Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher caused a stir last season when he said he hated the way the team’s identity had changed under new quarterback Jay Cutler. But now Urlacher is singing Cutler’s praises.
“Jay’s awesome,” Urlacher said on a conference call for Bears fans. “He throws the ball as well as any quarterback in the NFL. If we can protect him–which I think we will do–I think he’s going to have a great year.”
Maybe Urlacher has been impressed with the way Cutler looks in Mike Martz’s offense, or maybe Urlacher just knows the Bears are married to Cutler and figures he might as well give his teammate a public vote of confidence. Either way, Urlacher says he’s excited to see what Cutler can do this year.
And Urlacher is also excited about seeing what he himself can do after missing 15 games last season.
“I don’t like being on the sideline,” Urlacher said. “It was horrible. It was very frustrating. After the offseason I had last year, I felt great coming into the season. To get hurt in the first game like that was very disappointing.”
If Urlacher felt great about his personal readiness going into last season, he seems to feel great about the team’s readiness heading into this season.
“The OTAs have not been this much fun for me since I’ve been here,” he said. “I think it’s because we’re anxious to get back on the field.”