McQuarters Expecting Boo Birds In Return

Veteran defensive back R.W. McQuarters will return to Chicago this week. And despite spending five years with the Bears, he isn't expecting a warm welcome. Comments from McQuarters during Wednesday's practice inside.

Defensive back McQuarters spent five years with the Chicago Bears, and was a critical part of that suffocating defense in 2001 that lifted the team to a 13-3 mark.

But on Sunday, McQuarters doesn't think his former fan base will take that into account.

"I think they'll boo me, and they'll boo me, and then they'll boo me some more," laughed McQuarters after Wednesday's practice. "That is how it is. I expect it. Obviously if the cheers are there, that is great; but the boos are great (too). Somebody is going to boo me; I understand that."

McQuarters registered several career-highs in 2001, including tackles (79), interceptions (3) and even forced two fumbles. He was rewarded in 2002 with a $21 million contract, but that was nixed this offseason when Chicago didn't feel his production was up to par.

Public sentiment agreed with the organization.

Packaged with a large contract and waning productivity, McQuarters spent his final two seasons as one of the more maligned players in the city.

"I am sorry it ended the way it did, because R.W. did an awful lot for the Bears organization," said Chicago head coach Lovie Smith. "That is part of it and players leave and move on and you just want what is best for them as they leave and that is how I feel about R.W.

"He is a good football player and I know Detroit is very pleased with what he has done for their team."

Indeed they are. When McQuarters was released, Lions' defensive coordinator Dick Jauron -- who was the Bears head coach in 2001 -- jumped at the chance to sign him. Shortly after departing Chicago, McQuarters arrived in Allen Park.

In Detroit, the 29-year old has made the most of his opportuniy to contribute. Used primarily in nickel and dime situations, McQuarters was able to register five tackles in the Lions' season opening win over Green Bay.

The versatile McQuarters could also see time at punt returner and the safety position at some point in the season.

With another divisional matchup on tap, McQuarters' focus is on this weekend -- not the past. But he does expect a defensive battle with his former ball club.

"I think initially when you look at it, the team with the better defense (will win), or we should out play their defense in order to win," he said. "I think whatever side of the ball you play on, you have to focus on your side of the ball.

"Our whole attitude defensively is don't let them score and get turnovers and get the ball back to offense and let them go score a couple of touchdowns. Score on defense obviously, but give the ball back to the offense so they can make some things happen."

Asked if he had any personal agenda, McQuarters seemed more concerned with returning to Detroit 2-0.

"Being able to go to Chicago and Soldier Field and beat them at home; it would be huge for us," he said.

Kick-off is scheduled this Sunday at 1:00 pm (EST). The game will be televised on FOX.

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