Grossman Expected Back for Mini-Camp

Two things are for sure this off-season. The Bears plan on adding a veteran quarterback and whoever it is will have to beat out Rex Grossman for the starting job.

Grossman is expected to be ready for the team's first mini-camp, which is scheduled to open on May 21st. He played in just three games in 2004 because of ACL tear and cartilage damage in his right that he suffered while trying to scramble for a touchdown against the Minnesota Vikings on Sept. 26th.

Despite having just 6 starts under his belt in two years, the Bears see it as Grossman's job to lose.

"Rex is our No. 1 quarterback," Lovie Smith said in front of reporters in attendance at the NFL combine. "We like what Chad Hutchinson was able to do this past year.

"In the off-season you try to improve your team and there are three positions. That third position is still up. Just like any other position, we're looking to see who that best option would be. It doesn't really matter who starts out No. 1. It's who starts out game day and we have a starting rotation with every position. Rex will be No. 1 on the starting rotation."

While the Bears are calling the process an "open" competition, it appears any quarterback that signs with the team would not only have to pass Grossman on the depth chart, but Hutchinson as well.

"What has he done to say that he should be a 1 and everybody else should follow behind him," Angelo said of any potential free agent QB.

The philosophy could scare off the likes of Kurt Warner, who sat behind rookie Eli Manning over the course of the second half of last season. To sign with Chicago only to see the same thing happen would have to give him pause about committing to the Bears.

However, Angelo said any quarterback that is intimidated about going to camp without the guarantee of being the starter would not be considered.

"I want a guy that comes in here to compete and if he loses the job, he's got to be a good soldier for us," Angelo said. "He's got to help with the other quarterbacks. If he's holding a clipboard, he's holding a clipboard with passion and that's a part of it. We're not treating anybody like a sacred cow."

Angelo reiterated that he definitely sees the need to add a veteran quarterback after the offense plummeted when Grossman suffered a season ending knee injury in Week 3. At the same time, he doesn't want to overpay for a quarterback that could ultimately end up being a backup or even third quarterback.

"I don't know anybody who will promise them (a staring job) anymore, and if they do, they have to put the money (up)," Angelo said.

Angelo doesn't see himself as a used car salesman that has to build up his team in order for a prospective free agent to come to Chicago.

"I'm not going to recruit anybody here," Angelo said. "We're going to tell them what the landscape is and he has to buy into it. He has to determine that for himself. We're not going to slant the field and make somebody have an illusion and then we get him and then he sees this and he's not happy and now we got a problem. We won't do that."


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