Marshall Takes the Pressure off the Rest of the Bears and More NFC North News

Andrew Garda@andrew_gardaFeatured ColumnistDecember 13, 2012

pic courtesy ESPN Wisconsin
pic courtesy ESPN Wisconsin

Brandon Marshall put the Green Bay Packers on notice Wednesday that he is not happy with them.

When he walked to the podium with his little Charlie Brown style Christmas tree, he had a very specific agenda, says Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune. 

On the surface, it seems like he's just spouting off—at worst, giving the Packers bulletin board material, at best firing his team up.

However, Marshall's rant may serve another purpose—putting the spotlight on himself and pulling it off his team.

It's no secret the Bears are off-kilter after two losses in a row and four in the last five games. The team is on its heels, and it's fair to question whether the pressure might be too much to rebound under.

So Marshall has pulled the focus off them and their struggles and onto himself.

If this is the case, this is the best proof we've had so far that the fit in Chicago is better than anything he's had before. Marshall's reputation as a teammate was never stellar and ran the gamut from "OK" to "poor."

He has, by all accounts, been a tremendous teammate this year in Chicago and has stepped up for his fellow players more than once. 

Whether this works or not remains to be seen. However, this is a new Brandon Marshall, one who has battled his demons and seems to have beaten them.

It shows on the field, and if we're paying attention, it shows off the field as well.

On to the rest of the NFC North.

Chicago Bears

Rock Morrissey of the Sun-Times says Marshall's ranting also took some pressure off Lovie Smith.

There was no practice on Wednesday as Lovie Smith tried to get his injured players some rest, according to Jeff Dickerson of ESPN Chicago.

Detroit Lions

Matthew Stafford is having to deal with a lot of questions about his mechanics and footwork this season, according to's Anwar Richardson.

The Free Press' Drew Sharp says the Lions' gambles when drafting don't seem to be paying off.

Green Bay Packers

Not to be outdone by Brandon Marshall's stoking of the rivalry flames, Jermichael Finley had some strong opinions about Brian Urlacher as well, according to Paul Imig at Fox Sports Wisconsin.

Looks like Clay Matthews will play in at least a limited fashion on Sunday, according to Tom Silverstein of the Journal-Sentinel.

Minnesota Vikings

Dan Weiderer of the Star-Tribune says the Vikings can make no mistakes if they want to make the playoffs.

The Rams might be the hardest team the Vikings play on the road this year, according to the Pioneer Press' Brian Murphy.

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Follow me on Twitter at @andrew_garda.