After Thursday's practice, the six-time Pro Bowler talked about playing agraisnt his former team.
How do you feel about meeting up with your former team?
They know how I feel about them and I know how they feel about me, but they know I’ll be there to win the game and I know they’ll be there to win the game too. Once a football game breaks out, it’s just a football game, no matter how much emotion there is before the game starts.
Are you ready for the first snap where you don’t have to answer these questions anymore?
No, I really don’t answer very many questions anyway. I’m ready for a snap every week. It’s hard to say it’s another football game, but it is what it is. I said they know how I feel about them. I know how they feel about me. We’ll both be doing everything we can to win that game
Is it a prevailing notion that these are your friends on the other side and that you have something to prove?
No, none of those guys I’m playing against made a decision on me. To be perfectly honest and perfectly fair, they made me a fair offer to go back and I didn’t, so there’s no hard feelings. It’s like playing against your brother or your friend. You probably want to beat them even more than you want to beat anybody else.
Can you discuss your knowledge of the Bears?
I know them very well. When you play a football game, you can give some tips in what you think they might do, but they have great coaches over there and to be honest the Bears defense has done what they’ve done for the last six years. Everybody knows what they do. There aren’t too many tips you can give people. It’s on film. They don’t try to hide what they do. They say this is what they do and they see how you can beat it.
How do you think Roberto Garza has done at center for the Bears?
He’s done a hell of a job like I knew he would. He’s one of my really good friends. I cheer for him, just not this week.
Does he have a lot of adjustments playing center?
He’s about as hard a worker as I’ve been around and Garza’s a professional and he’s going to do whatever he puts his mind to.
Will it be a little weird to see Brian Urlacher on the other side?
It will be a little weird like I said. Once a football game breaks out, you forget about all that stuff.
We were here for a long time. I have a great deal of respect for him. He’s a great linebacker and great teammate. It will be fun to go against all of them. It will be an interesting day.
Will game day be emotional for you at all?
I’m sure seeing them in the beginning will be a little emotional. Like I said earlier, they know how I feel about them; I know how they feel about me. That doesn’t mean we don’t try to kick each other’s ass. We’re all going to have fun.
Have you heard from any former teammates?
Of course I have
Are you undefeated in Bear-Saints matchups?
No, I’ve played them more than that
Did Soldier Field contribute to home field advantage?
It doesn’t matter where you are home field advantage comes into play whether it’s Bears-Saints or Steelers-Ravens.
Do the styles of the different teams make advantages more conducive to their homes?
It’s going to be tough for their offense with the noise. They know that. It was hard for our offense to go to Green Bay and play in that. It’s just not easy
by Ed Staton
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