Reed Schreck: Brown out again

Reed Schreck

Mike Brown tried to smile. Once. Twice.

It was a losing battle.

The veteran safety stood in the Chicago Bears locker room after Sunday’s 14-3 loss at San Diego, with a wrap around his knee. He tried to remain positive, but eventually succumbed to emotions he couldn’t contain.

Brown, who has had injuries cut short his past three seasons, went down with 9:24 to play after a 6-yard run by LaDainian Tomlinson to the Chicago 7.

“We don’t know yet,” said Brown, trying to be brave. “The prognosis right now doesn’t look too good. Another sad day, a chapter of my football playing career, it looks like. I don’t know what else to tell you.

“Things happen so fast out there. I’d have to see it on tape to tell what happened. Right now, it doesn’t look too good. I still have a little bit of hope. A sprained knee, we’ll give you that. Right knee, it doesn’t look too good. It’s a shame. Hurts my feelings really bad. That’s life though.”

As he was finishing his response, he broke into tears and couldn’t continue.

Cornerback Charles Tillman placed his hand on his shoulder to console him.

“He’s had an unbelievable run of bad luck. I certainly feel bad for him,” linebacker Hunter Hillenmeyer said. “A guy with Mike’s ability and character, that hurts.”

Defensive end Alex Brown called the situation “unfortunate.”

“We don’t know the extent,” he said. “We’re going to hope for the best. Hopefully, it’s not as bad as we think, and hopefully he’ll come back sometime this season.”

Second-year defensive tackle Dusty Dvoracek also sprained a knee, but wasn’t sporting a wrap afterward.

“I don’t know. We don’t know yet,” he said. “It was on a kickoff return. I just planted, and planted wrong on it. Hopefully everything will be OK. We’ll get it checked out (today).”

Block that kick!

That’s what Alex Brown did when the Chargers attempted a 33-yard field goal on their second series of the day.

“I was fortunate enough to be the one to come free, and fortunate enough to make the block,” he said. “It was a big play in the game. Maybe we could have picked it up and ran for a score or something. We weren’t able to do it, but it was a big play.”

Read on Rex

There was a little Good Rex, Bad Rex against the Chargers. His quarterback rating of 53.7 indicates mediocrity at best. He had one fumble and one interception in a game where near-perfection was needed.

Grossman had 22 touchdowns and four interceptions when his rating was over 100.0 last year. When it was below 37.0, he totaled one touchdown pass and 16 picks.

Grossman fell to 14-4 in his last 18 regular-season starts after completing 12-of-23 for 145 yards.

“We can learn from it and get better,” he said.

Blame game

Rex Grossman didn’t have much to offer on why his one interception missed Bernard Berrian by such a wide margin.

“That play is hard to explain,” he said. “It wasn’t the pressure. It was just unfortunate.”

Said Berrian: “I think we just misread it. There wasn’t any giving up on the play. It wasn’t Rex’s fault. We just weren’t on the same page.”

Offensive coordinator Ron Turner knows whom to blame — himself.

“There was miscommunication between Rex and Bernard. I’ll put that one on me,” he said. “We put that in this week and didn’t practice it enough. We’ve got to get them in things they’re more comfortable in.”

Head coach Lovie Smith’s view?

“It was a good play on their part. A great play by their players.”

Local guys do their part

Michael Turner, the former Northern Illinois standout runner, had 41 yards on 10 carries and a 4.1 average to lead the Chargers’ ground game.

Former Rockford Guilford star Carlos Polk tackled Danieal Manning after a 20-yard return on the opening kickoff of the second half.

Norv a winner

In the third meeting between Chargers head coach Norv Turner and Bears offensive coordinator Ron Turner, Norv now leads the head-to-head matchups 2-1. Norv won 10-3 as the Washington head coach in 1996, while Ron won last year 41-10 when Norv was the San Francisco offensive coordinator.

Turnover tale

Chicago led the NFL with 44 takeaways last year, while the Chargers were first in fewest turnovers with 15. But Chicago’s offense had the fifth highest turnover total at 36.

Sunday’s game was in line with the past, as Chicago had four turnovers to two for San Diego.

“You have to win the turnover ratio,” head coach Lovie Smith said.

Inactives

Kyle Orton was Chicago’s third QB, with CB Corey Graham, TE Greg Olsen, WR Mike Hass, FB Lousaka Polite, S Kevin Payne, OL Josh Beekman and DT Anthony Adams also inactive.

Out for the Chargers were QB Charlie Whitehurst, CB Paul Oliver, LBs Anthony Waters and Brandon Siler, T Roman Oben, TE Scott Chandler, WR Eric Parker and DT Brandon McKinney.

Notes, numbers

Chicago had won the past four games in the series that now is tied 5-5. … This was the third straight season and sixth time in eight years that Chicago opened the season on the road. The Bears were looking to win road season-openers back-to-back for the first time since 1962-63. Last year, they won 26-0 at Green Bay. … Chicago now is 92-93-1 all-time against AFC foes. … The Bears still hold a 5-4 advantage in season openers against AFC teams since the merger in 1970. … The Bears are 1-3 under Lovie Smith in season openers. … The Bears are 49-34-5 on opening day. … Chicago was 8-0 in season openers the year after winning a division title going into Sunday.

Reed Schreck is the NFL Writer for the Rockford Register Star. Contact him at 815-987-1381 or rschreck@rrstar.com.