Familar Foe

LAKE FOREST - Bears quarterback Rex Grossman faces some interesting challenges in Sunday's season opener against Detroit at Soldier Field.

Lions defensive coordinator Dick Jauron and quarterbacks coach Greg Olson know Rex Grossman more intimately than any opponent he'll face this season. Jauron was the Bears' head coach the previous five seasons, and Olson spent nearly every day with Grossman last season as the Bears' quarterbacks coach.

The fact that Jauron will spend much of this week devising ways to make Grossman's afternoon a miserable one is not an advantage for the 24-year-old quarterback, who is still struggling to find his rhythm in the passing game.

"I haven't really thought about coach Jauron," Grossman said on Monday. "I will now, that's for sure. All week we're going to try to guess and see what he does. They've got a great defense, and obviously he's a great coaching mind, so all we can do is study what they've been doing and kind of guess a little bit on what they're going to do."

Olson knows how Grossman's mind works and what plays and passes he's most comfortable executing. He also knows what gives Grossman trouble. But the Bears' second-year quarterback said he isn't worried about Olson getting inside his head.

"This is a completely different offense," Grossman said. "He doesn't know what I'm comfortable with in this offense. And really, he's working on getting (third-year quarterback) Joey Harrington comfortable.

--Bears rookie defensive tackle Tommie Harris is looking forward to his first NFL start on Sunday, when he's likely to run into Lions offensive tackle Stockar McDougle, his older cousin.

"Stockar's my big brother," Harris said. "It's great to be out there on the field and finally get to play against him. Hopefully I do well. I don't want it to be a long (family) Thanksgiving."

The 21-year-old Harris won't be playing directly across from McDougle, 27, who has been a longtime confidant. McDougle will be responsible for Bears defensive left end Adewale Ogunleye, last year's AFC sack leader. The cousins have already done a lot of talking - and some trash talking - about the game.

"He's just talked about how he's seen me on film and some things that he was saying about me," Harris said. "I'm talking to (Bears right end) Alex Brown and Wale (Ogunleye) right now, and I'm telling them to kick his butt and then we'll laugh about it later.

"I'm telling him good things about Wale and Alex. I just tell him they're talking trash about him, trying to get it all fueled up. Hopefully I can hit him a couple times just for no reason. I'm going to be out there messing with him."

--Lions FB Cory Schlesinger has had some memorable games against the Bears, but they haven't showed up on the stats sheet. Schlesinger has on several occasions made Bears perennial Pro Bowl MLB Brian Urlacher look bad by knocking him completely out of the play as a lead blocker.

BY THE NUMBERS
24 -- Bears are seeking to avoid the embarrassment of becoming the team that the Lions end their NFL-record 24-game road losing streak against.

QUOTE TO NOTE
"His job is to get the ball in the hands of the play makers. That's all we ask of Rex. We don't ask him to scramble around and make plays off his back foot; the Brett Favre type of plays. And so from that standpoint, I believe he's ready." -- Bears offensive coordinator Terry Shea when asked if Rex Grossman was ready to lead the offense.


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