22 Starters in 22 Days: Rex Grossman

As we countdown to June's veteran mini-camp, we will take an in depth look at all 22 starters. In the first segment, quarterback Rex Grossman goes under the microscope. Can he stay healthy and if does will he succeed?

In watching Grossman for three years, granted most of which has been on the practice field, he appears to have the tools to succeed. He has a strong arm, but possibly even more importantly the "it" factor that allows a quarterback to lead a team.

Experience in a game can never be substituted, so with just seven career starts, Grossman has some catching up to do. However, for the first time in his NFL career he'll be working with the same offensive coordinator in consecutive seasons. A second year in Ron Turner's west coast offense should help the development process.

Although the Bears talent at wide receiver is unproven, the running game should help Grossman get the 31st ranked passing attack off the ground. Grossman is adept at play-action, which will be even more effective considering the potential for Thomas Jones and Cedric Benson to keep each other fresh over the course of the season.

Grossman has been talking extensively to WR Mark Bradley during the off-season. While Muhsin Muhammad will be the No. 1 option for Grossman, Bradley could jump up the pecking order because of his ability to be an all-around threat with speed and power.

One thing Grossman will have to be cautious of is trying to make up for two lost seasons to injury by taking unnecessary risks. He has a gunslinger mentality behind center that can lead to unforced errors.

The way the Bears are built, the defense will carry the load. The offense can help by taking advantage of opportunities presented to them off turnovers and moving the chains to keep the defense rested.

Limiting Grossman's mistakes will go a long way toward the Bears repeating as NFC North champions. With less than 200 passing attempts in his career, he has six interceptions to four touchdowns. The numbers will have to flip for him to remain atop the depth chart.

The health factor is always a concern with the six-foot-1, 217-pounder. Coming off knee and ankle injuries over the past two years has earned Grossman an injury prone label. He's playing behind one of the best offensive lines in football and keeping him upright will be a priority. The difference this season is the team has a legitimate veteran backup if something goes wrong.

Brian Griese is waiting in the wings. Grossman is the unquestioned starter heading into mini-camp, but there will be pressure on the front office and coaching staff to take another step forward after last year's disappointing performance in the postseason.

Grossman can quiet the critics by staying in the lineup and putting up the numbers he's confident he can obtain.

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