LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) -- The Chicago Bears planned to have Craig Krenzel spend a season on the sidelines, watching and learning as so many rookie quarterbacks do.
Now, the former Ohio State star could be a starter. All it probably will take is another dismal performance from Jonathan Quinn or an injury, and Krenzel will be on the field.
"I'm not really looking at it in terms of winning the job," Krenzel said Wednesday. "I don't think Jonathan is looking at it in terms of keeping a job."
After Quinn had his second straight shaky outing, completing just 10 of 22 passes in a 13-10 loss last Sunday to Washington, head coach Lovie Smith said Krenzel would get more practice time this week with the first team. Krenzel will take about 40 percent of the snaps to 60 percent for Quinn, elevated because of an injury to starter Rex Grossman.
Whether the added work means Krenzel will unseat Quinn won't be determined until later this week. It could depend on who performs better in practice, but Krenzel certainly plans to be ready if the chance comes Sunday when the 1-4 Bears play at Tampa Bay.
"I think Jonathan is going to be the starter come Sunday, and their goal is to prepare me in case I need to play in any other situation," Krenzel said.
This situation is really nothing new in Chicago. In five of the last six seasons, the Bears have been forced to start a No. 3 quarterback at some point.
Grossman was lost for the season with a knee injury in the third game and underwent surgery Tuesday to repair a torn ligament.
Quinn now has started five games in seven seasons. His struggles have made him the target of booing and criticism.
Krenzel, a fifth-round pick from Ohio State said he was told early to be ready, even when Grossman was the starter and Quinn was No. 2.
"You know you can never dismiss the possibility of stepping on the field," Krenzel said. "And I've taken that mentality this whole year of going out and staying as prepared as possible. You never know what is going to happen."
Learning the Bears' new offense has been a time-consuming chore. But Krenzel has handled much more complex topics. He was a molecular genetics major at Ohio State and received the academic equivalent of the Heisman, the Draddy Award.
His football acumen wasn't bad either. He led the Buckeyes to an undefeated national championship season in 2002 and finished with a 24-3 record as a starter.
"I think only certain guys have a national championship ring. You have to have something special," Smith said. "You look at the year they had. Game after game special things happened. Craig made great decisions at critical times and I think that's Craig."
UNDEFEATED wrote:i heard that Quinn and Terrell got into a fist fight following an arguement that included david terrel telling quinn that he sucks. i just heard that on the radio today.
Xtra sports in southern cali. Very reputable guy reporting it.
Haha,not what I read.
David Haugh, Chicago Tribune - Jonathan Quinn approached David Terrell on Monday to clear the air. "He came to me and said, 'DT, when did you cuss me out? I was like, 'I don't know, man,"' Terrell said Tuesday. "I said, 'I have no clue.' I said, 'If I cussed you out, I'm sorry, bro, but I don't think I did."' He said newspaper reports of a profane outburst toward Quinn were false, and Quinn accepted the explanation.