BOURBONNAIS, Ill. - Once the Bears were eliminated from any shot at the playoffs a year ago, Rex Grossman quickly went from the sideline to the huddle.
Why not give a promising rookie quarterback a chance to play the final three games of a lost season?
Grossman responded, leading the Bears to two victories with an offense he spent most of the season watching and studying.
Eight months later, Grossman is charged with a more challenging assignment - be the starter in a new offense under a new coaching staff and lead the Bears from the outset.
"I felt a lot of pressure in the offseason, especially not knowing the offense," the ex-Gator said from training camp.
"As I've become more comfortable in the offense, I'm more comfortable in the position I'm in right now. They go hand in hand. As I get more prepared, I feel more comfortable in the role."
Passes of varying lengths, sight reads by the receivers and quarterback and a moving pocket are all part of the deal.
"I've never been in a system like that. No similarities," Grossman said. "You are able to move the pocket and get out and make something happen, plus there are some very organized progressions. And the type of throws I have to make suit me very well."
CARDINALS: Outside linebacker Karlos Dansby, the first player drafted in the second round, agreed to a four-year contract. Terms weren't given, but his agent, Carl Poston, told the Arizona Republic the deal was worth about $5-million, including a $2.1-million signing bonus. Dansby had 84 tackles and 51/2 sacks for Auburn last season, earning all-SEC honors a second straight year.
EAGLES: Free safety Brian Dawkins will miss the next week of training camp after injuring his knee. He has a bone bruise to his left knee and a hyperextension.
49ERS: Quarterback Tim Rattay will be held out of practice until next week because of an inflamed right forearm, his throwing arm. There's no ligament or soft tissue damage. Second-year veteran Ken Dorsey, a former Miami standout, has taken Rattay's place with the first-team offense for three months.
"I think it's just an irritation you get from throwing," coach Dennis Erickson said. "It happens all the time."
Rattay said the injury is improving and he could practice this week.
"Nothing's really wrong," he said. "It's not a tear or anything like that. It's just normal camp (soreness)."
REDSKINS: Defensive tackle Brandon Noble was held out of practice, one day after breaking his right hand in a workout. Assistant Gregg Williams said there was no timetable for Noble's return.
SEAHAWKS: Quarterback Brock Huard left practice when his back tightened up, but the ailment didn't appear serious. Center Robbie Tobeck strained a calf and spent part of the afternoon practice with ice on injury.
VIKINGS: Center Matt Birk had minor surgery to determine the cause of a pelvic injury that caused him to miss three consecutive practices. Doctors in the Twin Cities looked for a sports hernia, trainer Chuck Barta said. The team expected to learn the results today.