Locker Room Chat: Rex Grossman

Not too long ago, quarterback Rex Grossman was dangerously close to losing his starting job to veteran Brian Griese. He had few believers out there, but he certainly earned a few more on Sunday and is on his way to Super Bowl XLI. Grossman addressed the media in the Soldier Field interview room after Sunday's victory, and Bear Report was there to hear what he had to say.

Has it sunk in yet what you've accomplished to this point?
Not really, and it's going to be fun when it does. Just coming off an emotional game, and it's unbelievable. You know, the position we're in right now, we want to take full advantage of it. Going to Miami, that's unbelievable. It's big time.

Talk about the pass for the touchdown to Bernard Berrian.
Bernard was singled up. We felt like we could get behind him all game, and then he covered it pretty well the two other times we went after him. And on this play, Bernard just saw the ball in the air and made a great play on it. That was really huge for our momentum at that point.

Were you in a good rhythm there because I think you hit two nice passes right before the touchdown?
Yeah, that was my best drive of the game. All game I had been making good decisions, and I just missed a few throws. I normally don't do that. I'm a little frustrated by the fact that I missed the throw, but I was making good decisions, seeing the field well. I knew eventually the throws would come, and that's what happened.

You talked about playing conservatively in the first half. What changed in the second half?
Our defense was really getting after them and didn't want to put them in a short field. I was just a tad hesitant. It doesn't matter because we won, but that's what caused me to throw some balls not as accurate as I wanted to. But I know those will come, and I just gotta keep making good decisions and being careful with the football.

Did you get your hands on the trophy, and what did it feel like to get your hands on it?
I didn't physically touch it, but it feels great to be NFC champions. That's huge. We've got one more game - hopefully one more win - and Super Bowl champions. That's big. It doesn't get any bigger than that.

Did you ever grow tired of all this fairytale stuff from the Saints? Did you guys fuel off that this week?
No. I think our defense definitely fueled off of hearing about their offense and what they were going to do to our defense.

Just all the ups and downs you've been through to this season, to be at this point, is there any feeling of redemption?
I mean, it doesn't get any better than this right now. I'm excited about the position we're in right now. Redemption and all that, I mean, that's for you guys to write about. I'm excited about this team. The guys in that locker room, Coach Smith. Everyone's hard work is starting to pay off, and we've got one more win before we can call ourselves world champions.

Talk about the accomplishments of Coach Smith throughout the season.
No thanks.

You shared a moment with Coach Smith after the game. Can you relate to us what your conversation was?
Coach Smith is the best coach in the league. Just kind of had a special moment. I know what he's been through, all the things that he's changed in our program, and everyone has bought into it and really executed the way he's wanted. He's the best coach in the league. It's just fun to see good people like that accomplish great things.

How important was the running game today in these conditions? It was one of the better running games you've had.
Our running game was unbelievable. We ran it right down their throat in the second quarter to put us ahead 16-0. At that point, we had momentum. They did a great job coming back and responding with a touchdown. But our offensive line cleared the way, and our running backs really saw the holes well and made great cuts. Our running game was on it today.

How is it to have coaches who have stuck by you through some adversity at various points in the season?
It's huge.

Talk about the level of frustration about getting field goals rather than touchdowns the first few drives.
It was frustrating, but that's really when our defense stepped up and didn't allow them to get a touchdown and get the lead early. We missed a few plays and wished we had touchdowns. Any time you get points on the board first, it's huge for momentum, and our defense did a great job of getting us the ball with short fields to work with. This allowed scoring opportunities. This is the blueprint of the Chicago Bears tradition - great defense, run the ball well. And then today we made a few plays in the passing game that set us apart at the end. But this is typical traditional Chicago Bears football - the snow. This was huge.

When you were rehabbing, going through the rehab last year, did you ever envision all this could happen so quickly?
Yeah. [The] last couple years, we knew we had a great team. You look at our roster. Brian Urlacher, one of the best linebackers to ever play the game. Great offensive line. Alex Brown. We have so many good guys - Tommie Harris, Mike Brown, all these guys. You know you have a special team, and that's what makes you work that much harder in the offseason to get back healthy or to get stronger or to do all those things to get to this point. And again, we've got one more game, and that's really what we're focused on. We're going to celebrate for a couple days and get back to it.


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