Bears quarterback Brian Griese realizes there's a bit of rust involved with the bike ride on which he's about to embark. To take care of that, he's been busier without a football in his hands than with one.
Picture Brian Griese on a bicycle.
Chicago Bears receiver Muhsin "Moose" Muhammad brought up that analogy to downplay Griese not starting an NFL game in nearly two years.
"This game is like riding a bike," Muhammad said. "Once you've been in it as long as we've been, you never forget how to ride that bike. You just need to get back on it and start pedaling again.
"Once you get up the road, you can start taking your hands off the handle bars and maybe start popping a few wheelies.
"I don't know how long that will take. But he knows how to ride the bike."
It shouldn't take Griese more than a snap or two Sunday at Detroit to get his bearings back. He's played in 81 NFL games. He has started 72, but none since Oct. 16, 2005, when he played for Tampa Bay.
Griese realizes there's a bit of rust involved with the bike ride on which he's about to embark. To take care of that, he's been busier without a football in his hands than with one.
One of the first things he did at his initial practice as the team's new starting quarterback was go to Muhammad. Then to Bernard Berrian, and so forth down the receivers depth chart.
"I view my job as during the week collecting as much information as I can from everybody on our team, and integrating that into making plays on Sunday," Griese said.
Both quarterback and receivers know there are adjustments to make. Every quarterback plays differently, from cadence count to velocity on throws.
Griese must learn where each receiver prefers to catch passes, how they like to run their routes, etc.
"It's going to take a little while for guys to get adjusted," Griese said. "It is a change. At the same time, I can help mediate that with what I do in preparation, and talking with guys with what I'm expecting in certain situations."
Muhammad said he won't have to reinvent his game.
"I don't think it's going to be really hard for the most part," he said. "We've been catching Griese's balls. He'll be adjusting to how we run our routes and the timing and all that kind of stuff. That's what practice is for."
Berrian said Griese pulled him aside a couple times Wednesday and asked him: "Where do you prefer me throwing the ball?"
Berrian said they also talked about "different routes" and making sure "we can be on the same page."
Berrian didn't want to get into comparisons between Rex Grossman and Griese.
"The only real thing I can say is Rex has a stronger arm," he said. "But I think Griese is smart enough he knows how to make up for that."
Griese knows what will be different and what won't with his promotion.
"Watching film and studying plays, I don't think that's going to change at all," he said.
"What will change is I'll have the opportunity to work with guys like Bernard and Moose, which I haven't had to at this point. So my preparation and my conversation and communication with those guys will be more this week.
"Just so I can learn what type of things they like. What things (tight end) Desmond Clark likes to do. Talk with (center) Olin (Kreutz) about the offensive line and certain situations, to see if I can help them in what they're trying to get done."
Offensive coordinator Ron Turner said the offense will only have "subtle" changes with Griese behind center.
"We're going to have Brian come in and run the same offense that we've been running," Clark said. "But, hopefully, Brian gets better support from the other 10 than we gave Rex. A lot of the criticism is going to go to Rex, but the rest of the offense didn't play well, either.
“So we've got to step up and help Brian out."
Help him get to the point where he can pop those "wheelies."
Reed Schreck is the NFL Writer for the Rockford Register Star. Contact him at
815-987-1381 or firstname.lastname@example.org.