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NFL weekend notes

Grossman’s possible opportunity in D.C., and Buffalo may not be that bad after all. Greg Gabriel

Print This August 30, 2010, 01:00 PM EST


The Redskins may not have Donovan McNabb for their season opener against Dallas. If this is the case, Rex Grossman will get the call. This will be a great opportunity for Grossman to revive his career.

In 2006, when Grossman was the quarterback of the Bears, he was one of the hottest quarterbacks in the league for the first five games. The Bears went 5-0, and Grossman completed 93 of 152 passes for 1,243 yards and 10 touchdowns. He threw only two interceptions in those five games, and his quarterback rating was well over 100.

Rex GrossmanICONWill Rex Grossman get the call for the Redskins in the opener?

However, he followed that hot start with a horrible game on Monday Night Football in Arizona. In that game he threw four interceptions and he never recovered. In my 28 years in the NFL, I have never seen any player brutalized by the media more than Grossman was after that game. The national media continued with that harsh criticism the rest of the season. He followed the Arizona game with a strong 23-of-29, 252-yard, 3-touchdown performance against San Francisco, but he lacked consistency the rest of the year. He would follow a good game with a mediocre game. The beating he took from the national media was nonstop. By the end of the season he was a player that was afraid to make a mistake and had lost confidence in his ability.

I’m not saying he didn’t deserve criticism. But I am saying that he was criticized way more than he deserved. The fact remains that with Grossman as the quarterback, the Bears won the NFC championship before losing in the Super Bowl to the Colts. The Bears have not been back to the playoffs since that 2006 season.

Grossman no longer has some of the physical traits he had when he came out of college. Because he is barely 6-1, he had to get by with his strong arm, quick release and his ability to move around in the pocket. He has had some severe leg injuries during his career and because of that he has lost much of that mobility. Now he needs time to make plays but he still has a very strong arm and very good accuracy on the deep ball. Because he lacks top mobility he may never be a fulltime starting quarterback in the league but he has a chance to be a top backup and win games if the starter goes down.


Many have the Buffalo Bills as a lock to be the weakest team in the league and the front runner to hold the first pick in next April’s draft. I’m not so sure that is going to be the case. I know it’s preseason, but Buffalo has very quietly won two games in a row and done it very convincingly. The Bills beat Indianapolis in Toronto 34–20 and Cincinnati at home 35–20. Those are teams that are supposed to be playoff teams. The surprising thing is they have done it with a potent offense that has passed and run the ball equally well. Their defense has been solid also. Buffalo’s starters outplayed the starters of both Indy and Cincinnati, and the team has been playing with confidence. When you have a team that hasn’t won in awhile like Buffalo, the first thing you have to build is team confidence. New head coach Chan Gailey seems to be doing that. The Bills are not a playoff team, but they are stronger than many believe.

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Add a Comment
Aug 30, 2010
03:55 PM

Last week, it was Berrian the playmaker. This week, Rex Grossman was "the hottest QB in the league". From a former Bears personnel guy...

Somewhere Lombardi is gathering notes for a column on over-valuing your own personnel.

Aug 30, 2010
04:57 PM

It is a fact that Grossman was the Player of the Month in September, 2006. You can look it up.

The AZ game exposed the flaws in his game. The leg injuries limited his ability to avoid the pass rush and his gunslinger mentality led to turnovers. The beating he took in the press was just plain meanness and an embarrassment for Bears fans. There was a meathead element that lowered the perception of Bears fans. And the national media picked up on it like the chum Jaws picked up from Capt. Brodey.

He was blamed for everything that went wrong witht the Bears. I'm surprised he wasn't blamed for Katrina.

I wish him nothing but the best. And he will have a long productive career as a topnotch backup

Aug 30, 2010
06:10 PM

Vince Young(Baby Huey) and Matt Leinart have been two emotionally brittle QBs who the media have taken it easy on compared to what Grossman had to go through. I remember when Rex actually was a mobile QB who could scramble when needed and buy time to find the open receiver. That being said, I think he made a mistake when I saw him listed as heavy as 236 on some sites compared to his listed weight of 218. Look at Favre's stats in his mid years, if he were a young QB without the rep, he would have been benched.

Aug 30, 2010
07:09 PM

"And he will have a long productive career as a topnotch backup" -- Um, no he won't, but nice try..

Aug 31, 2010
03:26 AM

Before we put Grossman on this pedestal, the "hottest QB of the month" in 06 played against no teams who finished with a winning record that month, and only one who managed an 8-8 record (GB).

You bring up a good point doc_al, were on to you Gabriel...

Aug 31, 2010
09:17 AM

Thanks for noticing the Bills, Greg. Don't know that they're a playoff team, but Gailey is doing good things and they could open some eyes this year.

Aug 31, 2010
09:37 AM

I was one of Grossman's biggest fans when he was with the Bears and I fully acknowledge that Chicago would never have made it to XLI if Grossman didn't make some of the throws he did in the Divisional and Championship games.

In the first five games, his stats looked incredible. However, teams gameplanning against the Bears began to pick up on the terrible mechanics and bad habits he displayed even then. He was routinely throwing off his back foot after running away from pressure. Many times it was just sheer luck that he didn't get picked off. The writing was on the wall, we as euphoric Bears fans just couldn't see it at the time.

To say he played mediocre at times is a severe understatement. He had some games in which he looked dowright awful. In the last game of the season vs. Green Bay he looked like a high school quarteback. In the Super Bowl he lost all of his composure and forgot his mechanics, falling back on his bad habits. That, and Ron Turner's passive play calling on defense, cost them the game.

I wish Rex the best of luck and I always cheer for him. Nevertheless, he wore out his welcome in Chicago because his inconsistency got the better of him.

Aug 31, 2010
10:27 AM

I'm so glad someone doesn't expect the Bills to have a top draft pick next year. I agree, they are a long way from competing for the division, but they will be better than people expect this year. Chan Gailey has done many things right in that organization.

Brad James
Aug 31, 2010
02:39 PM

Well and you compare Rex Grossman to his-then backup, Kyle Orton (whom we Broncos fans love!) and Orton has gotten crap everywhere he's been. Yet, somehow, you don't hear about Orton ever falling prey to criticism. Sexy Rexy needs thicker skin. What the Redskins really need is Donovan to be healthy so they can be a playoff team.

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