Griese will Play Supporting Role for Now

QB Brian Griese has been a starter for most of his eight seasons, but the Bears brought him in as the backup to Rex Grossman. How long that lasts remains to be seen, but if called upon Griese is ready.

"I've always looked at myself as a starting quarterback in the league," Griese said. "So at the times when I wasn't, to me it was just a matter of time and working hard to get back out on that field."

Griese continues to battle back from the knee surgery that ended his 2005 season prematurely. With players due to report to Bourbonnais on July 26, he has more than two months to get the knee closer to 100 percent by the start of training camp.

"Just to continue to strengthen it, continue with my rehab program, get out here and do everything that I need to do football-wise," Griese said. "But it's something that I will have to look to in the weight room and in the training room."

The Bears haven't had a quarterback start all 16 games since Erik Kramer in 1995. Considering Grossman's injury history, there's a good chance Griese will be called to action at some point in the season.

"For me it's just an opportunity here," Griese said. "I'm glad that I'm here and looking forward to the opportunity of helping this team."

During his two seasons in Tampa Bay, Griese threw 27 touchdowns to 19 interceptions. Although the 31-year-old will be working in a different offense, there is a crossover between what Griese has worked with in the past and what Ron Turner runs in Chicago.

"I'm continuing to learn the system. A lot of the things we do are similar to the things I've done in the past," Griese said. "I'm learning how Ron likes to call plays, what his philosophies are, because there are things that are different than I've done in the past so I need to get on the same page with respect to those things."

Medical Update

  • DT Alfonso Boone is sidelined after undergoing recent wrist surgery but should be ready for camp. He's expected to be part of the rotation at defensive tackle.

  • FB Bryan Johnson is out with a foot injury that has been an off-and-on problem for more than a year. He will have to get on the field in order to keep his starting status.

  • WR Airese Currie, who missed all of last season with foot and hamstring injuries, is battling a quadriceps injury.

  • DT Tank Johnson is targeting the start of training camp for a return to full health after suffering a torn quadriceps in March, an odd time to get hurt.

    "Coming back from the off-season, working out too fast, just doing too much," Johnson said. "It was just kind of unfortunate."

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