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Brian Urlacher admits Chicago Bears faked injuries to slow opponents

Brian-Urlacher-Bears-Team-to-Beat-in-the-NFCFaking injuries is a part of football. Most teams would never admit it, but the concept of a player going down and grabbing his leg to slow an opponent’s up-tempo attack is nothing new. Now that he has retired, Chicago Bears legend Brian Urlacher feels that he can safely throw his former team under the bus.

While working as an analyst on Fox Sports 1 on Tuesday, Urlacher said the Bears had a fairly detailed system when it came to faking injuries.

“We had a guy who was the designated dive guy,” he explained, per Patrick Finley of the Chicago Sun-Times.

Urlacher also said that a Bears coach would make a swimmer’s diving motion with his arms on the sideline to signal that the player should go down. He said they pulled the stunt on long drives when defenders were fatigued, but would not name the coach who gave the signal.

“It wasn’t coached, but it was part of our game plan,” Urlacher said.

If it wasn’t coached, I don’t understand how a coach would be the one sending in the signal. Maybe he’s just saying it didn’t come directly from the head coach?

In any event, the topic has been a popular one this week after a Georgia linebacker blatantly faked an injury against Clemson when it appeared he received a signal from the sidelines. Cal coach Sonny Dykes was also livid when Northwestern slowed down his team’s offensive attack by getting “injured” on almost every play on Saturday night.

Since you never know when a player is actually injured and player safety must always be emphasized, there is really no way to stop the acting. As for the Bears, they can thank Urlacher when viewers keep a closer eye on their sideline during no-huddle attacks this season.

Brian Urlacher: Johnny Manziel ‘acted like a punk’ in first game

Johnny Manziel autographFormer Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher is on board with the growing list of people who feel that Texas A&M star Johnny Manziel needs to learn to keep a lower profile. On Saturday, Manziel provided the Aggies with a major spark against Rice after serving his one-half suspension. He came in and immediately electrified the offense, but Urlacher didn’t like the extra stuff that came along with it.

“I’m not saying he’s a punk, but he acted like a punk in that game,” the FOX Football Daily analyst said Monday. “Like his coach said, guys are going to come after him all season long.

“He’s the reigning Heisman winner. He’s making plays out there and running around and running his mouth obviously, but he’s going to have to learn to deal with that.”

Urlacher was referring to the fact that Manziel looked like he had absolutely no remorse over the “punishment” the NCAA handed him in the wake of the ongoing autograph scandal. He gestured like he was signing an autograph at a Rice player after throwing a touchdown. Couple that with an offseason that involved getting thrown out of frat parties and you can see why people like Urlacher would be critical of Johnny Football.

“He’s such a good football player,” Urlacher said. “You saw in the second half what he did, three touchdown passes and ran it pretty well. It’s just too bad he had to act like that. I’m pulling for the guy, I want him to do well.”

Joe Flacco also said he is rooting for Manziel, so Urlacher is not the only former or current NFL star who is a fan of the 20-year-old’s game. The thing a lot of people forget is that Manziel is successful in part because of his attitude and controversial personality. In many ways, he probably wouldn’t be the same player without it.

Mike Ditka: Brian Urlacher should move on

Brian-Urlacher-Bears-Team-to-Beat-in-the-NFCBrian Urlacher spent 13 seasons with the Chicago Bears but was unable to capture a Super Bowl championship. He came close when Chicago won the NFC Championship Game in 2006, but Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts were too much to overcome. Now, the Bears will be looking to win a ring without him.

Last week, Urlacher told our friend Dave Dameshek on the “Dave Dameshek Football Program” that he will still pull for the Bears but that he will “be pissed” if they win a championship without him. Over the weekend, Chicago legend Mike Ditka said Urlacher needs to let it go.

“My advice would be to put it behind you,” Ditka wrote in the Chicago Sun-Times. “Brian has been such a great player for the Bears and an ambassador for the team. Not many guys get to play 13 years for the same team. Usually, when you change GMs and a new regime comes in, they’re going to make tough decisions. Mr. Emery decided that Brian wouldn’t be part of the plan. There’s nothing you can do about it. You know, the game of football was very good to Brian, but it owes him nothing now. You just have to move on.”

Urlacher is 35 years old and probably would have had one or two good seasons left in him, but he decided he doesn’t want to play for a team other than the Bears. Retiring without a ring after such a fantastic career can’t be easy, but the former Bear isn’t the only person who has done it. Dan Marino and plenty of others know how it feels.

Either root for the Bears or don’t. You can’t say you’re pulling for the team but hope they don’t win a Super Bowl. Like Ditka said, Urlacher just needs to let it go now and leave football in the past. Unless, of course, some team coaxes him out of retirement.

Helmet smack to Around the League

Brian Urlacher announces retirement

brian-urlacherBrian Urlacher may have become frustrated with the Chicago Bears over his contract situation towards the end of his career, but the eight-time Pro Bowler has decided he does not want to play for any other NFL team. On Wednesday morning, Urlacher announced his retirement with a message on Twitter.

“It was an honor to play my entire career with the Chicago Bears,” he wrote. “After spending a lot of time this spring thinking about my NFL future, I have made a decision to retire. Although I could continue playing, I’m not sure I would bring a level of performance or passion that’s up to my standards. When considering this, along with the fact that I could retire after a 13-year career wearing only one jersey for such a storied franchise, my decision became pretty clear.

“I want to thank all of the people in my life who have helped me along the way. I will miss my teammates, my coaches, and the great Bears fans. I’m proud to say that I gave all of you everything I had every time I took the field. I will miss this great game, but I leave it with no regrets.”

Urlacher will turn 35 later this week, so he is hardly a young man by NFL standards. That being said, he seems like a perfect candidate to pull a Brett Favre at some point during the offseason. He obviously feels that he could continue playing, as evidenced by how insulted he was at the Bears’ offer earlier this offseason.

Back in March, Urlacher said the Bears had made it “not possible” for him to finish his career in Chicago by giving him a “take it or leave it” contract offer. He has obviously had a change of heart, but don’t be surprised if the football itch returns before the 2013 season begins. There will certainly be no shortage of teams vying for the veteran’s services.

Brian Urlacher blasts Chicago Bears for giving him contract ‘ultimatum’

Brian UrlacherBrian Urlacher has been one of the most identifiable Chicago Bears players over the past decade, but he and the team are parting ways and it doesn’t seem to be on good terms.

Urlacher, who will be 35 in May, missed the final four games of the regular season with a hamstring injury. He entered the season with medical problems after having knee surgery. With his body appearing to break down, the Bears didn’t want to give their franchise linebacker more than a one-year deal. Urlacher’s agent was seeking $11.5 million for two years, according to the Chicago Tribune. The team supposedly countered with a one year, $2 million take-it-or-leave-it offer.

“It wasn’t even an offer, it was an ultimatum,” Urlacher told the Tribune. “I feel like I’m a decent football player still. It was insulting, somewhat of a slap in the face.

“They came back with the offer and said, ‘This is what it is, take it or leave it. It was, ‘If you want to play for the Bears, you’ll play for this. If not, then you’re not playing for the Bears.’ ”

Urlacher told the Tribune he would have played for $3 million if the team had kept the negotiation ongoing. He feels like the team didn’t want him back, and he wishes they would have made that clear.

“I want to be here,” Urlacher told the Tribune. “I wanted to be in Chicago. I wanted to finish here. Now that’s not possible.”

Urlacher told the Tribune he won’t hold hard feelings toward the organization despite the failed negotiation. Teammate Roberto Garza says Urlacher is a great player and great leader in the locker room, and that he will be missed.

Urlacher, who is an eight-time Pro Bowl linebacker and the 2005 Defensive Player of the Year, has said he does not plan to retire. He reportedly has received interest from the Dallas Cowboys, and we know he has been in contact with the Minnesota Vikings. If he and his agent leaked the Vikings news to try to scare the Bears into giving their best offer, the strategy did not work.

As an aging player Urlacher is unlikely to get a two-year deal, but he still could help a team for one season. His locker room presence and smarts on the field still makes him a valuable player to have, but he’s just not worth paying a ton of money at this point.

Brian Urlacher: I don’t care about the fans or the media

Chicago Bears fans were understandably frustrated after their team lost to the Green Bay Packers on Sunday for the second time this season. At the time being, the Bears are on the outside looking in at the NFC playoff picture. They got off to a 7-1 start this year before losing five out of their last six. During their loss to Green Bay, the boos began raining down at Soldier Field.

In addition, some critics are calling for head coach Lovie Smith to be replaced. Brian Urlacher finds this to be ridiculous.

“Our crowd was pretty good today for the most part,” Urlacher said Sunday during his weekly appearance on Fox Chicago. “They were loud for a minute there. The boos were really loud, which is always nice. The only team in our division to get booed at home is us. It’s unbelievable to me.

“It’s not going to change. If we talk about it, then the media says, ‘You’re blaming the fans for losing. You’re doing this. You’re blaming the refs for losing.’ We lost that football game. Every football game we play in, we lose, it’s nobody’s fault but ours, but we’re allowed to say what we want.”

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Brian Urlacher responds to Jermichael Finley with ultimate blast

jermichael-finley-brian-urlacher

When the Chicago Bears host the Green Bay Packers Sunday with the NFC North on the line, linebacker Brian Urlacher will not be playing. The 13-year veteran hurt his hamstring during a Week 13 loss to Seattle, and he is likely to miss the team’s next few games.

Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers enjoys competing against the best players, so he said he was disappointed Urlacher would not be playing.

“I am disappointed; I like him being out there. I enjoy the competition with him; it’s a competitive rivalry that exists between our teams and between him and I individually,” Rodgers said on his weekly ESPN radio show. “I think he plays the game hard within the rules and he’s a heck of a competitor, who has picked me off a couple too many times. I wish him the best and hope he gets healthy. He has been playing really well this year, that’s impressive to see because he has been around for a while.”

Rodgers’ remarks came as no surprise; he said last year he loved playing against Urlacher.

Rodgers’ tight end, Jermichael Finley, feels differently. He thinks Urlacher’s absence might help Chicago.

“Urlacher is at the end of his career right now; he’s playing a little slow out there,” Finley told FOX Sports Wisconsin on Wednesday. “I don’t think they’re losing too much if he’s out. Putting another guy in might help them a little.”

Finley tried on Thursday to retreat from his inflammatory comments about Urlacher.

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