IRVING, Texas – This week's media conference call with the Cowboys' opposition was Bears receiver Brandon Marshall, but Marshall saw to it that reporters got a crack at Jay Ratliff, too.
Asked if he thought Ratliff had placed special significance on his reunion with the Cowboys on Monday night, Marshall decided to let Ratliff answer himself.
"Actually, he's walking by right now. You want me to ask him? Hold on guys, I'm getting this fat head right now," Marshall said.
After Marshall seemingly chased the former Cowboy across the Bears' facility, he managed to ask the question many in Dallas have wondered since Ratliff left the team: is there any added desire fueling him this week?
Ratliff laughed when he learned who was on the other end of the line, and then he dispelled the notions of a vendetta.
"No. This is football, man," Ratliff said. "You take every game serious. We've got to win out."
Ratliff has only been with the Bears since Nov. 3, and this past weekend against Minnesota was his first action of the season. But Marshall said his experience and approach have made him a valuable addition to the Chicago locker room. [embedded_ad]
"Oh, man. I pick his brain every time I can. He's a very smart guy. He's a pro's pro, and he's a technician," he said. "So I enjoy working with him from the standpoint that we're similar guys in our approach to the game. He takes it serious, he loves football and he respects the game. I think he's going to help us out a lot."
Marshall answered plenty of questions about himself, as well -- most notably about his matchup with the Cowboys secondary and Brandon Carr. It seems logical that Marshall would look forward to another matchup with Carr, after he went for 138 yards and a touchdown on seven catches in last season's game.
That's not the case, though, according to Marshall.
"I don't like playing against Brandon Carr – he presents a lot of tough challenges throughout a game. You'll notice he changes up his game when he plays against bigger receivers," he said. "He's strong, he's physical and he plays that way against guys like myself, and I absolutely hate the matchup."
Marshall is just the latest marquee receiver to match up against the Cowboys. Carr helped hold Philadelphia's DeSean Jackson to three catches for 21 yards, and he limited Denver's Demaryius Thomas to five catches for 57 yards.
Of course, Marshall measures up at 6-4, 230 pounds. The last receiver of that stature Carr faced was Calvin Johnson, who exploded for 14 catches, 329 yards and a touchdown. But Marshall said he doesn't expect any easy yardage.
"It's like playing chess out there with him," Marshall said. "Every single play is a battle, and he just makes you work so hard."
With the unusually high number of former Cowboys playing for the Bears, Marshall was bound to be asked about others aside from Ratliff. Although he couldn't get Martellus Bennett on the phone, he laughed when asked about playing with the former Cowboys tight end.
"He's cool man. He's definitely a unique guy," Marshall said. "He's a character – I'm sure you guys know of that from your time with him. He's definitely a special guy, and he's a joy to work with."