No quarterback controversy

Over the past week there have been discussions of the Bears going after a veteran quarterback and according to Lovie Smith it's no more than a rumor.

The Bears will open their third mini-camp of the year this morning. It will be the first time that the rookies will be on the field along with the veterans. At the same time the Bears are dealing with off the field issues.

Chicago has been mentioned in relation to several veteran quarterbacks that are available. Kurt Warner will be released June 1st, Kerry Collins has all but separated ties with the Giants and the Browns granted Bears GM Jerry Angelo permission to talk with Tim Couch.

While it appears Angelo is considering the option, Smith pronounced that he's happy with the current situation.

"Every guy that becomes available you look at. However, we like who we have right now. We're not openly pursuing any quarterback. We think we have the guy to lead us in our system right now," Smith said on Sporting News Radio. ‘Tim is a good quarterback just like Kurt Warner and Kerry Collins. All those guys are good quarterbacks, but they're not the fit for us. We like who we have."

Signing a veteran isn't necessarily a commentary on Rex Grossman, but more on current backup Jonathan Quinn, who like the second-year QB only has three career starts despite being in the league six seasons. He also hasn't thrown a pass in a game since 2001. However the Bears felt confident enough in Quinn to cut 16-year veteran Chris Chandler.

The Bears drafted Craig Krenzel to be the third quarterback that could eventually develop into a number two.

The reason the Bears were linked to Warner is because of his relationship with Smith and the fact that he's run the same offense Terry Shea has installed in Chicago.

Pursuing Couch could just be a ploy to drive the price up for the Packers, who have been attempting to trade for the former number pick for more than a month. It appears Cleveland is content to let Couch go for a second day draft pick, but restructuring the remaining two years of his $15.6 million contract has kept a deal from getting done.

In the end any additions at quarterback are unlikely. The Bears plan to win or lose with Grossman at the helm and sending any other message at this point in the off-season would be misleading.

Change the Channel
The Bears will split their broadcasts between their network partner WMAQ-TV (NBC5) and WCIU-TV due to the Olympic coverage of NBC5. The greater Chicagoland area will be able to tune into NBC5 for the first and last games of the preseason while WCIU will carry the middle two games. The two games broadcast on WCIU will each be followed by a half-hour post-game show. Another new feature to Bears preseason coverage for the upcoming season is each game will be re-broadcast the following day on PAX-TV. Both schedules are listed below:


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