How rest of NFC North QBs stack up

Questions surround position in Minnesota and Chicago

Starter -- Rex Grossman, Kyle Orton. Backups -- Caleb Hanie, Nick Hill.

The starter may not be decided until some time in the preseason, and by all accounts, the job is up for grabs.

Grossman has had the job for the past four seasons -- when he wasn't injured, which was often -- but he has yet to demonstrate the consistency the Bears would like.

The 6-foot-4 Orton has the prototypical size that the 6-1 Grossman lacks, but Orton has thrown just 80 passes in the past two seasons, all while starting the final three games of 2007.

Injuries have hampered Grossman's progress, and he has alternated great games with terrible outings too often. Orton was only so-so last season but played well enough to earn a shot at the No. 1 job.

Starter -- Jon Kitna. Backups -- Dan Orlovsky, Drew Stanton.

Kitna enters camp as the starter and is expected to keep the job. The Lions are giving the QB more control at the line of scrimmage, and Kitna has experience.

Orlovsky and Stanton have little to no experience, on the other hand, and need to gain some during camp and the exhibition season. Orlovsky hasn't thrown a pass in a real game since his rookie season in 2005, and he missed much of the preseason last year because of injury.

Stanton missed all of his rookie season last year after suffering a knee injury three days into training camp.

QUARTERBACK: Starter -- Tarvaris Jackson. Backups -- Brooks Bollinger, John David Booty, Gus Frerotte.

This position is the most glaring question mark about the 2008 Vikings. Jackson was 8-4 in his first season as a starter but also threw three more interceptions than touchdowns and struggled in the second-to-last game of the regular season against Washington in a game with playoff implications.

Nonetheless, coach Brad Childress has made it clear that Jackson is his guy and is going to get every opportunity to be the starter for a team that will have big expectations. Jackson, in turn, has spent much of his offseason working on mastering the offensive system and appeared far more confident in himself during OTA practices and minicamp.

The addition of Gus Frerotte, who has limited experience in the West Coast offense, will give Minnesota a veteran backup whom Childress trusts if Jackson can't get the job done. The Vikings hope is that Frerotte can be a mentor to Jackson and help him through any struggles.

Veteran Bollinger and rookie Booty will battle for the No. 3 job and Booty would seem to have the inside track after the Vikings selected him in the fifth round in April.

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