Brian Urlacher on Bears Defense: ‘We Stink’

When the Chicago Bears are at their best, they are making plays defensively. Chicago has always been built on defensive principles. They get after the football and create manageable opportunities for their offense to turn into scores. That has not been the case thus far in 2011.

The Bears have let up at least 24 points on defense in every game since Week 1, which is extremely uncharacteristic of them. Perhaps their defense’s age is finally starting to show. Whatever the case, it sounds like Brian Urlacher no longer believes Chicago is the team to beat in the NFC.

“Defensively, we stink,” Urlacher told the Chicago Sun-Times via Pro Football Talk. ” We can’t stop the run. We can’t stop the pass.

Urlacher was then asked about Jahvid Best’s 88-yard touchdown run in the third quarter to which he responded: “The quarterback took a snap, he handed it to the guy, and he ran 88 yards without being touched. That’s what I saw. I don’t know why it happened, but that’s what I saw.”

Aaron Rodgers says he loves playing against Urlacher because of the challenge he brings, but the Super Bowl MVP could feel a little differently during their meeting this season if the Bears can’t turn things around.  Chicago’s offense is not good enough to carry the team to the postseason.  Now that the Lions are obviously one of the better teams in football, the playoffs are likely a long shot for the Bears anyhow.

Antonio Pierce Calls Out Justin Tuck, Brandon Jacobs for Sitting with Injuries

After seeing the Giants lose to the lowly Seahawks on Sunday, it was evident that they could have used the services of Justin Tuck and Brandon Jacobs. Ahmad Bradshaw was unable to get anything significant going on the ground and Marshawn Lynch ran all over the New York defense. While you would think the Giants would be able to pull off a win without two of their better players against a team like Seattle, that was not the case.

Former Giants linebacker Antonio Pierce agrees that the Giants could have used Jacobs and Tuck on Sunday. In fact, he implied the two were milking their injuries and should have been on the field.

“To me, if you don’t have an injury that needs surgery, or that’s severe, you need to be out there,” Pierce said on ESPN’s Mike and Mike in the Morning show. “If you are one of the leaders on the team, which Brandon Jacobs and Justin Tuck are, and you say, ‘You know what, the Seattle Seahawks, maybe we don’t need to play this game,’ and you miss out, that is going to come back to bite you in the tail. You’ve got to play every one. Every one is important.”

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Shocker! Colts Would Strongly Consider Drafting Andrew Luck

One of the more interesting side stories this season in the NFL has been the race for the worst overall record in the league. The team that finishes with the worst record receives the top overall pick in the draft. This year, finishing with the worst overall record seems like a blessing.

Many football fans and media members feel so strongly about Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck‘s chances for success, that they view having the worst record in the league as a good thing. People have cleverly called this inverted race the “Suck for Luck” campaign. No surprise, the Colts would be interested in drafting Luck if they have the opportunity.

According to Jason Cole, Colts owner Jim Irsay strongly indicated the franchise would be willing to take Luck if they have the chance.

“Guys like that come along so rarely,” Irsay said, referring to Manning and what many are projecting of Luck. “Even if that means that guy sits for three or four years, you’d certainly think about taking him … you see what Green Bay did with [Brett] Favre and [Aaron] Rodgers and you’d like to be able to do the same thing.”

I’m not sure why this story was presented as news, or why I’m posting it. I might as well have told you that the Colts like good players, and that they also enjoy winning. Any team that has a chance to draft Luck would be foolish to pass up the opportunity. There are very few franchise quarterbacks in the NFL, and Luck looks like he’ll be one of them. About the only team that could screw up such an opportunity would be the Raiders; Al Davis would have gone for Luck’s receiver who runs a 4.3 40 instead.

What’s a matter, too early for that one?

Jahvid Best Credits Lions Fans for Creating Six or Seven False Start Penalties

Detroit was fired up to host its first Monday Night Football game since 2001. The rowdy fans had Ford Field rocking early on, and they combined with Detroit’s intimidating defensive line to induce several false starts by the Bears offensive line. In fact, the Bears committed an NFL-record six false starts in the first half of the game. The Lions were quick to credit their fans for the achievement.

“It was crazy out there. The fans caused at least six or seven false starts,” running back Jahvid Best said. “That place was rocking. There was a lot electricity in the air and we were definitely feeling it.”

Speaking about the fans and atmosphere, quarterback Matthew Stafford said “It was unbelievable. Especially early on, some of those third downs, you couldn’t hear yourself think.”

The atmosphere in Detroit was incredible, and it provided a clear advantage on the field. It was also the same old sad story for the Bears offense. Not only were the offensive linemen moving early, but they failed to give Jay Cutler more than two seconds to throw the ball on nearly every play. Detroit’s defensive line may be the best in football, but you have to hold them up for longer than two seconds. Mike Martz’s offensive system is getting Jay Cutler killed, and the poor offensive line play has turned the quarterback into a sympathetic figure.

Photo Credit: Tim Fuller-US PRESSWIRE

Elvis Grbac: Mike Shanahan Ordered Me to Throw a Football at Al Davis’ Head

With the passing of Al Davis over the weekend came many stories about how he changed the game of football for the better.  Davis was glorified by players, fans, and writers and much of the praise he received is deserved.  While Davis left behind a legacy of positives — as we outlined in our piece on Saturday — the fact that he was not a very well-liked figure across much of the league has been somewhat lost.

On Wednesday, Rick Maese of the Washington Post dug up a 13-year-old NY Times article that reminds us Davis had as many friends as he did enemies when he was alive.  One of those enemies was Mike Shanahan, who was the head coach of the Raiders for just over a season in 1988 and 1989 before a feud about money became too much for both men to handle.

In 1994, Shanahan was the offensive coordinator of the San Francisco 49ers.  Prior to a game with the Raiders, he was working with quarterback Elvis Grbac, who says Shanahan ordered him to throw a ball at Davis’ head from about 30 feet away.

“I can’t do that,” Grbac said he replied. “If I hit him, do you know what he could do to me?”

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B.J. Raji Rips Falcons for Failing to Back Up Their Trash Talk

B.J. Raji wouldn’t have anything to say about the Falcons if they hadn’t started things first. Last week, we told you that Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers was still motivated by Roddy White’s remark that the Falcons were a better team than the Packers despite losing to them 48-21 in the playoffs last year.

Green Bay came back from down 14-0 to win 25-14 in Atlanta Sunday night for their second straight road win at the Georgia Dome. The back-to-back easy road wins for the Packers is a pretty obvious sign that they’re a superior team. In case you didn’t feel that way, Green Bay defensive tackle B.J. Raji is here to remind you.

“They have a long way to go,” Raji said of being a Packers rival. “For it to be a rivalry, you have to win meaningful games. They’re just another opponent. They have a long way to go.

“I wouldn’t talk like this, but when people don’t respect you, I don’t take it lying down. Those people don’t respect us, so in turn I’m not going to give them any respect.

“Now that we abused them, for the second time in a row, at their home, there’s nothing really to do.”

Raji also made it clear that the Packers are superior to Atlanta in all facets. “We have better players, we have better coaches, we’re a better team,” he said after the game.

Ryan Pickett added that this was Atlanta’s Super Bowl, and that they were committing some dirty plays, including hitting after the whistle. Yet they still lost the game.

We’re not trying to pile on the Falcons with this post, but we’re just stating what we’ve learned through five weeks of the season. The Packers are the defending Super Bowl champions and they’re playing like one of the best teams in the league. The Falcons went 13-3 a year ago and got embarrassed in the playoffs. They’re 2-3 this season and they appear to be quite mediocre. The Falcons may disagree with that assertion, but that’s what they’ve shown us with their play.

Brady Quinn Flies Overnight to be with Girlfriend Alicia Sacramone for Her Surgery

Brady Quinn may have been surpassed by Tim Tebow on the quarterback depth chart for the Broncos, but he’s still excelling in another realm. Following his team’s home loss to the Chargers Sunday, Quinn took a red eye flight to be with girlfriend Alicia Sacramone, who had surgery Monday on her ruptured Achilles’ tendon.

The extra effort earned him bonus points with his gymnast girlfriend.

“Best boyfriend award goes to Brady Quinn for taking the red eye from Denver to be here for my surgery today…just another reason why I love him,” she tweeted Monday.

The two have been dating since 2009. Maybe Quinn was just returning the favor to Sacramone who used to fly to Cleveland to support Brady when he was the quarterback for the Browns.

Either way, it’s pretty clear they’re extremely supportive of one another.

Say what you want about Quinn’s ability as a quarterback, but you can’t say he’s not a good boyfriend. He went out of his way to ensure he was by his girlfriend’s side at a difficult time.

The London Olympics begin in 10 months, so Sacramone’s status for the Summer Games is in question. But the good news is that Brady appears to have found a girl who appreciates him, unlike his last girlfriend.

Fist pound to Shutdown Corner for the story.

Note: This post also appeared on the Yardbarker Olympics blog