Sure, everything appears to be new when it comes to Green Bay football these days, but certainly, no one wants everything to change. It’d be nice to keep the 102-year-old NFL rivalry with the Bears entirely in tact. It would be nice, too, if the rivalry could stay on the current trajectory, with the Packers having won eight straight against Chicago, and 13 of the last 14.
At the very least, the Bears’ resentment of the Packers’ recent success is not going anywhere. That was evident from the presser of defensive back Jaquan Brisker this week, who has been dealing with an injury but is likely to play Sunday’s Week 1 opener at Soldier Field.
Brisker was blunt in his view on the Pack and that should be no surprise—both teams are in similar situations, young and hoping to be the surprise force that emerges in the muddled NFC North.
“I am waiting,” Brisker said. “I am itching, it’s Packers week, so I know it’s gonna be live in the stadium—fans everywhere, it’s gonna be loud, people hate Green Bay, I hate Green Bay. I can’t wait. They didn’t get to see me last year, they gonna get to see me this year, though.”
Bears Banking on Revamped Defense
Brisker did play in the first meeting between the teams, a Packers in in Green Bay last year. But, as he pointed out, he did not play in the second meeting in Chicago, and was not even at the stadium as he recovered from a thumb injury.
Much like the Packers, the Bears are hoping for a bounce-back season defensively in 2023, after struggling badly last year. Chicago was 31st in the NFL against the run, and though Brisker said he expects that to change, the Packers certainly took advantage last year. Green Bay tallied 203 and 175 yards rushing in the two games against the Bears—both performances were Top 5 on the season for the Packers’ rushing attack.
The Bears brought in linemen DeMarcus Walker and Andrew Billings in an effort to bolster the line, and invested in boosting the defensive front in the NFL draft.
“The standard is high,” Brisker said. “It’s super high, especially with the additions we added and different things like that. The standard is very high for this year, whether that is in the back seven of the front four. The standard is high, and I feel like the energy is just different. We all trust each other, our chemistry is great. And we got that swag, that’s a huge thing, having that swag energy and things like that.”
Rasul Douglas: ‘It’s Not Really a Rivalry’
As for the state of the rivalry, the Packers mostly shrugged off the Bears, giving them short shrift as a legitimate Packers rival. Cornerback Rasul Douglas was asked about the Bears and sounded unimpressed.
“It’s not really a rivalry to me,” Douglas said, per CBS. “I think more of a rivalry would be back in the day you’ve been on the same team for 12 years or something like that, and you’ve been going back and forth every year. Maybe that’s a rivalry to you, but to me, it’s like I don’t really care. I don’t have a rivalry in the NFL, so it’s hard. I mean, some players might feel that.”
He continued, comparing the situation to cliques among friends.
“I just know that it’s like it’s being put on you because you’re in the atmosphere,” Douglas said. “So it’s like you’re best friends with somebody, and they don’t like somebody. You don’t know why, you don’t care. You just can’t like the person because your best friend don’t like somebody. You don’t know why, you don’t care. You just can’t like the person because your best friend don’t like them. It’s kind of like that. I don’t know why they [the Packers] don’t like the Bears, and I don’t care. It’s just they don’t like them, I don’t like them.”