Bears offensive coordinator Ron Turner moved quickly to correct an apparent misstatement by recently acquired free-agent wide receiver Brandon Lloyd, who said he had been told that Rex Grossman was the Bears' No. 1 quarterback.
Actually the Bears have portrayed the quarterback competition as an even-up battle between Grossman and Kyle Orton.
"Brandon said that he assumed it was going to be Rex," Turner said. "I just want to clarify that. You guys know the situation. It's an open competition. Both guys have been told that. When I talked to Brandon about the quarterback situation, I talked about both guys, about Rex Grossman and Kyle. I feel we've got two guys that can get the ball to all of our receivers."
Maybe Lloyd really did misspeak, or maybe the Bears' quarterback competition won't be as even as coaches say.
"I think Rex has done a real good job there," Booker said. "He's gotten a lot of backlash about injuries and staying healthy. But I think Rex is a good player. The time I was there, I really liked Rex. Unfortunately, I had to leave, (but) I thought we would be a good connection. By coming back, hopefully we can get that connection rekindled."
First Grossman will have to win a battle with Kyle Orton for the starting job, but quarterback uncertainty is nothing new to Booker. In the past two seasons, he has caught passes from Cleo Lemon, John Beck, Trent Green, Daunte Culpepper and Joey Harrington.
"Both guys are going to have an opportunity to show what they can do, working with the No. 1s, working with the No. 2s, getting equal reps," Turner said. "We'll just see who comes out and runs the offense the best and the most consistently."
Only a few free agents who might be able to help remain on the market, and the Bears have yet to express an interest in any of them.
Nothing has been done to improve the weak running back situation.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "Rex Grossman is the starter. Coach Ron Turner (offensive coordinator) and coach Lovie (Smith) think very highly of him." — Recently acquired wide receiver Brandon Lloyd (mistakenly) discussing the Bears' quarterback situation, which coaches have said is up for grabs between Grossman and Kyle Orton
Trade rumors continue to swirl around wide receiver Roy Williams. President Matt Millen has said he will listen to any offer for anyone, but the Lions want to keep Williams.
At the NFL scouting combine, coach Rod Marinelli said he wanted Williams to team with Calvin Johnson the way Plaxico Burress and Amani Toomer teamed for the New York Giants. "I know the rumors are out there, but no," Marinelli said. "Those two guys together, I want to see those guys where they can really impact the game."
So Marinelli doesn't see a scenario where Williams is not back with the Lions?
"I don't," Marinelli said. "I'm very confident he's here. Very confident."
But they still have some big holes to fill on defense. They lack two key pieces of the Tampa Two — an elite pass rusher and a middle linebacker who can cover a ton of territory.
They also need to solidify the right side of their offensive line at a time when they plan to run the ball more. And running back vaulted up the need list with the release of Kevin Jones.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "It wasn't like teams were outplaying us or beating us. We just gave it away in a number of instances. I think the (2008 team) is going to be better." — QB Jon Kitna, telling the "The Huge Show" about last year's 1-7 finish.
GREEN BAY PACKERS
In his nine-year pro career with the Packers to this point, all with Favre as the starting quarterback, Driver has positioned himself as one of the club's most prolific pass catchers. Driver has 503 receptions to rank third in team annals. He trails No. 2 James Lofton by 27 and leader Sterling Sharpe by 92.
Unfortunately for Driver in his pursuit of the record, Favre informed the team in early March he was retiring.
"It would've been a great duo to do that," Driver said. "But, now, I've got to do it with A-Rod."
A-Rod is Favre's heir apparent, Aaron Rodgers, who will finally get his chance to be the full-time guy under center after three years in wait as a first-round draft pick.
Driver said he learned of Favre's retirement shortly after the news broke on the morning of March 4 while in Mexico with his wife to mark their wedding anniversary. Driver received a text message on his cell phone from a friend and was surprised by Favre's decision.
"I'm going to miss him a lot," Driver said. "We go back (nine) years. ... When I first walked in here in 1999, I was so star-shocked when I saw him. He threw me my first ball, I ran up to him and gave him the ball back. He smiled and said, ‘Donald, you're going to get plenty more of those.' That's the thing that I'll miss more about him — just his character, the way he plays the game."
"In his interview I was laughing because he was talking about coming back (to be an honorary guest) for the coin toss," Driver said. "The first thing I said, ‘He ain't coming back for no coin toss.' He's going to be a ghost. I think that's the thing, that he has to get away from the game for a while."
Whitt was Atlanta's assistant defensive backs coach last season.
Gee was a strength-and-conditioning assistant with Detroit the last seven years.
They're well-armed with salary-cap room of about $30 million, thanks in big part to Favre's walking away from a $12 million salary this year, but GM Ted Thompson isn't in a rush to make any acquisitions from the available pool of free agents. The only activity that could happen between now and the draft in late April is landing a quarterback to back up new starter Aaron Rodgers.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "I don't think there is any doubt that he will go down as the greatest player in the history of this wonderful organization, and his accomplishments for the Packers will be treasured forever. I always told people I thought it was such an honor to watch him play, and I said, ‘You know we're all going to look back someday and say how fortunate we were to see Brett Favre and this wonderful career and that the last time he went down the tunnel, it would be a sad day for the Green Bay Packers but it would also be a sad day for the National Football League,' and I truly feel that way. He brought enthusiasm to the game, almost a child-like atmosphere, and he had fun doing it. I think fans appreciated that. It took some of the professional out of the NFL, and sometimes, I think we need that - having a good time playing. Greatest competitor I've ever been around." — Retired Packers chairman of the board Bob Harlan on the legacy of retired quarterback Brett Favre.