Monday, September 20, 2010
Updated: September 21, 11:40 AM ET
Are 'Monsters of the Midway' back?
Are the Chicago Bears establishing a reputation as big hitters who intimidate opponents?
Depends on who's asked.
Bears cornerback D.J. Moore actually thought Dallas Cowboys Pro Bowl tight end Jason Witten looked 'scared to get hit,' according to the Chicago Sun-Times, and he said Witten "short-handed" a pass as if he were about to get hit during the Bears' 27-20 win Sunday in Dallas. Moore had two interceptions.
"You could see them short-handing or dropping passes," Moore said Monday on "The Afternoon Saloon" on ESPN 1000. "It was just certain plays; you knew going into the middle you knew you were going to get hit."
Bears coach Lovie Smith didn't say anyone looked scared, but he did say big hits likely weigh on the minds of receivers.
"There were more than a few; we had a lot of big hits," Smith said Monday. "I think once you get that reputation, and during the course of a game, once you see a lick, a big hit like that early on, it has to be on the receivers' minds if they're coming across the middle trying to make catches.
"A lot of times we're in zone coverage. The good part of zone coverage is you have seven guys seeing the quarterback that can break and get a shot. We have guys who can hit with impact."
Witten suffered a slight concussion when he was sandwiched by two Bears defenders after catching a pass down the middle. He was not allowed to return to the game.
"We talk a lot about the 'Monsters of the Midway;' that's about a physical brand of football," Smith said. "Our linebackers -- Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs -- are big linebackers and athletic. If you're on defense, you have to be able to tackle, so it has an effect."
Cowboys receiver Roy Williams didn't show any signs of being scared. Williams caught two passes over the middle and hung onto the ball despite solid hits.
"Nobody intimidates me coming across the middle," Williams said. "I catch the ball, pop up and give you first down in your face."
ESPNDallas.com contributed information to this report.