Brian Urlacher would like to be remembered for his blocking

AP

Brian Urlacher has a surprising choice for the greatest play of his career.

Moments after he made his retirement official, Urlacher appeared on the Dan Patrick Show and was asked to name the play he’d like to be remembered for. Urlacher didn’t choose a play when he made a key tackle, or had a sack, or intercepted a pass or forced a fumble. He chose a play on which he threw a couple of blocks.

“The play didn’t even really involve me,” Urlacher said. “In 2005 we were playing San Fran at Soldier Field, it was like 40 mile an hour wind, they kicked a field goal from 50 yards and missed. Nathan Vasher caught it eight yards deep in the end zone and brought it out, and I blocked one guy in front of him, then I kept running beside him and blocked another guy, I think it was just an effort play. That was one of my favorite plays.”

The video confirms that Urlacher did show great hustle on the play: He threw his first block inside the Bears’ own 20-yard line, then turned upfield alongside Vasher and even ran past Vahser to throw a block and clear the path toward the end zone.

Urlacher said he knew it was time to shut down his career because his body was telling him to shut it down, and he also said that while he was disappointed that his departure from the Bears played out the way it did this offseason, he has no hard feelings.

“I still have a ton of respect for the Bears,” Urlacher said. “It didn’t work out the way I wanted it to, but I played 13 years for one of the best franchises in NFL history. I’m very proud of that.”

Urlacher deserves to be proud of the way he played the game.

51 responses to “Brian Urlacher would like to be remembered for his blocking

  1. Classy dude. Wish him all the best. I’d love to see him in the booth on Sundays. Would be fun to have him commenting on the defensive nuances of the game.

  2. From a Vikings fan: Class Act! Thanks for the memories Brian. One of my all time favorite players.

  3. First, let me say I loved watching Urlacher play, he was awesome. But the play I will never forget was when the Bears played the Patriots (maybe 2007?) and Brady dropped back to pass and had no one open. So he tucked the ball and ran right up the middle toward Urlacher. You would expect Brady to get destroyed by an athlete as gifted as Urlacher, yet Brady made one little shoulder flinch, and Urlacher missed him by 6 yards. It just goes to show that even great athletes are only human. I look forward to Urlacher’s tv career, because there is no way he is going to be away from the game, you can tell he loves the game too much

  4. HOF?

    Nothing but respect for one of the best linebackers of a generation. I’m no Bears fan, but I wish this guy could have gotten just 1 ring. He anchored defenses that were the NFC’s equivalent to the Baltimore Ravens, and helped create a culture in Chicago. It’s a shame his team never got their hands on a QB who could deliver quite like Urlacher’s defense did.

  5. The play against Bettis on the goal line is one of his best on-camera performances. Nobody took a slow motion knee to the helmet better than number 54

  6. This Packer fan will miss the intensity he added to the rivalry, even while having a blast between plays with #4 then #12. Picked ’em both off way too much! Great player, great career.

  7. He is a lot bigger person than myself. He worked so hard and was such a great leader for the Bears for 13 years and they turned around and made him an incredibly insulting low ball offer. If I were him it would be pretty hard for me to continue on saying nice things about the organization.
    I really wanted to see him in a Vikings uniform next year sticking it to the Bears but I guess that’s not going to happen now.
    It really won’t make much difference though as the Lions are going to dominate the division anyway.

  8. Once again, congrats to Urlacher. Truly a class act.

    Aside from the Vasher TD, another memorable — or rather, forgetful — moment was seeing the play at QB for the 49ers that day. In fact, I bet 49ers fans don’t even remember who started at QB for them that day. It was Cody Pickett, and he completed only one pass the entire game!

  9. why all the sad faces? Urlacher is a HOF MLB for the Chicago Bears. and did I mention that Urlacher is filthy RICH. he dates super star women, lives in Chicago where he is king. but now hes too old to play football? boo hoo

  10. I still don’t know why Vikes didn’t make more of effort to sign him. We have no MLB and an extremely young group of linebackers in general. Urlacher would have contributed and brought much needed veteran leadership to the locker room.

  11. Looked to me like he botched that play after the block. He ends up turning himself around and looking backwards instead of going forward to clip the next guy that has a possible shot at Vasher, and he got lucky that Vasher was able to beat the rest despite him abandoning his logical assignment. This play just confirms why Urlacher was NOT a good blocker, he completely failed the 2nd half of that play by not keeping his head in the game and showing key awareness of what to do to make himself most useful at those moments. He rendered himself useless.

  12. Wow, has their ever been a Linebacker tandem going into the Hall of Fame together like Urlacher and Ray Lewis? Don’t think so!

  13. I have the utmost respect for Brian Urlacher BUT I really can’t stand when an athlete says “My body is telling me to shut it down.” It was only a month or so ago that we heard that the offer they made was unacceptable. Then to go on looking for a team in Denver or Minnesota. it sounds like he wasn’t going to be offered the money he felt he was worth, which is fine. But to say he heard his body to shut down is as bad as when an athlete says ” It’s not about the money.” when it was all about the money.

    I wish you well Brian for the gutsy playing out there & many good years ahead of you.

  14. Man, that play was awesome. Felt like it was just a few years ago. 7 seasons ago? Dang. It’s easy to forget the jets that Urlacher had in his prime – he showed it in the video, zooming forward to make sure Vasher completed the TD.

    I’m a huge fan of Urlacher. He was the ideal “Tampa 2” Mike backer. There haven’t been many ideal MIKE backers playing the Tampa 2 – the guy with the size to plug the run with ferocity, while having the athleticism to run down the middle and chase TE’s in his prime. He could’ve played any LB position (and people forget that the Bears were originally going to play him outside, but an injury to … I want to say Barry Minter? … pushed him inside).

    He’s leaving as close to his prime as possible. Not many LB’s do that. I think Urlacher probably could still be a solid player this year, but it was clear last year that, like all great MLB’s, time was slowly catching up to him. I wish the Bears had better offenses during the Urlacher era, as the defense was consistently dominant. Urlacher really deserved a better offense to give him a shot at a title.

    I don’t know if he’s a HOF. If it was my choice, I’d say yes, but I think he’s probably borderline right now. I wish things ended on a better note with the Bears, but perhaps the way it ended is what led him to realize that it was simply better to call it quits now. If he’s at peace with it, and he sure sounds like it … good for him.

  15. I’ll remember him for getting RUN OVER by the bus at the goal line in a snow game in pittsburgh circa 2005.

  16. As opposed to getting tackled single-handedly by Aaron Rodgers in the NFC Championship game.

  17. Butkus, Singletary, and Urlacher – waiting for a Superbowl ad featuring those three!

  18. This lifelong Cheesehead will stand, salute him, and raise a glass in his honor. He was a worthy adversary, and I’m not really sad to him go, cause got-DAMN am I tired of seeing him in my backfield.

    Seriously though, good for him. Class act, always played hard. Its rare one plays that long for one team any more, and even rarer still to be such a proper carrier of a positional legacy like a Bears Middle Linebacker.

    That play he mentions …dude, he’s a starting middle linebacker in on special teams coverage, and paced a DB for 60+ yards and threw at least two, if not more, key blocks. If that ain’t an effort play, I don’t know what is.

    *salute
    *bottoms up

  19. Urlacher was way overrated. He was overweight, slow, frail and always injured. The Bears and the Bears fans will be better off without him. I mean after all, i didn’t release him, the Bears did. And not ONE single team called his agent. Ha Ha! Nuff said. Geaux Saints!

  20. I agree with thestrategyexpert. Looks to me like he was a liability instead.

    Great career Urlacher.

  21. Stiller43 says:
    May 22, 2013 1:20 PM
    I’ll remember him for getting RUN OVER by the bus at the goal line in a snow game in pittsburgh circa 2005.

    ============================

    Yep – best play ever. Mud and snow and bashing and bruising on the way to Super Bowl #5. One of the top 10 Steeler plays of all time for my money.

  22. It’s nice that the Stiller fans are showing their class when such a player hangs it up.

    Keep up the work, guys…

  23. I will remember her never winning a Superbowl and being butthurt in 2010 when the almighty 13 time World Champion Green Bay Packers won Superbowl XLV. Go lay in the corner sister, dinner will be served soon.LOLZ. Go Pack Go!

  24. Brian Urlacher would certainly not like to be remembered for calling the $2,000,000 deal the Bears offered him insulting only months ago.

  25. In regards to johnelwayishorsefaced comments–The insulting lowball offer they gave him is obviously better than getting no true offers from the rest of the league! I am a lifelong Bears fan–and I really wanted to see him in a Vikings uniform also! It is indeed time to retire and he had slowed greatly. He regained some of his image that he tainted with his comments when the Bears parted ways by his classy retirement comments. He will be back with the Bears in some capacity–as he should be. And you keep talking about Detroit will dominate the division–stupid comments all around on your part.

  26. I remember seeing Bettis freight train a lot of people, Urlacher played 13 years in the NFL and the simpletons only remember that single play. Anybody who plays for that long is going to get chumped a few times. I’m sad to see him go and glad he’s not going to be one of those guys that tried to play 1 or 2 years too many.

  27. More embarassing than Bettis trucking him at the goalline on a play where Bettis was practically in the end zone already, or Brady juking him out of his shoes on a key 3rd down scramble, was how Aaron Rodgers tackled him with one finger in the NFC Championship Game on a play that should’ve been a pick-6 and could’ve changed the complexion of the game and maybe put the Bears in the Super Bowl.

  28. Packer fan here. It is of course mandatory to hate Da Bears, but I could never really hate Urlacher even when he helped to beat GB. He played the game the way it should be played and was the sort of great, admirable opponent that any competitor wants to go up against or have his team fight. When you beat him you knew that you’d really accomplished something.

  29. Had to read that 6 times to make sure I was reading that was how he wanted to be remembered….Ummmm…..Ok….? Block away Brian…I will remember you for dating Paris Hilton.

  30. As a Niners fan, I remember that play quite well, unfortunately. I could practically hear Urlacher doing his Bobby Boucher squeal as he was bashing everyone in front of him on the way to the end zone.

  31. Come asst coach the LB’s in Cincy. Get your feet wet and take over the job in a few years….The knowledge would be sweet to our young LB core…Best of luck to you.. 1st ballot HOF anything else is BS

  32. transam7816:

    Fascinating comment for you to agree with me. This is a key problem with NFL evaluators is they don’t know to judge talent and train and manager players well. Urlacher came away thinking he did good on that play, and I bet coaches and managers and other players support him on that opinion. But as you can see, you see a strong and sensible case for how he blew it. I spotted that and figured it out and it makes sense to you. But look at the votes, 9 agrees and almost 60 declines. Most people want to overvalue and appreciate the player beyond what he is worth whereas I take an unbiased objective viewpoint to get at the truth.

    But most NFL decision makers aren’t logical and objective, and they do a lousy job at studying and breaking down film, which is CRITICAL to becoming a football expert and/or mastermind. Pay attention to how the game works and use your brain to figure things out, because the media and the teams are not going to spoonfeed you legit and quality analysis, so you have to do it yourself.

  33. You know I realize the Vikings are always putting out smoke screens but this time they were apparently telling the truth.

    My guess is that Urlacher didn’t want to play for what teams were willing to pay and ultimately it came down to “what’s the point of playing mediocre ball for mediocre money”.

    Urlacher was the complete package though. Big, tall, fast, technically sound, and a great leader. Never in NFL history has there been a better middle linebacker in a tampa 2 running that seam either.

  34. While the quality isn’t as good, this video probably shows Urlacher’s effort a little better on the play.

  35. For all the Bettis talkers,take it easy. I saw him get decleated in college when Stanford played ND…John Lynch baby. Thanks for the memories Brian. HOF

  36. if you put him in the hall, you have to put in London fletcher as well(if he ever retires). fletcher has a super bowl win, a longer career. looks like MLB will have some choices in 4-6 years in the hall

  37. Brian Urlacher had a great career, played in a Super Bowl, multiple NFC Conference finals games, and many Pro Bowls.

    He continued the Bears tradition of having great MLB’s.

    Not only the Bears but I’m sure Green Bay Packers fans wish him well on his retirement.

    He deserves the utmost respect.

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