Bears Bench QB Grossman, Turn To Griese

Wednesday, September 26th 2007, 7:47 am
By: News On 6

LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) _ The Chicago Bears have seen enough of Rex Grossman. Now it's Brian Griese's turn.

The much-anticipated quarterback change became official Wednesday when the defending NFC champions announced Griese would start this week at Detroit.

At 1-2 and with the league's 30th-ranked offense, something needed to change for the Bears. So they turned to Griese, a Pro Bowl pick with Denver in 2000.

``I'm excited for Brian,'' coach Lovie Smith said. ``He brings a lot of experience. He's been a loyal soldier in a backup role up to this point. He's anxious to go. Our team will back him 100 percent like they did Rex, and hopefully we can get this thing going in the right direction.

``Of course, decisions like this aren't made overnight. I've looked at a pattern of our play and the play at the quarterback position.''

Whether this is the end for Grossman in Chicago or just a temporary switch after several rough outings remains to be seen. He has six interceptions and one touchdown this season and got picked off three times in last week's 34-10 loss to Dallas.

Grossman's contract expires after this season.

``As far as week to week, no. We don't do things that way,'' Smith said. ``Rex wasn't under week to week: `I have to play a certain way or I'll lose my job.' I always let a player play for a period of time to show us exactly what we are. That's how we'll look at it from here on.

``Brian is our quarterback. The starting rotation has been established now.''

The 27-year-old Grossman has struggled ever since February's Super Bowl, when he threw two interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown. This year, he ranks 24th in the league with 500 yards, has a 45.2 rating and is 47-of-89 (52.8 percent) with six interceptions and just one touchdown.

Griese, a 10-year veteran, is 32. He has passed for 16,564 yards, but has also been released three times _ by the Broncos, Miami and Tampa Bay.

``First and foremost, as an offense we have to step up,'' Griese said. ``I think that playing offense is an attitude, and I think since I've been here, the offense has been kind of second-class citizens. Hopefully I can bring a little bit of energy and enthusiasm to our huddle and to our game.

``I will be prepared, I am going to work hard, and I will compete on Sundays.''