While Chicago Bears backup quarterback Brian Griese continues to deflect questions about stepping in for a struggling Rex Grossman, it seems that the Bears are at least preparing for that possibility.
Griese has been receiving half of the reps in practice this week, the Chicago Sun-Times reported on its Web site, citing an unnamed player.
The change in preparation speaks volumes to the urgency the club feels with Grossman, whose disappointing 1.3 passer rating may have overshadowed the Bears' 23-13 victory over the Vikings. The increased workload could indicate the Bears are getting Griese ready to step in.
But Griese, who signed a five-year deal worth a minimum of $14 million in the offseason, said he hasn't been sucked into the quarterback controversy that surrounds the 10-2 Bears.
"None of this really matters to me," Griese told the Chicago Sun-Times. "I have one job, and that's to go out and prepare just like I have the entire season, and that's what I'm going to do this week. If [Lovie Smith] wanted you to know [how many reps I'm getting], he'd probably tell you so."
Grossman has fallen from being an NFC offensive player of the month to looking uncomfortable while making questionable decisions. And, apparently, his play is perplexing him as well.
"I just am so confused why I do some of the things I do," Grossman told the newspaper. "It just doesn't make any sense to me. It's not a matter of confidence. It's more of, what is making me do these things?"
Offensive coordinator Ron Turner said he has not informed Grossman that this is his last chance.
"I told him he needs to play better," Turner told the paper. "I told him we have to play better offensively."