Questioning Brian Urlacher’s Hall of Fame Credentials is Crazy


Yesterday we touched on Brian Urlacher’s ranking just inside the Top 50 of NLF Network’s Top 100 list for 2011.  The followup discussion on is really interesting, so I thought we’d share and discuss.  Is Brian Urlacher Hall of Fame-worthy?

There are talking heads employed by on both sides.  Here are the arguments for Urlacher:

"Vic Carucci, On the contrary: Urlacher deserves Hall spotUrlacher already has established himself as a first-ballot Hall of Fame selection. His enormous talent has been evident from the start of his career, and it continues to shine through now. Urlacher has done a superb job of upholding the incredibly rich tradition of Bears middle linebackers, and five years after his retirement, he’ll join the likes of Dick Butkus and Mike Singletary in Canton.Pat Kirwan, It should be a done dealUrlacher will make the Hall of Fame, just maybe not on the first year of eligibility. Being the Bears’ middle linebacker for 11 seasons with seven Pro Bowl appearances is hard to deny. He had great stats in 2010 and is on pace to finish his career with over 1,200 tackles, 20 interceptions, 50 sacks, 15 forced fumbles, and 80 passes defended if he plays just three more years.Charles Davis, NFL NetworkUrlacher overrated? You must be jokingAt various times throughout his career, I’ve heard talk that Urlacher is overrated. I’ve always had a hard time believing that to be true, and now, more than ever, I don’t. In fact, I believe there is a bust waiting for him in Canton at the end of his career. His body of work, just in statistics is impressive. He’s led his teams to a Super Bowl appearance and two NFC title games. He’s not just physical, but quick and fast, effective in run support, able to drop deep down the middle of the field in Chicago’s Tampa-2 defense, and can blitz with abandon. Two years ago he missed much of the season with an injury, and the Bears struggled. Back healthy in 2010, the Bears were NFC North champs. Yes, Canton will beckon."

Check out some of the guys on the wrong side of the argument after the jump…

"Bucky Brooks, Don’t cast Urlacher’s bust just yetUrlacher definitely is one of the best players in the modern era, but I’d stop short of naming him a Hall of Famer. While he has been a tremendous player for the majority of his 11-year career, he was relatively quiet over a four-year span before having a bit of a rebirth last season. A Hall of Famer, in my opinion, should be one of the most dominant players on the field, with his presence felt on every snap.Although Urlacher’s numbers certainly place him on the cusp of inclusion, you’d be hard-pressed to rank him as the top middle linebacker over the past decade, and that makes it tough to say he’s a Hall of Fame lock after his career ends.Steve Wyche, Shadow of Butkus, Singletary cast over UrlacherIf there was any doubt about Urlacher’s impact, he showed it last season in his return from missing most of the 2009 season, when the Bears weren’t much of anything, and helped them move within one game of the Super Bowl.That said, I’m not sure he’s a Hall of Famer. Part of that stems from playing in the shadow of Dick Butkus and Mike Singletary in Chicago. Both were mashers and intimidators. Urlacher isn’t viewed that way. He’s more of a playmaker instead of a face-mask bender. Also, if you lined up Urlacher next to some of today’s best inside linebackers — Ray Lewis, Patrick Willis and Jon Vilma, among others — many people would take them above Urlacher, even though they might not be Hall of Famers either."

I stopped there even though there are a couple of other knuckleheads that question Urlacher’s HOF worthiness because this guy helps me make my point: If Mike Singletary is in the Hall of Fame, Brian Urlacher undoubtedly belongs next to him. Check out some of the comparisons between Hall of Famer Singletary and Urlacher:

Urlacher leads the Bears in tackles with 1089 over his 11 year career.   Where Bucky Brooks describes a “four year span” where Urlacher was “relatively quiet”, it was actually 2 years where he recorded sub-100 tackle seasons, one of which when he lost virtually the entire season after breaking his wrist in the first half in Week 1 vs the Packers.  Check out his ridiculous stats by clicking here.

Urlacher has 41.5 career sacks.  That’s not all that impressive compared to many linebackers in the league, but consider that Urlacher’s main responsibility on pass plays is to go back into coverage in Lovie Smith’s defense.  Hall of Famer Mike Singletary, who played in Buddy Ryan’s attacking 46-defense, has 19 career sacks over his 12-year career.  In pass coverage, Urlacher has 18 career interceptions, compared to just 7 for Singletary.

Singletary beats out Urlacher in Pro Bowl appearances, with 10 trips to Hawaii to Brian’s 7 Pro Bowls.  He also has 2 Defensive Player of the Year Awards to Urlacher’s 1.  Urlacher has a Rookie of the Year Award on his resume.  Of course, Singletary has a ring; something that many argue Urlacher needs to punch his ticket to Canton.  What do you think?  Is Brian Urlacher a Hall of Famer?  Vote in our poll and post your comments below.