It was a war of words between the Packers and the Bears on Wednesday. Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall kicked things off in Chicago during a press conference when he didn't hold back his displeasure for the Packers. "I don't like the Green Bay Packers," Marshall is quoted as saying by the Associated Press. "I'm not going to use the word hate, but I really dislike the Green Bay Packers and their players. But the talk, you have to back it up. We'll go out there and we'll do everything we need to do to get a win." Marshall, in particular, seemed to hold a grudge against some of the Packers defensive backs, Tramon Williams and Charles Woodson, claiming he didn't like some of the things they said about him in the media.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel sent reporter Tyler Dunne to cover the Bears in Illinois, and his article on Marshall is highly suggested reading to get a better picture of what occurred in Lake Forest on Wednesday as the Bears wide receiver brought a Charlie Brown Christmas tree along with him to the press conference complete with entrance music and a picture of the Lombardi Trophy.
Video of Marshall's press conference is provided at the NFL's website.
Packers tight end Jermichael Finley, meanwhile, had some not-so-flattering words regarding Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher who will miss Sunday's game due to injury. "Urlacher is at the end of his career right now; he's playing a little slow out there," Finley is quoted as saying by Paul Imig of Fox Sports Wisconsin. "I don't think they're losing too much if he's out. Putting another guy in might help them a little." This is just another case of Finley running his mouth. It's certainly no secret that Urlacher might be nearing the end of his career and he's probably not the same player he once was, but to suggest the Bears are better off without him is pretty foolish.
The Green Bay Fire Department responded to a small fire Wednesday in a Lambeau Field stairwell that caused an estimated $5,000 in damage. "Firefighters say it broke out near the fourth floor where construction is ongoing," according to Fox 11 news. "Workers were cutting a beam off when sparks flew into a wall. Some foam installation then started on fire." One firefighter reportedly sustained a minor back injury, but no one else was hurt. The stairwell was not in a high-traffic area of the stadium for a week day.
It appears as if Clay Matthews is set to return to game action for the Packers following a hamstring injury. "Matthews, who returned to practice Wednesday after a four-game absence due to a pulled hamstring, said he hoped his maturity would prevail should he experience any tightness or fatigue while playing on the mushy Soldier Field turf," writes Tom Silverstein of the Journal Sentinel. Matthews' pass rush and run defense will be a welcome reprieve for the Packers who clearly miss their best defender. They've been surviving without him, but not necessarily thriving. The Packers also saw the return of T.J. Lang and Mike Neal to practice on Wednesday, while Charles Woodson and Jordy Nelson remained out.
As T.J. Lang returned to practice, speculation now centers upon where he'll play. "When practice resumed on Wednesday, Lang took the majority of his snaps at left guard, a fairly good sign that the coaches were willing to stick with (Don) Barclay at right tackle," writes Silverstein at JSOnline. "Moving Lang back to his old position would mean sending Evan Dietrich-Smith to the bench after he played probably the best game of his career." Moving Lang back to left guard and leaving Barclay at right tackle seems to make the most sense, which would allow Dietrich-Smith to remain the top backup should anyone else get injured.
More on T.J. Lang comes from the Press-Gazette.
More on Clay Matthews and the injury situation comes from the Press-Gazette, ESPNMilwaukee.com, Journal Sentinel, JSOnline, Fox Sports Wisconsin, Packer Report, Associated Press, Packers official website and Packers blog.
New running back DuJuan Harris is featured in an article by Lori Nickel of the Journal Sentinel.
Perhaps surprisingly, the Bears didn't practice on Wednesday, according to ESPNMilwaukee.com.
Former NFL linebacker Dhani Jones visits Green Bay for the "In the Zone" feature at JSOnline.
Cheesehead TV's own Zach Kruse looks at the return of Clay Matthews in his weekly column at JSOnline.
The Packers-Bears rivalry is covered at the Packers official website.
JSOnline has a video on Charles Woodson and how he'll miss the Bears game.
Dave Robinson and Herb Adderley will do a book signing in Reedsburg, Wis. on Friday.
Video: Aaron Rodgers and the Packers react to the Packers quarterback being honored with his own day in the state of Wisconsin. From Fox 11...
Brian Carriveau is the author of "It's Just a Game: Big League Drama in Small Town America," a member of the Pro Football Writers of America and an editor at Cheesehead TV. To contact Brian, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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