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Chadiha: Grossman hurt by lack of mentor

Discussion in 'All Other Team Discussions' started by Greg C., Jan 30, 2007.

  1. Greg C.

    Greg C. Cheesehead

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    I thought this was a very interesting article by Jeff Chadiha in Sports Illustrated, about how young QB's benefit from having veteran QB's to mentor them. It makes me feel good about Aaron Rodgers having the chance to learn under Favre, although of course that's no guarantee that he'll succeed when it's time for him to take over.

    Lack of a backup plan
    Grossman hurt by not having experienced mentor
    Posted: Monday January 29, 2007 11:37AM; Updated: Monday January 29, 2007 12:26PM

    I found a nice, cushy, front-row seat on Rex Grossman's bandwagon when this season began. I defended him during the worst of his slumps. I also watched him help lead the Bears to two playoffs victories that have put them in position to earn the franchise's second Super Bowl title. Now I've decided to offer up my own theory on Grossman's struggles, a theory that has a lot to do with a young quarterback growing up in the NFL without a mentor.

    The one thing that fascinates me about Grossman is how isolated he's been during his four-year career. If you look at some of the best young quarterbacks in today's league, most benefited from being around a veteran signal-caller who helped them understand how to play at a high level. Some watched that veteran quarterback lead the team while the younger player learned for a season. Others had that veteran to lean on for support once they finally took control of the offense and inherited all the burdens that go along with that job. Grossman has barely had the luxury of either and there's no doubt it's hurt his development.

    How much did Cincinnati's Carson Palmer gain by playing behind Jon Kitna for a season and then having him as a valued counsel the following year? I know Phillip Rivers would be the first to say that his success in his first season as San Diego's starter had plenty to do with riding the bench for two years behind Drew Brees, now a Pro Bowl quarterback in New Orleans. There's also the huge leap in development that San Francisco's Alex Smith made in his second season under center. He gives equal credit for that growth to 49ers offensive coordinator Norv Turner and backup quarterback Trent Dilfer.

    Then there's Grossman. The Bears started off with the right idea -- Grossman sat as a rookie while Chris Chandler and Kordell Stewart split most of the snaps -- but Chicago failed soon after that. When Grossman missed most of his second season with a ruptured right knee ligament, he had the good fortune of seeing what Chad Hutchinson, Craig Krenzel and Jonathan Quinn could do with the offense. A year later, when Grossman started the year with a broken left ankle, he got to watch rookie Kyle Orton run the show. Now Brian Griese is listed behind Grossman on the Bears' depth chart and it's clear that Chicago signed Griese to provide competition for Grossman, not to be a confidant.

    This isn't to say that Grossman isn't responsible for his own mistakes, of which there are too many to list in this limited space. It is merely a way of pointing out that handling a young quarterback in today's NFL isn't as simple as "Should he play or should he sit as a rookie?" It's about continuity, comfort and giving an inexperienced player a quality support system. The Bears didn't do that with Grossman earlier in his career and now they're paying the price or it. They're having to watch him go through all the frustrating ups and downs that come with being a player who's made only 26 career starts.

    If you think I'm wrong about this, then tell me how Eli Manning has been doing with backups like Jared Lorenzen and Tim Hasselbeck below him on the depth chart. I would say that Kyle Boller could've used some guidance from somebody other than Kordell Stewart and Anthony Wright when his career was falling apart in Baltimore. I'd also argue that Houston has done David Carr no favors by surrounding him with only one quarterback with considerable NFL experience since he came into the NFL in 2002. That man was Tony Banks.

    The point here is that there are only a handful of quarterbacks who can thrive in this league as quickly as a Peyton Manning or Donovan McNabb. Most of the others have to face that long, hard road of learning through their endless mistakes. Some lose their confidence along the way. Others endure long enough to find their rhythm and the right way to make the most of their abilities. Then there are those like Grossman, caught in that unenviable place in their careers where nobody can really predict if they'll live up to expectations or become another punchline.

    So if you see Grossman do an interview this week, forgive him if he sounds prickly on occasion or serves up some curt answers. The man is probably tired of having his game dissected and his days as the Bears starter questioned. Though Grossman would never admit it, I'm also sure some of that public irritation with the media comes from feeling like he's alone in this situation, that only he can find his way out of it. And from this vantage point, after everything I've seen from him this season, I'd say he'd be exactly right to think that.
     
  2. Philtration

    Philtration Cheesehead

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    That is pretty much the truth.
    He has also had a revolving door on offensive coordinators since his last year at Florida.
    In 5 years he has gone from Steve Spurrier to John Shoop to Terry Shea to Ron Turner while dealing with 2 season ending injuries.
    When he was not trying to learn yet another new system he was hobbling around on crutches.
     
  3. Raider Pride

    Raider Pride Cheesehead

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    I agree!

    I am also a firm believer it is never too late to rectify a challenge. Rex can get that mentor in the next 5 days. That mentor is available for hire, and would be a great investment for the Bears organization.

    Make sure Rex attends all meetings, all team functions, but after that he must be side by side, until 4 AM with the big dog.

    His mentor will get Rex so relaxed, His mentor will get Rex so comfortable and so laid back Rex will Flow Super Sunday.

    5 Days with this guy will take the Superbowl-jitters out of any rookie... and Rex is truly a rookie when we look at his opportunity and playing time.

    Here is your mentor for hire.

    http://www.jimmcmahon.com/

    RP
     
  4. packerfan4ever

    packerfan4ever Cheesehead

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    who did brett have i guess when your good your good i know he did have coaches and a good h.c. in holgren so i guess he did have help poor rex i'm sure he will get the help he needs
     
  5. cheesey

    cheesey Cheesehead

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    I think if Brett would have stayed in Atlanta, he never would have developed into a great QB. I think Holmgren had alot to do with his development. Plus he had some very good QB coaches. He never had the luxery of sitting and watching a great QB in front of him.
    On one of his videos, Favre admits that he didn't know what a "Nickel defense" was! He sat in the meetings, played the games, and didn't even KNOW what the coaches were talking about. Yet he STILL did great!
    I forget who he asked, but the guy thought Favre was kidding!
     
  6. Zero2Cool

    Zero2Cool I own a website

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    Brett had a few mentors. His QB coachs, Holmgren, etc
     

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