| | Muhammad Leads Bears Against Panthers
Muhsin Muhammad goes against his former team as the Chicago Bears host the Carolina Panthers.
"I'm real focused right now. I'm focused on what we have to do, our game plan," Muhammad said. "I'm much more focused on what I have to do this time around."
The Bears had one of their best performances of the season when they dominated the Panthers 13-3 at Soldier Field on Nov. 20.
Muhammad was pretty nervous in his first game against his former team but caught six passes for 49 yards and a touchdown. He did drop several balls, including another potential score.
"You've got to understand, there's a history there," Muhammad said. "I played there (Carolina) for nine years. For me to come out and say there was no emotional tie to that team would be a flat-out lie. There was emotion. I came out the first time I saw them since I signed with Chicago. Of course, I'm going to give my buddy a hug. (Wide receiver Steve Smith) and I took a picture after the game. I don't know if we're going to do the same after this game."
Bears coach Lovie Smith said, "He's a Pro Bowl receiver. This will be a special game for him. ... He's our No. 1 receiver. We need a big game out of him."
Muhammad left as the Panthers' all-time leader in receptions (578) and yards receiving (7,751) and tied the mark for touchdowns (44).
"I've been a journeyman," Muhammad said. "I've been a role player. I've had a lot of adversity this year. I think you guys have picked out a bunch of the rough spots I've had during the season. But overall, the job that's been asked of me, I think I've done extremely well."
"They've got some good tacklers," Muhammad said of the Panthers. "They leave guys in a lot of one-on-one coverage. You just have to be fundamentally sound, make good throws and run good routes. ... If you've got a rush and you get pressure on the quarterback and you force him to throw it early or throw it late, they'll hurt you. (Cornerback) Ken Lucas and Chris Gamble, they'll both catch the ball. They're not going to drop the ball."
"That game that we played the first time, I thought that we could have played a better game, and I thought I could have played a better game," Muhammad said. "I wanted to play better against them, I really did. I wanted to play a lot better and I just want the opportunity to do it again."