Bears have Confidence in Quinn

BOURBONNAIS -- One guy who has been taking his share of hits is Bears backup quarterback Jonathan Quinn. <BR> Call it a media blitz.

"Jonathan has really been misrepresented, I believe," new Bears offensive coordinator Terry Shea said Monday at training camp. "He has been sterling in most of our practices. Now he may look a little more methodical then Rex (Grossman) does, so people get the perception that he's deliberate and slow -- well he's not that at all. He's come a long ways in that capacity.

"What he did in the scrimmage Saturday (against the Rams) doesn't surprise me at all. He's been very accurate in camp. He's made great decisions. He's thrown fewer interceptions then any quarterback and he's done that from the off-season through. So I'm very solid on Jonathan Quinn."

Instead of going after a proven QB in the off-season, like Kerry Collins, Tim Couch or Kurt Warner, the Bears went after Quinn, who hasn't tossed a pass in four of his six seasons in the NFL. He spent most of those as a No. 3 quarterback.

Quinn was a backup in Kansas City last season, but never saw the field. He was signed as an unrestricted free agent in the offseason because of his knowledge of Shea's offensive system. Shea was the quarterback's coach in KC last season.

Still, the Bears think Quinn's the right man to help Grossman learn the offense and serve as the backup.

Grossman directed the Bears on their first possession in Saturday's scrimmage. Quinn led the last drive, including Chicago's only score when he hooked up with Gabe Reid on a 5-yard TD.

"No doubt that Rex has the quicker arm and that's what makes him special, but Jonathan has come a long ways in that capacity," Shea said. "He (was) a big wind-up type of quarterback when I first landed him in Kansas City, but he's actually improved tremendously."

At 6-foot-6, 240 pounds, Quinn looks like the prototypical pocket passer. But up until the Rams scrimmage, he wasn't getting very many rave reviews. Quinn went to NFL Europe in 2001 and led the Berlin Thunder to the title and earned MVP honors, but that's the extent of his experience.

Still, the Bears could be in big trouble if Grossman goes down to injury. Erik Kramer was the last Bears quarterback to start all 16 games in 1995.

Quick hits: Second-year receiver Bobby Wade burned No. 1 corner Charles Tillman on a deep route down the sideline Monday, but dropped the ball. ... The Bears continue to have problems at tight end. Desmond Clark and John Gilmore are out with hamstring injuries. Add Dustin Lyman to the list. Lyman, who has been plagued by injuries throughout his career, has another knee injury, but this time it's the healthy one. An MRI didn't reveal any structural damage, so he could return to practice as soon today. Gabe Reid, a former undrafted free agent from BYU, has taken advantage of his chances at tight end and could make the 53-man roster. ... Bears players got a laugh out of a fan who had a sign that read: "Bring Back (John) Shoop." The sign endorsed the team's former offensive coordinator, who was routinely bashed while in Chicago.


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