Don't think for one minute that Brandon Marshall didn't know what he was saying when he walked to the podium at Halas Hall today. The whole "Peanuts" music and the tree story, the dislike he said he felt for the Packers, he knew exactly what he was doing.
The Bears "Top Dog" was simply deflecting all the talk about losing and having their backs against the wall to himself. He put the pressure on his back and made it clear he wants to carry the load. Marshall challenged every member of the Packers secondary. He called them out like you rarely hear an NFL player do, and I loved every minute of it.
Marshall has played one game in the storied rivalry and was held to just two catches for 24 yards. By far his lowest output of the season. The Packers refused to let Marshall take over the game with coverage underneath and over the top, and even though Marshall said he wants to see one-on-one coverage he knows that isn't happening. Teams don't change schemes when they've had success with a certain scheme or approach.
Marshall also knew Bears fans would love hearing him talk so negative about the Bears biggest rival. He's selling what Lovie Smith has preached to his team, that beating the Packers is their No. 1 goal. Unfortunately, it's rare when that happens, considering Green Bay has won seven of the last eight meetings, including the 2010 NFC Championship game. So for now, it's been very one sided.
Perhaps Marshall's tough talk will resonate with his team and they will rise to the challenge, and play like a team that's in the thick of the playoff race. Otherwise, it could be the beginning of a very tense final two weeks of the season.
Chicago Bears guard Kyle Long met with the media after practice on Friday and discussed a variety of topics ranging from his health to the young talent GM Ryan Pace has managed to add to the roster.
Long, 29, is now one of the elder statesmen on the Bears. And he's not old by offensive linemen standards. Still, he said he's at the point in his career where he's not quite understanding the pop culture references made by his younger teammates, a sign that he's now entered that next stage of his career.
Have a listen to Long's complete comments here:
Matt Nagy kicked off his tenure with the Chicago Bears Friday in the first practice of his first-ever training camp as a head coach.
The weather didn't exactly cooperate for Nagy, who decided the Bears would run through the entire session outdoors despite periodic downpours.
"You don’t want to have that mentality where you just always try to have perfect weather,” he said. "That’s not realistic. Whether it’s the wind, which can be just as bad as the rain, rain, snow, I mean, we’re in Chicago, so that’s something we need to take into account."
While Nagy certainly has a point, Bears fans are scarred by practice-field injuries this time of year. A wet field can lead to slips and slides that turn into pulls and strains.
"In the summertime, you like have your first practice and have the sun, but it didn’t happen and that’s OK.”
The Bears held Danny Trevathan and Sherrick McManis out of practice because of hamstring injuries, neither of which are considered serious. Allowing either of them to practice on a wet field wouldn't have been the smartest idea and likely played a big part in keeping them sidelined.
Welcome to the Nagy era, one in which neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night will force the team indoors.