Tuesday Tidbits

Rookie quarterback Rex Grossman is 2-0 as the Bears starter, but offensive coordinator John Shoop said it would have been a mistake to rush him into the lineup any sooner,

"He was not ready early in the season," Shoop said. "He has taken this entire season and learned how to prepare. He's really studied the two guys (Kordell Stewart and Chris Chandler) who were ahead of him and really learned how to prepare."

Grossman didn't play at all in the first 13 games, although he was elevated to No. 2 on the depth chart in a few of those weeks because of injuries to Chris Chandler and Kordell Stewart, and he at least had the opportunity to run the look team. As the No. 3 guy, the only time Grossman got to throw the ball was after practice, as is the case with most teams.

Especially when Grossman was No. 2, the coaching staff made a concerted effort to prepare him to play, assuming that his debut would occur this season after the team started 1-5 and 3-7. But, from the beginning, it was clear that Grossman wouldn't play until the Bears were eliminated from the playoffs. While they wanted him to be ready to play this season, coaches did not want to push Grossman too fast.

"We live in a big city where the demands are high, and if he didn't have success early, who knows where he would be right now," Shoop said. "He's done a good job all season, and we emphasized throughout the season that we recognized the urgency of getting him ready, and I think he did a good job of getting himself ready as well."

NOTES, QUOTES, ANECDOTES
--FB Stanley Pritchett, who had one carry in his two previous seasons with the Bears, had five carries for 33 yards on Sunday, and he also caught two passes for 20 yards.

--WR Ahmad Merritt, who had not caught a pass in six weeks and had just two all season, had a 25-yard reception against the Redskins

--CB/PR R.W. McQuarters had 56 yards on four punt returns despite losing 38 return yards because of penalties.

--CB/KR Jerry Azumah averaged just 17.3 yards on three kickoff returns, as the Redskins opted to kick off high and short, along the sideline or avoid him altogether. Azumah came in averaging 30.3 yards per return.

--OLT Mike Gandy may be able to return this week after missing two games with a bruised right shoulder. His backup, Qasim Mitchell, suffered a season-ending fractured fibula on Sunday.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "Absolutely not. The speculation is coming from here (the media). I'm only concerned with Kansas City and getting ready for that." -- Bears coach Dick Jauron, when asked if he would seek an answer about his job status prior to the season finale in Kansas City.


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