1 post • Page 1 of 1
>The bar was set high for Brian Urlacher when he joined the Chicago Bears as a first-round middle linebacker back in 2000.Few teams are as closely identified with one position as the Bears are at middle linebacker with players like Bill George Cheap Dante Pettis Jersey , Dick Butkus and Mike Singletary personifying the Monsters of the Midway on the way to Hall of Fame careers.Urlacher lived up to that lofty standard and will join that talented trio in Canton when he is inducted into the hall on Saturday.“It wasn’t even on my mind when I played,” Urlacher said after getting voted into the hall on his first try in February. “I didn’t think this would ever be a possibility. So many things have to go right. You have to stay healthy, you have to play well, you’ve got to win some games, do some things. This is the summit of playing football right here.”Urlacher did not make himself available for interviews leading up to inductions.Urlacher was a different type of middle linebacker than his predecessors in Chicago, the perfect piece in the NFL of the 2000s with the speed and coverage skills that allowed him to play safety in college. That helped him match up against running backs and tight ends and roam sideline to sideline.He also had the ability to drop deep into coverage, making him the perfect middle linebacker on coach Lovie Smith’s Tampa 2 defense that Urlacher helped make so stout in Chicago on the way to a Super Bowl appearance following the 2006 season.“I’ve had an opportunity to be around so many great linebackers, but some of them are just made for the position,” Smith said. “Derrick Brooks is made to be a Will linebacker Jimmy Garoppolo Jersey , an outside guy in our system. Brian Urlacher, you can’t draw it up any better. Everybody knew that he looked the part and he played the part.”Smith knew about Urlacher’s physical talents when he arrived as the new coach in Chicago in 2004 after Urlacher had made the Pro Bowl in each of his first four seasons, and was a two-time All-Pro. An early team meeting taught him about Urlacher’s mentality when he told the defense he expected the unit to lead the league in turnovers. Urlacher stayed after and set the tone for those dominant Bears defenses.“He said: ‘Coach, let me get this right. In order for us to lead the league we have to wait for the offense to turn the ball over?'” Smith recalled. “That was the first time I’d looked at it that way. Brian called it a takeaway on the defensive side of the ball. The offense turns the ball over. Defensively, your job is to take the ball away every time. No one bought into us taking the ball away as much as Brian did.”No defense took the ball away more than the Bears in the nine seasons Smith and Urlacher were together, with 292 takeaways. No linebacker other than fellow 2018 Hall of Fame inductee Ray Lewis took the ball away more than Urlacher during his 13-year career: 22 interceptions and 16 fumble recoveries.Urlacher also had 41陆 sacks and finished his career as the Bears’ all-time leading tackler. He won awards as the top defensive rookie in 2000, Defensive Player of the Year in 2005, earned five All-Pro selections, eight Pro Bowl bids and helped the Bears win four division titles.“Brian was the best Malik Jefferson Jersey ,” said Packers quarterback and longtime NFC North rival Aaron Rodgers. “He was probably one of the smartest players I ever played against. Just a great feel for the scheme, the game, reading his keys. Just incredibly instinctual player. Great hands. Average elusiveness, I can say that, because I tackled him one time. But one of the best to ever do it at that position in an era where some of the louder guys maybe got the attention 鈥?expecting the middle linebacker to be a loud yeller or rah-rah guy. Brian went about it in a very classy way. Played the game the right way and was an incredible player.”Urlacher was not always destined for greatness. He was lightly recruited out of high school and ended up at New Mexico after Texas Tech didn’t offer him a scholarship.But he thrived with the Lobos and made himself a first-round pick.“I’ve had some great freshmen, but from the minute he arrived, every coach stood up and took notice,” former New Mexico coach Dennis Franchione said. “I remember sometime in the first 10 days of two-a-days, six of the nine assistant coaches came in 鈥?although independently M.J. Stewart Buccaneers Jersey , I didn’t think they talked about it 鈥?they said, ‘Coach, when are you going to play Urlacher.’ And I said, ‘I’m not sure yet.’ They said, ‘I’ll take him at my position.’ I think that was everybody except the quarterback coach, the line coach and the receivers coach. That’s how versatile he was. …“He was a heat-seeking missile from the time he arrived on campus. Not only that, he was a really coachable, bright young man. Made other people better. You can just go on and on about him.”AP Sports Writer Andrew Seligman contributed to this report. Former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Terrell Owens said team owner Jerry Jones is "being a bully" for his comments regarding players protesting police brutality and inequality by kneeling during the national anthem."You're basically stripping" players of their rights and their chance to participate in "a peaceful protest," Owens said A.J. Green Jersey , per Fox Sports Radio. "To put guys in a situation where they have to do something, that's not right. That's totally wrong."This comes after Todd Archer of ESPN reported Jones said Cowboys players will have to stand for the anthem during the 2018 season.Owens' comments echo those of Philadelphia Eagles defensive back Malcolm Jenkins, who also called Jones a "bully" and said he wouldn't want to play for the Cowboys, per Zack Rosenblatt of NJ.com.However, some on Jones' team are apparently fine with his comments, seeing as how quarterback Dak Prescott said NFL games aren't "the time or venue" to protest, per Stefan Stevenson of the Star-Telegram.Running back Ezekiel Elliott also weighed in, saying the team "chose to stand together for the anthem," per Clarence Hill Jr. of the Star-Telegram.Owens Taven Bryan Jaguars Jersey , who is part of the 2018 Hall of Fame class, played three seasons for the Cowboys from 2006 through 2008. This isn't the first time he and Jones have engaged in a public spat. Noah Bressner of the New York Post noted the Cowboys owner called the receiver's decision to skip the Hall of Fame induction ceremony in protest of the voting process a "mistake."Owens tweeted his take on the situation:Terrell Owens @terrellowensJerry "made a mistake" of releasing me after listening to others when I produced, gave my ALL, sacrificed my health for the team but who am I?! But hey I thought Jerry had a mind of his own too. #GOFIGURE What I'm doing is for the FANS. #THISISFORYOU https://t.co/mi5BR7p0t6Bad blood is nothing new between these two, considering Jones released Owens back when he was a player by writing a message on a tablecloth, which "blindsided" the receiver, per Bressner..
Who is online
Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests