Brian Keith Urlacher, middle linebacker out of the University of New Mexico, has announced his just a little while ago.
Spending 13 seasons with the Chicago Bears, being drafted back in the 2000 draft, #9 overall in the 1st round, this man has given Bears fans and teammates memories for a lifetime. When he and the Chicago Bears failed to agree to a new contract and decided to part ways, I wasn’t sure what to think. I mean, for 13 years, we all watched that 6’4 linebacker with the #54 on the back, leading the charge for this Chicago Bears defense.
It is sort of disappointing that one of the greatest middle linebackers of all time, not saying he is the best of all time, but definitely one of the greats, hasn’t won a Super Bowl. Appearing in 8 pro bowls, a stretch from 2000-2003, 2005-2006, 2010-2011, Brian Urlacher has started in 180 games for the Chicago Bears, more than any other defensive player in franchise history.
“After spending a lot of time this spring thinking about my NFL future, I have made a decision to retire. Although I could continue playing, I’m not sure I would bring a level of performance or passion that’s up to my standards. When considering this, along with the fact that I could retire after a 13 year career wearing only one jersey for such a storied franchise, my decision became pretty clear. I want to thank all of the people in my life that helped me along the way. I will miss my teammates, my coaches, and the great (Chicago) Bears fans. I’m proud to say that I gave all of you everything I had every time I took the field. I will miss this great game, but I leave it with no regrets.” - Brian Urlacher retirement statement.
Urlacher reportedly had interest from the Denver Broncos, who denied any interest in Urlacher, along with the Minnesota Vikings who were seen as the possible favorite to land the veteran linebacker. So now that Chicago Bears fans across the globe can let out a sigh of relief, it is still sad to see #54 walking away from this sport and team we hold close to our hearts.
“It’s very different. I didn’t call the play before, and now I’m calling the plays. I just have a lot of respect; I’ve been spoiled for the last 10 years.” - Briggs on being the play caller now that Urlacher is gone.
He struggled with health late in his career, but still left everything he had on the field. The man will be missed, more than ever now, from running through that tunnel holding the 4th Phase flag with a group of Bears behind him, to calling out and making plays for this defense. As a fan of this Chicago Bears franchise, it was a fun ride. All the memories he has given us, actually too many to list, if I actually did list them, we would be here all day. But if you have been watching this team either as a fan or an opposing fan, we all know the great things Brian Urlacher has done, not only for this team, but for this league.
He holds the franchise record for a season high 153 tackles while being the teams franchise leader in total tackles with 1,353, besides 41.5 sacks and 22 career interceptions. In the 13 years that Urlacher has spent with this team, they have averaged just around 19.5 points per game, being from 2000-2012. He has won other honors in his career, such as NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year, NFL 2000′s All-Decade Team, AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year (2005), Ed Block Courage Award and the Brian Piccolo Award and an NFC Central/North champion 4 times and NFC Champion (2 appearances) 1 time.
Looking forward to that #54 being retired, I mean, it’s only right. There will never be another player like Brian Urlacher for this organization, just like there won’t be another Walter Payton and so on, and so on.
Thank You Brian Urlacher, THE ‘Monster of the Midway’.