As a long-time Grossman supporter, it almost pains me to write an article like this, but the evidence has been piling up since the end of the Super Bowl run in 2006.
Rex Grossman, once considered to be the Bears' quarterback of the future, and the hopes of the entire team, has shifted into a role that is almost as important. To the overall prestige of the team, it may be even more important than his previous.
Every time a team performs well, they're going to hit a few road bumps along the way, even if it takes them all the way till the last game of the season, i.e., the Patriots in 2007.
However, when a team that has been projected to be mediocre starts to perform mediocre, they're going to look somewhere to blame their shortcomings, especially when they had such high expectations for themselves.
Now, the Bears haven't made their blame game a secret, not by a long shot. After their shortcomings in the Super Bowl in 2006, almost everyone had their index fingers poised and ready to point at their former king, the newly nicknamed "Train Rex."
However, Chicago fans, like any other fans, tend to overlook certain details when they've made up their minds. And, though I am a lifelong Bears fan myself, I am going to commit what may be considered blasphemy by some older Bears fans, in my next statement.
We have got to start blaming the defense.
The "vaunted" Bears defense, as it has often been called, has been anything but that so far in the 2008 campaign. While they have had flashes of brilliance, they also exhibit a lack of ability to play all four quarters, and an inability to play both the run and the pass.
Whenever they focus on either function of an opposing offense, they get torched going the other way.
So, almost naturally, when the Bears had to sit Kyle Orton because of a high-ankle sprain, and the Bears defense only played half of the game, before allowing Kerry Collins to absolutely pick them apart, it was no surprise to immediately hear about how Rex Grossman took the team out of the game.
It was even less surprising to see Kyle Orton step in against the Packers, and though he demonstrated in just one drive that he wasn't ready to return to action, Rex Grossman wasn't played until the fourth quarter.
No one can take anything away from what Kyle Orton has done for the Bears this season, thus far, and he does show promise of being a franchise quarterback, but people said the same thing of Rex Grossman in 2006, and it's becoming very clear which one really needs a contract extension and a big raise for what they offer the team.
Rex Grossman deserves that money for being the bailout man for the last two years. If Lovie Smith knows what he's doing, he'll keep Rex around to fill the role that he fills best for years to come.