"Who's throwing this [bleep]?" David Terrell in 2004. (Getty Images)
Former Chicago Bears receiver David Terrell would like you to know that he is NOT the biggest draft bust in Chicago Bears history, and he would like you to know exactly why. Selected by the Bears with the eighth overall pick in the 2001 NFL draft out of Michigan, Terrell caught just 128 passes for 1,602 yards and no touchdowns in four seasons with his first NFL team. After the Bears cut him loose, Terrell tried to catch on with the Denver Broncos, New England Patriots, and Kansas City Chiefs, but it didn't happen. He played in one game and caught no passes for the Broncos in 2005, and that was the last we really heard of Terrell in a relevant football sense.
When Redeye Chicago recently placed him high on a list of the franchise's all-time draft mistakes, Terrell contacted the site via e-mail in an effort to provide his own defense. Terrell set up an interview with the site, and blamed his issues in the Windy City on ... well, just about everybody. Mostly, Terrell cited a lack of quarterback talent during his time with the Bears.
"My first year, we was one game from the Super Bowl, and I think I was a big, big piece in a lot of those wins. I think I may have won four, five games for my team. I mean, hey, maybe I didn’t win ‘em all by myself, but I sure played a big part. The next year I went to Bourbonnais [training camp] and I kicked the season off with what? Like four touchdowns in three games? Then I broke my foot. Then I was done for the whole year. Then my third year I couldn’t play ‘cuz my foot was just broke and they had my time limited. Then the last year, I led the league for like the first four games with Rex Grossman at quarterback. Until Rex Grossman breaks his foot against Minnesota. Did you forget that? I think you musta’ forgot about that. Man, I led the league in like every category basically until Rex broke his foot. When Rex broke his foot, after that, the season was over. I caught, I mean, I had nine different quarterbacks after Rex Grossman. I caught a ball from nine different quarterbacks in one year. Did you forget that?"
Well, not quite that many quarterbacks. But the list of people who threw passes to Terrell on a regular basis from 2001 through 2004 was hardly a Murderers' Row. There was Jim Miller, Shane Matthews, the 37-year-old version of Chris Chandler, Henry Burris, Kordell Stewart, the aforementioned Mr. Grossman, Chad Hutchinson, Craig Krenzel, and Jonathan Quinn. That makes for ... hey, Terrell was sorta right. That's nine quarterbacks total in four seasons (not after Grossman), and not a semi-stud among them.
So now, you're thinking, Terrell must watch the Bears with Jay Cutler at quarterback and wonder what might have been? You're darn right he does. When asked what he would have given to play with a quarterback of Cutler's talents, Terrell REALLY didn't mince words.
"(Laughs, for a long time) I would have cut off both my balls. I’d give those up, no problem. You could have neutered me. I woulda been neutered with a smile. [Bleep], man, for real."
Well, alrighty then. Of course, Terrell spent time in the Broncos' training camps in 2006 and 2007, and Cutler was also on the roster, and that didn't exactly work out. But as it was when John Blutarsky gave his famous "Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?" speech, Terrell was on a roll.
"Jay Cutler is without a doubt a top 10 quarterback in the league. No doubt about that. His knowledge of the game, his pocket presence makes him that. I never witnessed that in the NFL. I could have with Rex, but I had limited time with Rex. I only had four games with Rex, you know what I’m saying? Great quarterbacks know what’s going on before the play. My last year here was just in disarray ‘cuz the quarterbacks didn’t even know the play calls. So it takes out some camaraderie, yeah. You look at Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall, they have camaraderie cuz they were in Denver together. The [bleep] that Jay and Brandon have going on, that [bleep] is unstoppable. They can look at each other one time and know what’s going on. … It’s like eye contact [bleep]. They be like, “Yup, yup”--and Boom! Fade route. I didn’t have that anywhere but at Michigan with Tom Brady and with that quarterback Drew Henson or Hanson, or whatever."
That would be Drew Henson, but as we said, the man was on a roll. Terrell also talks about his regret in not waiting to be selected until the supplemental draft, how a staph infection almost caused him to have one of his legs amputated while he was trying to make the Patriots, why former Bears general manager Jerry Angelo didn't like him, and his newfound respect for single mothers. This interview really is a must-read, though it is decidedly NSFW...
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