L. Smith Says He's Sticking By Grossman
FOXBOROUGH, Mass.--Chicago Bears Coach Lovie Smith is sticking by his quarterback, Rex Grossman.
Grossman was horrendous during Sunday's loss here to the New England Patriots, throwing three interceptions and losing a fumble on a snap. The 17-13 defeat dropped the Bears' record to 9-2.
The Bears have a veteran backup in Brian Griese, but Smith moved quickly after the game to suppress any talk of a possible quarterback switch.
"We didn't complete the job tonight but Rex is our quarterback," Smith said. "I'll say it right now.... We're 9-2 with Rex as our quarterback... He made some bad passes. We made some bad calls.... We're not going to put it on one guy."
Cornerback Asante Samuel had all three of the Patriots' interceptions, and Smith said Samuel deserved credit for the plays he made.
"He [Grossman] threw a couple bad passes," Smith said. "I'll say their defensive back made some great plays. I'm going to give some of the credit to him."
Grossman hurt his right (throwing) hand on the scramble for the loose ball after his fumble, but said the injury wasn't a factor in his performance.
"Our defense took the ball away and did a great job of that," Grossman said. "We didn't do a good job [on offense], and I'm talking about myself."
Smith made a debatable decision with about 3-1/2 minutes to play, having Robbie Gould kick a 32-yard field goal instead of leaving his offense on the field for a fourth-and-six play from the Patriots 14-yard line. Gould's field goal got the Bears to within 17-13. The Bears got the ball back when Patriots tailback Corey Dillon fumbled with 1 minute 52 seconds to play. But Grossman threw his final interception on the next play.
Grossman said he thought it was "50-50" whether Smith would leave the offense on the field on the fourth-down play. Smith didn't second-guess his strategy.
"I felt like we would get the ball back," he said, "which we did.... Exactly how it played out is what I wanted to do."
By Mark Maske |
November 26, 2006; 9:49 PM ET
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