Urlacher chooses to retire
Posted: Thursday, May 23, 2013 7:00 pm
By ANDREW SELIGMAN
AP Sports Writer
CHICAGO (AP) — Brian Urlacher wasn’t sure how dominant he could be any longer, so he’s calling it a career after 13 seasons with the Chicago Bears.
And what a career it was:
• Eight Pro Bowl seasons.
• Defensive Player of the Year in 2005.
• A trip to the Super Bowl as 2006 NFC champion.
And now, it’s over. The eight-time Pro Bowler announced his retirement through social media accounts Wednesday.
“After spending a lot of time this spring thinking about my NFL future, I have made a decision to retire,” Urlacher said in a statement. “Although I could continue playing, I’m not sure I would bring a level of performance or passion that’s up to my standards. When considering this, along with the fact that I could retire after a 13-year career wearing only one jersey for such a storied franchise, my decision became pretty clear.
“I want to thank all of the people in my life that have helped me along the way. I will miss my teammates, my coaches and the great Bears fans. I’m proud to say that I gave all of you everything I had every time I took the field. I will miss this great game, but I leave it with no regrets.”
Urlacher was the face of the Bears, and he ranks among the best middle linebackers to suit up for a franchise with an impressive list that includes Hall of Famers Bill George, Dick Butkus and Mike Singletary.
In March, Urlacher and the Bears were unable to reach a contract agreement and he became a free agent.
“In the pantheon of Bears, Brian has earned his place alongside Halas, Grange, Nagurski, Ditka, Payton — and yes, Bill George, Butkus and Singletary,” Bears chairman George McCaskey said. “We congratulate Brian on a brilliant career and he will continue to be a welcomed member of the Bears Family in retirement.”
Added receiver Earl Bennett on Twitter: “Great player… Great teammate… Awesome person!!!!”
Former Bears linebacker Hunter Hillenmeyer posted on Twitter: “(at)BUrlacher54 was the most coachable superstar, best locker room leader I ever played with. Proud to call him a teammate for 8 seasons.”
And defensive end Israel Idonije, a free agent, wrote, “It was an honor & privilege to work and learn from (at)BUrlacher54 over the past 10 years. (hash)ThanksBruh.”
Urlacher started 180 games from 2000-12.
Published in The Messenger 5.23.13