Clean Slate for Grossman

Rex Grossman

Several weeks ago, quarterback Rex Grossman proclaimed himself fully recovered from last season's torn ACL. More important, Bears coaches say that he is 100 percent and ready to lead last season's NFL-worst offense out of the ashes.

"He showed that he's very confident in his body," quarterbacks coach Wade Wilson said at the conclusion of spring practices. "He didn't show any hesitancy with his knee, his arm is as strong and as quick as ever, and his accuracy has definitely improved. If anything, he looks better now than he did a year ago."

The keys to keeping Grossman on the field will be a revamped offensive line and an effective running game.

There are three positions expected to have new starters up front, which leaves Lovie Smith planning to use the preseason to build chemistry on the line. Having starters play into the second quarter will not be uncommon this year.

Thomas Jones is atop the running back depth chart heading to Bourbonnais. A potential contract holdout with Cedric Benson could change the complex of the competition.

While in the long run Benson is a good bet to take the starting job, missing part of training camp will delay the process. None of the first round selections have signed with the top choices waiting to see what kind of deal first overall pick QB Alex Smith will get from the San Francisco 49ers.

No matter who is in the backfield with Grossman, a powerful ground game will keep an opposing defense from coming after the quarterback. The playaction game should be a weapon for Grossman, who despite just six career starts is entrenched as a team leader.

For doubt about Grossman to dissipate, he must prove he can stay on the field and be a part of an offensive turnaround.

"Until you get in crunch time; fourth quarter, and they're all looking at you to come up with a big play and really gain their respect," Grossman said. "It's just not going to happen until you go into the war and come out victorious."

Roster Move
The Bears waived offensive lineman Walter Wigfall Thursday. An undrafted free agent from Texas A&M-Kingsville, Wigfall was signed by Chicago to the Reserve/Futures list on January 25. He was assigned to the Cologne Centurions of NFL Europe for the 2005 season, but did not play due to injury.

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