Originally written on This Given Sunday  |  Last updated 7/19/13
30

The Chicago Bears are a difficult franchise to forecast. The team is only partially in a rebuilding mindset while it’s also obvious that some of the pieces for a solid football team are in place. Even so, one of the Bears’ greats isn’t back, and now, he’s hoping his former team doesn’t go and win a championship without him. “I’m still rooting for them,” Bears great Brian Urlacher told NFL.com’s Dave Dameshek. “I hope they do well. They better not win a championship without me because I’ll be really pissed.” When Dameshek pressed for more detail, Urlacher continued. “Then I’ll be happy [if the Bears do well] for them. Like I said, I have a lot of good friends on the team, but I don’t want them to win a Super Bowl without me.” Luckily, we think, for Urlacher, the Bears won’t be winning a Super Bowl in the immediate future, and unless you don’t believe in sound NFL betting strategies, you won’t be putting any money down on the Windy City’s team. New head coach Marc Trestman has a full plate in getting the team back to competitive football. True, he already has a talented quarterback in place for the immediate future, but he lacks talented playmakers to help said quarterback out. In addition, the Bears still employ one of the most suspect offensive lines in the league, meaning Jay Cutler will likely have to make due under a great deal of pressure. Brian Urlacher’s absence doesn’t help matters either. On defense, the Bears still have a respectable unit, but there’s simply no replacing a player like Urlacher. In 13 seasons, he accounted for over 1,000 individual tackles, combining for an astounding 1,353 takedowns. Again, this isn’t someone you can simply replace overnight. To cap it all off, the Bears play in a rather tough division. The Vikings and Packers both made postseason appearances a season ago, and even the Lions are at a place where they’re at least competitive. In other words, it’s a hard sell if you want to convince anyone the Bears are playoff bound in 2013. Ultimately, Urlacher’s classic answer comes down to one question. Was he joking, or was Urlacher being serious? Frankly, he was probably doing a little bit of both. The closest Urlacher ever was to a Super Bowl championship came following the 2006 season. The Bears made it all the way to the big game only to be beaten by the Indianapolis Colts. In that game, the Bears jumped out to a quick lead, but as was the case under Rex Grossman’s leadership, the offense was unable to produce points, even against a porous Colts defense. So if we consider this all from Urlacher’s position, wouldn’t you be at least a little bit annoyed if the team you spent 13 seasons with went off and won a Super Bowl right after you left, especially if you had never won the big game as a player? Yeah, we thought so too. [follow]

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