Bears' Mills gets plenty of encouragement from his cousin
The Bears-Packers rivalry means a little more to Bears rookie right tackle Jordan Mills because the game also represents a family feud.
His cousin, 5-foot-11, 182-pound cornerback Tramon Williams, has been a starter for the Packers since 2008 and has picked off 15 passes since 2010. The seven-year veteran suffered a shoulder injury in the 2011 opener but still started 15 games and had career highs of 65 tackles and 24 pass breakups while picking off 4 passes.
"I'll get to see him before the game," Mills said, "but when game time comes, I'm a Chicago Bear. I already told him, if he comes my way, it's not going to be good. And he says he's going to try to cut me, so it's not going to be good for me."
But then Mills laughed and added, "It's going to be all good. He's family, but I'm a Chicago Bear. When the clock starts running, and we get out there for the first drive, it's time to win."
Mills followed in Williams' footsteps by attending Louisiana Tech. But, unlike Mills, Williams had to make the Bulldogs as a walk-on, and he wasn't drafted, signing with the Texans but then being cut before the Packers signed him. Mills was taken in the fifth round by the Bears and has started since opening day.
The 6-foot-5, 316-pound Mills admitted the trash talking between the cousins this week has been good-natured and more positive than antagonistic.
"It's been encouragement," Mills said. "He's just been telling me he's been watching me every game. He tries to go check the highlights. He says I've been doing a real good job and he's proud of me. He's an idol, somebody I looked up to throughout my college days and high school to see how hard he worked.
"He walked on. I actually got the scholarship. To see how hard he worked to get where he was, he was a true inspiration. He helps me out any time I need it.
"But he knows when it's game time, all bets are off. We're going to be family before and after, but during that game, we're going to get after each other."