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Bears RB Barber dodges full media contingent

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Dan Parr

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Posted Dec. 15, 2011 @ 3:03 p.m. ET
By Dan Parr

LAKE FOREST, Ill. — After being warned by the NFL that he would face a $10,000 fine if he continued his media boycott and didn't speak to reporters by Friday, Barber broke his silence Thursday, but did so by speaking only to the team's website and flagship radio station.

Barber met with the two reporters away from the rest of the media contingent, which had not been informed that Barber would be speaking.

Barber has declined to speak with reporters throughout his career and did not address the media after the Bears' 13-10 loss to the Broncos on Sunday, in which he committed two costly errors late in the game, failing to stay inbounds on a run late in the fourth quarter, giving the Broncos more time to attempt their comeback while trailing 10-7, and fumbling in overtime.

The Bears distributed a transcript and audio file of Barber's interview Thursday to reporters after he made his comments to the two reporters.

Barber brushed off questions about the Denver game, which was his first 100-yard performance in two years, saying his focus is on Sunday's game against the Seahawks.

"So for me personally, I'm just all about making sure I know what I'm doing this week and understanding the concepts for this week and understanding the protections for this week so I can be at my best," Barber said.

"I'm not trying to be disrespectful, but I just move on. Just bear with me."

Barber was asked why he avoids speaking with the media.

"I've been like this all my life," he said. "Really high school I wasn't a guy to be in a TV interview, only when I was asked to do it. That's kind of something that I hope people will respect from me. It's not like I don't do it. I do do a few, but I believe because of the circumstances that took place, a lot want to know. But like I said, it's all about this week and doing what I can do to help this ballclub win."

Despite his costly mistakes against Denver in a loss that significantly damaged the Bears' fledgling playoff hopes, Barber said he feels like he still has the support of his teammates.

"Even after that, guys here are great," Barber said. "That was (a) blessing and that's what it's all about at the end of the day because that's who we are. I believe that being here even though it's been for this short period of time, the fellas in there, you've got some big dogs — 'Lach (Brian Urlacher), Briggs, the offensive line, and it's just great to have that (support) going to the next game with that on your shoulders, knowing that guys have got love for you."

Barber is a close friend of his former Cowboys and current Bears teammate WR Sam Hurd, who was arrested Wednesday night on federal charges for attempting to buy half a kilogram of cocaine with intent to distribute it, but Barber was not asked about Hurd during his interview Thursday.

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