SportsProf

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Sunday, November 28, 2004

Once Burned, Twice Shy, Three Times. . . What?

What's the first word that comes to your mind when you say "Jeff George"?

Your first thought?

As a football fan, do you come up with anything complimentary other than "great talent, big disappointment," or something like that?

Well, not only has George at best mystified and at worst infuriated those for whom he has played, he also hasn't played in three years. And, given that the average NFL career is something along the lines of three and a half years, that's almost a lifetime.

Which means that either the Chicago Bears know something that we don't, or they're desperated, plain and simple, conceding that their Craig Krenzel experiment hasn't worked, that Krenzel should consider going to medical school sooner than later, and that they honestly think that George is a different player from the one who got into shouting matches with his coaches on the sidelines. Whatever the case, the next starting QB for the Chicago Bears will be, yes, Jeff George.

The Bears had a good buzz going about them earlier on in the season, a good defense, and an exciting new coach in Lovie Smith. No one expected them to do much this year, and the fact that they've made a good showing bodes well for the future. They have a good base on which to build.

Which is puzzling why they've signed George, since he won't be their starter, at least for now; Chad Hutchinson, the Dallas castoff, will be. George has always thought of himself as the primary guy, but perhaps he's also desperate, looking for any NFL deal he can get.

Desperate Bears, desperate George, it doesn't sound like a good match to me. Especially if George starts to spout off about the ills of the Chicago offense and why he should be the starter -- not only for the remainder of this year, but next year as well.

Because if that happens, then there will be a serious crack in the foundation that the Chicago Bears started to create last year when they hired Lovie Smith.

Signing Jeff George is not a move that a team building for the future makes. Signing any QB that has had a 3-year layoff is not a move that a team building for the future makes. What could he have been doing during that time off that makes him ready even to carry the clipboard on the sidelines?

Good luck to both the Chicago Bears and Jeff George, because they'll need it.

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