Chicago Sun-Times

Hillenmeyer says goodbye

| 18 Comments | No TrackBacks


Hunter Hillenmeyer issued the following release via e-mail after his contract was terminated.

"I have nothing but the utmost respect for the Bears organization. I do not leave this franchise bitter or feeling slighted by anyone in the building. In truth, I've known this day was coming since I landed on IR back in September. In that conversation with [Bears' coach] Lovie [Smith], he acknowledged that having been made aware of my history, and the number of concussions I had sustained on his watch, that he could not be a part of forcing me back out on the field.
"While at the time I was frustrated with such an abrupt end to my season, I have sought out and continue to seek the medical opinions of the best doctors in country as it relates to brain health and concussions. I am yet to find one that thinks it is a good idea to continue playing football. In hindsight, that makes me grateful that Lovie cared enough about me specifically, but really any player, to take that decision away as it pertains to a medical issue.

"Barring some unforeseen turn of events, I don't think there was a set of circumstances where I would have been cleared to play next season anyway. The more we pull back the curtain on the long-term effects of head injury, the scarier it gets for players in my position, who have multiple diagnosed concussions and countless more 'dings' and headaches. On one hand, I feel lucky to have been relatively candid about my symptoms compared to some colleagues who do everything they can to conceal their struggles. I can only thank the Bears organization, from the trainers and the doctors up to Lovie and [general manager] Jerry [Angelo], for trying to be proactive in the way concussions are handled. On the other hand, any player who tells you they aren't affected by the tragic stories like Dave Duerson's, that seem to be popping up all too often, are lying.

"I'd like to thank [linebackers'] coach [Bob] Babich, my linebacker coach for most of my eight years here, for playing as integral a role as anyone in my development as a player. It's been an honor to play for such a professional staff and with such outstanding teammates. We had a very special group in our linebacker room. While I was always like Ringo of the Beatles, next to such a talented pair, I think we have had the best and deepest linebacking corps in the NFL for a long time. As long as Lance [Briggs] and Brian [Urlacher] are out there together, expect the Bear's defense to remain elite.

"While I won't be filing any retirement papers tomorrow, if I've played my last football game, I'm glad it was with the Bears. Even though I was drafted elsewhere, I have absolutely loved my time as Bear. I love the city, I love the culture; the fans here make it especially easy to feel very at home in Chicago. I think guys like me who spend all of their career here don't realize how good they've got it. It's been a great ride nonetheless."

No TrackBacks

TrackBack URL: http://blogs.suntimes.com/cgi-bin/mt-tb.cgi/39203

18 Comments

Wow who cares? Hunter H reeked of medicority. I am glad the Bears dumped tyhis looser he was just taking up space when a younger and more talented linebacker could have had his spot. Wont miss ya bye see you dont let the door hit you on the a** on the way out. I think I will print out his farewell to fansd and use it as tp sense thats all its good four.

classy

Thanks for everything Hunter! You will be missed!

Hunter-
Thanks for being such a classy guy and for your tremendous efforts on the field. I hope that everything turns out great for you in the future.

Hunter's class shines all the more against such as the first guy to comment - who doesn't understand the game, or the unique role he filled. He was one of my favorite players, and will be missed.

I wish people like you did not even root for the Bears. You give us all a bad name. You lack class and are ignorant.
Thanks for 8 solid years Hunter and good luck moving forward.

Nice class Creighton. You're an idiot.

Creighton your a dufus. HH was a decent LB that played his position with his mind rather then elite skills. I bet dolllars to a doughnut he is a coach within 2 years. The guy has such a good mind for the game he played his weakside position as well as the Mike during Urls injured year. Granted he did not have talent of Url but his calls on D and being a coach on the field made up for any shortfalls he had physically.
HH you were class act man, Will be missed.

Oh look its the tard patrol. Funny I have never seen any of you on here before. You do now who I am right? I ahve been on the Bears Insider sense the begining. I am basicaly the King of this blog. Go look at the archives i have basically been right on everything about this team all along.

Now on to HH. What has he done that is so great? In eight seaons he has 380 tackles 7 sacks 2 picks 6 fumbles and lost his job as soon as we get someone else to play sam. Oh but no Creighton he played the game with his mind and he was so super wonderful as a backup. Hahahaha. The homers crack me up.

Like I said before I am the King and while many have tried to dethrone me all have failed. And you guys didnt even come close. Go away now and leave youre master to sit on his throne I have more important things to do.

Hard to believe these comments are from the "real" Creighton. Whether they are or not, they are just plain uninformed and stupid.

Yes I am a big old Dufus. Has anyone seen Hal, Hall seems to have disappeared and all these new intresting Creighton posts are showing up.

I enjoy the fact that people are affraid to post using their regular screen names when it concerns me. Or make insane attempts to pretend they are me. It's a total feeling of power and control. I love internet tough guys who go one round with me on a board and then go into hiding and start doing all kinds of goofy stuff like this garbage. It's not like I haven't been posting for years on Bears glogs and its not like just about everyone knows who the real Creighton is.

I wonder who I who I set off this week. "I'll show that Creighton" "My master plan is to become him and ruin his name, HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA" Well you keep having fun Lex Luthor. Oh if it helps my Kryptonite is Trish Stratus and that insanly hot chick from Fairly Legal, if you can find them and wrap them around me I will become weaker and you will be able to take control of the Bear Blog Universe, so hurry up and find that damn Kryptonite, I am helpless against those two.

I bet if we all went to Halas Hall right now you would see Hal, bearshater, Armstead, Mikey, Joman, Pete, Scott and the rest of the Bear apologists {probably see Mayer and Pompei too} standing around having a vigil singing "Kumbaya", holding hands, weeping with posters claiming how Hunter, Tommy, and Shaffer are pieces of the puzzle the Bears can't live without. And I am sure it's the same people who cried with angst when the Bears cut Alex Brown.

People just can't seem to seperate different arguments. Was Hunter a class guy and will he probably be a LB coach in 2-3 years, a DC in 5-7 and possibly a future HC? Absolutely! Will or should he be missed as a player? Not in the least. He was too slow to play MLB in Lovie's defense and no amount of brains is going to get you to "drop" into coverage faster. He was also too slow to go sideline to sideline. And vs. the run he got over matched by just about anyone who blocked him. Might not be nice, but it's the truth.

Not everyone on the team can be all-pro or pro bowlers, but the Bears' talent evaluators are so bad and the expectations for talent via the draft and UDFA's is so low that some people will accept anything with regard to talent. You take Jamar Williams as an example. 3-4 years ago people actually thought this guy was going to be a viable replacement for Briggs. His play never backed that up, but that was the talk. And I am guessing that it was started by the Bears themselves. He gets traded to Carolina and he ends up on IR and I am assuming was cut after the season since he's not even on their depth chart.

Wish him good luck in future endeavors, but let's not "pine" for below average play. Now if we could just get Dez Clark and especially Olin on the "get out of town" bus, things would be much better.

Geez gearheadboy how could you say all those guys would be holding hands and singing, I really think Hal is Mayer. These guys are like the bears "brain trust" average or below average players have 1 MAYBE 2 good games and they are the next great bears hopefulls. Hit on Dez was tough just because I liked his play even back in Denver(never said he was great). I can't wait for the draft, JA needs to hit on 5-6 picks.

Idiot...

Gearhead,

This is going to sound shocking, but, I agree with you - mostly.

I thought HH was a couple notched better than you describe, and certainly a serviceable backup. Overall though, he did not fit the Lovie-2, was undersized, and too often overmatched. Although he did have a share of good games.

It is time for the Bears to move on. I am okay ith them keeping Olin IF they draft a replacement THIS YEAR.

Late.

I know you are, but what am I?

Esteven,

Actually, you and I have agreed more than we have not. And having read your posts and some of the back and forth, I know you are smart enough to to understand the 2 arguments above. I sincerely believe he will get into coaching and I think he will be excellent at it. I think most of the people that post here want the same things. as for me I want:

The Bears to win every game. {That's a given, but I know it's not going to happen.}

The Bears, being in one of the largest metropolitan areas in the country and having a very loyal fan base, hire the best people available when the time comes. This, I know, has not been done.

Jay Cutler to have all the tools necessary to lead this team to, and win, a Super Bowl.

Jerry Angelo to be held accountable for years of miserable drafts.

Lovie Smith to be held accountable for lack of player development, not putting guys in positions to best utilize their talent {Hester, Manning, Olsen, Idonije..just off the top of my head} and best help the team. I also want him to be held accountable for his stubbornness with regard to the DC position.

New England Patriots', Pittsburgh Steelers' success.

I flip flop with you Esteven, on the O-line. If the Bears can land either Wiesnewski, or Pouncey, I say cut Olin, and give the position to the kid like the Steelers did. Now, if there is a prolonged work stoppage, then you have to bring Olin back because there will be no OTA's and mini camps to get the system in place to the new guys.

Uprooted, I, like you, am looking forward to the draft, but I have my apprehensions. I am starting to feel like Creighton in the fact that I believe Angelo is either:

A. bracing the fan base for defensive picks.
B. Pulling the ole "bait & switch". Personally I don't think he is smart or crafty enough to do that.

I hope it's "B", but I don't think so. Angelo is truly ignorant enough to go into next year with the same O-line + 1 or 2 low round draft choices to be "coached up" by Tice.

Hunter used his skills and brain to the best of his abilities, though not the greatest athlete he was a winner and someone the Bears would do well to mold into a coaching role somewhere within the organization.

Hunter, you had heart and that all anyone could ask for and you delivered.

All the best to you,

Leave a comment

Twitter updates

Categories

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Neil Hayes published on February 28, 2011 8:29 PM.

Tommie Harris says release is "bittersweet" was the previous entry in this blog.

Martz expects improvement in Year 2 is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.