May 22nd, 2013 at 11:43 AM ^

I don't care much about the Bears, but I do think Urlacher is one of the best overall athletes to have ever played the position.  He was pretty fun to watch in his prime.


May 22nd, 2013 at 12:17 PM ^

The Bears could play their Tampa 2 the way they did because of Urlacher's coverage ability. Sure, he lost a step recently, but that deep MLB drop was something that few, if any, other LBs can do as well.

My best Urlacher memory is from the NFC Title game in 2006. The Saints came into a cold Soldier Field and there was a play where reggie bush lined up in the backfield and split out wide. The announcer just about had a wet dream when Urlacher followed him out there saying "there's a LB on Bush!!! Drew Brees is gonna look that way!"

Brees did. Urlacher had man coverage on Bush and Brees ended up having to throw it away. how many MLBs could have split out to cover 2006 pre-injury reggie bush?

In terms of best athletes at the position, see my note below. He returned kicks in college.


May 22nd, 2013 at 11:44 AM ^

Good riddance. He was a villain, always talking trash and claiming the Lions were dirty while his team was the dirtiest in the NFL.  I won't miss you Urlacher!  You're a bad guy.


May 22nd, 2013 at 1:26 PM ^


It's interesting hearing you say that the Bears are a dirtier team than the Lions.  A team that currently has Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley and previously had Cliff Avril.

I agree the Bears aren't a clean team by any means and they do talk trash especially in NFC North games however I don't recall Brian Urlacher being fined and penalized the way Suh and Fairley have been over the last few years. It's interesting to hear you call him a villain when Detroit has Suh and Fairley and had Avril. Sorry but I think those guys are dirtier than Urlacher.


May 22nd, 2013 at 4:32 PM ^

But I also think you greatly overstate Avril and Fairley's dirtiness. Fairley had that one hit on Brees where he drove him into the ground but since then he has refrained from similiar hits.  The Lions reputation is based largely on a few plays by Suh.


Sorry, but any team with Jay  Cutler and Brandon  Marshall has no room to criticize anyone about issues relating to character.Your QBgot into a fight ON THE FIELD with one of his own linemen!

Space Coyote

May 22nd, 2013 at 12:08 PM ^

As a Lion's fan, this is good. As a football fan, it's kind of sad. Urlacher was a great, great player in his prime and is a future HOFer. It's good to see him go out a Bear, and hopefully this improves the Lions chances because the Bears don't really have a good replacement for him.


May 22nd, 2013 at 12:13 PM ^

I am going to miss Urlacher  I wish he was still playing but I am glad that he did not end up with another team such as Minnesota or someone else in the NFC North.  He was a lot of fun to watch through the years and he will be missed.  Unfortunately he's been very injury prone over the last few years and definitely was struggling a bit on the field because of the injuries and because of his age.


May 22nd, 2013 at 12:24 PM ^

Not unexpectedly, the Chicago Tribune wrote a rather nice tribute to Urlacher - you can read it here (LINK). 

One thing of note: 12 seasons and 1,353 tackles (1,037 of which were solo tackles)  per ESPN's stats would place him at a solid 11th on the all-time list for tackles between Ronde Barber and Junior Seau - not bad company at all. 


May 22nd, 2013 at 12:57 PM ^

I believe I can credit Brian Urlacher for bringing to my attention the existence of one Paris Hilton.  It was a MFN game where Paris was in the box, or something, and they kept showing her, saying its his new girlfriend and she's from the Hilton clan.  I think I'd never heard of her up to that point in my life.  Then the whole sex-tape thing happened, reality show with Nicole, etc. etc. and we're all worse off for it.  (Sans the Presidential election video she did for Will Ferrell, which was one of the funniest 2-minute spoofs you'll ever see.  "Bitches.")


As a Bears fan, I think I can say - he was a tremendous player, but the public vibe from the guy wasn't on par with Bear greats.  Sweetness, Butkus, Sayers, Danimal, Samurai... I don't think of him being on that level overall as both a player and a leader, although looking strictly on-field he probably is in the discussion.


May 22nd, 2013 at 12:59 PM ^

It's good to see someone like Urlacher retire before he gets carted off the field.  Hopefully, he quit soon enough to keep his brain intact.  If was a football player, I would be pretty scared of what I have been seeing lately.  The illusion of invulerability doesn't last forever.


May 22nd, 2013 at 3:10 PM ^

I always thought he was one of the most overrated players year after year.  He is not on the same level as Singletary, Butkus, or even Ray Lewis.  Just one man's opinion, though.  A bit surprised by all the Urlacher love on the board.

Stephen Hawking

May 22nd, 2013 at 6:26 PM ^

Your opinion is bad. Urlacher is the best linebacker in Bears history. Singletary isn't even at the best LBs of all time table, Butkus maybe, and Lewis is definitely. The system Urlacher played in didn't lend itself to a lot of big hits and huge impacts from the middle linebacker spot but nobody could play and move like he did at his size. Like a poster said above he is 11th all time in tackles, made 8 Pro Bowls, and played on one of the most consistently strong defenses of the past decade. It's okay to take off your meatball glasses sometimes.


May 22nd, 2013 at 7:15 PM ^

I do have to agree about Singletary.  I will give you that.  Singletary is more of an all-time Bears legend than an all-time great MLB.  I just don't get the absolute certain feeling of first-ballot hall of famer like I do with a guy like Lewis.  I am not denying that Urlacher was a very good player.  I just think he was over-hyped and therefore overrated.

Stephen Hawking

May 22nd, 2013 at 8:46 PM ^

If the HOF only took one player at a postition, Ray Lewis would be in over Urlacher. But Urlacher was an extraordinary athlete who altered gameplans and took offenses out of primary reads because of his speed and knowledge of opposing offenses. There aren't stats for a quarterback having to go to a second read because Urlacher took away a TE's route at the last second. Situations like that are what made Urlacher great and it's why experts have been so effusive today.



May 23rd, 2013 at 12:05 PM ^

As Ray Lewis is crazy.  Ray Lewis might be the greatest linebacker of all time. Urlacher might be the 4th best in Bears History.

You have Butkus, who is up there with Lewis and Taylor (and maybe a couple others) as the greatest of all time.

Then Singletary was in 10 Pro Bowls to Urlacher's 8, 8 all pro teams vs. 5, and defensive player of the year twice to once. And he's already in the Hall of Fame.

The better question is "who was better, Brian Urlacher or Bill George?"

It's an argument of riches. When you think linebacker, you think Bears. (Maybe Steelers).


May 22nd, 2013 at 10:05 PM ^

Not only he was a good football player, but he was smart and always showed class and his 13yrs in nfl you never heard anything bad about him..def a good guy and smart enough to quit beforw he gets hurt