Brian Urlacher wants to play every down of every game, especially when the fun is just getting started.
So the Bears middle linebacker understandably was not happy when coach Lovie Smith told him he was done for the day after the Bears took a 34-14 lead against the Indianapolis Colts early in the third quarter Sunday at Soldier Field.
''No, I don't like coming out of the game,'' Urlacher said. ''But he's the head coach. I do what he says.''
Urlacher, who missed most of the Bears' offseason program, training camp and the preseason after suffering a sprained knee in Week 17 last season, started against the Colts as he promised he would. But he was not noticeably effective. He had two tackles and was credited with a pass defense.
''I felt good. It was fun to be back out there,'' Urlacher said. ''I had no issues moving around. That stupid brace was there, but that was about it.''
He admitted it was difficult for him to watch as the Bears completed the rout in the second half.
''I wanted to get back in there the whole time,'' he said. ''I was excited. We made a lot of plays on defense. Lance [Briggs] made a nice play. Chris [Conte] got a pick. Timmy [Jennings] got a [second] pick. Henry [Melton] got a couple of sacks. It was just fun. I'd rather be in there, but it was fun to watch our defense play like that.''
Urlacher also got a kick out of the Bears' offense, which scored 42 points -- gaining more than 300 passing yards (314) and more than 100 rushing yards 114) for the first time in Lovie Smith's nine seasons as head coach.
''It was awesome,'' Urlacher said. ''We started off a little slow. Once we got going ... it was fun to watch. I had a good seat for the second half.''
Urlacher said he sat out because of Smith's desire to rest him and not because of his knee. ''The knee is fine,'' he said.
''We wanted to get him some game action,'' Smith explained. ''I think you guys really wanted to see what he could do. We've been telling you he's OK and that he'll be ready to go this first game, which he was.
''Brian wanted to play the entire game. When we told him he was coming out, it's not like he told us that it was a good idea. He knows that there's a big picture. We wanted to get him a little bit of work. It's his first action. It's like in a preseason game, you're not going to let a guy go that entire game unless you have to, and we didn't have to today.''