Wednesday, defensive lineman Henry Melton made clear he thinks the Detroit Lions are dirty and singled out center Dominic Raiola in particular. Meanwhile, safety Major Wright said that quarterback Matthew Stafford "kind of folds" when facing pressure.
Melton has missed the Bears' past two games because of a chest injury. But according to Michael C. Wright of ESPNChicago.com, Melton said of the Lions: "They're dirty. They've always been a dirty team since I've been here. I don't like them. We've just got to hold our composure and play the game we know."
He added: "They just try to do all this extra stuff; talking, little cheap shots. If you look at the tape, they've always thrown cheap shots. We had a brawl I think last year. So it is what it is. I'm ready."
Melton didn't provide any specifics beyond that. But as we know, there is a long list of aggressive plays from both teams over the past few years. Most recently, Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh drew the Bears' ire for a violent -- but unpenalized -- takedown of Bears quarterback Jay Cutler.
Melton did say that Raiola is "old, and he just talks." Raiola is 33. Melton is 26.
As for Stafford, Wright said during a conference call with Lions reporters: "You put a little pressure on him, you close the pocket on him, and he hesitates. He doesn't make that perfect throw."
As we always note, the outcome of a game rarely if ever is impacted by trash talking. It's fun to hear and watch, and in some cases it gives us insight on the psyche of players and teams.
I will say this: Personal insults will probably only heighten the Lions' desire to knock the Bears out of the playoffs. It won't make them play better, but it could help them play harder at the end of a lost season.