Wide receiver Brandon Marshall went into the Bears' first meeting with the Green Bay Packers as if it was "like any old game." But he quickly learned it wasn't.
After hearing all the trash talk from the Packers afterward, Marshall won't say he hates them. But he strongly dislikes the Packers and their players.
Marshall was adamant about his feelings Wednesday when he met the media at Halas Hall.
"I don't like the Green Bay Packers," Marshall said. "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 had his worst outing of his stellar season in Week 2 against the Packers. Facing a lot double teams and coverages with safety help, Marshall had two catches for 24 yards in a 23-10 loss for the Bears at Lambeau Field.
Afterward, some players -- notably defensive backs Tramon Williams and Charles Woodson -- sounded off on the Bears, Marshall and quarterback Jay Cutler.
Marshall didn't like that at all.
"[Defensive coordinator Dom] Capers is their player MVP," Marshall said. "For their players to be over there talking about how awesome of a job they [do] shutting down certain players, I don't respect that, when it's two and three guys on you or other guys. Coach Capers did an amazing job of game-planning us and game-planning me. I didn't beat double or triple coverage or whatever they were throwing at us.
"I take it as a slap in my face when guys talk about my lack of ability to do something against them when they have help all over the place. I'm looking forward to one-on-one coverage. Hopefully, those guys in games like this may go to their coach and say, 'Let me have him. I want Brandon Marshall. I want to stop Brandon Marshall. Let me have him one-on-one, press coverage.' And we'll see what happens."
Marshall continued to dare the Packers to cover him one-on-one at Soldier Field on Sunday. Marshall has continuously beat man coverage this season en route to his 101 catches and 1,342 receiving yards.
"I mean the way some people talk is like they did that," Marshall said. "I would love their play to back up their talk. But if they did, this game, it's not about stats. It's not about any of that. We just want to get the win. It's personal. So I want to impose my will this game. It doesn't matter if that's in the passing game or the running game. Our ultimate goal is the Super Bowl. It says if you speak it, you can speak things into existence. That's exactly what I'm doing.
"Whatever the formula is this game to win, I want to get it done. If they want to roll coverage to me, shoot, I've got Alshon Jeffery on the other side. He's not a rookie anymore. He's not rusty anymore. He's been making plays in practice. He had a bunch of opportunities in the game, and those plays that we expect him to make, he will make. I'll lean on Alshon. I'll lean on Matt Forte. I'll lean on Devin Hester this game. I invite double and triple coverage. I just don't like the talk afterwards about how great of a job the players did when it's not man-to-man coverage or single."
Woodson ripped Cutler after the Packers' Week 2 win, saying "it's the same old Jay. We don't need luck. Jay will throw us the ball." Cutler was sacked seven times and finished with a 28.2 passer rating in the loss.
Marshall, though, will be disappointed when he finds out that Packers coach Mike McCarthy said he isn't expecting Woodson (broken collarbone) to play Sunday against the Bears.
"For me, the reason why I would like Charles out there is totally different," Marshall said. "I want him out there because of the some of things that they say. I take it personal when someone takes jabs at the way I approach the game or my career."
Marshall said the Packers' secondary isn't physical at all.
"Non-existent," Marshall said. "They play a lot of off. Leading up to the game, they were complaining about how big I was and I was a cheater because I grabbed and pushed at the line of scrimmage. I thought that is what bump coverage was about. So they put them off and throw them inside and a safety over the top and a linebacker running out to me. They did a bunch of things and it was good.
"But we won't make that mistake again. We won't force the ball to me. We'll lean on other guys, and if they want to give me one-on-one coverage, they will pay."
Marshall listed a number of rivalries he's been a part of throughout his career from little league to Denver Broncos' animosity with the San Diego Chargers. But the Packers are a whole new level.
"I've never felt this strong in sports -- versus any team or any players," Marshall said. "I'm going to play like it's my last game."
(Image source: Getty Images)