Lions DE Israel Idonije “looking forward” to facing Bears twice this year
After Idonije spent majority of his NFL career in Chicago, it could definitely be a bit strange for him to play for a different NFC North team. But he's welcoming that change and believes he will fit in well with the Lions’ defense in 2013.
"Just after Chicago kind of moved off the radar for the team for us to go with, Detroit just seemed like a great fit,” said Idonije. “Six games out of the year, I'm going to play teams that I'm very familiar with. The defense, the style of defense, is the same style - an attacking style of defense.”
“And then when you start to look at the talent pool that they have defensively and the guys that I'll be lining up with, it really was a perfect fit,” continued Idonije. “From across the line to the offense to the weapons that they have there, it just is a great opportunity and really something I'm looking forward to."
Although the organization had started to feel like a family to him after spending seven seasons in Chicago, Idonije learnt of about the harsher side of this business when the Bears opted not to re-sign him this offseason. However, that only motivated him to lay more focus on adapting to the Lions defense and setting his eyes on bigger future plans.
"First, after things change, you have to take the personal aspect out of it and look at it as a business. As soon as you do that, it's easy to make that adjustment and really focus on what's the next step and what are your goals,” said Idonije. “My goals are to get into a club to add value, to play and ultimately to win a championship.”
But despite this apparent professionalism, the 10-year veteran will be looking forward for some payback and an opportunity to remind the Bears what they will be missing out on the defense, when he lines up twice against the team in the 2013 season regular season.
“I'm looking forward to twice a year, dressing up, suiting up, and getting after it on the field when we play the Bears in Detroit and then in Chicago.”
Similarly, Idonije mentioned even harbors those feelings whenever he faces the Cleveland Browns. As a rookie, Idonije was briefly on the Browns’ practice squad before being released ahead of the 2003 regular season.
"I wake up the same way when I play the Cleveland Browns," said Idonije. "I was with them for a quick second my first year. Till this day, whenever I play the Browns, I make sure that they remember that once upon a time, I was a Brown."