A “Beary” Illustrious Career

This is a guest post by Erica Blackburn. Erica is a graduating senior at Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia seeking her Bachelor of Arts degree in Broadcast Journalism. She writes complementary articles for emPower magazine and has written for her college newspaper, Hampton Script, for the sports section. She is passionate about sports, in particular football and in her free time, she enjoys to read, watch documentaries, blog and online shop.

When you think of a player who had 1,229 career tackles, 78 pass defensed, 22 INTs and 12 forced fumbles, you would think this player was the best middle linebacker of our age. Well, if you don’t think Brian Urlacher is, then he is very close to it.

The 35-year old middle linebacker for the Chicago Bears retired after the Bears decided to go in a different direction and no teams reached out to him that had the same mentality financially wise. You never really think about something until its gone or it moves forward in a different way and thinking back on Urlacher’s career, he is first ballot Hall of Famer. Even though he didn’t win a Super Bowl during his 13th career season, he is a champion in my eyes for many reasons.

Brian Urlacher was drafted out of New Mexico ninth overall to the Chicago Bears during the 2000 NFL Draft. His rookie season, he started 14 games and had 2 interceptions. His sophomore season, he compiled 116 combined tackles, 3 interceptions and 2 forced fumbles, setting off a Hall of Fame career. The 6-foot-4, 258 lb. man could run, hit and organize a defense on the field better than any other middle linebacker could. But his impact was much more than that.

Brian Urlacher Career Stats

SEASON

TEAM

GP

Tackles

Sacks

FF

FR

INT

2000 Chicago Bears

16

97

8

0

1

2

2001 Chicago Bears

16

89

6

2

2

3

2002 Chicago Bears

16

115

4.5

2

2

1

2003 Chicago Bears

16

87

2.5

0

0

0

2004 Chicago Bears

9

52

5.5

2

0

1

2005 Chicago Bears

16

97

6

1

0

0

2006 Chicago Bears

16

93

0

1

1

3

2007 Chicago Bears

16

92

5

0

2

5

2008 Chicago Bears

16

79

0

0

1

2

2009 Chicago Bears

1

3

0

0

0

0

2010 Chicago Bears

16

96

4

2

3

1

2011 Chicago Bears

16

84

0

0

2

3

2012 Chicago Bears

12

53

0

2

2

1

Career  

182

1,037

41.5

12

16

22

Legend: GP = Games Played, FF = Forced Fumbles, FR = Fumbles Recovered, INT = Interceptions

As teammates explained, Urlacher was a big superstar in the NFL but in the Bears’ locker room, he was a regular Joe. He would open up his home to teammates and was very accepting, even to the rookies. He was genuine, kind-hearted and real, thus making it easier for him to lead the Bears team for some many years. He was personable and a competitive person who enjoyed time with his teammates. Even quarterback of the Green Bay Packers, Aaron Rodgers, will miss what he coined Urlacher as his “favorite player to play against.”

Even after all the accolades NFL aficionados, players and teammates gave him, Urlacher himself is as humble as it comes, saying Ray Lewis, who retired from the NFL after playing 17 season with the Baltimore Ravens, was the best middle linebacker of all time. If Urlacher had a supportive, consistent offense like Lewis seemed to have over the years, than I would guarantee that Urlacher would have at least two Super Bowl rings as well. Nonetheless, Urlacher had a great run in the NFL and I think he still has something left in the tank even though injuries plagued him later in his career. You can’t replace somebody like Urlacher, who lead his team on and off the field. He gave back to his roots, compiling $900,000 for a blue field at his alma mater, Lovington High School. He even has a road named “Brian Urlacher Boulevard” after him.

His hard work on and off the field, his impact on teammates and opponents and his ability to lead a team makes him a hall of fame quality linebacker even without the Super Bowl rings. Ask this question to yourself: Is Brian Urlacher a hall of famer? Yes, without question!


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Graduate from Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia. Lives in Houston. Currently interning for ESPN 97.5 FM/Yahoo! Sports Radio 1560 AM/Yahoo! Sports Radio in Houston. Writes complementary NFL and NBA articles for All Sports Talk. On her free time, enjoys watching sports documentaries, writing sports articles and blogging.
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