Rex Lobbying for More No-Huddle

The Chicago Bears ran a no-huddle offense on their first drive against the Giants and scored a touchdown, yet they abandoned the approach the rest of the game. If QB Rex Grossman gets his wish, he'll be in hurry-up mode much more often Thursday at Washington.

If Rex Grossman has any say in the matter – and he does – the 5-7 Bears could utilize more no-huddle offense in the future, maybe as soon as Thursday night's 7:15 game against the 5-7 Redskins at FedEx Field.

"I like it a lot, just for the fact that you're able to get to the line and see what the defense is going to do," Grossman said Tuesday at Halas Hall. "They pretty much have to show you what they're doing, and then you can even call the play off of that. It's nice in that respect. They can't disguise as much. They can't run around. You're putting the defense on their heels rather than you constantly on your heels adjusting to what they're doing with their disguises and all those things. Plus, you can call plays according to the coverage that they're in at that moment and then go with it."

When the Bears went to the hurry-up on their opening possession last Sunday, Grossman completed all five of his passes for 65 yards and a touchdown for a perfect passer rating of 158.3. Even the running game got off to a good start in hurry-up mode, with Adrian Peterson picking up 16 yards on three carries. He managed just 51 yards on 19 carries the rest of the way.

"As a quarterback, it's fun," Grossman said. "And our running game works out of it real well, too. They're usually in a base, vanilla look [on defense], and if they are blitzing, you can pretty much see it coming. They blitzed a couple of times on our first drive, and we hit a hot [read] to Dez [Clark] and made a big play on it. You get momentum going. It's kind of like the Phoenix Suns playing basketball. You're just going, and from a quarterback's standpoint it's a lot more fun that way."

The 79-yard opening drive was the Bears' longest of the day and the only one that ended up in the end zone. After that the Bears went away from the no-huddle, but dropped passes and missed opportunities had more to do with the offensive slowdown than anything else.

"I think there's definitely a place to do it more, and maybe some games less," Grossman said. "It just depends on what the coaches are thinking that specific Sunday ... or Thursday."


QB Rex Grossman
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Offensive coordinator Ron Turner said Grossman's performance has been better since he returned to the field, whether he's going with or without a huddle.

"I see a different guy," Turner said. "I think he's more relaxed right now, maybe a little more focused on the job at hand."

In his second go-round, Grossman's passer rating has been higher in each of four games than in any of his first three starts before he was benched. Grossman was picked off six times and threw just one touchdown in the Bears' first three games, but he has had just one interception in four games – three of them starts – since returning, while throwing three touchdown passes.

The better he plays, the more input Grossman will have into game planning – which probably means more no-huddle.

"His biggest input is how we do," Turner said. "If we're doing well, we'll probably do it more. And I thought he handled it really well [Sunday]. It's something we will definitely keep alive and have in the future. He definitely is lobbying for it."

News & Notes

  • DT Anthony Adams, one of the most pleasant surprises this season on a disappointing defense, will miss Thursday's game with an elbow injury suffered during Sunday's loss to the Giants.
  • OT John St. Clair started on the right side last Sunday in place of injured Fred Miller (ankle), but Thursday's starter hasn't been revealed.
  • SS Brandon McGowan will get a second straight start in place of Adam Archuleta, who was relegated to special teams duty for the first time last Sunday.
  • CB Nathan Vasher (groin) will miss his 10th straight game Thursday, but he hopes to be back 11 days later for the Bears' next game against the Vikings.

  • Is Devin Hester already the greatest return man ever?
  • An interview with running backs coach Tim Spencer
  • Ed "The Claw" Sprinkle: The Oldest Living Bear
  • A look at the autobiography Sayers: My Life and Times
  • Getting to know third-year quarterback Kyle Orton
  • All of that plus much more in the January issue of ...

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