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Ode to an Urlacher

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Ode to an Urlacher

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CHICAGO - OCTOBER 26: Cornerback Charles Tillman #33 of the Chicago Bears returns an interception with blocking help from teammates Lance Briggs #55 and Brian Urlacher #54 during a game against the Detroit Lions on October 26, 2003 at Soldier Field in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears defeated the Lions 24-16. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

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Brian Urlacher now has more tackles than any Bear in history.  More than Singletary.  More than Butkus. More than Walter Payton!  (Yeah, I know Payton didn't play defense, but it's impressive anytime you see the phrase "more than Walter Payton.")

The feat is made more amazing by the fact that Urlacher's been so injury prone the last few years.  Can you imagine if he'd been healthy?  Playing without Urlacher is like fighting with one arm tied behind your back.

The fact is, defense wins. And every great Bears defense starts at linebacker. Urlacher is the spark plug. He flies to the ball. He wraps you up. He will make that tackle.

On a night when the Bears totally beat down the Dolphins, the defense shined brightest.  Six sacks.  Zero points allowed.  It wouldn't happen without Urlacher.

He's not loud like Ray Lewis. He doesn't brag like Darelle Revis. He just shows up, grabs the ball carrier and goes home. In that way, he exemplifies the city. Broad shoulders. Thick skin. Inner drive.  Urlacher just points to results. He doesn't need to run his mouth. 

The guy doesn't even bother with hair.  You know all that time you spend combing your hair in the morning?  Urlacher uses that time to stare at quarterback pictures and scowl.

He's been with us for ten years.  It can't last forever.  So take a moment to savor the quiet leadership of the man in the middle.  It will be a long time before we see one like him again.

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