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Grossman Promises Poise (1 Viewer)

wannabee

Footballguy
Grossman expects nerves but promises poise

By RICK GANO

AP Sports

LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) - Rex Grossman turned on his iPod this week and instead of rock and roll, jazz or country, all he could hear were the voices of Wade Wilson and Ron Turner.

Grossman decided he needed an information overload to get ready for the first playoff game of his career, so he took a digital recorder into the meeting room with Wilson, his quarterbacks coach, and Turner, the Chicago Bears ' offensive coordinator.

"I just thought it's a good way while I'm going over my notes to listen to the meeting as well, just another added thing to try to get better," Grossman said Wednesday.

"Most people listen to music, and he's listening to me. I feel sorry for him," Turner said with a laugh.

Grossman is tuned in, prepping for the Bears ' rematch Sunday with the Carolina Panthers at Soldier Field. It's the latest chapter in his football life.

According to his own Web Site, Grossman ran for a 60-yard touchdown on his first-ever football play. He was just a second-grade running back at the time, but what a way to start.

Thousands of plays, tackles, passes and huddles later, he'll step on the field Sunday, hoping to lead one of the NFL's pioneer franchises to its first postseason win since Jan. 1, 1995.

It has not been an easy road. The former Florida star has survived two major injuries the past two seasons, a torn knee ligament and a broken ankle, and spent more hours in rehab than on the football field.

He missed 26 regular-season games before returning to play six quarters this season. And when he takes a game snap Sunday, it will be his first in three weeks.

"I've said all along the lack of experience is not what I would wish going into this game, especially in the third year of my career," said Grossman , who has started just seven NFL games. "But at the same time I don't feel like a rookie going into it; somewhere in between there."

Grossman 's strong arm gives the Bears a downfield dimension missing with rookie Kyle Orton, who started most of the season. Against a tough Carolina defense and a team that was in the Super Bowl just two years ago, Grossman will have to adapt quickly.

"I'm smart enough to know this guy can lead a team. He did it in college. He's done it the games he's been in the NFL. He has the arm to make some throws that Kyle Orton couldn't ... so they're going to open up the offense a bit more," Panthers defensive tackle Brenston Buckner said.

When the Bears beat the Panthers 13-3 at Soldier Field on Nov. 20, Orton was running the team. He completed 15-of-26 passes for a TD and 136 yards as Chicago used two interceptions by Nathan Vasher for a 13-3 victory.

Now it's Grossman 's turn. And since he has spent so many hours sidelined, there's very little tape of him as a pro.

"One thing I noticed about Rex is he's good at going through his progression and then coming back to it again to find the open guy," Buckner said.

"You can't just key in on one thing and think that he's going to have a tendency to go one way because when you do that, that's when he hits you deep."

But Turner said the Bears aren't planning an all-out passing attack Sunday. Much depends on how well running back Thomas Jones plays against a defense that held Tiki Barber to 41 yards and forced Eli Manning into four turnovers while blanking the Giants 23-0 in the first round.

"If we do what we've done to get here - play great defense, run the football and protect the ball - that will take a lot of the pressure off Rex and allow him to play his game," Turner said.

Manning is just one of a handful of young quarterbacks already forced out in the playoffs by a loss or injury. The list includes Chris Simms , Byron Leftwich and Carson Palmer .

Now Grossman , with limited playing time, hopes to avoid that experience.

"I think Eli Manning could have played a lot better had he calmed down with some plays down the field and got into some long drives," Grossman said. "That never happened for them or their offense."

Grossman 's reputation for poise was honed during a standout career at Florida, where he led the Gators to three bowl games.

He said his calm is the result of "playing instead of just freaking out and throwing the balls all over the place. You kind of prepare not to do that."

But this is a bigger stage and a really big deal in Chicago , where the Bears ' lone Super Bowl win came two decades ago. He admits he'll be nervous.

And how will he play after attempting just 39 passes this season?

"Everyone has their own opinion on me - how I'm going to play, how good you think I am," Grossman said. "I'm a pretty confident player. I feel like I can go out there and have a good game. That's all that matters."

 

Bri

Footballguy
I wonder if he has to "take his lumps" and young QBs are doomed a bit in their first postseason. Some have slipped thru the cracks and done well but generally I'd guess that most struggle their first year in the playoffs.

 

bullitt

Footballguy
I wonder if he has to "take his lumps" and young QBs are doomed a bit in their first postseason. Some have slipped thru the cracks and done well but generally I'd guess that most struggle their first year in the playoffs.
An article in the Chicago sun times on Wed, showed that out of the last 10 QB's to win a superbowl, 7 or 8 won their first playoff game, and I think 2 of them went on to win the Superbowl.
Tom Brady had no postseason experience when he started New England's run of three Super Bowl titles in four years. Kurt Warner led St. Louis to a Super Bowl victory in his first playoff appearance. Jake Delhomme had started two NFL games in four seasons before signing with Carolina as a free agent. He got the Panthers to the Super Bowl in his first year.
http://www.suntimes.com/output/bears/cst-spt-rex11.html
 
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BoulderBob

Footballguy
Sounds like the "more confident" junk out of Harrington before the season.
Harrington always looked rattled on the field, Grossman, in limited action, always looks like he is in control.
 

Helm

Fruitcake
I think confidence always comes with the team being confident in the QB. A good example of this is Drew Brees. The guy went from bust to pro bowler with the confidence of his team(some players confidence helped more than others... eg Antonio Gates).

 

Bri

Footballguy
I wonder if he has to "take his lumps" and young QBs are doomed a bit in their first postseason. Some have slipped thru the cracks and done well but generally I'd guess that most struggle their first year in the playoffs.
An article in the Chicago sun times on Wed, showed that out of the last 10 QB's to win a superbowl, 7 or 8 won their first playoff game, and I think 2 of them went on to win the Superbowl.
Tom Brady had no postseason experience when he started New England's run of three Super Bowl titles in four years. Kurt Warner led St. Louis to a Super Bowl victory in his first playoff appearance. Jake Delhomme had started two NFL games in four seasons before signing with Carolina as a free agent. He got the Panthers to the Super Bowl in his first year.
http://www.suntimes.com/output/bears/cst-spt-rex11.html
while interesting it also sorta points out that only 20% made the supe
 

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