Originally created 03/15/03

Kordell Stewart is ready to go to work for the Bears



LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Kordell Stewart is ready to be a starting quarterback again.

Stewart said at a news conference Friday that he is eager for a fresh start with the Chicago Bears. Stewart signed a two-year, $5 million contract Thursday after spending the last eight seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

"I'm real enthused about it," Stewart said.

He's also hoping to turn things around for Chicago, which went 4-12 with quarterback Jim Miller ailing for most of last season. The Bears released Miller last month.

Stewart will become a starter again after an up-and-down stint with the Steelers. He was released last month after losing his starting job to Tommy Maddox.

The 30-year-old Stewart said Chicago's storied football tradition, strong fan base and the opportunity for endorsements also were factors in his decision to sign with Bears - not money.

"I play the game for the love of it, not the money," Stewart said.

Stewart also was courted by the Arizona Cardinals, but he said the Bears offered him the "best chance to win a championship." Though his deal is only for two years, he said he hopes to finish his career in Chicago.

Before becoming the Steelers' starter in 1997, Stewart was known as "Slash," a multidimensional threat who could make plays as a quarterback, running back and receiver.

He ranks 13th on the Steelers' career rushing list with 2,540 yards on 496 carries with 35 touchdowns.

Coach Dick Jauron said the team "definitely will design" plays built around Stewart's athleticism.