"With the 22nd overall pick in the 2003 NFL Draft, the Chicago Bears select...Rex Grossman, Quarterback, Florida."
Fast forward 5 years to the 2008 Draft. "With the 14th overall pick in the 2008 NFL Draft, the Chicago Bears select...Chris Williams, Offensive Tackle, Vanderbilt."
Leading up to this year's draft most mock drafts had the Bears selecting Pittsburgh's Jeff Otah or possibly even Boise State's Ryan Clady with the 14th overall pick.
This was no doubt based on the fact that Chicago ranked 31st in the NFL in yards per carry, during the 2007 season. Both Ryan Clady and Jeff Otah are pounding run blockers, and it would seem obvious for a team that prides itself in "getting off the bus running" to select a lineman that could improve their running game.
The Bears, instead, took a finesse left tackle, Chris Williams. What message is this sending? Chicago wants to throw the football. Their running game was non-existent last year and as a result, they had to find some other way to move the football.
So who will Williams be protecting next year? Rex Grossman, the Bears' first round selection from 2003.
He's never gotten a chance to live up to his full potential. Why? Because he's never had a decent offensive line. I read that the Bears O-line gives their quarterback, whoever it may be, an average of only two seconds to deliver the football.
Grossman isn't a scrambling quarterback, he never was and he never will be. He's a pocket passer that, when given time, is deadly accurate and always a threat to go deep.
With the addition of Chris Williams, Grossman will finally be given a chance. Bears fans all over the country nearly kicked over their TVs when the draft was over, because their beloved team still had not picked a quarterback.
I too was a bit disappointed at first but after thinking it through, became very excited for what next year will bring for Chicago.
I believe we will see an even better version of Rex than we saw during the first half of the 2006 season.
2008, the year of Rex and Williams.