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Gary Goforth.jpg

Reporter Jim Owczarski talked to Benet Academy athletic director Gary Goforth, who retired as head football coach after the 2009 season. Goforth coached new Chicago Bears quarterback Dan LeFevour during his time at Benet.

Upon being drafted by the Bears in the sixth round Saturday, LeFevour joins Steve Baumgartner (Benet class of 1969) as the second Redwing with a chance to play in the NFL. The program's football history dates back to 1949 as St. Procopius (the school became Benet Academy in 1967) and it is believed that heading into this draft Baumgartner is the school's only alumnus to play in the NFL.

Baumgartner was drafted out of Purdue 51st overall by the New Orleans Saints in the second round of the 1973 draft. He would eventually be traded to the Houston Oilers midway through the 1977 season. He retired after the 1979 season at the age of 28. Baumgartner started 27 of his 95 career games.

He was drafted ahead of such notables as Hall of Famer Dan Fouts, 1977 Super Bowl MVP & Defense Player of the Year Harvey Martin and former Chicago Bears head coach Dick Jauron.

LeFevour would be the first Benet player who played under Gary Goforth to be drafted into the NFL.

Q: Are you surprised he'll be drafted into the NFL?
A: The college success made it a little less surprising, what he was able to do in his four years of actual playing time. You look at physical attributes in terms of size and weight, good speed for a quarterback. You never know about arm strength, you never know about how they understand the game. You know, (Dan) Marino - I look back at all the guys who were fifth-round draft choices and Dan Marino was one of them. You never know where people are going to go and what people look for and sometimes it's better to be drafted in the later rounds because the pressure is not on to succeed immediately. The only difference is you've got the huge contract in the first couple rounds. But you've still got to earn it; you've still got to play when you get there. I knew he could be good at the college level. How good? You never know.

The answer's not clear yet, is it?

Sure, by Monday, both the Cubs and the Sox may be out of the playoffs. October may have come and gone without a single postseason victory between either North or South Side ballclub. It's unacceptable.

But then again, football rules in this town. If the Bears pull another 2007 - in other words, they don't make a postseason appearance like their baseball counterparts - then perhaps all is most lost in that regard.

Line of Fire

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Welcome to the...parity?

Just as the season's starting to take shape - after Sunday's game, Lovie Smith will undoubtedly say the Bears have just played a quarter of their season - predicting games will look easier but become harder.

That was a long way of saying, the Bears still have a chance against Philadelphia on Sunday even though it looks bleak. Am I nuts? Or just hungry?

Here's a glimpse at the accompanying column in The Sun.

Griese: 'They didn't need me'

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CHICAGO - When Kyle Orton threw the ball right to Tampa Bay's Gaines Adams on Sunday at Soldier Field - right to him - you couldn't help but think that Buccaneers' quarterback Brian Griese may have been the right man for the Bears job this year.

Orton, who struggled with the deep ball in a heartbreaking loss to Carolina last week, could not have made it any easier for Adams to catch the ball from inside five yards. In return, Adams made it not so easy for Orton to catch him during a 45-yard dash to the end zone.

Instead of completing a screen up the middle to tight end Desmond Clark on that play - Clark was right behind Adams - the Bucs took an early 14-6 lead, lost it for awhile, and then forced overtime before spoiling the Bears home opener with a 27-24 win.

And they couldn't have done it without Griese, who ignored three interceptions to complete 38 of 67 passes for 407 yards and two touchdowns against his old team.

"I was traded," said Griese, when asked if he expected to return to the Bears this season. "So obviously, they didn't need me."

Line of Fire

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Who's the most frustrating member of the Bears?

Players, coaches, management -- you name it. Two weeks into the season, somebody has to be bothering you Bears-wise as much as the stock market money-wise.

Is it Ron Turner's come-from-behind play-calling in late-game situations? Is it Greg Olsen's butter fingers? Is it Devin Hester's injury woes?

Looking ahead, who will be the most frustrating against Tampa Bay today? Will you pin the tail on Matt Forte? Lance Briggs? Or one of the other Bears stars off to a good start this year?

Also, check out Brad Engel's Sunday Bears column.

Line of Fire

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The Bears seem to have escaped Week 1 without any major injuries - four players were limited in practice as of Thursday -- a walk in the park compared with last year's season-opening loss at San Diego. Remember that mess?

That's when both safety Mike Brown and defensive tackle Dusty Dvoracek bit the California dust for the season. But the Bears aren't out of the woods yet. With 15 more games remaining, anything can (and perhaps will) happen.

It begs the question: Which player can the Bears least afford to lose?

The Bears finished 1-3 in the preseason - barely, following a 16-10 win over winless Cleveland on Thursday -- and have a host of problems to beset that record.

Can anyone really say the preseason won't foreshadow the regular season?

I'm tired of hearing the preseason doesn't count and detailed why in The Sun, but I'm open to edgy refuting. Spill.

Lovie Smith's GQ

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Lovie Smith.jpgBears head coach -- and now fashion model -- Lovie Smith graces the pages of GQ next month. The magazine claims there's 73 reasons to think we're living in a new golden age of football, and Smith's part of reason No. 12 -- "style is (finally) returning to the sidelines."

Pictured in between, but much larger than, Chiefs coach Herm Edwards and Steelers coach Mike Tomlin, Smith gets credit for wearing "some coachy stuff (the Bears down jacket, the knit cap), but the difference is, it fits him."

Some other classic lines in the write-up:

"Marvin Lewis doesn't look like he sleeps on the training table at night, living off Ritz Bits and Muscle Milk...Mike Tomlin wears Versace shades -- and looks good in a suit, not like a teenager making his first court appearance (see Bill Belichick)...Marvin Lewis and Tony Dungy and Herm Edwards, who wear clothes that not only are clean and ironed but appear to have been picked out with the lights on."

Drop a few of your own personal coach blasts or pats on the back here -- now.

If Lovie Smith truly made his decision to start quarterback Kyle Orton based on preseason games, then he needs to name Rashied Davis a starting receiver this week just as quickly as he named Orton.

Following the Bears loss to Seattle last week, Smith removed the forward slash (or is it backward slash?) that linked Kyle Orton/Rex Grossman to the first-string quarterback slot. He should take the same action with Davis and (rather, slash) Devin Hester today.

Davis caught two touchdown passes in a loss to the 49ers on Thursday while Hester caught one pass for negative two yards. Here's the deal: Hester's nothing more than a hype machine for the Bears offense. Sure, he'll figure prominently at times this season, but his consistent presence should be on special teams where he has yet to impress this pre season.

"He's made all the plays. He's had an outstanding training camp," Smith said of Davis, the fourth-year Bears receiver out of the Arena Football League. "He just became a new dad, so a lot of good things are happening in his life."

Smith can continue that trend with one simple keystroke.

Bears coaches contend preseason performances will determine which quarterback, either Rex Grossman or Kyle Orton, will start at Indianapolis on Sept. 7.

In reality, not only do stat lines and game tape against Kansas City and Seattle and so forth not matter, but Lovie Smith and his team of decision-makers would be better suited spinning a bottle or throwing darts to determine the lucky winner.

This quarterback competition is merely a formality. Over the last three years Grossman and Orton have given the Bears plenty to see, too much to actually believe anything they do in limited preseason action will make or break their future.

Even though the Bears have yet to announce their opening-day starter, the answer's simple. With one year left on Grossman's contract and two left on Orton's, give Grossman the starting nod and don't pull the plug on him until absolutely necessary.

Garrett Wolfe, who starred at Northern Illinois before getting drafted in the third round last year, still feels he has something to prove every time he steps on the field.

When he did that in the Bears preseason opener Thursday at Soldier Field, he walked away as the only Bears running back with a touchdown. Wolfe raced just about all 25 yards of the 25-yard scoring pass from Rex Grossman after catching the ball.

Wolfe ended the game with 89 total yards - 64 on the ground - and said afterward that he feels he could be a No. 1 running back if given the chance.

"I think all of us feel that," Wolfe said. "All of us - me, Adrian (Peterson), P.J. (Pope), Matt (Forte), Kevin (Jones). We're all confident in our abilities, and at some point we've all played the No. 1 running back. This is a different level, but I feel I can do anything I set my mind to."



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Sun staff writers take the temperature of sports in Naperville, Chicago and beyond.