As if there wasn’t enough at stake between the Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions in their matchup on Sunday, Henry Melton and Dominic Raiola have added a little fuel to the fire. It started on Wednesday when Melton expressed his true feelings about the Lions:
“Dirty. They’re dirty,” Melton said of the Lions. “They’ve always been a dirty team since I’ve been here. I don’t like them. They’re going to be looking for cheap shots and all that mess, just have to hold our composure and play the game we know.”
“They just try to do all this extra stuff, talking little cheap shots,” Melton said. “If you look at the tape, they’ve always thrown cheap shots, we had a brawl last year. It is what it is, I’m ready.”
Melton singled out Lions veteran center Dominic Raiola as the biggest talker on the offensive front.
“He’s old and he just talks. He’s more just cuss words, bad language,” Melton said. “Then he’ll throw some cheap shots in there and then he’ll say some bad words.”
Raiola responded on Thursday:
“Who? Who?” said Raiola, according to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. “Exactly. You got a defense full of superstars, and you don’t hear from guys that carry weight in my book. (Brian) Urlacher, (Lance) Briggs, (Charles) Tillman, (Israel) Idonije, older guys. (Julius) Peppers. The guys that have been there. We’re talking about guys who carry weight. This guy? Not in my book.”
Raiola wasn’t done there. When told that Melton was a Pro Bowler, he had a few more choice words:
“This guy, he made it to the Pro Bowl?” Raiola said. “This guy made the Pro Bowl? (Over Minnesota’s) Kevin Williams, who worked through injuries all year? (Over Ndamukong) Suh, who’s a better player than this guy? Come on.
“It’s tiresome, especially from a guy like this, a guy that didn’t even play the past two weeks. … I don’t know what to say anymore. In my book, he’s a clown. That’s all I got.”
For whatever it’s worth, I hope Melton back up the talk. The Bears will need a strong pass rush to pressure Stafford and Melton’s been missed in the middle of the Bears’ D-line. Melton hasn’t exactly set the world on fire with his play vs the Lions. He has 1 sack and 5 tackles in four career games vs the Lions.