Chicago Bears Release Brian Urlacher: A Fan's Perspective

By Ryan Heckman

Today, the Chicago Bears announced the release of surely one of the greatest middle linebackers to ever play in the NFL, Brian Urlacher.

Some thought it was the right move, others, the wrong one. No matter what your stance, if you’re a fan of the game of football, you’ve got to appreciate what Urlacher has done for the franchise and city of Chicago.

Looking back at Urlacher’s Hall of Fame-worthy career, I can remember so many of the moments where he made me jump right out of my seat and scream. The sack on Brett Favre, where the caption at the end of the play could have read, “get comfortable down there, Brett” is one of my all-time favorite Urlacher moments. The photo embodying that moment will forever be cemented in my memory.

I will never get tired of watching highlights of Urlacher sprinting out of the tunnel at Soldier Field with his teammates carrying the “Fourth Phase” flag. He was a true team player who enjoyed playing for his city.

His leaping interceptions, authoritative sacks, lightning-fast tackles for loss, and lateral speed to make the 1st-down-saving tackle were matched by few in the history of the game. The versatility he brought to the middle linebacker position will be forever sought after by young prospects looking to succeed at the position in the future. Few could do what Brian Urlacher did in his prime. He was the complete package.

So, Chicago, what’s next from here on out? No one can predict where the Bears go from here. Addressing the linebacker position should absolutely be the first priority for the front office.

With the face of the franchise gone, along with losing another starting linebacker in Nick Roach, there are some serious shoes to fill. President Ted Phillips says he is confident in his general manager, Phil Emery, to get the job done this off-season.

Well, Mr. Emery, you have got a heck of a lot of explaining to do and a whole lot more work to do if you plan on earning the trust of the city of Chicago. Right now, by definition, your fans deserve to be monumentally upset with you. I wish you the best of luck in your improbable quest.

Ryan Heckman is a Minnesota Timberwolves writer and NFL contributor for Follow him on Twitter, “Like” him on Facebook, or add him to your network on Google.

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