Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

19 Dec 2005

Jump-Start in Cold

OK, raise your hand if Rex Grossman was A LOT better than you expected. But hey, like Joe Thiesmann said last night, "[Grossman's] decisions are decisive," and I'm sure that had a lot to do with it. (bugmenot/free registration required)

Posted by: P. Ryan Wilson on 19 Dec 2005

25 comments, Last at 20 Dec 2005, 1:31pm by dryheat


by mikeabbott (not verified) :: Mon, 12/19/2005 - 11:36am

Rex seemed almost ordinary, a level Orton can only dream about.

by Rich Conley (not verified) :: Mon, 12/19/2005 - 12:40pm

I've been an orton appologist all season, partly because that O line is awful, but actually watching it yesterday....

This kid is awful. Grossman was meerly average, but that was enough to make the bears dangerous.

by Drew (not verified) :: Mon, 12/19/2005 - 1:01pm

It's already been seconded, but I'll go ahead and third it. Grossman played adequately, which is a major upgrade to what the Bears have been getting from the QB spot.

I did like Suzy Kolber's comment during the game, about how he "led them to a touchdown on his first drive." Uh... he also threw a pick in the red zone on his first drive. Seems like another case of "in spite of" vs "because of."

That said, if the Bears could suddenly develop a 20 PPG offense, they have to go near the top of the list of potential Super Bowl winners. Too bad Rex will probably blow out his knee getting out of the shower this morning.

by TomC (not verified) :: Mon, 12/19/2005 - 2:00pm

that O line is awful

That was last year, dude. This year the Bears are middle of the pack in Adjusted Sack Rate -- which makes Orton's performance look even worse.

by Benjy Rose :: Mon, 12/19/2005 - 2:13pm

I think Theismann's brilliant observation gets consideration for Quote of the Year. That, and the complete turnaround of opinions from the crew from 1st to 2nd half. From "keep doing what you're doing" to "Orton was a great keeper of the offense." What the hell is a Keeper of the Offense?

I am the Offense Keeper....are you the Defense Master?

by JonL (not verified) :: Mon, 12/19/2005 - 2:33pm

To be fair to Theismann, Orton did turn into a dog.

by Sara (not verified) :: Mon, 12/19/2005 - 2:37pm

#5 - what was funny was how quickly they turned on Rex Grossman when he through the incomplete on that first drive. The announcers went from, "Rex Grossman brings SO MUCH to this offense" to "See, this is why I wasn't sure sending Grossman in was the right call" in like two plays. That's gotta be some kind of record.

by MRH (not verified) :: Mon, 12/19/2005 - 3:10pm

That's the thing about the SNF crew that drives me crazy: they are not constrained by any analysis they have already made. Each play is discussed in isolation, they extrapolate trends from one data point, and then completely forget or ignore the trend they've identified come the next snap.

by Becephalus (not verified) :: Mon, 12/19/2005 - 4:22pm

#5 Mr. Rose, There is no Kyle... only ZUL!

by mactbone (not verified) :: Mon, 12/19/2005 - 4:58pm

I am my Offense's Keeper.

I couldn't understand why everyone was saying, "Well Grossman's not some World Beater just look at his stats." That was never the point. The point was, Grossman at Replacement Level is better than Orton at the Krenzelian Line.

2 for 10 is just bad. Orton seemed to lose a lot of accuracy on deep balls.

by Parker (not verified) :: Mon, 12/19/2005 - 5:17pm

My problem with Theisman is that he has to make every play 'mean something' and blows everything totally out of proportion.

Last night with the Bears backed at about he 2 yard line, the Falcons jumped offsides. Theisman says (loosely quoting) "See, you know what that is? That's just a smart quarterback. He uses the hard count because he has confidence in his o-line."

The words alone don't do it justice. Theisman's tone of voice would have you believe he just finished watching Monet paint or Shakespeare write a sonnet. Also, he try's to make the play mean that the QB is smart, rather than just that the QB made a smart play, of which there is a big difference.

I'm sure none of this is new to anyone, so I'll stop now.

by Parker (not verified) :: Mon, 12/19/2005 - 5:21pm

Wow, #8 says what I am thinking a lot better than I do.

by Devin (not verified) :: Mon, 12/19/2005 - 6:12pm

When I watch Sunday Night Football on ESPN, I mute the TV and just play my favorite music. I'm surprised to hear that y'all haven't done the same thing yet. It's a few years too late to be surprised at the idiocy of their announcing. :)

by Jon T. (not verified) :: Mon, 12/19/2005 - 6:30pm

RE #9
Well, as a Packer fan, if I had to choose the form of the destructor, I would definitely choose Orton. He could never possibly destroy us. Grossman is less like a marshmallow.

BTW, I believe it's ZUUL. That's how it was spelt on the video game anyway.

by HLF (not verified) :: Mon, 12/19/2005 - 6:53pm

I'm pulling for the Seachickens this year in the NFC, but I do believe the Bears probably have to be the favorites now (in the NFC only, of course). Gutsy call by Coach Smith.

My announcer call of the week (I've forgotten now, mercifully, which game it was) was one of the idiots saying right after a significant play, "The stats told us that was going to happen". I think it was right after someone failed on a fourth and short try. Um, the stats (any stats) tell us what happened (in the past), they NEVER tell us what is going to happen. That's why real sports (football and hockey in specific) are not chick-flicks; we truly don't know what's about to happen.

by Slippery Pete (not verified) :: Mon, 12/19/2005 - 7:02pm

Joe Theismann had this to say about Rex Grossman last night:
“Rex had the opportunity to play under Ron Zook at Florida. I think he learned a lot under Ron Zook’s tutelage.�

Grossman in 2001 w/Spurrier:
3896 pass yards
32 TD
12 INT

Grossman in 2002 w/Zook:
3402 pass yards
22 TD
17 INT

by J. Theismann (not verified) :: Mon, 12/19/2005 - 7:48pm

Post # 8 may have been about the best post ever. I'm talking of all time here, folks. MRH's use of the written world is unparalleled in the history of print. Simply a smart, poignant post. That's the kind of post that Brett Favre would make.

by MJK (not verified) :: Mon, 12/19/2005 - 8:56pm

Re #17:

Nearly. Died. Laughing.

by sammy (not verified) :: Mon, 12/19/2005 - 9:09pm

#18- Did you really Nearly. Die. Laughing. or merely chuckle? Or are you continuing with the hyperbole joke?

by B. Favre (not verified) :: Mon, 12/19/2005 - 9:10pm

Re: #8 and #17. That was my post.

by B. Favre (not verified) :: Mon, 12/19/2005 - 9:14pm

Re: #20. OK, I lied. #8 was all MRH.

by Adam O (not verified) :: Mon, 12/19/2005 - 9:53pm

This call in the Bears-Falcons game made me laugh. It happened shortly after Falcons' receiver Michael Jenkins was obliterated by Mike Green, resulting in the Vasher interception. Paul Maguire was explaining what has to happen for a reception to be counted:

Maguire: The player has to make a "football move"
Mike Patrick: Is getting de-cleated a football move?

by Chris (not verified) :: Tue, 12/20/2005 - 5:35am

The difference between Orton and Grossman -

Orton is both inaccurate and makes poor decisions.

Grossman just makes poor decisions.

But its REALLY hard to judge a game like that. The rule of thumb for QBs that come in off the bench that game is that they'll always perform better because the team has been spending a week focusing on a specific QB tendencies and suddenly, that changes.

by jake (not verified) :: Tue, 12/20/2005 - 7:49am

re #17 - killed me too. thats two fans with one stone!

by dryheat (not verified) :: Tue, 12/20/2005 - 1:31pm

Decisive Decisions? That's the best phrase I've heard in the booth since Dierdorff's description of Manning throwing a pass with "precise precision" last year.