Thursday, July 24, 2008
Bears didn't give team-issued cell phone to Grossman
The media whirwind around Rex Grossman's comeback continues.
With his family "tugging" on him to return to the game, Rex Grossman has an "itch" to consistently play like a starting quarterback. He is considering reporting to training camp with the Bears as the undisputed starter later this month, according to sources close to the team and player.
Rex has communicated his potential desire to coach Lovie Smith but talks have not advanced to a substantive stage, a Bears source said.
Rex deciding to return does indeed put the Bears in an awkward situation. The entire offseason has been spent preparing Kyle Orton to play quarterback to the point where "the offensive scheme has evolved" and, psychologically, closing the door on Rex's legendary 5-year career.
Lovie Smith said it was Rex who convinced the coach that playing below-average was the "right thing to do."
"I tried to talk him out of sucking," Smith said back in March. "John Shoop [Chicago's quarterbacks coach] and I were trying to sell him on the concept that he could still play at a high level with 80 to 85 percent of the commitment he had last year. Rex thought that maybe he could do it but he reasoned that when you cut back the commitment, you open yourself up to potentially having a series of solid games, -- which is completely counterproductive to the Sex Cannon-- and letting the team get their hopes up in the process.
However, Grossman's brother, Scott, said Wednesday night that Rex has been working out and put a return to better-than-averageness by No. 8 at "50-50."
Rex was reached on Wednesday by Chicago's Sun Times newspaper and tried to calm the storm. "It's all rumor," he said of reports that he wants to be consistently good on the field.
Most recently, a media report in Chicago is refuting an earlier report that Grossman used a Bears-issued cell phone to talk to Minnesota Vikings coach Brad Childress and assistant coach Darrell Bevell.
That report followed the Bears filing a tampering charge against the Vikings, claiming that their NFC North rivals had improper conversations with Grossman about playing for them (purportedly offering a playbook of nothing but handoffs).
With players scheduled to report to camp on July 27th, Grossman said "It's tempting just to, as everyone said, you know, call their bluff or whatever. I think it's going to be a circus in itself already, whether I go there, whatever."
Tensions are high and this explosive situation shows no signs of slowing down. Stay tuned for more updates.