An Embarrassment of Receiving Riches

Quarterback Rex Grossman is generating a ton of headlines and getting some Pro Bowl consideration, but he's not doing it alone. Receivers Muhsin Muhammad and Bernard Berrian - along with tight end Desmond Clark - are also enjoying great seasons. Grossman met with the media as he does every Wednesday at Halas Hall, and Bear Report was there to hear what he had to say.

How much better can Bears quarterback Rex Grossman be at home? In four games thus far at Soldier Field, the fourth-year signal caller has thrown 11 touchdown passes without an interception while posting a crazy-good passer rating of 124. Coming off a demoralizing performance at Arizona in Week 6, Grossman came back strong with three more TD tosses against the 49ers this past Sunday back in the friendly confines of the Windy City.

The former Gator's critics keep wanting to discover why he only has a 51.9 passer rating - downright Ortonesque - on the road in three games, but luckily for Grossman, he doesn't have to answer that question this week. The 7-0 Bears will face the disappointing 1-6 Miami Dolphins along Lake Michigan this Sunday. If the Dolphins have one advantage, it's that they are coming off their bye.

Grossman was asked about the Miami defense on Wednesday at Halas Hall and what he sees on film.

"They have a great defense," Grossman said. "A lot of experienced players that have great instincts, and we're going to have to be sharp and play our best game to have a good offensive output. Hopefully, it starts today with a good practice."

The Bears are winning games at Soldier Field by an average of 30.5 points, and Grossman feels that the key is his team's ability to jump out to early leads.

"I think that some of the games have gotten out of hand because (it) puts teams in a passing mode where they have to catch up," he explained. "And when they do that, they get out of their gameplan, and it allows our pass-rushers and our defense to really get after them. I think that our team is set up that if we do get a lead, we can really cause havoc on some teams, and we've done that."

Grossman felt the pressure to come back strong after putting together a Grade A stinker in Arizona, and he was able to do that against San Francisco by getting back to the basics.

"For the whole game, I just took what was there and threw accurate passes," he said. "(Offensive coordinator Ron) Turner put me in good situations to obviously get receivers open and attack what the 49ers did. We just did a really good job of game-planning them and then going out and executing."

Desmond Clark had his best game of the season with 86 receiving yards and two touchdowns, and Grossman is the first to point out what his big tight end can do for the offense as a whole.

"We have a great tight end on our team," Grossman claimed, "and I'm just glad that he's playing the way he is because it opens up the offense to a lot of different things. Not only does it spread the field out a little bit for (the opposing) defense, they have to cover three great threats in our regular formation. It adds more plays to the playbook. I think Coach Turner trusts Desmond Clark and what he can do, so that adds a whole new package of plays that are designed to go to him which we can directly exploit some of the mismatches instead of using him as a second or third (target) in my progression."

Since this is the first time Grossman has played so many games consecutively in the NFL, he feels that his experience is snowballing every week.

"There's so many things that I've learned. Just experience and general comfort level of being out there and getting into a rhythm of the whole season. The practice routine and some of the adjustments you make. Really, probably the biggest thing is just a comfort level of knowing what to expect. Nothing takes the place of experience, so it's been fun so far."

It's been fun so far for Bears fans, as well. Even, presumably, for the ones who were clamoring for Brian Griese to get the starting nod at QB back in preseason.

JC


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