Brian Urlacher didn’t like having his snaps managed

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The Bears were just trying to be prudent.

But linebacker Brian Urlacher doesn’t have to be happy about it.

After scoring 10 quick points in the third quarter to go up by 20, Bears coach Lovie Smith pulled his middle linebacker for the rest of the game.

Urlacher’s been bothered by knee soreness all summer, and sat out the final 36 defensive snaps. He only missed 14 snaps last season.

‘‘That was a changeup,’’ Urlacher said, via the Chicago Sun-Times. ‘‘I don’t like coming out of the game. But he’s the head coach. So I do what he says.’’

Urlacher insisted his knee was fine, that he felt no pain, and referred to the “stupid brace,” he had to wear.

He only had two tackles and a pass defensed during a day when the Bears tormented Andrew Luck, who mentioned several others Bears before getting down to the linebacker.

But even without stats, his teammates said he made an impact.

‘‘He’s the leader of our defense,’’ defensive end Israel Idonije said. ‘‘Just hearing his voice out there, resetting the defense, calling the checks — it lets everyone get in that comfort zone and, . . . you play better.’’

Considering last year’s injury, which may have sent him to Europe for alternative treatment, the Bears are wise to spread out his reps. Because there will be days they need him more than they needed him Sunday.

9 responses to “Brian Urlacher didn’t like having his snaps managed

  1. I will be less concerned after the Packers game. If he is fine after playing 4 days later that would be huge.

  2. Another thing Lovie does not do, but should, is use the backup QB at the end of secure games. Last year there were many opps for Hanie to come in and get some much needed exp. Also saves Cutler. My biggest gripe about DaCoach.

  3. I can see where Urlacher is coming from, but Lovie made the right call here considering the circumstances. He and the Bears are more in need of Urlacher’s services against the Packers, and that game just so happens to be 3 days away.

  4. While I appreciate Brian Urlacher’s fire to be in the game, pulling him was absolutely the right decision (I wish Lovie had thought the same way during last year’s meaningless finale when Urlacher’s knee was originally injured). Likewise, I was surprised to see Jay Cutler and Matt Forte still taking snaps well after the final outcome (if not the final score) was determined – they should have been out as well.

    On any team, player talent is a finite resource, and if it’s not necessary to risk it to secure a win, it’s better for everyone – players, coaches, organizations, fans – to manage those resources wisely. In a close game I’d expect all of the Bears’ key contributors to be out there for every down. In a blowout, it’s smart to pull them.

  5. Don’t blame Lovie for taking him out, and don’t blame Urlacher for not liking it…No different than a MLB manager taking a pitcher out after 8 innings when he’s got a shutout going, but has thrown a lot of pitches.

  6. Player wants to play, coach wants to save him for a short week. Not really a story here. Chin up Lach, you get a chance to put Green Bay in an o-2 hole to start the season. Focus on that and be proud of how the defense played without you. Pass rush looked good and secondary capitalized on the pressure.

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