In the war of words between Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher and Hall of Fame running back Gale Sayers, Dick Butkus sides with his old teammate.
Sayers got things started by saying he wasn’t impressed with the Bears, and Urlacher shot back on Wednesday by pointing out that Sayers never reached the playoffs in his NFL career. Butkus, who like Sayers was drafted by the Bears in 1965 and like Sayers had a Hall of Fame career without ever getting to the postseason, told the Chicago Tribune that Urlacher is wrong to question Sayers.
“It’s a real reach to say: ‘What did Gale do?’ [Shoot], Urlacher wasn’t even born yet, what does he know?” Butkus said. “I say things to other people, too, about the Bears. It’s total frustration. You think [Sayers] is saying it because he hates the Bears? You get so tired of sitting there watching them.”
Butkus called Urlacher’s criticism of Sayers “out of line” and “uncalled for” and said that Sayers is correct in thinking it will be tough for Urlacher to return to top form at the age of 32, after playing in only one game last season because of a wrist injury.
“The truth of the matter is that I think Gale is absolutely right when you talk about a linebacker who has played nine years and he is coming back off an injury,” Butkus said. “I would say that there should be some concern whether he can reach his ability again.”