Urlacher Overated???

jcolec02

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Urlacher Aiming to Certify Rightful Place in Bears' History
By Vito Forlenza, Comcast.net Sports Editor
January 31, 2007

When Peyton Manning walks to the line of scrimmage during Indianapolis' first offensive series of Sunday's Super Bowl, he'll rouse through his signature series of gestures, signals and audibles. Undoubtedly, he'll point to the middle of Chicago's stellar linebacking corps and demand that his linemen account for No. 54.

At some point during the progression, Manning's eyes will lock onto those of Brain Urlacher. The leader of the Colts' prolific offense staring down the chief of the Bears' dominant defense. One superstar aiming to silence his critics eyeballing another who's looking to accomplish the same.

Manning's plight has been building as the postseason disappointments piled up over the years. But one of the interesting subplots of a Super Bowl filled with intriguing storylines is that he isn't the only one faced with such a task.

Urlacher, like the field general he's trying to stop, is hoping this Super Bowl can validate the attention, accolades, and affluence he's attracted throughout his brilliant career.

It may be a curious position for a linebacker. That job is normally reserved for the offensive skill guys. Except in Chicago, where defenses sell the tickets and win the championships. And the middle linebacker is the main draw.

The tradition was modernized by Dick Butkus, the homegrown talent whose overly aggressive style helped revive the "Monsters of the Midway" moniker that became synonymous with the Bears' championship teams of the 1940s.

It was popularized by Mike Singletary, the soft-spoken professional who served as the backbone of Buddy Ryan's suffocating "46" defense that delivered Chicago's first Super Bowl win in '85.

Ever since the Bears drafted Urlacher with the ninth overall pick in the 2000 draft, he was expected to continue the legacy of those Hall of Famers. Seven years later, the comparisons still unsettle him.

"They played for 10, 12 years, so I have got a ways to go," he said. "I know winning a world championship would definitely help put myself in that category. But it's an honor to be thought of with those two.

"They are in the Hall of Fame. This is my seventh year. I have got a long ways to go."

He also has a long way to go in the minds of many within the NFL.

Despite winning the Defensive Rookie of the Year honors and becoming a staple of the Pro Bowl, insiders scoffed at the notion that Urlacher measured up to the menacing Butkus or the charismatic Singletary. An '04 Sporting News poll of scouts and analysts nominated Urlacher as the NFL's most overrated player.

The next year, he was named the Defensive Player of the Year.

Surely, he had proven that he wasn't just some stopgap in the signature position of one of the NFL's most recognizable franchises. But last year, a Sports Illustrated poll of current players tabbed Urlacher the league's second-most overrated player behind Terrell Owens.

From the elite company of Butkus and Singletary to an ill association with T.O., clearly those closest to the game have mixed feelings over Urlacher and his abilities. While some athletes would pretend to brush it off, Urlacher admits that the barbs irk him.

But he doesn't believe that the constant criticism or even the mounting honors should define him.

"To tell you the truth, all of this stuff can go away," Urlacher said. "The Defensive Player of the Year, overrated, underrated. All that junk can go out the window. I want to win a championship. That's why we're here, that's why we play.

"I don't know where (the criticism) came from. But at the same time, my teammates stood up for me, my coaches stood up for me, and the organization stood behind me. The people who know me know what kind of football player I am."

The recent shots at Urlacher have centered around one statistical category--sacks. He didn't have any this season. He hasn't registered a sack since getting two in a mid-October win over Minnesota last season. The Bears counter that their defensive scheme doesn't put that responsibility on linebackers.

The claim isn't a hallow defense of Urlacher.

Chicago's starting linebackers--Lance Briggs, Urlacher, and Hunter Hillenmeyer--combined for just one sack this season. Briggs dropped Brett Favre in the first quarter of a Week 1 win over Green Bay. Nearly all of the Bears' sacks have come from defensive linemen, who notched 36 of the team's 40 sacks this season.

In areas for which the Bears did depend on Urlacher, he flourished.

He led the defense with 142 total tackles this season, the second-best output of his career, was second to Briggs with 93 solo tackles, and tied a career-high with three interceptions. The production propelled Bears coach Lovie Smith to reason that Urlacher was worthy of top defender honors for a second straight season.

"Brian was (voted the) Defensive Player of the Year last year. I think he has played better this year," Smith said. "Everything we have asked him to do, he has done it well. He's gone beyond the call of duty. I can talk about Urlacher for a long time. I think he is the best player in football. I'd make that statement."

Urlacher can help back it up with another strong performance against one of the game's elite offenses. In the NFC championship game against New Orleans, he and the Bears limited the conference's top-rated attack to just 14 points.

Now, he lines up against the AFC's best offense in the sport's brightest spotlight, knowing that he must prolong Manning's misery to wash away his own. The Bears' first Super Bowl win in 21 years would elevate his name into the breed of the franchise's all-time greats.

With one win, all the doubts would be erased, all the questions answered. Universal acclaim would follow. He'd be deemed worthy of stepping into legendary footsteps.

Even though he already is.

Is Brian Urlacher overrated? Will a Super Bowl win change fans' perspective of him? Send your view to vitosview@comcast.net or sound off in the sports forums.




Edited by: jcolec02
 

jcolec02

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I was suprised by Lovie smith saying this:


The production propelled Bears coach Lovie Smith to reason that Urlacher was worthy of top defender honors for a second straight season.

"Brian was (voted the) Defensive Player of the Year last year. I think he has played better this year," Smith said. "Everything we have asked him to do, he has done it well. He's gone beyond the call of duty. I can talk about Urlacher for a long time. I think he is the best player in football. I'd make that statement."
 

white tornado

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Just look at the treatment of Urlacher compard to ray lewis it dosent get more obvious.
 

backrow

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jcolec02 said:
I was suprised by Lovie smith saying this:


The production propelled Bears coach Lovie Smith to reason that Urlacher was worthy of top defender honors for a second straight season.

"Brian was (voted the) Defensive Player of the Year last year. I think he has played better this year," Smith said. "Everything we have asked him to do, he has done it well. He's gone beyond the call of duty. I can talk about Urlacher for a long time. I think he is the best player in football. I'd make that statement."

smiley32.gif
 

jcolec02

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yeah...that is a suprising and great statement...although im not sure if id agree (Peyton Manning, Ladanian Tomlinson)
 

Don Wassall

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I like how Mike Singletary is described in the article as "charismatic." What's that based on, besides his bugaboo eyes that network cameras loved to show virtually every play? Oh that's right he's black, in which case it'srepetitive to mention that he has "charisma."
 

White Mike

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Don Wassall said:
I like how Mike Singletary is described in the article as "charismatic."  What's that based on, besides his bugaboo eyes that network cameras loved to show virtually every play?  Oh that's right he's black, in which case it's repetitive to mention that he has "charisma."

any black who has less than 2 felonys is a "class act."
 

bigman

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jcolec02 said:
Yeah Don, but Mike was a pretty good linebacker...





Mike was a great linebacker andis agreat man. He is far far more than a "class act".
 

White Shogun

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bigman said:
jcolec02 said:
Yeah Don, but Mike was a pretty good linebacker...





Mike was a great linebacker and is a great man. He is far far more than a "class act".

Just out of curiosity, what makes him a great man? What does a person do to become 'far far more than a "class act?"
 

Don Wassall

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I was remarking on the stereotypical way the article described Singletary, not on his abilities as a player.


Yeah, and what makes him "far far more than a class act" and what white men, if any, also fit that description?
 

Colonel_Reb

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Don Wassall said:
Yeah, and what makes him "far far more than a class act" and what white men, if any, also fit that description?


 

Good question Don!
 

DixieDestroyer

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No way is Urlacher overrated. He's the best defensive player in league, and I'm no Bears fan.
 

Extra Point

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This thread is from 2007 and the racists are still saying Urlacher is overrated. The rhetoric never changes. No matter how good a white player is he usually doesn't get the credit he deserves.

Urlacher has been one of the biggest impact players in the league for over a decade. He is not and never has been overrated.
 

Extra Point

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Last year the mainstream media and the DWFs were all agog with the alleged wondrousness of linebacker Isaiah Simmons, who was drafted by Arizona. They proclaimed that he was much better than Hall of Famer Brian Urlacher. They said he was much more athletic than Urlacher ever was and that Urlacher was not capable of playing at the level Simmons was at.

All this was, of course, a black supremacist fantasy. Urlacher tested out to be at least equal athletically at a higher weight. If you take into account the fact that Simmons refused to run the 3 cone and 20 yard short shuttle we can safely say that Urlacher was a better athlete. The only reason Simmons did not do these drills is that he would have performed poorly at them.

Urlacher had 124 tackles, 8 sacks and 2 interceptions his rookie season. Simmons had 54 tackles, 2 sacks and 1 interception in his rookie season.

So let's see. Urlacher is far more productive, bigger, more athletic and is a Hall of Famer. Simmons, so far, hasn't been very good.

Ill bet the idiot DWFs still think Simmons is much better than Urlacher was. Reality doesn't seem to matter to these types.
 
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Don't forget that Urlacher played for years under a black head coach, Lovie Smith, and languished away under Lovie's idiotic "cover 2" scheme that had urlacher dropping back into pass coverage a lot time. So, no chance for sacks , and less chance for tackles for Urlacher under his black tutelage.
 

Leonardfan

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Urlacher was seen as the answer to the early 2000s mobile QB push - this was back when defensive coordinators were actually smart enough to deploy a "spy" (something that seems lost on d-coordinators today). He was one of those first players with which my racial awakening began. He was a great LB - could play down hill, sideline to sideline, drop in coverage. Ray Lewis played an additional 4 seasons so he was able to accumulate additional stats but I think Urlacher was every bit the equal of Lewis.


Dan Morgan was another uber-athletic white LB viewed in the same way. "Today's NFL" is a new weapon used by the media talking heads to further reduce the number of White players in the game - it was used more than once during last month's draft.
 

Bucky

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Urlacher was a Beast, probably the best Bear I've seen in my younger lifetime.
 
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