Chicago Sun-Times

Former NFL GM: Urlacher is 'borderline Hall of Famer'

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Considering his accomplishments, his overall value and the way he changed the perception of the middle linebacker position, longtime Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher seems destined for the Hall of Fame.

The debate it seems is whether he will be a first-ballot Hall of Famer or have to wait a little longer. He will be part of stellar group of players who will be eligible in 2018, including linebacker Ray Lewis, cornerback Ronde Barber, guard Steve Hutchinson and quite possibly receiver Randy Moss.

But one former NFL personnel man doesn't quite believe in Urlacher's credentials. Former New York Giants general manager Ernie Accorsi said on SiriusXM's Mad Dog Radio that Urlacher is "a borderline Hall of Famer."

"I don't know that he's a definite Hall of Famer," Accorsi said on the show (via Pro Football Talk). "I think there is a host of them, like Willie Lanier, that were dominant players. He was good, but I wouldn't put him in that level."

Urlacher, an eight-time Pro Bowler and four-time All-Pro player, holds the Bears' record with 1,779 tackles. Urlacher was the rookie of the year in 2000 and defensive player of the year in 2005.

In his career, Urlacher had 41.5 sacks, 22 interceptions, 16 fumble recoveries and 11 forced fumbles. He's one of four players with 40 career sacks and 20 interceptions.

But Accorsi said he "definitely wouldn't" put Urlacher among the all-time great middle linebackers.

"He may get in because he got a lot of publicity and he was a hard player," he said. "But his span that he covered was really restricted. Now a lot of those middle linebackers were in those days. They didn't have three or four wide receivers so they stayed on the field for three downs. They might be off today. But, no, I certainly don't have him in [Dick] Butkus or Ray Lewis [category]. And I don't think he should be in there, really with [Joe] Schmidt and [Ray] Nitschke and those guys, either."

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This page contains a single entry by Adam L. Jahns published on May 23, 2013 12:01 PM.

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