"I'm certainly not ruling anything out," said Kyle Orton.
"I'm preparing like I'm starting," said Rex Grossman.
"I woke up with a smile on my face!" declared Orton.
"I'm excited... I'm just going to have fun." smiled Grossman.
Confused? It got even worse when Bears head coach Lovie Smith said they expected Orton back soon, then tried defining the word "soon."
"I know my definition of the word, it probably isn't the same as yours... soon could be tomorrow (didn't happen), the next day (didn't happen), three weeks from now or the end of the year." Since Orton didn't practice Wednesday or Thursday and was limited in Friday's practice, maybe it does indeed mean he won't be fully available until three weeks from now.
Smith was asked after Friday's workout if Orton had enough work to play on Sunday? "I wouldn't go that far" the Bears head coach said, adding, "he's getting better".
So, expect to see Rex Grossman taking snaps under center as the starter for the 31st time in a Bears uniform. He put together a 2-5 record last season before losing his starting job the final three games. Grossman isn't in the Bears future plans, playing on a one year contract and knows he has to make the most of his opportunity. "This could be the only time I play this season, " he said.
And don't think the Titans aren't taking note. The difference between Orton & Grossman at quarterback? Orton protects the football, Grossman does not. Grossman throws the deep bomb off play action, Orton manages the game taking what the defense gives. And most importantly, Orton makes correct pre-snap reads recognizing the blitz, Grossman has struggled with that in the past. This is not the team to throw interceptions (Titans tied for 1st with 13), and their ferocious front four gets pressure on their own. Despite Titans tackle Albert Haynesworth telling the local media how much he respects #8, they will be out to get him.
It's time for the Bears defense to back up their talk to help out the offense.
"We've been the weak link," admitted safety Mike Brown. Yet linebacker Lance Briggs used quotations with his fingers when talking about the Titans as the best team in the league. Why?
"You, the media think they are," You don't Mr. Briggs? He responded, "I think we are." He actually said that with a straight face, saying the Bears defense is the best when they want to be.
Bulletin Board material?
"This is the week for bulletin board material," Briggs admitted. "I just hope they have a safe flight, get a good night's sleep and get to the stadium early ... the stage has been set."