Stewart signed with the Bears in mid March agreeing to a $5 million, two-year contract. Before joining the Bears, the 6'1 217 pound quarterback spent eight seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
At the time of his release from Pittsburgh (Feb.26) both the Arizona Cardinals and the Bears had actively courted Stewart. Stewart stated at that time that he chose to sign with the Bears because of the high quality of the coaching staff and the opportunity to play as a starter.
"Joining the Bears just seemed to be the right move for me even though the Cardinals had been offering me a bigger contract," Stewart said Friday. "I felt that way last March, and I am even more enthusiastic about the team right now. I knew from the time I first visited here that Chicago would be a good place to play."
Stewart has been participating in the team's offseason conditioning program since March 24.
"I am extremely pleased with Kordell's learning curve so far," said head coach Dick Jauron. "Although today is Kordell's first time on t he field with the offense, I feel that the has already been able to build some rapport with his teammates on offense."
With both Stewart and draft pick Rex Grossman in mini-camp, Jauron expects to see somewhat less of the more seasoned quarterbacks for the time being.
"Chris Chandler and Corey Sauter have been around for a while," Jauron said. "What is important right now is to get both Kordell and Rex accustomed to our system. They have a lot to learn so they will be getting most of the reps at this time."
Stewart took the Bears offense out for a test drive Friday.
"I'm just beginning to learn how things work around here. I'm out there just as much as I can be learning the schemes and showing the coaches what I can do."
Despite having a first-round pick behind him, Stewart said there is no rivalry between them.
"People are making more out of that they should," Stewart said. "I am not at all upset over Rex being drafted. We are both learning our jobs right now. I met Rex briefly through a mutual friend out in California a while ago. I feel that we will be able to communicate well with each other. I haven't really talked to him today. Everything out on the field was pretty much rapid fire. I was focusing on my job and didn't take the time to chat with anybody."