Brian Urlacher is getting sick of the way the NFL treats defensive players.
Urlacher, the Bears linebacker, appeared on ESPN’s Mike and Mike in the Morning Thursday and ripped into the league’s policies on fines and flags.
“We don’t have a clear line of what we can do and what we cannot do,” Urlacher said. “There were some early in my career that could be fined now, but back then it was OK to do it.”
Urlacher noted that the league office and the on-field officials often don’t seem to agree on what constitutes an illegal hit.
“I got penalized against Detroit for a hit but didn’t get fined. That’s kind of frustrating, you cost your team 15 yards and a first down, and they don’t fine you, why was it illegal? I know the referees are going to call those penalties but why can’t we review those penalties?” Urlacher said. “It’s just frustrating because you don’t know what’s going to be a penalty and what’s not going to be a penalty and you’re assuming if you get a penalty you’re going to get fined. Or you don’t get a penalty and then you do get fined. I don’t understand.”
Some helmet-to-helmet contact is only helmet-to-helmet because the offensive player lowers his helmet into a defensive player who was aiming to hit him in the midsection, and Urlacher said it’s unfair that defensive players can still draw penalties for such collisions.
“When you’re tracking the ball and tracking a guy, and if he lowers his head at the last second, what can you do about that?” Urlacher asked.
Urlacher also believes the officials have a double standard for offensive and defensive players.
“When linemen take our knees out, we’re outside the box and they take our knees out, or a running back will just dive down at your knees when you’re blitzing, or the other day I saw a running back lower his head at a DB and ran him over, but that was OK — the defensive player wasn’t defenseless,” Urlacher said. “It’s very frustrating for me.”
But for all of Urlacher’s frustration, he says he doesn’t allow it to affect what he does on Sundays.
“It doesn’t change the way we play, I’ll tell you that much,” Urlacher said. “If we hit a guy and get fined, we get fined.”