CHICAGO - AUGUST 21: Brian Urlacher #54 of the Chicago Bears smiles on the sidelines during a preseason game against the Oakland Raiders at Soldier Field on August 21, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. The Raiders defeated the Bears 32-17. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Brian Urlacher
"I don't think numbers define what he brings to a defense," said Bears Defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli. "The leadership, toughness, consistency. And he plays at such a high level, I think that would define him more than numbers would."
Yet the numbers don't lie. The Bears defense allows the second-fewest offensive points per game (14.4) in the NFL. They allow the second-fewest rushing yards a game at 82.3, making it no surprise they are second in the league with 35 stuffs or tackles for loss per game.
"We're playing fast," Urlacher explained. "That's the number one thing. We are getting to the football. You watch film there's nine [or]10 guys every play."
And Urlacher is getting there faster than any of his defensive teammates. He leads the Bears with 71 tackles (last game based on press box stats), and his 1,474 career tackles trails only Mike Singletary (1,487) for the Bears franchise record.
"Probably means Lance [Briggs] is going to pass me in a couple years," Urlacher laughed.
And while fellow linebacker Briggs also has surpassed the 1,000 tackle mark to sit fourth in Bears history, Urlacher understates his place in Halas history.
Samurai Mike did it in 12 seasons, Urlacher is playing in his 11th with the Bears and will break the record despite missing last season after a wrist injury in the opening game.
Hungry and Urlacher are synonymous. Just don't question it.
"Of course he is," Bears coach Lovie Smith said astonished by the thought. "When you say sometimes it won't last (and) talking about Brian Urlacher? I can't put those two together."
When Urlacher was asked if he thinks about his place in Bears history, he remained typically understated.
"No," he said before thanking the assembled media and calling it a day.