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whatadai
05-26-2009, 01:03 PM
I was just wondering. Why does everyone think Brian Urlacher sucks now and that he's too old? He had one down year. When other players have down years people always believe those guys will bounce back, why not Urlacher? Part of his problems last year could be to the bad back he claimed he has. I understand it could be a long-lasting problem that could make him play worse over the seasons, but one down season and a not so serious arthritic back has people talking about him being too old. The guy just turned 31 yesterday. He's a linebacker not a running back. Linebackers usually last longer, into their mid-30s. Mostly elite ones like him. I don't see why people are dropping such a great player down so much after one down season, mostly when he had a great season before.

I haven't heard any positive analysis of him this season at all. It seems to be all negative and seems as if everyone doesn't expect a bounce back year at all. Am I missing something?

Gay Ork Wang
05-26-2009, 01:18 PM
he is solid but nothing really special, at least he didnt show anything

bsaza2358
05-26-2009, 01:25 PM
I don't see why this has its own thread here. Perhaps this needs to be moved to the Bears forum?

whatadai
05-26-2009, 01:29 PM
I don't see why this has its own thread here. Perhaps this needs to be moved to the Bears forum?

I'm not a Bears fan nor an Urlacher fan. I don't hate him, I'm not some fan trying to support his lack of production last year. I also want analysis by other NFL fans, not homers. It's easy to predict that homers will think that he'll bounce back. I just want to know why everyone thinks he's doing worse, is there something I missed? And why no one thinks he'll bounce back.

bsaza2358
05-26-2009, 01:36 PM
At age 30+, the upside for any player is limited. Throw in the fact that lot of Urlacher's game is predicated on his ability to cut off angles and range from sideline to sideline, and it's easy to project that he will lose some of his initial burst/acceleration and will begin to lose some of his effectiveness. The Bears can counteract this by beefing up their DLine and keeping him free to flow to the ball, but that really isn't their system, and he is a bit out of place in many cover-2 playcalls. I believe his strength comes when he pushes forward and meets the ball, not from reading and reacting. Since Smith and the defensive coaches remain, I don't believe he will always be put in situations where he can play to his biggest strengths.

Maybe Next Year Millen2
05-26-2009, 01:46 PM
Ehhh Urlacher had a down year but he's still pretty good. Bears rush D was top 5 I believe, of course the way to beat them was through the air so teams passed alot but still top 5 is nothing to sneeze at. Briggs,Harris and the rest of the Dline helped alot of course, but Urlacher is the man in the middle so he gets a ton of credit for being top 5.

CC.SD
05-26-2009, 01:59 PM
He can play for the Bolts anytime. Even if his game drops off, he brings it and is a complete linebacker.

Gay Ork Wang
05-26-2009, 02:01 PM
Urlacher would suck in a 3-4. he is horrible at shedding blocks

CC.SD
05-26-2009, 02:13 PM
Urlacher would suck in a 3-4. he is horrible at shedding blocks

He's not worse than Matt Wilhelm.

BeerBaron
05-26-2009, 03:05 PM
For starters, it wasn't one down year for Urlacher, he's been going downwards for several now. Lance Briggs easily surpassed him as the team's best defender a number of seasons ago.

Now, Urlacher is still a captain, a leader on the field, and well respected in the locker room. He's smart, sees the field well and does all of the other things you like to see out of your veteran MLB.

Trust me, a good 90% of the other teams in the league would view Urlacher as a serious upgrade to whoever they have if they could get their hands on him now.

But, I'm afraid he can only go downwards from here in his career......hopefully the Bears will get a few more solid seasons from him, but he hasn't played like the pro bowler he once was for several seasons now. I'd love for him to rebound but with his chronic back injury and just age and wear in general sure to take their toll sooner rather than later, I'm afraid for him.

bearsfan_51
05-26-2009, 03:09 PM
he is solid but nothing really special, at least he didnt show anything
Nothing special? You think he's an average starting linebacker? C'mon.....

He may not be the elite player he once was, but he's still what I would consider special.

Number 10
05-26-2009, 03:09 PM
Back issues can and usually kill the careers (the elite portions of them anyway) quicker than you can snap your finger.

Urlacher is servicable still, saw some things I liked in him early last year. You can no longer build that defense around him though and he may have to be turned into a 2 down LB if the Bears want a strong Urlacher late in the year from this point on.

Gay Ork Wang
05-26-2009, 03:18 PM
Nothing special? You think he's an average starting linebacker? C'mon.....

He may not be the elite player he once was, but he's still what I would consider special.
well nothing REALLY special.

A Perfect Score
05-26-2009, 03:26 PM
Brian Urlacher has always been one of my favorite players in the league. First jersey I bought, and I wore #54 when I played ILB because of him. Great football player, great guy as well from everything Ive heard. I didnt get to see alot of Bears games last year, but the guy has always been a pleasure for me to watch and I hope that he continues to play at a high level for years to come. He was the heart and soul of that Bears defense for a long time, and of course there are always transitions, but you gotta believe that at 31 he still has some gas left in the tank. Lets hope so, for the Bears sake anyways.

BuddyCHRIST
05-26-2009, 03:34 PM
He's still a very good player and his backlash has been a little much. He's struggles in traffic but so do most LB's, he can still make outstanding plays with space. I just don't think he's particularly special anymore, and LB is kind of an overrated position as most guys can play pretty well if they are given room to run, so unless your a truly special player (including intangibles) I just don't see the value. That said this isn't the first time people said he had a down year, and he's had strong years after those so I wouldn't write him off as being on the downslope of his career yet, he's still quite the athlete.

People also talk about how he struggles if you can run right at him, and I don't know if the Bears still play Cover 2 but that's just an overall weakness of that system.

tjsunstein
05-26-2009, 04:02 PM
He's still a special player but he set his own standards so high that people expect that out of him year in and year out. He will never be the player he used to be again but he's still a very very good player.

parrish_lemar24DBSkins
05-26-2009, 04:12 PM
I've followed Urlacher's career somewhat closely, mainly in comparison to Lavar Arrington, since both were top 10 picks in '00.

Urlacher was the far superior player, but it's odd now that because he's not the freak athlete at MLB he was 4-5 years ago, that people are hinting he's become an average player(!!).

I remember the regular season game against the Arizona Cardinals 2 years ago where Urlacher enforced his will on that victory in way that I've rarely ever seen few MLBs dominate.

I love London Fletcher, but we'd take Urlacher for the next 5 years and not even worry about it.

I know there's Willis in SF, Vilma in New Orleans, but I can't believe there's four MLBs I would start ahead of him.

Chicago fans are spoiled, IMO, and have forgotten how good Urlacher still is.

If he's healthy, he's still a great player.

bearsfan_51
05-26-2009, 04:48 PM
I would take Urlacher over Vilma without even blinking. I'd probably take 4-5 other linebackers too.

bigbluedefense
05-26-2009, 05:28 PM
Cover 2 sucks.

Cerni88
05-26-2009, 05:31 PM
The Bears installed a "Mug up" look on defense last year. Basically the linebackers were asked to play at the line of scrimmage and then get into their assignment. This defense looked well at first against Peyton Manning, who couldnt easily diagnose against the defense that his team also plays. But thats not to say it was completely effective. If anyone remembers that game Manning missed on a couple passes which prolly would have been touchdowns. The mug up defense is a stop the run at all costs mentality. If anyone watched the Titans game thats what happened.

There are 2 positions that were consistant and dependable: MLB and WLB. The SLB was terrible in coverage.

http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-game-highlights/09000d5d80c8edac/Bears-Defense-Highlight-WK-11-vs-Packers-2008

CC.SD
05-27-2009, 02:53 AM
Cover 2 sucks.

It used to be pretty nifty. I think Peyton stuck a dagger in it's heart during the Indy/Chi-town Super Bowl. "Hai guys I'm a TE going up the seam come follow me, don't worry about those RBs lol they don't catch it!"

Addict
05-27-2009, 03:07 AM
It used to be pretty nifty. I think Peyton stuck a dagger in it's heart during the Indy/Chi-town Super Bowl. "Hai guys I'm a TE going up the seam come follow me, don't worry about those RBs lol they don't catch it!"

For some reason I can just see Dallas Clark say that. Although he'd probably say a lot more lol in my mind.

"Hi Guise!!! I'm the TE going up the seems! Come on, run with me... don't mind those guys back there, they're just RB's... lol they run, that's what the R stands for 'running'... If they'd catch they'd call than run and catchbacks but they're called running backs so obviously no catching there lol. Now run with me!!!!"

CC.SD
05-27-2009, 03:14 AM
For some reason I can just see Dallas Clark say that. Although he'd probably say a lot more lol in my mind.

"Hi Guise!!! I'm the TE going up the seems! Come on, run with me... don't mind those guys back there, they're just RB's... lol they run, that's what the R stands for 'running'... If they'd catch they'd call than run and catchbacks but they're called running backs so obviously no catching there lol. Now run with me!!!!"

http://a.espncdn.com/photo/2008/0912/rise_g_clark_300.jpg

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/worldhaveyoursay/story.smith.ap.jpg

Gay Ork Wang
05-27-2009, 04:02 AM
oh man and we were still within 1 TD until Grossman started to realize he was actually a Colt :/

Cerni88
05-27-2009, 05:27 AM
It used to be pretty nifty. I think Peyton stuck a dagger in it's heart during the Indy/Chi-town Super Bowl. "Hai guys I'm a TE going up the seam come follow me, don't worry about those RBs lol they don't catch it!"

Any defense isnt gonna be the same without our best D lineman. T Harris wasnt in that game nor the playoffs. There was a lot to blame (grossman that int for TD threw the route way late on top of it a route where cover2 people (dungy) preach to jump on that), but Urlacher was absolutely not to blame. The run game killed us because no consistant pressure, draws for huge gains. Just from memory, i dont know it all.

bigbluedefense
05-28-2009, 06:05 AM
It used to be pretty nifty. I think Peyton stuck a dagger in it's heart during the Indy/Chi-town Super Bowl. "Hai guys I'm a TE going up the seam come follow me, don't worry about those RBs lol they don't catch it!"

While I was never a big fan of the Tampa 2, its sad to see it become essentially a dead scheme. The pure Tampa 2 as we once knew it, is pretty much a dead scheme in today's NFL.

Every team runs some variation of the scheme, but its not the Tampa 2 anymore.

To be fair, the Bears never really were a pure Tampa 2 team to begin with.

Urlacher disappointed me greatly in the SB. Great defenders make plays in the biggest game of their life. Urlacher did not play up to his standards.

stephenson86
05-28-2009, 06:42 AM
do you guys reckon he is hall of fame material? for me he isnt after not sustaining his early years play but he could get in eventually. what you guys reckon?

wogitalia
05-28-2009, 08:57 AM
but one down season and a not so serious arthritic back has people talking about him being too old.

An arthritic back is a degenerative condition, as in, it will continue to get worse with age. There is no magic cure, not way around it, his back will not suddenly be alright. It isnt a knee reconstruction, broken leg, torn rotator cuff. It is just going to get worse.

He was still a solid player last year but it clearly affected him, a lot, and he wasn't close to the player he used to be and it will just get worse.

That is my personal reasoning for "writing him off". A guy who has a comparable condition is Tmac in the NBA, if you buy his crap at least. Either way the big thing with back or neck injuries is that they not only affect you themselves they lead to other injuries because you compensate and adjust motions to try and minimize pain. Hamstring, groin, ankle and knee injuries are far more likely for guys with back problems.

locseti
05-28-2009, 11:41 AM
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parrish_lemar24DBSkins
05-28-2009, 12:22 PM
Urlacher took a horrible pursuit angle to Brady, still that play was awful.

You can't get shook by the slowest guy on the field! It looked like Brian didn't even touch Brady's jersey.

EDIT: If Urlacher can maintain his current level of health, make 2-3 more pro bowls and make one more SB appearance before he retires, he may have to wait until he's well into his forties or early fifties, but someone is going to make a case for Urlacher to go into Canton.

It also doesn't hurt that he plays MLB for the Chicago Bears.

iowatreat54
05-28-2009, 12:42 PM
I was surprised to see that Urlacher topped 90 tackles for the 8th time in 9 seasons in 2008. I'll admit that he has passed his peak, but the way a lot of people talk about him you would think that he had like 50 tackles and was nowhere to be found on the field most of the time.

He might not be the best in the business anymore, but is still an above average MLB and I would take him over most anyone in the league 10 times out of 10 and twice on Sunday.

whatadai
05-28-2009, 01:09 PM
I was surprised to see that Urlacher topped 90 tackles for the 8th time in 9 seasons in 2008. I'll admit that he has passed his peak, but the way a lot of people talk about him you would think that he had like 50 tackles and was nowhere to be found on the field most of the time.

He might not be the best in the business anymore, but is still an above average MLB and I would take him over most anyone in the league 10 times out of 10 and twice on Sunday.

That's what I don't get. People make it seem as if his career is over. But with arthritic back and neck injury he still has a chance to bounce back and have an elite year or so or at least 3 or 4 above average years left.

Smokey Joe
05-29-2009, 05:27 PM
Bad DT play is the reason why it has seemed like Urlacher has regressed so much.

Last year, we had freaking Dusty Dvoracek as our starting NT for over half the season, Tommie Harris was obviously still not healthy as he sucked for a good portion of the season as well. Once Tommie Harris started to play better and we put Anthony Adams in at NT, they were able to take on blocks and leave Lach open to make plays.

And you can say that about any LB. If a LB doesn't have good DT play, it's gonna look like that LB sucks because he has big ass linemen coming at him every play. Most players are only as good as their supporting cast.

Dam8610
05-29-2009, 09:38 PM
While I was never a big fan of the Tampa 2, its sad to see it become essentially a dead scheme. The pure Tampa 2 as we once knew it, is pretty much a dead scheme in today's NFL.

Every team runs some variation of the scheme, but its not the Tampa 2 anymore.

To be fair, the Bears never really were a pure Tampa 2 team to begin with.

Urlacher disappointed me greatly in the SB. Great defenders make plays in the biggest game of their life. Urlacher did not play up to his standards.

How could he? Once Chico saw Manning burn him once, he decided not to let it happen again, and thus completely backed off of the blitzes that were, for the most part, working extremely well to that point, and went to a deep zone which exposed the underbelly of their defense extremely. In fact (this is all off the top of my head, so don't crucify me if I'm a little bit off), I think the Bears ran 4 blitzes in their first 6 defensive plays, then none for the rest of the game. They would have had a MUCH better chance IMO had they stuck with the blitz. Urlacher can't do much when he's 20 yards off the LOS within 2 seconds of the snap.

Dam8610
05-29-2009, 09:40 PM
Bad DT play is the reason why it has seemed like Urlacher has regressed so much.

Last year, we had freaking Dusty Dvoracek as our starting NT for over half the season, Tommie Harris was obviously still not healthy as he sucked for a good portion of the season as well. Once Tommie Harris started to play better and we put Anthony Adams in at NT, they were able to take on blocks and leave Lach open to make plays.

And you can say that about any LB. If a LB doesn't have good DT play, it's gonna look like that LB sucks because he has big ass linemen coming at him every play. Most players are only as good as their supporting cast.

IIRC Gary Brackett led the NFL in tackles at one point last year with a 265 pound NT.