Flanigan Experiences Rivalry From Other Side

Packers defensive tackle Jim Flanigan talks about his former team – the Chicago Bears – with members of the media on Wednesday. Flanigan played for the Bears, the team he was drafted by and spent seven seasons with prior to coming to Green Bay this off-season as a free agent.

Q: How do you feel about the Bears and their success this season?
Flanigan: "You've got to hand it to them. They're making their own breaks and they're winning ballgames. You can't take anything away from ‘em."

Q: How do you keep from getting too jacked up going up against your former team?
Flanigan: "Obviously it's a huge game in all regards. If you take the personal stuff out of it, it's a huge game for the Central Division. I think there's a little extra preparation. It's always a big rivalry. I'm not worried about being overly excited, no."

Q: Can you take the personal stuff out of it?
Flanigan: "I think so. I'm still friendly with a lot of those guys down there. The guys on the team were my friends for a long time. It's nothing against those guys. It's just that it didn't work out and it was my time to get out of there."

Q: Have you ever been in the visiting locker room at Soldier Field?
Flanigan: "Actually I haven't seen it. But that's one of the things I'm looking forward to (tongue in cheek)."

Q: Is any lead safe against the Bears? Can you play "prevent" defense against them?
Flanigan: "Obviously you're going to keep fighting until the last tick of the clock. You have to be conservative. You have to play them close. You have to try not to turn the ball over most of all and play a 60-minute game."

Q: How do you feel about their running game?
Flanigan: "The offensive line is playing really well together. Those guys have always been talented and they're playing well together. They've got ‘A-Train' (Anthony Thomas) and James (Allen) running the ball. That's obviously going to be one of our biggest focuses."

Q: Being from Sturgeon Bay, Wis., what kind of emotion goes into a Packers-Bears game?
Flanigan: "It's a huge game. It's a big rivalry. It's always been a big rivalry. I've been part of it on the Chicago side for seven years. Now it's time to experience it on this side. For me, it's just knowing the tradition of the game and the people who have played for the last 60, 75 years and the proximity of the teams. All those factors go into it and make it a huge game."

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