Player Perspective

Now off the injury list, Kordell Stewart rejoins the Bears as a backup to veteran Chris Chandler. Stewart spoke to Bear Report recently about his take on life in the National Football League.

Kordell Stewart signed with the Bears to be the team's starting quarterback in March of 2003. Previously, Stewart led the Steelers to a 46-29 regular season record as starting quarterback with two AFC Championship berths during his eight years in Pittsburgh. Stewart was injured during an away game in New Orleans October 10,203 and was inactive for the next three weeks.

It's good to be back out on the field. Being injured can be so frustrating. You want to go in but you know that you just can't do it. The risk of making an injury worse by playing too soon just isn't worth it.

Up until today, I had been very limited as far as what I was able to do. I had injured my left leg. It was pretty swollen and sore. The trainers said that the best thing would be to rest it as much as possible. I was practicing for the full session this morning and so far everything seems to be going well.

I'm an active guy. I despise sitting around. It's not something I try to endure with any degree of patience. But when you are in a situation like this, it's just something that you have to sit back through and rally around.

As much of a competitor as I am, it's not easy to be out of the action but I guess that fussing isn't going to help much. It's just a matter of learning to take things as they come and to be patient. To play well, I need to be 100%. It wouldn't be fair to the rest of the guys if I went out there and wasn't in top condition.

When you are doing something that you love to do, it's all for the good. In life there are some things that you can control and a lot of things that you can't control. Once you understand that philosophy and that theory it allows you to move forward with your life.

Do I like being #2 right now? Of course not. I came here to start. I've never once doubted myself or my ability. I've been in this league for a long time and I understand a lot of things about professional football. There are some situations like the one I am in right now that I can't control. It's just going to have to take care of itself.

I don't view this as a time to feel sad or to think that my career is over. I have a lot of support from family and friends. If I don't stay here in Chicago, then I'm sure that I will end up playing for somebody else. There are a lot of teams in this league and I feel that I have plenty of opportunities. As long as you find that one who wants you to be part of their team, that's all that matters.

Physically, mentally I am ready to go. Will I get the chance to go out and start? At this point, I just don't know. Worst case scenario, if something should happen to Chris Chandler, of course I would be put into the game right away. That's really the only way I see myself being the #1 quarterback right now.

I like to think that I have a lot to offer to this team. I am mobile. I can find the receivers. I've done this over and over during my career and I've done it very well. I don't view what has happened as a complete downfall, but it is a pit stop, l so to speak.

It's like when you stop at the truck stop when you're going down the highway. Your journey isn't over, but it's definitely been interrupted for a while. That's where I am right now. I'm getting a little service on my body, getting a little fuel. Just kind of sitting back and waiting until its time for my engine to get going.

There is an interesting situation now on the team with the veterans coming back after their injuries. Marty Booker was out there today and seems to be feeling fine. What are the coaches going to do? The rookies have been playing surprisingly well. I guess in a way we are all in the same spot. We just have to sit back and wait until our numbers are called.

Working with the young guys is a lot of fun. They are good players and they try so hard. They are the kind of guys you want to take under your wing and help along. They don't know too much about professional football just yet but they are eager to learn.

Little things that I learned over my career are big things to them. I'm always happy to pass that type of knowledge on. I try to be as much help as possible from that that perspective. The last thing I would want to do is to get in their way or to diminish their opportunities. I just want to help them.

From a quarterback's perspective, there is a lot that I have to pass along. I understand how to win. I am a proven leader and I know how to get things going on a team. See myself as a versatile, experienced player who has a lot to offer to any team. I'm just waiting for the opportunity to come along so I can do what I am capable of doing.

Beth Gorr contributed to this article.


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