Time to play
Grossman to make debut against Colts
Grossman to make debut against Colts

Posted Aug 8, 2003


Rex Grossman couldn't have dreamed up a better scenario.He'll play most of the second half Saturday night in the Bears' preseason opener against the team he grew up rooting for -- the Indianapolis Colts.

"I used to have season tickets," said the Bloomington, Ind., native, who played at Florida. "This isn't even like real-life work. This is a fantasy world where you get to play football for a job. I'm a little nervous and excited. There's a lot of emotions going on. It's my first exhibition game as an NFL player and I hope I can do well and have fun."

Bears coach Dick Jauron announced Friday that Grossman would get a majority of snaps in the second half.

"Kordell will start the game and probably play the first quarter," Jauron said. "Chris (Chandler) will come in and finish the second quarter and start the third, and Rex will play most of the second half. We didn't promise Cory (Sauter) he'd get in, but if he doesn't get in this week we'll get him in next week (against Denver).

"That would be the rotation at quarterback."

Stewart, an offseason pickup, will see his first action as a Bear after being cut by Pittsburgh. He'll give the Bears something they haven't had in years – a QB with the ability to run and make plays with his legs.

"I don't know if you're going to see a vanilla offense," Stewart said, "hopefully it's even chocolate or strawberry. I don't think it matters at the end of the day. What matters is getting the ball in the end zone."

Stewart wouldn't reveal the team's game plan, but he knows fans and coaches will be closely watching. The Bears are hoping Stewart can revitalize an offense that relied on short passes and few big plays last season.

"We're not going to show everything. We can't let the cat out of the bag too soon," Stewart said. "But this is a time in the preseason where you progress and open up the package a little bit more. They'll be more things coming out of the arsenal down the road, but right now it's black and white."

However, it will not be Anthony Thomas behind Stewart to start the game. Adrian Peterson, who has been splitting snaps with Thomas on the first team offense, will get the starting nod.

"Train has really come back nice from the back spasms, but we're going to give Adrian a chance to go out there and play," Jauron said. "We'd like to see him with the first group. Train is our starter, but we really need to see what we have in Adrian. We really feel we have a good running back and we want to see it."

The Bears are relatively healthy going into the game. Defensive end Michael Haynes, who has missed time with an ankle sprain, will be available.

Chris Villarrial went down with a groin injury Wednesday. After missing Thursday practice he returned to the field for both sessions Friday. However, following the teams' afternoon workout, the Bears medical staff decided to hold Villarrial out of tomorrow's game as a precautionary measure. Terrence Metcalf will start in Villarrial's place at right guard.

Jauron said safety Mike Green (groin), right tackle Marc Colombo (knee) and tight end John Davis (back) will also miss the contest.

Game time is 7:05 p.m. (NBC, Ch. 5) at Memorial Stadium in Champaign.


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OT Marc Colombo (profile)
TE John Davis (profile)
S Mike Green (profile)
QB Rex Grossman (profile)
DE Michael Haynes (profile)
RB Adrian Peterson (profile)
RB Anthony Thomas (profile)
OG Chris Villarrial (profile)
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