It looks like the Chicago Bears will keep the elephant in the room for a little while longer.
Star middle linebacker Brian Urlacher told ESPN Chicago via radio that he has not heard from the Bears upper brass or new head coach Marc Trestman, who has been quite Belichickian lately with his mumness of Urlacher’s impending free agency.
The Bears icon may be 35-years-old, but he has been adamant that he wants to play in 2013. It would be quite strange to see Urlacher walk away from the Bears, but I highly doubt that happens. I’m not too surprised that the Bears haven’t contacted Urlacher yet, because they have plenty of time — roughly six weeks — before he officially becomes a unrestricted free agent.
Maybe they’re just sorting things out under a new head coach and trying to get their plan settled, but I’m sure that plan involves Urlacher.
It just seems a bit strange to some people that they have been so noncommittal on Urlacher’s future thus far.
Last season, the Bears middle linebacker looked like he lost more than just a step in run defense with ten missed tackles and just 61 tackles (per the Pro Football Focus) overall, but Brian Urlacher was still excellent against the pass and one of the best middle linebackers in coverage last year.
However, Lovie Smith is gone and so is the Cover-2, which means Urlacher’s primary value from excelling in coverage is deeply undercut.
From an X’s and O’s and pure football standpoint, Urlacher is expendable. But from a leadership and sentimental standpoint, Urlacher is someone the Bears should keep around for at least another year.
However, it is definitely time to start grooming a replacement — one that better fits the new direction on defense the Bears are taking without the Cover-2. But for now, Urlacher should stay with the Bears.
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