The Chicago Tribune’s Vaughn McClure had a little chat with Bears middle linebacker Brian Urlacher as he and his teammates prepare to officially kick off training camp. Urlacher touched on a wide variety of topics, but a couple of his quotes jumped off the screen:
On the favorites to get to the Super Bowl: “I’ve got to say us. In the AFC, you have to go with the Colts. I know the Saints are going to be tough again. Our division is the toughest in the league. The AFC East is tough, I know that. And we play those teams this season.”
OK, I get that you can’t really say that you have to be positive and confident, but calling the Bears the favorites to win the NFC? Come on Brian! If you want to say that the Bears will be better than people think or that they might surprise some people, I am 100% with you but you’ve got to keep it real.
Another thing that struck me was Urlacher’s reaction to the NFL’s concussion awareness and prevention activities:
On NFL’s renewed emphasis on preventing concussions: “I don’t think about it. I think I had one my fourth year in Denver, a pretty good one. I think I missed two plays. That’s the worst one I could think of. You get dinged up during games every once in a while. You’re like ‘Wow, I was a little hazy after that play.’ That’s just the way it goes. It doesn’t cross my mind when I’m out there.”
Again, I get it. He’s a tough guy and doesn’t want to give any sense of weakness, but for all that we’ve learned about concussions and head shots, he should acknowledge the seriousness of it. Maybe that concussion in Denver explains his answer about the favorites to go to the Super Bowl.
I did like what he had to say about the move to an 18-game schedule:
On the proposed 18-game season: “I don’t care either way, as long as they take away some of those preseason games. Yes, you open yourself up to more wear-and-tear because it’s 18 games that matter, but I’d rather play in games that matter than those preseason games.”
That’s the right attitude to take into camp! Players report today. FINALLY!!! Football 2010 is here!
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