Open Competition?

Lake Forest - Jonathan Quinn's dismal performance against Washington would have earned him an immediate benching in most scenarios, but the Bears don't have a reliable alternative. So, Quinn will share reps with Craig Krenzel this week with the better practice performer to get the start against Tampa.

In one of the worst efforts in recent memory, Quinn completed 10-of-22 pass attempts for 65 yards. After subtracting the yardage from the four sacks of Quinn, the total net passing yardage dropped down to 34.

"We didn't play as well at that position as we have to in order for us to be successful here," Lovie Smith said. "We're addressing that at the present time just like we address all positions that we feel like if the position isn't playing as well as we think it should."

While Quinn will still receive the majority of the practice reps (60 percent), Krenzel will see 40 percent of the work and prepare as if he'll start his first NFL game.

"There is a definite feeling that if there's any reason to play another quarterback against Tampa Bay we'll have that guy ready," said offensive coordinator Terry Shea.

The problem with relying on practice as the barometer for which player will start is that Quinn has a reputation for being a good practice player, but that obviously hasn't translated into production in game situations.

"You look at practice to see exactly who you're going to play during the game and just assume that that carries over but you never really know until you get in a game how guys will do," Smith said. "He's looked good in practice but practice isn't full speed, you're not tackling, you have to get to the game and see."

Smith has stated on multiple occasions that he would prefer to sit Krenzel for his rookie season. However, with Tuesday's trade deadline there is little chance the Bears will make a move to obtain a quarterback because it would take too much time to get acclimated with the new offensive system.

Krenzel has not taken a snap in the regular season and has taken less than 10 percent of the snaps with the first team since Rex Grossman suffered a season-ending knee injury at Minnesota in Week 3. He completed just 13 of 35 passes in the preseason for 141 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions, six sacks and a passer rating of 49.8.

Chad Hutchinson has been with the team for nearly a month and the coaching staff doesn't feel he's ready to step on the field and play at this point.

"Nothing that he's done wrong, anything like that, just that our backup quarterback is Craig Krenzel and it's time for us, as far as Chad is concerned he just has to wait his chance and he'll know a lot more this week and later on down the line you never know.

The talk during the bye and leading up the matchup with Washington was that Quinn felt more comfortable with the offense, but in actuality the additional week of preparation didn't help.

"We can't bury our heads in the sand and say well, we'll just keep plugging through this," Shea said. "You hope that Jon will spin out of it, but we're going to have another option prepared. And that's the most important thing and I believe that our guys will respond to that very well."

Quinn is supposed to know the offense as well as the coaching staff if not better, therefore starting a rookie in front of him could send a chain reaction through the locker room that the season is over.

"For him (Quinn) to struggle, you can only assume it would be a struggle for the other guys who haven't played with this offense," Bobby Wade said of either Krenzel or Hutchinson getting a chance to start.

Although the loss has been put on Quinn, Shea campaigned to bring him to Chicago when he became offensive coordinator.

"If you want somebody to stand up and acknowledge the fact that Jonathan Quinn is who he is, I'll be the guy to stand up and define that," Shea said.

At some point Jerry Angelo will have to answer for not adding an inexperienced option in the off-season.


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