Rex Grossman was arguably the most heavily scrutinized player in the entire NFL, but he still led his team to the Super Bowl and had the best statistical performance of any Bears quarterback in over a decade. He needs to eliminate the catastrophic mistakes that have cost his team in the past, but he's still only 26 years old and is going to get better. Grossman may not be Peyton Manning, but he's no Craig Krenzel either.
If the Bears really want to see their young signal-caller make strides, surrounding him with as many dangerous receiving threats as possible would be wise.
The depth chart at wideout seems fairly set heading into the 2007 season. Muhsin Muhammad and Bernard Berrian will be the starters once again, with Muhammad serving as the possession target and Berrian the deep target. Rashied Davis played well his first year as a slot receiver, and Mark Bradley may be the most talented of the bunch if he could just stay healthy once and for all. Desmond Clark is coming off the most productive season of his eight-year career, although it has been widely speculated that the Bears will draft a tight end next month.
Justin Gage was inactive as the No. 5 wideout most of last season and has most likely played his last game as a Midway Monster, so there appears to be a spot on the roster for another pass-catcher.
Airese Currie has teased the Bears will his world-class speed ever since they selected him in the 2005 NFL Draft, but he has missed each of the last two seasons on injured reserve. Mike Hass and Brandon Rideau ended last year on the practice squad, yet neither is considered to be a top-flight prospect at this point. GM Jerry Angelo could certainly draft another receiver in April, but perhaps signing a free agent would make more sense.
Scout.com's Adam Caplan has learned that the Bears have shown interest in Tyrone Calico, who last suited up with the Tennessee Titans in 2005.
A second-round pick in 2003 out of Middle Tennessee State, Calico has the prototypical size to be a dominant NFL receiver. At 6'4" and 220 pounds, he is bigger than most cornerbacks and faster than most safeties. Calico caught only 18 passes as a rookie, but he showed flashes of brilliance by averaging 16.5 yards per reception and scoring four touchdowns.
However, after such a promising start, he has been riddled with one injury after another and did not play at all in 2006 after finally being cut by Tennessee. He was placed on injured reserve toward the end of the 2005 season and only played one game in 2004. Calico finished his Titans career with 22 catches for 191 yards and four TDs in 27 games.
Calico worked out for Miami on Sep. 26 but did not receive an offer, and he has been out of football ever since.
If the Bears decide to make a push for Calico, it would likely be an incentive-laden deal involving little risk for the organization. Nobody doubts his physical tools, especially considering he is bigger than Bradley and stronger than Berrian. Like Currie, Calico simply must prove that he can stay healthy over the course of an entire season.
But unlike Currie, Calico doesn't have the stink of a wasted Bears draft pick hanging around him.
|John Crist is the Publisher of Bear Report and Editor in Chief of BearReport.com. To read him every day, visit BearReport.com and become a Chicago Bears insider.|