Mike Nadel: With Kyle and Rex, who needs Brett?
Kyle Orton fumbled. Rex Grossman stumbled. Yes, it's easy to see why the Bears had absolutely no interest in Brett Favre.
Taking the field with the greatest passer ever would have been so boring. Much better to go at it with a quarterback they hope can "manage a game."
"We have our quarterbacks," Bears coach Lovie Smith said when reports emerged that the Green Bay Packers, desperate to unload their 38-year-old future Hall of Famer, might consider trading Favre to the Bears or Minnesota Vikings.
Said offensive coordinator Ron Turner: "I like our quarterbacks."
Indeed, what's not to like? Aside from mediocrity, that is.
A few hours after Favre modeled his New York Jets jersey, Orton and Grossman took turns failing to distinguish themselves in Thursday night's exhibition opener against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Despite leading the Bears to only 3 points against the Chiefs' first- and second-string defenses, the QBs weren't awful, either. In fact, neither was the first Bear to earn the fans' wrath. That honor went to The Greatest Defense Known To Man, which heard plenty of boos after the K.C. offense marched 81 yards for a touchdown on the game's first possession.
Yeah, we know the excuse: In preseason games, the defense is "vanilla." In other words, the Bears didn't want to show much to regular-season opponents. This time, they apparently didn't want to show the ability to tackle or cover.
Still, for the sake of sanity in Bear Country, let's assume the defense will be fine once the season starts (if not, we're talking 0-16). So the focus is on the offense. And that means the quarterbacks.
The Bears have two QBs who never have earned anything in the NFL. Each has been handed the starting job at one point or another, either because of draft status or by default. Each also has lost the starting job due to incompetence.
This summer, for the first time, each has a chance to win the job. We're being told by Smith that it's a wide-open competition ... and given the histories of Orton and Grossman, why wouldn't it be?
Of course, given the histories of Orton and Grossman, why wouldn't the Bears at least have checked into Brett Favre's availability?
The Jets gave the Packers a conditional draft pick for Favre. It's a fourth-rounder now and only becomes a second-rounder if Favre takes New York to the playoffs. It will be a first-rounder if the Jets reach the Super Bowl.
Supposedly, Tampa Bay wasn't willing to meet that price. Strange. Getting to the Super Bowl wasn't worth a late first-round choice to the Buccaneers?
Or to the Bears?
Now, the price for Favre might have been higher for the Bears because the Packers would have been understandably reluctant to prop up their archrivals. Nevertheless, were I Bears GM Jerry Angelo, I'd have offered to sweeten the deal by throwing in two-fifths of the offensive line, Turner, a dozen deep-dish pizzas and whatever is left of Coach Ditka's brain, my friend.
As for giving up a first-round pick, it's not as if Angelo has the magic touch.
Marc Colombo ... Michael Haynes ... Grossman ... Cedric Benson ... oy. Tommie Harris is the only Angelo first-rounder who's done anything (though Greg Olsen has great promise). This year's No. 1, Chris Williams, suffered a herniated disk in his lower back in his second practice, and he might not play at all this season after undergoing surgery.
So, yes, maybe Angelo could have spared a future first-round pick (or three) for Brett Favre.
Then again, in a Bears uniform - behind that offensive line and throwing to those receivers - even the all-time ironman of quarterbacks might not have been able to stay in one piece.
That's all fantasy now, anyway. The Bears have Orton and Grossman, and Favre officially is Broadway Brett.
It will be interesting to see how a Mississippi native who played in Green Bay will survive The Big City, where fans don't easily forgive four-interception games.
Most Chicago fans hate Favre. If he fails, that might be the only fun they have watching a quarterback all season.
Mike Nadel (firstname.lastname@example.org) is the Chicago sports columnist for GateHouse News Service. Read his blog, The Baldest Truth, at www.thebaldesttruth.com.