ON LIFE AS A NEW MEMBER OF THE BEARS (Muhammad is pictured with four grizzly bears at the Bronx Zoo.) The Bears weren't the first team I considered, but I felt this was the place that gave me the best chance to win right away. I like it here. I'm fitting in and getting along with my teammates and coaches.
ON WHAT'S MORE INTIMIDATING, A PANTHER OR A BEAR Definitely a bear. They're bigger, meaner and will scare you half to death.
ON LEADING THE NFL WITH 1,405 RECEIVING YARDS LAST SEASON When Steve Smith, Stephen Davis, DeShaun Foster--who carried the majority of the load on offense--got hurt, most of the weight was put on my shoulders. I took it as a challenge to prove that I am one of the elite players in the league.
ON WHY HE'S NOT ONE OF THE MOST FAMOUS PLAYERS I like being low-key, because I enjoy my freedom. A lot of the other guys get more coverage in the media, but I like being able to go to restaurants without being recognized. We did almost a whole photo shoot here in the zoo, and no one knew who I was. Then a bunch of kids found out, and it got crazy. I have a wife [Christa] and four kids [Jordan, 8; Chase, 7; Muhsin III, 4; and Kennedy, 1], and we like to do family things and have our privacy.
ON ADJUSTING TO THE WINDY CITY We're learning our way around. The kids are excited, and we've started to get some furniture and get some paint on our walls. I'm from [Lansing] Michigan, and I am used to the bitter cold, so I'll be fine when the season starts.
ON CHICAGO DINING Gino's East has some good Chicago-style pizza, but my favorite is Bob Chinn's Crab House. I felt like I was eating a crab steak, the crab legs were so big.
ON MORE RUSTIC PURSUITS I love to fish: fly-fishing, ice fishing. I took my kids salmon fishing the other day. I also hunt turkey and deer.
ON STEROIDS IN SPORTS The recent [baseball suspensions] have given us a black eye. Now everyone thinks all athletes are on steroids. I truly don't believe steroids do anything for you. And you're in for a whole lot of humiliation when you're found out, so what's the point?
--As told to Elizabeth Newman
MUHAMMAD, 32, AND THE BEARS OPEN THE SEASON SEPT. 11 AT WASHINGTON
"BEARS ARE BIG, MEAN AND WILL SCARE YOU HALF TO DEATH."
photograph by lou capozzola
AARON JOSEFCZYK/ICON SMI (MUHAMMAD ACTION)