Those NFL schedule-makers sure made Week 1 of the regular season an interesting one in Chicago.
The Detroit Lions -- losers of a record 24 consecutive road games – invade Soldier Field Sunday to take on the Bears. The Lions are led defensively by the guy that used to lead the Bears: Dick Jauron.
Jauron was hired by friend Steve Mariucci as the Lions' defensive coordinator in the off-season after being fired by the Bears.
"Coach Jauron was my first NFL coach, and like I told the guys (Tuesday), he's someone I have tons of respect for, not only as a coach but as a man," Bears safety Mike Brown said. "If I have a son I want him to be like Coach Jauron cause he's that good of a person, that good of a character.
"I'm going to say hi to him, say hello, but at the same time he's with the Lions now and we have a job to do and he has a job to do. So it's just, 'Hey, how you doing?' and then time to play."
Jauron was 35-45 in five seasons in Chicago, including one winning season in 2001. Not only will the Bears, led by a young and inexperienced quarterback in Rex Grossman, have to deal with Jauron's defense, but they have a guy on the opposite sideline that has a bit of an upper hand on them, too.
"He was around some of us for five years, so he knows what we can do well, what we can't do well," Brown said. "I'm sure he's giving them pointers and what not, but at the same time our schemes are totally different so he can't help them out too much."
Meanwhile, Bears rookie defensive tackle Tommie Harris will face his cousin, Lions offensive tackle Stockar McDougle, during his first NFL game and start Sunday. Both played at the University of Oklahoma.
"Stockar's my big brother," Harris said. "It's great to be out there on the field and finally get to play against him. Hopefully I do well. I don't want to do bad. I don't want it to be a long Thanksgiving."
McDougle will have to deal with the Bears' defensive ends on Sunday and likely won't see much of his cousin in the trenches.
"Hopefully I can hit him a couple times just for no reason. I'm going to be out there messing with him," Harris said.
* Notes: Cornerback R.W. McQuarters (right hamstring) had been listed as questionable earlier in the week, but has been graded to probable for the game.
"You want to be out there so your first instinct is to say I can go. But you still have to take all the precautions during the week and understand that if you're not 100 percent don't risk 15 games for one game," McQuarters said.
Detroit at BEARS
When: Noon, Sunday.
TV/Radio: FOX, WFLD-TV (Ch. 32)/WBBM-AM (780).