BOURBONNAIS — As much as Marion Barber is known for running over defenders, he has just as much of a reputation for eluding the media.
The Bears running back finally had his day in front of the cameras Monday, fresh off his solid 45-yard rushing effort in Saturday's exhibition win over the Bills. But Barber kept it short and to the point.
How do you feel about the transition to Mike Martz's offense?
"It feels good," he said. "Not really a big difference. It's good to be here."
What did you want to accomplish coming into camp?
"You know, I'm just here to play football," he said. "One thing you'll realize about me is I'll be ready at all times."
Is the Bears' tradition of great running backs important to you?
"I'm just here to play football," he said. "I don't think about the past. I think about now and helping contribute to this football team."
Barber's responses were not much different than his usual routine in Dallas, where he played for the Cowboys the last six seasons. It might rub some the wrong way, but he means no disrespect.
"He's very quiet," said receiver Sam Hurd, a good friend and teammate of Barber's with the Cowboys. "He didn't do much of that talking in Dallas, either. He just kept to himself.
"A lot of words can be misconstrued, and then you get people on your back. He doesn't want any of those problems. He's just a simple guy."
Barber's runner style isn't too complex, either. He runs with sheer power and wowed the Soldier Field crowd with a bruising 12-yard run Saturday.
"That's why they call him the Barbarian," Hurd said. "You don't earn a nickname like that for no reason."
Barber is sure to earn plenty of praise if he becomes the reliable short-yardage back the Bears sorely need. Last season, the Bears converted just 11 of 23 (48 percent) of their third-and-1 opportunities and were 2 of 7 (29 percent) on fourth down.
"He ran physical, hard, did what we expected him to do," running backs coach Tim Spencer said of Barber's performance Saturday. "Caleb (Hanie) did a little rollout, and Marion was on the back side with a linebacker and absolutely jacked him.
"We just have some technique issues to tie up and we'll be good to go."
I just wish JA would have signed Colon or some other help for the Oline so that I could feel better about the other guys he brought in.
Barber fills a huge need. As last years stats indicate we were pathetic on 3rd and one and 4th and one plays last year and the reason why is the we lacked a true power back like Barber. I'm actually excited about getting this guy and the fact that Cutler won't always be faced with having to pass when we're down on the goaline. Matt Forte is not a great inside runner and never will be despite his strength and abilties to break tackles in the open field. If we do the right thing this year and keep Barber, Bell and Unga as our backup RB's we'll have a much better short yardage game than we did in 2010.
You gotta wonder why JA was so disatisfied with that phase or our offense that he made the right move getting Barber but still neglects to address that fact that none of these guys can run through a brick wall of 8 defenders. Oh well the run blocking worked well on Saturday so maybe if we cross 50% of the passing plays off Martz's game plan we'll do all right.
I'm getting to that age where a lifetime warranty just doesn't mean as much to me anymore as an afternoon nap.
Honey Badger Don't Care. Honey Badger Don't Give a Shit.