Tuesday, February 6, 2007

And Now Is the Time For Healing

I can usually count on Peter King to write something so outlandishly uninformed and rigoddamnediculous that it cheers me up, and he didn't disappoint while the deep gashes from the Super Bowl are trying to scab over.

From King's Monday Morning Quarterback, for some reason, under his "non-football thoughts of the week":

I love how Favre announced he was coming back on the Friday of Super Bowl week, and told the local paper in town. That is so classic Favre. He picked the time where the world would be most focused on something else, so he could get the minimum amount of attention. Beautiful.

Esteemed reader Joey Jo-Jo called this a few weeks out, and it wasn't a prediction that Favre would wait until Super Bowl Week for this important announcement in an effort to get the minimum amount of attention, I assure you.

Somehow King tries to turn it into a "What a great, unselfish guy Favre is" story. Also not clear on how that's "classic" Favre. In last year's version of non-retirement, he held the Packers hostage until April. He called at least one press conference in between where the reporters showed up, he got on the mike, and he mocked them for chasing ambulances. To the press conference he called. As they say on the radio, "It doesn't have to be good to be a classic."

As long as we're sharing things we love about Favre, I love that he's coming back next season to eclipse the all-time INT record. I'll be right here counting it down, you fun-loving gunslinger.

Oh, he's going to break Dan Marino's TD record and we'll hear all about that. He's 6 behind. He may even break Marino's yardage record next season - he's got about 3800 yards to go.

But here's the thing: he's only going to be keeping those TD & yardage records warm. The longer Favre hangs around and keeps the Packers in the limbo between the playoffs and rebuilding, the more certain it is that when he's giving his Hall of Fame speech, he'll own only the record for All-Time Interceptions.

Peyton Manning will have shattered the others, the ones that help mitigate being the most intercepted ever. You can do the math based on the each player's totals and their current clip

Favre 414 TDs, 273 INTs
Manning 275 TDs, 139 INTs

Moving on, it takes the rare power of Peter King to bring me somewhat close to continuing to defend Rex Grossman. I've defended him plenty, while also stating my awareness that he's a tit short of an udder, if not more (tits). I'm not blind or hard of smelling when a turd is laid in front of me -- my ocicat Jake jumps in & cranks out a fresh one for me the instant I start scooping his shitbox, every single time. Some of them are even goochers.

Perhaps it's because Grossman said before the Super Bowl that the media was ignorant to how the Bears' offense works and what's expected of him. I can understand firing back and ripping him for his Super Bowl performance. There's more than enough to rip and he set himself up for it.

But I do think a different QB in his first full season, playing a Super Bowl in the rain throughout, playing against Peyton Manning as a 7-point underdog, might get enough slack that someone would say something like "He'll be less nervous and better for the experience, if ever he makes it back to the Super Bowl again."

I'm sure that's how the Bears will look at it, anyway. And I think it's fair to say if the Bears make it back next year with Grossman at the helm, his chances of taking a snap without a pratfall will be improved, due to the horror show he ended this season with.

I'm not sure the light will ever come on for Grossman. If the light does come on, I have serious doubts that his is bright enough to melt away the flopsweat that betrays his hands.

But I do feel better about one thing: Peter King's list of 5 options for the Bears to pursue, to try and land the big fish again in 2007, can be filed under I for "It Could Be Worse." Grossman-Griese-Orton is better than all of his brainstorming, so maybe we can somehow feel good about this.

1. Offer Houston a second-day draft pick for David Carr, who has no future there. Carr won't be able to revive his career in Houston. Too many bad memories in 2006 that coach Gary Kubiak can't get out of his mind. Carr needs a new start. Let him compete with Grossman and Griese, and may the best mediocre quarterback win.

His favorite plan is to add a 4th QB to jostle for rungs on the depth chart. That'll be huge. Being a football writer, it should be fair to expect King to have heard of the salary cap. Carr's signed up for $5.5M in 2007, $6M in 2008. Great idea for the Bears to trade a draft pick and spend that money on a quarterback he admits is mediocre.

Don't bother re-signing Lance Briggs or trying to get some kind of safety in here. For the record, if franchise-tagged, Briggs will cost $7.2 mil. Obviously we're hoping for a long-term deal, but any hometown discount that's been mentioned only goes so far for a guy who made $720K this season. Hard to disagree with him that the Bears have to pony up and make up for lost time. Back to King.

2. Sign Jeff Garcia in free-agency. Promise him the starting job, with an asterisk -- that the leash won't be long.

Now we're signing and making promises to Jeff Garthia? What's that going to cost? Newsflash: as good as Garcia looked in abbreviated duty, Andy Reid's genius-like in orchestrating an offense. Let's burn some big money in free agency on an older Brian Griese instead of unwrapping the one we have already.

3. Do not sign Grossman long-term. Bad strategy. Make him earn a new deal in 2007, the last year on his contract.

This doesn't fit on the list, now does it? This isn't a "plan," unless he believes the Bears are feverishly working on that multi-year extension for Rex.

4. Wait for the Broncos to cut Jake Plummer. If that doesn't appear likely to happen this offseason, do the same thing you would done for Carr, only make it a sixth- or seventh-round pick. If not, go with a lesser veteran like Damon Huard in free-agency.

Playing the veteran angle again, I have a few questions. Since when is Damon Huard lesser than Jake Plummer? Since when is Jake Plummer greater than Brian Griese?

Or to keep it simple: Jake Plummer? That's a suggestion?

5. Draft Troy Smith with the 31st pick in the first round. The Heisman winner, who was terrible in January bowl games, will have lots to prove.

In one sense, this is the most interesting option, in that it's the only one with any shot in hell of bringing in a marked improvement. However, in every other sense, it's moronic.

Since this is the "Instant improvement in 2007" plan, I don't see how bringing in a raw rookie would fit this silly exercise. Every other rookie QB who's drafted, King will say they need at least a year of holding the clipboard so as not to risk crushing their fragile psyche.

Troy Smith has "something to prove." Very good. I'd say Rex Grossman has plenty to prove, if that's the criteria, but it's a hell of a lot less than Troy Smith. Kyle Orton has plenty to prove: that the 10 wins he piloted last year weren't entirely despite him, and another year in the league along with some training camp snaps this time around would make him viable.

Listen to me, I don't know what the answer is. All I do know is that the Bears have in the fold: a QB who threw 23 TDs this season and now has Super Bowl experience, an average but mostly useful veteran, and a young guy who the team regarded highly but who wasn't good when pressed into extended duty as a rookie.

Maybe we're all overthinking it. Each of the 3 in-house options is a little different, but there is a common thread. The answer's been right in front of my face all along -- literally. I've been given this advice many times and now I pass it on to the Chicago Bears' QB depth chart. I'm looking at all tree of youse:

Sober up, dumbass. You're a miserable drunk and everyone knows it. There. Now improve.


Anonymous said...

With the signing of J.T. O'Sullivan the Bears quarterback question is answered for good. Never did Peter King think of this fantabulous solution!

dhort said...

Once again, I was right about everything. The Bears obviously read my musings and agreed with my conclusion that being 3-deep in alcoholics at the QB position is a cry for help.

When you're thinking sobriety, the way to go is obviously the Best Available Irishman.

The current QBs are going to get confused and thirsty having a guy around with the same name as 8 Chicago pubs.