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Grossman gave Bears no choice

8/18/2008

Posted by ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert
ESPN's John Clayton called it early in training camp: Kyle Orton would prove to be the lesser of two evils in the Chicago Bears' quarterback competition.

The Bears named Orton their starter Monday after watching Rex Grossman slog through a horrendous start Saturday night at Seattle, the continuation of a poor summer for Grossman. Orton won't remind anyone of a future Hall of Famer, but as Clayton wrote from Bears camp, "he has less of a chance of losing a game."

That qualifies as faint praise, but in reality the Bears had little choice in the matter. Grossman has never outgrown his propensity for the more-than-occasional boneheaded play. Every sizzling deep ball was accompanied by a corresponding head-scratcher.

The only question now is whether the Bears trust Grossman to be their backup. Coach Lovie Smith originally planned to carry the competition to the end of the preseason, but even Smith -- Grossman's most loyal supporter -- has already seen enough. Bears third-string quarterback Caleb Hanie is developing a cult hero status in Chicago, but he's probably not ready for the No. 2 job.

We'll probably check in later with more analysis after Smith meets with the Chicago media.