Grossman Stands Tall

GREEN BAY, Wis. – In his first regular season start in nearly 15 months, Rex Grossman proved two things against Green Bay.

Grossman had already showed he could throw the long ball, but reminded everyone of it again. More importantly, he showed he could also take a hit in Sunday's 24-17 victory over the Packers.

Green Bay defensive end Michael Montgomery came in low and hit Grossman at the ankles on a 54-yard completion to Bernard Berrian. The hit came at about the spot where he suffered a broken bone in an Aug. 12 preseason game Pain?

"No. I couldn't really tell you right now," Grossman said. "I'm on a high from being division champions.

"I didn't feel tired or anything."

Grossman didn't look brittle as he completed 7-of-13 for 120 yards and hit Berrian for 75 yards on two passes in the first half. For the game, he completed 11-of-23 for 166 yards with a 68.4 passer rating, a touchdown to Muhsin Muhammad and an interception. Berrian caught three passes for 93 yards.

Grossman wasn't too critical of his play. However, he didn't view his first start since Sept. 26, 2004 as a drastic improvement over the second half he played against Atlanta the previous week.

"I played about the same," he said. "I made a few plays. Again, our line did a hell of a job protecting. I had some time to see some of the deep balls down the field, and they allowed time for guys to run their routes and get down the field."

Grossman wasn't about to dwell upon what could have been to his season if he'd never been injured in preseason.

"Obviously I think I would have been further along had I played the whole season, but it is what it is and I went out there and tried to do my best."

Grossman's lone interception was a deep ball that floated into triple coverage and was caught by the Packers' Mark Roman at the 7-yard line. The Bears had been at the Packers' 44 in the final minute of the first half before the pick.

"It did sail on me," Grossman said. "I couldn't really step into it like I did when Bernard got behind the guy (on the 54-yarder). I'd have to watch the tape to tell you exactly what happened.

"But I felt like I was being (grabbed) around my legs and I couldn't really step into the throw as I wanted to do."

Grossman was also victimized by a few drops. Muhammad dropped one in the end zone in the fourth quarter, which would have made the Packers' late surge a moot point.

"I have a good rapport with him," Grossman said. "Kyle (Orton) and I have a good rapport with him.

"Recently, he's dropped a couple, but it's not like I'm going to go away from him. He's an all-pro receiver. He's going to make that play 99 times out of 100. So I'm just going to keep going back to him."

Muhammad promised to make amends.

"You're only as good as your last game and I've got a chance to play another one," he said. "So I'll be back."

Grossman thought he'd be back next week against Minnesota even though the Bears have clinched everything they can. Coach Lovie Smith wasn't about to disagree after having his starter sidelined the first 13 1/2 games.

"This is Rex's first start," Smith said. "We just have to keep improving on that.

"He needs to continue to practice as much as anything. We won't put him at risk or anything like that, but I think once you start playing you keep playing -- maybe not the entire game but he's going to play some."


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