Running back Marion Barber looks on from the bench against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on Dec. 11, 2011.
Marion Barber is notoriously media-shy. Since coming to Chicago, he has talked to the media exactly twice. Once during pre-season, and today, when the NFL threatened to fine him for his silence. He spoke with the Bears website and WBBM Newsradio reporter Zach Zaidman, and (kind of) addressed Sunday's game.
How tough was last game?
“I’m looking forward to this week. Practice yesterday, guys are really excited about this next week, and that’s really what it’s all about.”
You ran for 108 yards but made two costly mistakes late; your thoughts on last week’s game?
“My thoughts on it is getting to this next week and just preparing as much as I can to be ready for this game of course.”
When Caleb Hanie sat next to you on the bench at the end of the game, what did he tell you?
“I’m all about this. I’m ready to go today, tomorrow. Just make sure guys are ready to go this week and still have got the same type of enthusiasm and excitement for this game.”
While you want to talk about this week, is it tough to put something from previous game behind you or do you just focus on upcoming game?
“That’s all. (He’s referring to upcoming game.) Anything else could possibly distract you. So for me personally, I’m just all about making sure I know what I’m doing this week and understanding the concepts for this week and understanding the protections for this week so I can be at my best.”
One of the crucial plays last week was when you went out of bounds …
“I’m not trying to be disrespectful, but I just move on. Just bear with me.”
Why do you stay so quiet?
“I’ve been like this all my life. Really high school I wasn’t a guy to be in a TV interview, only when I was asked to do it. That’s kind of something that I hope people will respect from me. It’s not like I don’t do it. I do do a few, but I believe because of the circumstances that took place, a lot want to know. But like I said, it’s all about this week and doing what I can do to help this ballclub win.”
Forget about us. What about your teammates; do you feel you have to say anything to them after a game like that?
“Even after that, guys here are great. That was blessing and that’s what it’s all about at the end of the day because that’s who we are. I believe that being here even though it’s been for this short period of time, the fellas in there, you’ve got some big dogs, ‘Lach, Briggs, the offensive line, and it’s just great to have that [support] going to the next game with that on your shoulders, knowing that guys have got love for you.”
Will it be hard for the team to shake off that type of loss?
“We’ve just got to go ahead and move on like I said and just learn from it and just go onto the next game remaining enthusiastic about finishing out the season strong.”
Barber is in the odd position of disliking the spotlight while having a job that thrusts him in it. Though he is required by the NFL to meet with media, he hates it.
He's not the first Bear to dislike encounters with the media. Last season, Jay Cutler scowled through every press conference, no matter what the team was doing. But Barber can learn from the quarterback and how he's grown in his relationship with the media. Cutler opened up this season. It's not like he's confiding in us about his relationship with Kristin Cavallari, but he has been more relaxed. In turn, fans have seen a different side of Cutler, and have been more supportive of him.
Barber said that he's not good at dealing with the media. That's not true. He's just inexperienced and should give media a chance. We're not that scary.