• 46°

Muhammad’s remarks resurface

By Mike Cranston
Associated Press
CHARLOTTE ó When he signed with Chicago, Muhsin Muhammad heard the whispers: It’s no fun to be a Bears receiver.
After being released following a disappointing 40-catch season in 2007, Muhammad concluded those folks were right.
The franchise in Chicago, Muhammad told Sports Illustrated last month, “is where receivers go to die.”
On Sunday, Muhammad will be a significant subplot as his Carolina Panthers prepare to face the Bears, with Muhammad 10 yards shy of 10,000 yards receiving.
“I wasn’t the originator of that comment,” Muhammad said this week. “It actually was made when I signed with Chicago. Someone questioned why I went to Chicago because of that comment. I tried to discredit it as much as I could when I was in Chicago. I gave it all I could.”
Chicago’s rap as a receiver’s graveyard stems from the quarterback carousel there. Muhammad played with Kyle Orton, Rex Grossman, Brian Griese and Jeff Blake.
All had limited success and might be why Muhammad’s numbers didn’t come close to matching his output in his first stint with Carolina.
Orton, who was seen arguing with Muhammad on the sideline on more than one occasion when they were teammates, was asked this week what his reaction was when he heard Muhammad’s remark.
“I didn’t have one,” Orton said, and walked off.
After the Panthers upset San Diego on a last-second touchdown and the Bears routed Indianapolis in their openers, this matchup was already intriguing. The Muhammad angle should guarantee the Bears won’t suffer a letdown.
“We don’t need extra motivation to play a football game. You are self-motivated,” Bears coach Lovie Smith said. “We are tying to win a game, period. Muhsin did a great job for us. He’s a lifetime friend of mine. I have nothing but good things to say about him. I’m excited that he was able to come back home and finish up his career with the Panthers.”
The Bears expected big things from the two-time Pro Bowl selection when they signed the tall possession receiver to a six-year, $30 million deal a day after he was released by Carolina in a salary-cap move.
But after catching 93 passes for 1,405 yards and 16 touchdowns for the Panthers in 2004, Muhammad’s numbers dipped to 64 catches for 750 yards and four TDs for the Bears a year later.
He caught only 60 balls in 2006 when the Bears reached the Super Bowl, and 40 for 570 yards and three scores in last year’s disappointing 7-9 campaign when the Bears went through three QBs.
“Obviously my career wasn’t as good as it was the nine years I was here,” said Muhammad, 35. “Some other players who were there had better careers when they left.”
Asked about his relationship with Muhammad during a conference call with Panthers reporters, Orton offered another terse reply.
“Moose was a good player when he was here,” he said. “I had a wide receiver-quarterback relationship with him.”
While the Bears had concerns about Muhammad’s age, he’s become one of Carolina’s top offseason moves. He’ll be the No. 1 receiver on Sunday with Steve Smith serving a two-game suspension for punching teammate Ken Lucas in a training-camp fight.
Muhammad had six catches for 56 yards in the win over San Diego. Currently sixth on the active list with 748 catches, he’s likely to reach the milestone of 10,000 yards receiving against his former team.

Comments

Comments closed.

Crime

Blotter: Feb. 26

Crime

Salisbury, Kannapolis men charged with soliciting sexual acts

News

Racial bias ‘deeply entrenched’ in report critical of Apex Police Department

Nation/World

US bombs facilities in Syria used by Iran-backed militia

Elections

City council again dismisses idea of adding new member, focus now on recommendation to delay elections

Business

‘Let’s make some money:’ Loosened restrictions praised by bar owners, baseball team

High School

Salisbury High bucks historical trend in dominant shutout of West Rowan

Enochville

Garage declared total loss after Enochville fire

Crime

Cooper, N.C. prison officials agree to release 3,500 inmates

Coronavirus

Two more COVID-19 deaths reported in Rowan, six for the week

Crime

Blotter: Man brandishes AR-15, runs over motorcycle at Rockwell-area gas station

Crime

Salisbury man charged with exploitation of minor

Crime

Road rage incident results in assault charges

Local

Dukeville lead testing results trickle in, more participation needed

Education

Faith Academy interviewing staff, preparing site for fall opening

News

Volunteers work around obstacles, alter procedures to offer free tax services to those in need

Education

Education shoutouts

Local

Retired Marine gets recognition for toy collection efforts

Local

March issue of Salisbury the Magazine is now available

Education

Five get Dunbar School Heritage Scholarships

Education

Education briefs: Salisbury Academy fourth-graders think big as inventors

Education

Bakari Sellers keynote speaker at Livingstone College Founder’s Day program

Nation/World

Biden aims to distribute masks to millions in ‘equity’ push

Nation/World

Chief: Capitol Police were warned of violence before riot