Urlacher, this is our best shot
Urlacher on title hopes: 'This is our best shot'
By: Larry Mayer | Last Updated: 6/28/2012 11:44 AM
Brian Urlacher has been voted to eight Pro Bowls and won a defensive player of the year award during his illustrious career with the Bears. But he’s still in quest of his first Super Bowl championship.
The star middle linebacker discussed that pursuit among many topics as the featured guest on ESPN 1000’s “Lunch with a Legend” series Wednesday on the “Waddle and Silvy Show.”
“I want to win as many [championships] as I can because my window is closing right now because I’m getting towards the end of my career,” said Urlacher, who celebrated his 34th birthday in May. With the slew of offseason moves first-year general manager Phil Emery made to bolster the roster—especially on the offensive side of the ball—Urlacher thinks the Bears are primed to contend for a title.
“This is definitely the best chance we’ve had since I’ve been here to win it,” said Urlacher, who was selected by the Bears with the ninth overall pick in the 2000 draft out of New Mexico. “You look at everyone we’ve got on our team now, this is our best shot I think.”
Urlacher discussed several other subjects.
On whether being enshrined in the Hall of Fame is important to him:
“It is. That’s where you want to be. As a player, you want to be the best at your position. I probably won’t be the best ever because there’s so many good middle linebackers. But I’d like to be right there at the top somewhere.”
On transitioning from college safety to NFL linebacker:
“I struggled early. They put me at [strongside linebacker] in my first training camp and I stunk. I got benched. Rosey [Colvin] took my spot thank goodness and then they put me at middle behind Barry [Minter] and the only reason I got in is because Barry got hurt. It wasn’t that bad. The hardest thing was learning the defense, making the calls and the checks, which I didn’t have to do in college. We all just played the same thing. We didn’t have any checks or anything like that, so that was easy. But once you get in the NFL, there’s a lot more checks. When the offense moves you have to change your defense. That was the hardest thing. After about five or six games I felt comfortable.”
On what type of career he thought he would have when he entered the league:
“I didn’t know what to expect for myself. I played linebacker my second year in college, but it was different than what it is at the NFL level. I didn’t know what to expect. I just wanted to get out there. I knew I could run. I knew I could hit. I just wanted to get out there and get a chance to do all that. I figured [I’d play on] special teams for sure my rookie year. But once I got on the field and started running around and making a few plays I figured I could make it.”
On Jay Cutler:
“He looked great all summer. He throws some footballs in windows where you wouldn’t think he could get them in there. But we’re watching film after practice and he could put the ball anywhere and he’s confident. He’s excited. He’s got great ideas and the coaches listen to him. He knows what he’s talking about and I think [quarterbacks coach] Jeremy Bates is a big pick up for him as well.”
On his relationship with Cutler:
“We’ve always had a good relationship. We’re competitive guys, especially on the football field when we’re going against each other in training camp, and I think that’s a good thing. He’s a good guy. He’s a good teammate. He’s a good locker room guy.”
On finding out just how strong Cutler’s arm is:
“He’s really good at dodge ball. We play dodge ball in the locker room and he blasted me in the chest. He’s got a good arm. I tried to catch it and that was a bad idea. I had my shirt off too. It was getting hot in the there. I had a big red mark right in the middle of my chest.”
On how many more years he wants to play:
“It all depends how I play on the field. If I don’t play well, then I’m not going to keep playing because no one’s going to want me. But if I keep playing well and play at a pretty high level, then two or three more years at least I would think.”
I agree w/the title at least. The D is not so old it cannot shut teams down if necessary and this is the first real threat of an O we have had....since WP, McMahon and Gualt; and is probably more complete since we have an elite rb, a quality backup, 1 elite wr, a few quality ones behind and 1 maybe 2 te's.
The OL and DL are going to be the key's this year.