Biggs: Green Bay rookie Raji not worried about Kreutz
It’s impossible to say if Chicago center Olin Kreutz will have a response for Green Bay rookie B.J. Raji, but rest assured he’s well aware of the comments by the nose tackle by now.
Raji made it clear he does not believe he’ll be at a disadvantage vs. the six-time Pro Bowl performer if he is forced to fill in for Ryan Pickett, who missed practice the last two days with a right hamstring injury. Raji, who tweaked an ankle in Monday’s victory over Baltimore, is a big man at 6-2, 337 pounds, compared to Kreutz, 6-2, 292.
“It's nothing physical, it's all technical,” Raji told Greg Bedard of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “I'm stronger than the guy. I mean, that's not really talking (smack), he's just fast. That's not his game, really, strength. He's more trying to out leverage you, get around you. Once I get the feel of that then the game will come a lot easier.
“It's not going to take me a whole lot to get used to him moving. Football's football. He's not going to change the way he plays because there's a new nose on him. He's going to play the way he's been playing. So what I watch on film, it's probably going to help me out the most, really.”
An ankle injury kept Raji out when the rivals played in the season opener at Lambeau Field. He’s playing all three positions on the line, but he’s expected to get his first career start if Pickett is sidelined. That could give the moribund Bears’ rushing attack a spark as the team has struggled passing the ball vs. the physical Packers cornerbacks in recent meetings.
Raji isn’t the first nose tackle in the NFC North to take a swipe at Kreutz. Minnesota’s Pat Williams called him a "joke" to the Minneapolis Star Tribune in 2005, and Williams’ camp later told the St. Paul Pioneer Press that Kreutz conspired to have Williams blackballed in player voting for the Pro Bowl.
Eventually, Kreutz went off on Williams when I asked him about the shots through the press.
'When (Williams) talks nonsense about me like that, I can respond in so many ways,' Kreutz said. 'I can attack him.
'Obviously, if everyone likes you, you're probably doing something wrong. I'm glad there is someone out there that hates my guts. It makes me feel good about myself.
'The code is this: Don't hide behind a newspaper. If you have something to say to someone, look them dead in the face. I'm going to be there on Sunday, lining up right across from him. Everyone knows I'm happy to oblige him.’’
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