Chicago Sun-Times

Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher: 'I feel like I'm getting better every week'

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For Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher, this is as good as it's going to get.

urlacher54x.jpgAfter sitting out most of training camp because of his knee, Urlacher has played in every regular-season game for the Bears. And, he's starting to look more and more like his old self as the weeks go by.

"I feel like I'm getting better every week," said Urlacher, who sprained the medial collateral and posterior cruciate ­ligaments in his left knee in the regular-season finale last year and underwent arthroscopic surgery August, on Thursday.

"The more I'm out there, the better I'm going to get. Just seeing plays, I missed a lot of time during training camp. You don't get to see the plays, you don't realize how rusty you get. So the more I see them, the better I'll get."

Urlacher is starting to move better on the field. In the Bears' come-from-behind victory Sunday against the Carolina Panthers, Urlacher jumped fairly high to deflect a pass by Cam Newton. He has been credited with 51 total tackles, three tackles for loss and six pass breakups this season.

Is he 100 percent?

"Yeah, I'm there. As 100 percent as I'm going to get," Urlacher said. "Especially seven games in, I don't think anyone is 100 percent in this league. I'm as close as I'm going to get."

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A healthy Brian Urlacher would set this defense over the top, and I agree he does seem to be getting better. I like his tackles, 51, this is the half way point of the season so 51 tackles means he's on pace for 102, that isn't bad for a 23 year old linebacker let alone a 34 year old. Same with the 6 pass breakups, which puts him on pace for 12, which isn't bad for a safety. Urlachers ability to drop back and cover the middle is key to the Bears cover-2 scheme, which is winning them games this year and why they're 1st place in the NFC north and the #2 seed in the NFC.

The pass deflection is an Urlacher staple, give Urlacher another off season and he'll be back to normal which he basically is right now. I'd like to see Chicago resign Urlacher for another 3-4 seasons, I think he's got it in the tank. The injury slowed him this year, but thanks to other stars on defense, September defensive player of the month Tim Jennings, October defensive player of the month Charles Tillman, Julius Peppers, Henry Melton, Major Wright, and Stephen Paea all picked up the slack pretty good. Again, resign Urlacher, he's the face of the franchise who can still go another couple seasons much like Ray Lewis is over in Baltimore, just an opinion now GO BEARS!!

Tough to say you should resign him for what likely will be big money when he is injury prone. As he gets older, it will take longer to come back from injuries; if they do sign him, it needs to have plenty of clauses in it about minimum number of games played, etc.

The problem is, as the face of the franchise they will likely have to overpay to keep him. You will hear the "I love it here" and "I hope to end my career here" right up until he says "football is a business" and he starts meeting with other teams.

The Bears need to draft a stud linebacker next draft to start backfilling the position. Briggs isn't getting any younger either, and the additional workload on him will eventually show up as injuries as well.

I'm a lifelong Bears fan who doesn't want to see the salary cap held hostage out of sentiment for players who have outlived their contracts. Go Bears!

He still is the best the Bears can field at that position, but there is no question that he is slowing down and is not the linebacker he used to be. Waching him whiff on a tackle over the middle last game underscored the fall-off in his production. I doubt if he would have missed that tackle even last year. He says he is 100%,but also admits that's about as good as he is going to get.

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This page contains a single entry by Adam L. Jahns published on November 1, 2012 1:31 PM.

Bears cornerback Charles Tillman named NFC defensive player of the month for October was the previous entry in this blog.

Bears safety Chris Conte appeals $21K fine for hit vs. Carolina is the next entry in this blog.

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