I knew this day was inevitable but it is still very hard to believe. Brian Urlacher has basically been the face of the Chicago Bears since his arrival in 2000. Urlacher will walk into the Hall-Of-Fame with no problem whenever he decides to retire. He has blessed all Chicago Bear fans for 13 years and has engraved his name in the NFL history books.
Urlacher is a 8-time Pro-Bowler, he was the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year, he was the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2005, and he led the Bears to the Super Bowl in 2006. Brian Urlacher never played half-assed, if he was on the field he was prepared to die on the field. That may seem a little rash but that is how Urlacher played. He played with a grit similar to the old Monsters Of The Midway Bears.
At the peak of the uproar over concussions in the NFL with retired NFL players suing the league, Urlacher made it known that he didn’t want to see the NFL become soft. He knew by playing football the way he has that he probably won’t live as long as the average person but he was at peace with that. Urlacher was a tough son-of-a-bitch. He is the leading tackler in the history of the Chicago Bears (one of the oldest franchise in the NFL).
Next to Ray Lewis, Brian Urlacher is the best line backer of the 2000s and frankly I feel the Bears pulled the trigger too soon on letting Brian Urlacher go. There is no backup line backer in the ranks to replace Urlacher as of right now. Nick Roach is gone. Geno Hayes is gone. Does Emery have some sort of trick up his sleeve? He better! And it better not be drafting Manti Teo. I know Phil Emery said that he will keep things Jerry Angelo’s way for one year and now that year is up and Lovie Smith, Brian Urlacher, and Rod Marinelli are gone. I know offense is the key focus moving forward but defense is the cornerstone of this organization and Emery has disassembled this defense’s core.
Who will be the leader on defense now? Lance Briggs? Charles Tillman? Maybe.
Has Urlacher been a shell of himself for the past 2 years? Yes.
Even though Urlacher’s play has regressed, his presence will be missed in the Bears defense similar to how Ray Lewis and Ed Reed’s presence will be missed in Baltimore. It is disheartening to see Urlacher leave the Bears this way, I would have liked for him to get one more contract for 2 years at most so he could fade into the sunset after having one last shot at bringing the Lombardi trophy to Chicago.