Just two weeks ago, we discovered that former Chicago Bears middle linebacker Brian Urlacher was voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He becomes the 35th Chicago Bear (included in this total are players who played just part of their careers with the Bears) to enter the Hall and the most recent player to have played for Chicago. His entry into the Hall of Fame should come as no surprise.
He is worthy of the honor.
Urlacher will join four other players that played the linebacker position at one time or another for the Bears. Those five players include Bill George, George Connor, Dick Butkus and Mike Singletary. Urlacher represents the latest in a long line of talented Chicago Bears’ defenders who just so happen to play linebacker.
One clear thing that Urlacher’s selection signals to the pro football community are that the Bears are one of the best, if not the best, teams at linebacker in the history of the sport. They continue to draft and develop some of the finest talent at that position, and it seems that in almost every generation, they have a stud linebacker who earns the highest honor in professional football.
Urlacher is somewhat of a different guy than the others. He was faster and meant so much to the defense, his effect on it could not be denied. Whereas some guys had a lot of talent around them to help take some of the pressure off them, Urlacher had to do some of what he did on his own.
Remember the “We are who we thought they were” game back in the 2006 season versus Arizona? Urlacher had 25 tackles in that game and played like a man possessed. That’s what you expect out a Hall of Fame player and Urlacher delivered like that time and again.
We must talk about the linebackers that came before Urlacher. Bill George was one of the meanest to play the game and was one of the Bears’ most passionate players. George Connor was one of the first players to play the linebacker position.
Dick Butkus was one of the most feared linebackers in the history of the game. He wasn’t afraid to lay an opponent out and put the hurt on them. He was truly one of a kind. Then you had Samurai Mike Singletary. You can still see those eyes looking intensely into an opponents backfield. You can still feel the punishment that he delivered to the ball carrier when he hit them.
All these guys were some of the greatest linebackers in the history of the NFL. Their deeds have them enshrined in Canton, so there is no question how valuable they were. They are truly some of the best to ever play the game and help prove that the Bears have had the best linebackers in the history of the NFL. Sure, you have those from Pittsburgh, but the Bears tradition of great linebackers goes all the way back to the 1940’s when George O’Connor was recognized as one the first players to ever play the position. The Bears truly had a big part in making the linebacker position what it is today, and that great tradition continues with Urlacher’s being elected to the Hall.
Urlacher’s entry in the Pro Football Hall of Fame is just more validation that the Bears have some of the greatest players, especially the greatest defenders, in the history of professional football. They continue to have the most Hall of Fame players and continue to be the most storied franchises. This is proof positive that the Chicago Bears remain the greatest team in NFL history.