The six-time Pro Bowl linebacker looked more like a rookie than a guy set to turn 31 Saturday. ESPN analyst Jon Gruden ran out of superlatives dissecting the play. Coach Lovie Smith gave Briggs a congratulatory tap on the rear. Some players on the Bears defense watched the play in awe.
"I didn't know he was that fast,'' cornerback Charles Tillman said. "It just goes to show the kind of range and the kind of player he is. He's playing at a higher level, just from the plays he's making, the hits he's making. I'm glad I don't play offense because I would hate to be hit by that guy.''
Briggs continues to be quite a hit. He enters Sunday's play against the Lions still at the top of his game. He leads the Bears with 76 stops and has combined with seemingly ageless tag-team partner Urlacher for 28 percent of the team's tackles. Briggs has one interception and has created two others for D.J. Moore and Major Wright.
"Every game he does something that makes you look at him and say, `Man, that was crazy,''' fellow linebacker Nick Roach said. It's no wonder NFL Network analyst Michael Lombardi put Briggs on his midseason All-Pro team. (At least he's playing for a raise instead of just asking for it)
Bears defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli believes one aspect of Briggs' play goes unnoticed.
"He's really a heck of a blitzer,'' Marinelli said. "We've been getting really good pressure from him. And he's one of the best tackling linebackers, maybe the elite.'' (Then blitz him more because no one else does it very well. If he can get 8 sacks a year to go along with his tackles maybe he does deserve more money)
Some figured Briggs would become a distraction after he asked the Bears for a raise and then formally requested a trade before the season, both of which the front office basically ignored.
Then Briggs caused a stir last month when he talked about a disconnect between the players and management. But the only contract reference Briggs has made recently was earlier this week, when he said he hoped other Bears, excluding himself, would get re-signed after center Roberto Garza inked an extension.
"It doesn't surprise me the way Lance handled the (contract) situation but no matter what the situation is, he plays his (butt) off every season,'' Urlacher said.
Briggs' agent, Drew Rosenhaus, and his money manager, Sherard Rogers, attended Monday night's game at Lincoln Financial Field.
"I'm not Drew's only client,'' Briggs said. "Him showing up at the game had nothing do with anything other than support. He has other players and other issues going on that don't concern me or my contract with the Bears.
"What I did, it was business. I'm focused on football and trying to win a championship. Nothing changes about the game.''
And nothing has changed much about Briggs, not even with age.
"When does vintage usually peak? I'm nine years in (the league) right now,'' he said. "I don't know. We're a pretty expensive bottle right now.'' (So let's drink it now and toast another championship before it turns to vinegar)
I don't think he can say the his contract squabble didn't affect his play. He wasn't playing like this the first couple of games of the season. Now that he's gotten some of his issues off his chest he playing like the Lance Briggs of old. If this keepd up maybe the Bears should give him a bonus and add another year onto his deal like they did when they adjusted Urlacher's contract.
I'm getting to that age where a lifetime warranty just doesn't mean as much to me anymore as an afternoon nap.
Honey Badger Don't Care. Honey Badger Don't Give a Shit.
While I refuse to discount the value that Lance Briggs has to this defense, I don't think that value is as great as having Urlacher around. Briggs isn't the leader that Urlacher, nor is he the face of the franchise.