Five Reasons to miss Grossman

The hope of the '04 season went down when Rex Grossman lunged toward the end zone on Sunday. There are numerous reasons the Bears won't be the same without Grossman in the lineup, but here are five.

1. Numbers can be deceiving. Despite a 67.9 QB rating it was clear to anyone that watched Rex Grossman play he was making progress on a weekly basis. After throwing two interceptions in the opener, including one in the end zone in the closing seconds, Grossman led the Bears to victory at Green Bay and nearly repeated the feat as Minnesota. He turned the ball over in all three games, but overall made the right decision choices and considering the group of receivers he had to work with still made plays.

Against the Vikings Grossman arguably had his best game as a pro, as he completed 21-of-31 for 248 yards.

2. QB questions will go into next year. While Grossman is expected to make a full recover, with 7-10 months of rehab he might not be ready until training camp. Meaning, the Bears will have to consider going after a quarterback in the off-season because if there's any delay they'll be stuck with Jonathan Quinn and Craig Krenzel.

3. Stunted Growth: Winning this year would have put the Bears a year ahead of schedule. No matter the record, the most important piece of the puzzle was to find out about Grossman. Decision makers got a tease, but with only three starts Grossman will go into his third-year into the league with little field experience.

The defense should improve as the year goes on, so when by next year they should hit on all cylinders. On the other side Grossman will not be at the same level and it could hinder the team's chance of making a postseason run.

4. Will the running game survive? Thomas Jones has been the Bears best off-season acquisition thus far. He's averaging 5.0 yards per carry and four rushing touchdowns. However without Grossman, an opposing defense will key on Jones until Quinn proves he can beat them deep.

5.Entertainment value: Win or lose it was worth tuning in to watch the Bears every Sunday because fans had a chance to watch the beginning of something special. Grossman has the talent and on field awareness to be among the elite quarterbacks in the game. Now the diehards are going to watch no matter what, but losing this year was acceptable if Grossman was getting a chance to develop. Without that built in disclaimer, losing could become unbearable.

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