri, 08/15/2008 - 3:49pm

Reading all those inane Chicago-related quotes, I'm wondering if maybe what we need is a "This week in Chicago" section.

35
by MCS (not verified) :: Fri, 08/15/2008 - 3:54pm

re 26 Packers Back-up QB

What they need is a veteran QB that can play in the event that the young starter goes down.... oh.

36
by Theo, Netherlands (not verified) :: Fri, 08/15/2008 - 4:00pm

Drop the word "incumbent". It's a useless word and you're using it wrong.

37
by The Ninjalectual (not verified) :: Fri, 08/15/2008 - 4:14pm

Damnit guys that ad with the girls is NOT work safe... come on...

38
by Theo's worst nightmare (not verified) :: Fri, 08/15/2008 - 4:19pm

#36 Theo, don't go around correcting everyone else when you used an adjective when you should have used an adverb.

39
by Pat (not verified) :: Fri, 08/15/2008 - 4:20pm

I saw Garcia play with the Lions, and given the Bear’s supporting cast that’s what I would have expected

Garcia was playing injured with the Lions.

40
by Tom D (not verified) :: Fri, 08/15/2008 - 4:34pm

Re 31:

That was my point, I can find a series of games that makes Grossman look good.

Re 39:

Well, I saw him play with the Browns too.

41
by BrixtonBear (not verified) :: Fri, 08/15/2008 - 4:35pm

#39

Have you seen Chicago's OL this year? Or last year, for that matter?

'Injured' is exactly how Garcia would be playing if he was on the Bears. Whoever starts for Chicago this year will likely be David Carred by week 9.

42
by Oldcat (not verified) :: Fri, 08/15/2008 - 5:17pm

I've been watching the Bears off and on since 1980 and have been amazed at the teams ability to have a QB controversy
without a QB.

They'd be better off subcontracting selecting a QB to another team than what they actually do.

43
by BOOM!ImChrishHanshen (not verified) :: Fri, 08/15/2008 - 7:06pm

How many teams' fans really like, trust, and respect their respective QB? Which teams are with no doubt "set" at the position? Brady, Manning, Romo, Brees, Big Ben, Palmer, Hasselbeck. And some others (but not very many).

No more than a third of the teams have a locked-in player at the position. So it cracks me up when people say that one of the teams in the rest of the league (the unsettled two-thirds) "should go get somebody else at QB." Rarely do the critics offer up a realistic solution, and when they do, it's usually somebody like Joey "Joe" Harrington.

I think most teams accept that there are only a handful of people on the planet who can play QB in the NFL at level which consistently makes coaches and fans happy. Teams stick with what they have because there aren't many (any?) significantly better alternatives available.

44
by Bobman (not verified) :: Fri, 08/15/2008 - 7:37pm

4/16/23 Oh yeah.

Say 100 high school seniors used the phrase "I am gushing with thrill" in an essay or short story. How many of them end up expelled for it, or at least disciplined for using lewd/suggestive language? If it was less than 50, I'd gush with thrill myself.

Of course inside 6 months it will end up a Grammy-winning song/album of the year. It's a great phrase for that kind of thing. Unless it's a Michael Jackson album with a photograph of a junior high on the cover.

45
by starzero (not verified) :: Fri, 08/15/2008 - 7:43pm

the colts have 4 qbs on their roster. they won't keep them all. either of the two they'll probably discard would be better in chicago. not that gray and lorentzen are stars, but at this point anyone who hasn't played for the bears is better than anyone who has.

46
by Pat (not verified) :: Fri, 08/15/2008 - 8:12pm

Well, I saw him play with the Browns too.

He got hurt playing for the Browns, too. Before that, he actually played really well, with the sole exception of a relatively poor game versus the Cowboys (which was mostly the result of the offensive line falling apart). But see the Philadelphia, and Cincinnati games that year, for instance..

He tried to come back later in the season too early, and was less mobile, and suffered.

47
by Pat (not verified) :: Fri, 08/15/2008 - 8:15pm

#41: Have you seen Chicago’s OL this year? Or last year, for that matter?

Yeah, except Garcia (a couple of years ago) was a mobile QB who could deal with an OL breaking down. He might still have gotten injured, but he wouldn't be like Drew Bledsoe and be a disaster without proper blocking.

48
by Packer Pete (not verified) :: Fri, 08/15/2008 - 10:05pm

I can't believe, but am quite pleased, that the Bears are content to continue with Orton and Grossman. The Pack may still have the best QB in the division and he hasn't started an NFL game. The best play in the Pack-Bengals preseason game was Rodgers' throw on 3rd and 17 on the first drive. He put the ball right on Driver's numbers 18 yards downfield in a crowd, but Driver dropped it. That fact that Rodgers had the gumption to make that throw rather than dumping it to a back in the flat and settling for a punt was very encouraging. It showed confidence, and he certainly has an arm. Brohm, by the way, has tossed some Penningtonish passes. No cannon there.

49
by Packer Pete (not verified) :: Fri, 08/15/2008 - 10:07pm

I feel it coming on....

THE BEARS STILL SUCK!

Good to get that first one of the season out of the way. Gonna be a great year in Titletown!

50
by Jimmy (not verified) :: Fri, 08/15/2008 - 11:50pm

#49

Thankyou for that, it was very insightful.

51
by Becephalus (not verified) :: Sat, 08/16/2008 - 12:58am

44- As someone who graded maybe 20,000 essays in 4 or 5 states I would estimate zero of 100.

???

What are you even getting at and what lewdness gestapo did your school sport? Was it a christian school or something? The teachers of high school seniors in my experience are very lenient with that type of thing.

52
by Bobman (not verified) :: Sat, 08/16/2008 - 4:02am

51 Really? That's great to hear. Perhaps I am extrapolating based on some of the petty crap kids get reprimanded for in my kids' public elementary school. Someday, maybe I'll be lucky enough to read an essay entitled "Gushing With Thrill: Back Seat of My Car After the Jr Prom."

True to my word, I am now gushing with thrill myself.

53
by young curmudgeon (not verified) :: Sat, 08/16/2008 - 11:57am

42. have a QB controversy...without a QB

A sadly apt description of the Bears' futility.

54
by Charlie (not verified) :: Sat, 08/16/2008 - 12:54pm

The love that the next good QB the Bears find will get from Bears fans will be something to see. I hope I am still alive to see it.

55
by Theo, Netherlands (not verified) :: Sat, 08/16/2008 - 2:31pm

Come on. Didn't they make the Super Bowl with Grossman?
Quarterbacks are so overrated.

56
by Yaguar (not verified) :: Sat, 08/16/2008 - 2:38pm

43: It's stupid to suggest a team like the Giants, Bucs, or Panthers "go out and get a QB," because they're very unlikely to do any better.

It's not stupid to suggest the same for the Bears.

57
by FantasyStooge (not verified) :: Sat, 08/16/2008 - 3:03pm

Re: #37:

“Don’t put any stock in NFL.com. I don’t think (the story) has any legs for any reason.”

– Bengals coach Marvin Lewis, responding to a report that the team was interested in re-signing Chris Henry, who is currently suspended by the league (Cincinnati Enquirer).

I would like to put stock in that story, it definitely has legs. For any reason.

58
by Charlie (not verified) :: Sat, 08/16/2008 - 3:23pm

Are people suggesting the Giants "go out and get a QB"? I know New York fans are tough, but really.

59
by Charlie (not verified) :: Sat, 08/16/2008 - 5:23pm

I suppose this just boils down to whether you think the Bears QBs are any better than players you could find on the waiver wire or whether you could get a clear and obvious upgrade in a trade.

I think it's pretty much a wash - I know others disagree. I understand the logic that says "well, why don't you try anyway, cause you never know", but I suppose the Bears' front office still feels they can get some sort of improvement from Orton and Grossman.

I don't think Scrub X would be an upgrade. But it is certainly depressing that they might be.

60
by Theo, Netherlands (not verified) :: Sat, 08/16/2008 - 5:25pm

Chris Johnson (HB Titans) is my 3rd HB and he's the steal of the year.

61
by Pat (not verified) :: Sat, 08/16/2008 - 6:00pm

I suppose this just boils down to whether you think the Bears QBs are any better than players you could find on the waiver wire or whether you could get a clear and obvious upgrade in a trade.

It's more than that. The Bears don't have to "think" that. They can find out. They could've brought in other QBs for tryouts, and they didn't. What would it have cost them to give Culpepper or Leftwich a one-year contract? Absolutely nothing, unless you believe that Grossman and Orton's egos are so fragile they crumble at any competition that they might lose.

Moreover, and probably more importantly, they didn't draft one. That's insane.

Look at all the other teams with questionable quarterback situations - pretty much all of them drafted quarterbacks recently. The ones which didn't are the ones that we're laughing at.

62
by Charlie (not verified) :: Sat, 08/16/2008 - 7:31pm

#61 - Fair enough. I suppose the only explanation is that the Bears felt that Leftwich, Culpepper etc weren't as good as what they had and that there was no upside in signing them to confirm that. I accept that it would have cost them essentially nothing to take that closer look, but I wonder if it would have been worth it when all the other 31 teams have been so reluctant to give those two another shot.

I agree that the Bears not drafting a QB was peculiar, to say the least.

63
by Joe (not verified) :: Sat, 08/16/2008 - 7:40pm

but I wonder if it would have been worth it when all the other 31 teams have been so reluctant to give those two another shot.

Of course the other 31 teams have better QBs than the Bears.

64
by Charlie (not verified) :: Sat, 08/16/2008 - 7:57pm

#63 - That's only true if you think the other 31 teams all have 3 or more QBs better than the Bears.

The Bears QB situation looks pretty dire, but is it so much worse than KC or SF?

65
by BrixtonBear (not verified) :: Sun, 08/17/2008 - 2:59pm

#47:

My point is that the Browns had a dodgy OL, and Garcia got hurt. The Lions had a dodgy OL, and Garcia got hurt. Philly and Tampa had respectable OLs, and Garcia played well.

The Bears have a train-wreck at OL, ergo…

66
by Alex51 (not verified) :: Mon, 08/18/2008 - 5:38am

What would it have cost them to give Culpepper or Leftwich a one-year contract? Absolutely nothing, unless you believe that Grossman and Orton’s egos are so fragile they crumble at any competition that they might lose.

And if Grossman and Orton's egos were that fragile, they would be ill-suited to being NFL QBs, given that their job is to, you know, compete in a sport. So, yeah, that doesn't seem like it should be an issue here.

Look at all the other teams with questionable quarterback situations - pretty much all of them drafted quarterbacks recently. The ones which didn’t are the ones that we’re laughing at.

Hell, some of the teams that don't have questionable QB situations have drafted QBs recently. New England spent a 3rd round pick on a QB in the last draft, and Pittsburgh took a QB in the 5th round. The year before, Cincinnati spent a 5th rounder on a QB, and Dallas spent a 4th rounder on one. If those teams can spare a draft pick to improve their QB situation, then why can't the Bears do the same? Is New England's QB situation more dire than Chicago's?!?

Also, I'd like to point out some interesting facts about the NFC North. Number of QBs taken in the first 2 rounds in the last 5 drafts:

Packers - 2 (including the only 1st rounder of the group)
Vikings - 1
Lions - 1
Bears - 0

Number of QBs drafted by each team since Brett Favre took over as starting QB of Packers:

Packers - 10
Vikings - 6
Lions - 5
Bears - 5

So, even though they already had a Hall of Fame QB, the Packers still drafted more QBs than anyone else in their division, by a wide margin. If you wonder why the Packers have had a better QB situation than the rest of their division over the last decade+, maybe part of that is that they devote more resources to making sure they have a good QB at all times. And that means drafting QBs regularly, even when you already have a perfectly good QB. Injuries happen, people get old and lose effectiveness, etc. An NFL team's QB situation is like surviving a zombie apocalypse: there is no such thing as safe, only safer.

So you draft QBs, even if they're only 5th or 6th rounders, all the time. Eventually, you'll be glad you did. Or, in Chicago's case, you'll wish you had.

I accept that it would have cost them essentially nothing to take that closer look, but I wonder if it would have been worth it when all the other 31 teams have been so reluctant to give those two another shot.

Reluctant? Both Culpepper and Leftwich were given tryouts by Pittsburgh, and Leftwich was signed as the team's backup. And this is a team that already has a franchise QB, and they're bringing those two QBs in for a tryout.

67
by JMM (not verified) :: Mon, 08/18/2008 - 7:54am

" Is New England’s QB situation more dire than Chicago’s?!?"

It depends on Brady's foot.

68
by Bjorn (not verified) :: Mon, 08/18/2008 - 9:33am

Hey, it's not like the Bears did nothing about their QB situation this offseason. They DID bring in an undrafted rookie to play 3rd string. :)

69
by Rich Conley (not verified) :: Mon, 08/18/2008 - 9:57am

67.

You could cut off brady's foot and have him stumble around on a peg leg, and the patriots would still be better off at QB than the bears.

70
by chip (not verified) :: Mon, 08/18/2008 - 10:55am

Have you watched the O-line play during the preseason? This entire dialogue on the Bears QB situation is moot - it will be an unmitigated diseaster up front this year. It will not matter who is behind center, whether it's Grossman, Orton, Leftwhich, Culpepper, etc.

71
by BucKai (not verified) :: Mon, 08/18/2008 - 11:39am

Early nomination for this week from Gruden's post game interview.

When asked how he planned to celebrate his 45th birthday after beating the Patriots.

"I just wish they'd stop having 'em man. 45, I used to be young; Now I'm getting old. Half way to a hundred."

72
by Alex51 (not verified) :: Mon, 08/18/2008 - 1:42pm

” Is New England’s QB situation more dire than Chicago’s?!?”

It depends on Brady’s foot.

Well, maybe if Brady's foot grows a mind of its own like Dr. Strangelove's arm and starts kicking him and his receivers in the face before every play. Then, yes, New England's QB situation would be more dire than Chicago's. Somehow, I didn't think his injury was quite that severe. But I could be wrong, and you can't ever trust the team to tell you how bad an injury is. I guess if we see Brady sporting an unexplained black eye, Moss on the sidelines with a broken nose, and Welker out with a concussion, we'll know something is up.

But I have a feeling that the Patriots drafted a QB for different reasons. Specifically, they seem to be following the same sort of thinking that led them to draft a QB in the 6th round of the 2000 draft even though they already had a franchise QB in his prime. And then do the same exact thing three years later.

If you have the slightest inkling of doubt about your present or future situation at QB, you should strongly consider drafting a QB. And even if you don't have the slightest inkling of doubt about your QB situation, it's probably a good idea to draft a QB every once in a while to make sure things stay that way. There is no such thing as having too many quality QBs in the NFL.

73
by Alex51 (not verified) :: Mon, 08/18/2008 - 1:57pm

This entire dialogue on the Bears QB situation is moot - it will be an unmitigated diseaster up front this year. It will not matter who is behind center, whether it’s Grossman, Orton, Leftwhich, Culpepper, etc.

Fine, then they should've drafted a QB and let him sit on the bench for a year, so that he would know the system by next year, and be ready to play when they have a chance to start fixing their O-line.

“I just wish they’d stop having ‘em man. 45, I used to be young; Now I’m getting old. Half way to a hundred.”

Wow, apparently Gruden is not an expert in math. This might explain a lot:

"Hmmm, how many QBs should we carry this year? Well, we need a starter, and a veteran backup in case he goes down. And it'd be a good idea to have a young guy to develop in the background. All right, so 1 times 3, that's...5! We need 5 QBs. Wait a minute, we only have 4. Someone, quick, sign me an old QB with a weak arm who's good at short passes!"

74
by Another Jake (not verified) :: Mon, 08/18/2008 - 4:48pm

#5
Herm's not dumb! He's just differently smarted, that's all.

75
by mp (not verified) :: Mon, 08/18/2008 - 5:02pm

How many teams’ fans really like, trust, and respect their respective QB?

Not too many.
I was in Buffalo a year or so ago and went to a Bills game; the Bills lost by some lopsided score (28-7, I think). After the game I went to a bar and heard a local guy say "I hate Losman. I hated Bledsoe. I hated Johnson. The last good quarterback they had was Flutie and they kicked him out!"

76
by Pat (not verified) :: Mon, 08/18/2008 - 8:10pm

My point is that the Browns had a dodgy OL, and Garcia got hurt. The Lions had a dodgy OL, and Garcia got hurt. Philly and Tampa had respectable OLs, and Garcia played well.

The Bears have a train-wreck at OL, ergo…

My point was that before Garcia got hurt, he played well for the Browns. He played poorly for the Lions because they continued to play him after they got hurt.

So the solution for the Bears is to play him until he gets hurt, and then don't try to push it anymore until he's really, truly, fully healed. You might only get a half-season or so out of him, but a half-season of Garcia is so much better than Orton or Grossman, they might've made the playoffs last year.

77
by dryheat (not verified) :: Tue, 08/19/2008 - 12:03pm

#66, very interesting.

The other point worth mentioning is that if you're confident in your scouting abilities, backup QBs can always be traded for future picks or to shore up your roster elsewhere. Matt Schaub and AJ Feeley (snicker) are the best recent examples, but just keeping with the Packers in the Favre years, Brunell, Brooks, Hasselbeck, and probably somebody I'm forgetting became starting-caliber quarterbacks elsewhere.

78
by Marcumzilla (not verified) :: Tue, 08/19/2008 - 12:38pm

Bengals DO resign Henry (link in name). I can't wait to see the Bengals quotes for the next edition!