D.J. Moore has no hard feelings toward Lions’ Matthew Stafford
BY MARK POTASH email@example.com October 17, 2012 10:26PM
The Bears and Lions engage in some rough-and-tumble activity during their game last season at Soldier Field. | Tom Cruze~Sun-Times
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Updated: November 19, 2012 3:31PM
Bears nickel back D.J. Moore has no hard feelings toward Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford. But football is football.
‘‘If I get a chance to [get in the backfield], I’ll give him everything I’ve got,’’ Moore said, responding to questions about the fight he had with Stafford last season at Soldier Field. ‘‘I don’t get in the backfield very often, so hopefully I can get an intercetpion or something like that. I’m just trying to do my job.’’
Moore was unwittingly in the middle of the most contentious incident of an increasingly hostile rivalry between the Bears and Lions. After the Bears already had returned two interceptions for touchdowns in the second half of a game last Nov. 13, Tim Jennings intercepted another pass early in the fourth quarter and returned it 52 yards.
When Moore tried to block Stafford on the return, Stafford grabbed Moore by the helmet and threw him to the ground. Moore responded by charging Stafford, igniting a melee that seemed like a perfect finishing touch to the Bears’ 37-13 rout. (As it turned out, the return was nullified because Jennings was ruled down at the point of the interception.)
Moore said he doesn’t think there will be any repercussions when the teams square off Monday at Soldier Field.
‘‘I don’t think it’s bad blood,’’ he said. ‘‘I think it’s just a guy who was frustrated. He did something, I did something and then that was pretty much it. I don’t really see it as something that will keep going. If it happens again, I won’t react no different than what I did.’’
The Lions seem to think likewise. Receiver Nate Burleson said he told his teammates, ‘‘We’ve got to get back to being angry,’’ after a concerted attempt to soften their bad-boy image resulted in a 1-3 start.
‘‘We had a lot of discipline issues in the offseason, and we wanted to tighten up because the perception of this organization started to change,’’ Burleson told the Detroit Free Press. ‘‘What we worked for was getting torn down, and we wanted to be more of a mature team.
‘‘But finding that maturity off the field can’t compromise who we are on the field. And who we are on the field are the bad guys. . . . We’re the ones that nobody wants to see succeed, and we like it that way. We play better that way.
‘‘I think everybody took it in their own hands to be better men off the field, and that followed us a little bit on the field. But I think we’re back where we need to be.’’
It remains to be seen how that will manifest itself Monday.