Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall wants a piece of Packers cornerbacks Tramon Williams and Charles Woodson, and he can hardly wait until Sunday to get it.
He called out both Williams and Woodson on Wednesday because he claims each took credit for shutting him down in Week 2 when in fact it was a group effort orchestrated by Green Bay defensive coordinator Dom Capers.
Although Marshall leads the NFL with 101 catches and is second with 1,342 yards, he was limited to 2 receptions for 24 yards in that first game.
There won’t be any getting even with Woodson because the 14-year veteran was declared out later in the day Wednesday with a fractured collarbone that has sidelined him the past six games.
But Marshall will have opportunities against Williams.
“I take it as a slap in my face when guys talk about my lack of ability to do something against them when they had help all over the place,” Marshall said. “I’m looking forward to 1-on-1 coverage.
“Hopefully those guys, in a game like this, will go to their coach and say, ‘Let me have him. I want Brandon Marshall. I want to stop Brandon Marshall. Let me have 1-on-1 press coverage.’”
There’s no way Capers will game plan to have Williams check Marshall 1-on-1 for very long without help. The Bears’ go-to guy knows it, but he can hope.
“The way some people talk is that they did that,” he said. “But I’ve never been shut out in 1-on-1 coverage ever in my life. I would love their play to back up their talk.
“What’s their corner? Tramon? I heard exactly what he was saying after the game. Those guys do a lot of talking, so this game is personal for me.”
In his first year in Chicago, Marshall sounds like he has a firm handle on the Bears-Packers rivalry.
“I don’t like the Green Bay Packers,” he said. “I’m not going to use the word hate, but I really dislike their players.
“But (action) has to back it up. We’ll got out there and we’ll do everything we need to do.”
That has been a monumental problem for the Bears recently. They’ve lost five straight to the Packers and seven of eight, and they trail them by 1 game in the race for the NFC North title.
Bears coach Lovie Smith doesn’t believe any war of words this week will help his team reverse the recent trend, but Marshall’s actions on the field might.
“Talking just doesn’t get an awful lot done,” Smith said. “But Brandon is performing each week at a high level, and those are the kind of guys that are going to carry us through this last stretch.”
Asked about past rivalries, Marshall went all the way back to playing little league in Pittsburgh and going with his East Liberty team across the tracks to play Hometown and then games at Central Florida and with the Denver Broncos.
But those games all pale in comparison to this one.
“I’ve never felt this strongly in sports vs. any team or any players,” he said. “I’m going to play like it’s my last game.”
Marshall was asked how the Packers’ defensive backs compare to the Seattle Seahawks’ secondary in terms of physical play.
“Nonexistent,” he said. “They’re not physical at all. They play a lot of (man-)off coverage. Leading up to the game, they were complaining about how big I was and how I was a cheater because I grabbed and pushed at the line of scrimmage.”
If the Packers slow down Marshall again it will be with extra attention. As badly as he wants personal payback, Marshall said he’d be happy with a team victory any way it comes.
If the Packers’ obsession with him gives his teammates opportunities, that’s fine.
“We just want to get the win,” said Marshall, who has 32 catches in his last three games for 417 yards. “I want to impose my will on this game, (but) it doesn’t matter if that’s in the passing game or the running game.
“This is personal. I respect the things that they have accomplished. I respect where they’re at, and I’m always going to respect my opponent.
“But all that shaking hands stuff, it’s not going to happen.”
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