The best thing about the offseason for the Chicago Bears is that it marks at least 7 months in which they don't have to face Brett Favre. But even as the stadiums sit idle, the Packers are poised to stick it to the Bears again, this time in the draft.<P>

The 2003 NFL Draft talk is heating up and all indications are that both Green Bay and Chicago will come away with a QB. In both cases, the teams are looking for the quarterback of the future but that's where the similarities end. Green Bay is looking for a successor to the NFL's top field general and future Hall of Fame lock. The Bears, who cut oft-injured veteran Jim Miller Wednesday, are looking for someone to end decades of futility at the position.

So, how do the 12-4 Packers with the No. 29 pick hope to top the hapless Bears who select fourth overall? The Bears are so needy in so many areas that perhaps they can't afford to use that prime slot on a QB. USC's Carson Palmer is a lock to go in the top 3, and the Bears may pass on Marshall's Bryon Leftwich and opt to fill holes with an immediate impact player at defensive tackle or cornerback.

That leaves the Bears hoping that Florida's Rex Grossman or Cal's Kyle Boller will still be around when they pick next at No. 35. One of them very well may be -- but here's the catch: The Packers could take a QB six picks earlier. That puts Green Bay in the quarterback drivers' seat once again.

The Bears will have to hope that, given a choice between the crop of QBs available at No. 29, the Packers pick the wrong one. Or Chicago will have to pin its hope on the next tier, including Texas' Chris Simmms or Louisville's Dave Ragone.

Of course, anything can happen. Flash forward five years and the Pack's possible QB pick could be riding the pines while the Bears' vault back to NFC dominance with a man the Pack left behind (under the tutleage of Dick Jauron).

But with the Pack wisely tapping the wisdom of semi-retired Ron Wolf in rating quarterbacks, I wouldn't put my money on a Green Bay miscue. Wolf is said to like what he sees in Grossman the same way that he liked Brett Favre when Wolf was with the Jets and lost out to the Falcons. No matter whom the Pack picks, that lucky young man will get to learn at the right arm of Favre for awhile.

The Bears are long overdue in the division to draft a quarterback. Since the Packers traded a first-round pick to secure the unproven Favre, other teams have followed suit to get a QB. Detroit got their man in 2002's third pick Joey Harrington, the highest a quarterback was ever drafted in the division. Minnesota drafted Daunte Culpepper in 1999 with a pick that well behind the Bears. Chicago could have had Culpepper, but rejected that plan and ultimately traded down in a brillant move to secure Cade McNown.

Enough said.

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