For the longest time, we cheered for Rex Grossman. Almost unconditionally.
In 2005, Kyle Orton won a bunch of games, but there were no illusions as to why he was winning: Despite being really bad at professional quarterback, Orton wasn't quite bad enough to outweigh the incredible season the Bears defense was having. It was as easy as tuning into a game: Orton was winning, sure, but it wasn't because of his own ability. When Rex Grossman, finally healthy and pushed into the lineup after one too many Orton mishaps, took over in the playoffs, it was a revelation. Downfield passing! A cannon arm! Confidence! He was everything Orton was not; the first-round pick he was supposed to be. The Bears had a quarterback.
Everyone knows what happened next. In one of the great up-and-down quarterback seasons of all time, Grossman won 13 games, took the Bears to the Super Bowl, and never regained the promise or the confidence he once showed. He was all over the place. He hurt the Bears just as much as he helped them. And eventually, he lost his job for good.
That was supposed to be the end of the Rex Grossman saga. Kyle Orton has been the starter all year this year, he has played suprisingly well, and anything resembling quarterback controversey was squelched with the combination of Orton's performance and Grossman's meltdown in 2007. Rex Grossman was a backup. The drama was over.
But obviously that would be too easy for Bears fans. People might actually enjoy that sort of thing -- you know, stability at the quarterback position -- and the football gods surely can't have that! They'd prefer to see the ants under their microscopes squirm in the heat for a while longer. That can be the only explanation for why Grossman is back in Bears fans' lives.
What to expect: Plenty of overthrown balls; plenty of problems with drops behind the line of scrimmage; a few key fumbled snaps at the worst possible times; a couple of downfield throws that will give you a false sense of trust in his talent; a stubborn refusal to check the ball down when necessary. That's pretty much Grossman.
His story was supposed to be finished, or at the very least delayed for a year or two. And now we have to deal with it again. Oh, goodie.