Brian Urlacher said today that he wants to finish his career on the Chicago Bears. Despite a close relationship with former head coach Lovie Smith, this is where he wants to stay. According to the team’s website…
“I want to be a Bear. I want to play for the Bears,” Urlacher said. “That’s my first choice. If it didn’t work out, then yes, I would have definitely wanted to go play for him (Smith) wherever he was. But if I have a chance to be a Bear, I want to be a Bear.”
Urlacher’s is in the team photo for my favorite Bear of all-time and certainly the best defender I’ve seen on this team. I really hope he finishes his career in Chicago and is honored similarly to Ray Lewis of the Baltimore Ravens. Bears fans deserve the chance to salute one of the franchise’s greatest players, and Urlacher deserves to go out with dignity and class.
During last season and after Smith was fired, Urlacher had some strong words for the fans and media about Smith and fans’ booing the team. While I felt his comments were way out of line in regards to the fans, his bond with Smith has been built over nine seasons. There’s no doubt that Smith was instrumental in Urlacher’s development, and his comments about his coach are understandable. That being said, it is hard to blame the brass for firing Smith who’s teams have failed to make the playoffs the last two seasons. It is good to have expectations, and by firing Smith the Bears have raised the bar.
Urlacher also has to see that this team still has plenty of talent around him on defense and with the hiring of Marc Trestman, a new commitment to building an offense has emerged. If the Bears get that much better offensively and play defense at a similar pace to last season, this team will emerge as one of the favorites in the NFC. It would be a great way for Urlacher to finish his career.