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Krenzel ready for 40 percent solution

October 19, 2004

BY MIKE MULLIGAN Staff Reporter Advertisement

A year ago the Bears were reluctant to put a first-round rookie quarterback on the field until Week 13. Now they are talking about using a rookie fifth-round pick in Week 6.

That's just fine with Craig Krenzel, the Ohio State product who is scheduled to receive 40 percent of the repetitions in practice this week with an eye toward giving him his NFL debut at Tampa Bay if Jonathan Quinn continues to struggle.

"If called upon I am confident in my ability to help this team,'' Krenzel said. "Every guy on this team has a different role, but ultimately we have the same role and that is to help this team win football games. How I may go about accomplishing my role may change and it may not. I will be prepared for whatever happens.''

A molecular genetics major in college who plans on attending medical school, Krenzel has all the intangibles you would want in a quarterback. He led Ohio State to a national championship in 2002 and was 24-3 as a starter. Still, the same Bears coaching staff that felt he wasn't ready to play a couple weeks ago now is preparing to get him on the field with the season slipping away and Quinn looking worse by the quarter.

"There is a whole lot of stuff that goes into being a quarterback,'' Krenzel said when asked if his intangibles will aid him if he's thrust into the lineup. ''That is part of it. The mental aspect is part of it. The physical aspect is part of it. I don't think you can truly be successful at the position unless you have all three. Right now I'm better at some than others.''

The 6-4, 227-pound Krenzel is regarded as a streaky passer with excellent mobility who showed a knack for making plays at crucial times in college.

"I am expecting Jon to go out and play well on Sunday and if not, obviously the reps would be helpful or in case something happened to him, the reps would be helpful,'' Krenzel said.