We all remember those words from March 20th. They stung our hearts. They brought tears to some of us. They made some of us angry, but the most common feeling was probably fear. Fear of how our defense would now look. We read the headlines and heard the reports state the words. I remember I was at a restaurant getting ready to watch a Chicago Blackhawks game when I heard the news and I just slouched in my seat. I even called my parents, long time Bears fans, to share the heart-breaking news with them. The Chicago Bears will part ways with the face of their franchise, Brian Urlacher.
How do you feel when the most well-known and well-loved player on your team is cut as reports swirl about him possibly going to one of your rivals, the Vikings? How do you feel after 13 years of watching Brian Urlacher dominate opposing offenses and struggle through injuries and age? How did you feel on May 22nd, when it was announced that Brian Urlacher would retire, destroying all hope that there may be some sort of rekindling of the fire between the Bears and Urlacher.
Regardless of how you felt when it all happened, the day he retired was the same day the Bears signed a 1-year contract with D.J. Williams, fresh off the free agency. Williams was now starting middle linebacker for the Chicago Bears. Williams, a vet, had shown what he had in previous games with the Denver Broncos, and we knew he wasn’t Urlacher, but was a good player. Before that though, on May 9th the Bears signed who they thought they may be able to mold into Urlacher’s replacement. Truth be told, we all knew Urlacher couldn’t be replaced, but somebody had to try and step up and fill his shoes and that guy was selected as the 50th pick overall when the Bears selected Jon Bostic out of Florida.
Bostic was sought after due to his ability to bring powerful hits that would stop the runner’s momentum and his aggressive style and good leadership. He has good coverage skills but the only thing holding him back from winning the starting job and stepping right up with the Bears was experience. And now, with D.J. Williams, Bostic will get the chance to fill The Legend’s shoes.
Bostic played his college career at Florida under Urban Meyer and Will Muschamp from 2009 to 2012. He started 32 in the 51 games he played and recorded 237 tackles, 7.5 quarterback sacks and five interceptions and during his senior year was a leader on a stingy defense that helped lead the Gators to an 11-1 record.