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I finally get it, Rex Grossman sucks: third preseason game observations from someone who was there

by Ricky O'Donnell on August 22, 2008 at 2:23AM

The Old Man and I headed out to the Bears game last night, and it actually turned out to be the most enjoyable time I’ve ever had at a preseason game (I’ve gone to more preseason games than regular season games, for some reason). I generally hate preseason football- a) if it doesn’t count, why do I care?, b) only bad things can happen- but it was cool to watch the Bears’ offense and special teams clicking on all cylinders. Here are a few observations.

- It will never happen, but Danieal Manning should be moved to receiver ASAP. The man is completely useless as a defensive back because he has zero football instincts. But he’s fast as hell- I’d say he’s the Bears’ second fastest player only behind D$ (my new nickname for Hester. I think it works)- and he’s great with the ball in his hands. Those two kick returns he made yesterday were unreal. Besides, the Bears receivers suck and they have pretty good depth at DB. The move makes too much sense, but I’m sure the Bears will never even consider it. Why? It’s one of the biggest things I always think about in football: who decides what position an athlete should play? Their high school coach, likely when they’re 15-years old. Team need probably factors in a lot to that coaching decision. Say Manning was the best athlete on his high school team, which he almost certainly was. So he probably played varsity as a freshman or sophomore, and let’s just say that the only reason he was picked to play DB was because the team had good upperclassmen at receiver and running back, and, hey, in high school, if a kid is that athletic, he can dominant anywhere. That scenario is certainly possible, if not likely.

But why should a high school coach's decision stick with the player his entire career? I’ve never played football, but I can’t imagine switching from DB to receiver is terribly difficult. I wouldn’t expect Manning to come in and contribute this year, but if they taught him the position during this season, he should be ready to play by next year, right? Manning is a great, great athlete, he’s just a terrible defensive back. So why not move him? I don’t understand it.

- Rex Grossman may be one of the most hated Chicago athletes of all-time (hey, that’s a great idea for a top ten list!). The fans’ hatred of him really comes through more in person than on television. When Rex ran out to relieve Orton on the second drive of the third quarter (?), he was greeted by a chorus of boos. The second pass he threw hit a 49ers defender right in the hands, and then the booing turned ferocious, which I found hysterical. Naturally I jumped in immediately. It was awesome.

I think everyone knows I used to love Grossman (used to as in up until like a month ago), but I think I finally figured him out now that he’s in his sixth season. The only reason I liked Rex was because I thought he was good, but he actually sucks. I just realized this now, probably about three years later than everyone else. Grossman can only make one throw, a first-read fly pattern. If Berrian was the primary receiver and he was open deep, Rex would connect on that throw as much as anyone else in the league. But he could never, ever make a good throw when he had to check down, and he always struggled throwing to the flats and over the middle. Rex is a one trick pony. I’m glad I finally realized it. (Though, to be fair, if Rex was the starter this year and you called a bomb for Hester as the primary route every play, that would probably work 80% of the time.)

- Listening to the post-game radio show on the way back, everyone is waaaay too worried about the defense. Don’t be. That unit is loaded- as it should be considering it probably takes up about 90% of the Bears’ cap space. I think the Bears are going to suck this year, but the defense should be in for a monster return to dominance. That is if Bob Babich doesn’t fuck it up. Lovie’s Machiavelli-like move of firing Ron Rivera may be the reason why the D sucked last year. Or maybe it was injuries. Much more on that later, we’ll have to see how the season plays out.

13 Comments | Leave a comment

I'm not worried about the defense after last night. Defensive players are the most cautious in preseason games as injuries are concerned. I know there was problems with coverage, but these starters are not gonna go all out and risk injuries making tackles that dont matter.

I'm still not sold on bob babich though. I know we had a lot of injuries, but how did we go from being one of the best in the league to 28th last year?

And if you do a "most hated chicago athletes" list, will you count the 4 games john starks played for the bulls and got booed off the floor at the united center every time the he touched the ball?

I don't know, I feel like that might be cheating. God I hated those Knicks teams.

will you count the 4 games john starks played for the bulls and got booed off the floor at the united center every time the he touched the ball?

Haha, did that really happen?

I was pretty much out of the NBA circle from 1999-2004.

Bob Babich will ruin an already bad team

Most NFL players -- including kickers -- likely played quarterback for their high school teams...

I’ve never played football, but I can’t imagine switching from DB to receiver is terribly difficult.

I don't know about that one, man. Wideouts who have played and dominated the position their entire lives still struggle when they come to the NFL. Learning how to run great routes seems to be the real challenge, as separation is eeeesential in the NFL. That's why WR is one of the postions that takes the longest time to cultivate. Rarely do you see dominance in a WR's first year in the league (Boldin comes to mind as someone who goes against what I'm saying, but usually it takes a while). And remember, those guys have played it for 3-4 years in college, if not longer.

I'm not saying I'm for or against Manning changing positions, I'm just saying, if it happened today, there is no way he would be ready to do it this season.

That's a good point, rookie receivers always struggle. I said up top that if they just taught him the position this year, maybe he'd be ready to go by next season, but that may even be a stretch. But as a DB, Manning is just atrocious.

I'm just glad he was our first pick in the draft a few years ago...

This Sox game right now is nuuuuts.

I hate the Twins, I hate the Cubs.

I hate the Twins


I hate the Cubs.



Thanks for such a great post and the review, I am totally impressed! Keep stuff like this coming.

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