On Tuesday a member of the sports media said something controversial about the Chicago Bears, and really every other team in the NFL.
This is not exactly earth shattering news because sports reporters who make controversial comments are not new or even very interesting anymore. It seems like the need to make outrageous comments is a requirement for the job.
What makes this story interesting and relevant to Bears fans is that the commentator is former Bear and future HOFer Brian Urlacher and his comments were regarding faking injuries to stop the clock without burning a time out which is a direct violation of NFL rules. The comments are considered controversial since this is apparently a pretty common practice in the NFL but rarely talked about out in the open.
If Urlacher likes former Bears Coach Lovie Smith so much he has an odd way of showing it. Admitting to something that the league disapproves of. Granted, that might be something a club will look at as a positive thing.
According to an article in the Chicago Sun-Times Urlacher said “We had a guy who was the designated dive guy” Urlacher also said that a designated Bears coach would simulate the motion a swimmer would use to dive into water indicating that one of the players would “get hurt”, and that players were not coached to fake injuries but that it was just expected and a part of the game plan.
I have heard some radio personalities have taken issue with the fact that Urlacher is talking about his former team which places the team in a negative light and I have heard a lot of comments about teams using a tactic frowned upon by the NFL brass.
As a coach, my take is this:
If a former player wants to talk about what has happened with the team in the past, under a former regime, then that is his prerogative; he is now in the media and it is his job to create buzz. Urlacher certainly did his job. There are a lot of people talking about his comments; half have been about the comments about a team from a former player and the other half have been about the comments themselves. I would say Urlacher had a pretty good first week at his new job.
That being said…
I have a real issue with faking injuries to stop the clock because it is a rule. I don’t really care for it but a rule is a rule. If you do something that is against the rules regardless if it is on purpose or not it is cheating. I don’t think it is on par with using PEDs or spying on another team, but it is cheating none the less. It is frustrating and disappointing to me to hear about this and unfortunately it doesn’t really surprise me. It is the NFL where coaches and players are willing to do just about anything to help them win.
For what its worth; the Bears new coaching staff will not be using this tactic; or so they say. Hopefully they won’t be put in the position where they have to fake an injury to stop the clock, let the other defensive players catch their breath and/or slow down another team.
However, that may be wishful thinking.
What do you think Bears fans? If it helps the team; should the Bears fake a cramp or other injury to stop the clock and/or give their teammates an opportunity to catch their breath?