With Marion Barber facing a $10,000 fine for violating the NFL's media policy, the Bears finally convinced their reticent running back to address two reporters in a controlled setting at Halas Hall. Unfortunately, there's no NFL rule that can force him to acknowledge reality.
In an interview with Larry Mayer of the Bears' web site and Zach Zaidman of the Bears broadcast team, Barber refused to address any of the costly mistakes he committed that played a key role in losses to the Chiefs and Broncos that have crippled the Bears' playoff hopes.
Here is the transcript as provided by the Chicago Bears:
Q. How tough was last game?
A. "I'm looking forward to this week. Practice yesterday, guys are really excited about this next week, and that's really what it's all about."
Q. You ran for 108 yards but made two costly mistakes late; your thoughts on last week's game?
A. "My thoughts on it is getting to this next week and just preparing as much as I can to be ready for this game of course."
Q. When Caleb Hanie sat next to you on the bench at the end of the game, what did he tell you?
A. "I'm all about this. I'm ready to go today, tomorrow. Just make sure guys are ready to go this week and still have got the same type of enthusiasm and excitement for this game."
Q. While you want to talk about this week, is it tough to put something from previous game behind you or do you just focus on upcoming game?
A. "That's all. (He's referring to upcoming game.) Anything else could possibly distract you. So for me personally, I'm just all about making sure I know what I'm doing this week and understanding the concepts for this week and understanding the protections for this week so I can be at my best."
Q. One of the crucial plays last week was when you went out of bounds ...
A. "I'm not trying to be disrespectful, but I just move on. Just bear with me."
Q Why do you stay so quiet?
A. "I've been like this all my life. Really high school I wasn't a guy to be in a TV interview, only when I was asked to do it. That's kind of something that I hope people will respect from me. It's not like I don't do it. I do do a few, but I believe because of the circumstances that took place, a lot want to know. But like I said, it's all about this week and doing what I can do to help this ballclub win."
Q. Forget about us. What about your teammates; do you feel you have to say anything to them after a game like that?
A. "Even after that, guys here are great. That was blessing and that's what it's all about at the end of the day because that's who we are. I believe that being here even though it's been for this short period of time, the fellas in there, you've got some big dogs, 'Lach, Briggs, the offensive line, and it's just great to have that [support] going to the next game with that on your shoulders, knowing that guys have got love for you."
Q. Will it be hard for the team to shake off that type of loss?
A. "We've just got to go ahead and move on like I said and just learn from it and just go onto the next game remaining enthusiastic about finishing out the season strong."