Brian Urlacher: Wikis

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Brian Urlacher

Brian Urlacher during the 2008 season.
No. 54     Chicago Bears
Linebacker
Personal information
Date of birth: May 25, 1978 (1978-05-25) (age 31)
Place of birth: Pasco, Washington
Height: 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) Weight: 258 lb (117 kg)
Career information
College: New Mexico
NFL Draft: 2000 / Round: 1 / Pick: 9
Debuted in 2000 for the Chicago Bears
Career history
 As player:
Roster status: Injured Reserve
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 17, 2009
Tackles     816
Sacks     37.5
INTs     17
Stats at NFL.com

Brian Keith Urlacher (pronounced /ˈɜrlækər/; born May 25, 1978) is an American football player for the Chicago Bears of the National Football League. Urlacher, an alumnus of the University of New Mexico, is a six-time[1] Pro Bowl player and has established himself as one of the NFL's most productive linebackers. He is regarded as one of the best defensive players in the NFL, winning the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year Award in 2000 and the NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award in 2005, becoming only the fifth player in NFL history to win both awards.[2]

Contents

Early life

Brian Urlacher was born to Brad and Lavoyda Urlacher in Pasco, Washington. The family broke apart in the late 1980s, and Lavoyda gained custody of Urlacher and his siblings.[3] Lavoyda then moved the family to Lovington, New Mexico, where she was eager to give the family a new start. While his mother worked several jobs to keep the family afloat, Urlacher spent his free time exercising. Over time, Urlacher developed a sincere interest in football. Urlacher combined his brute force, agility, and speed to lead the Lovington High School Wild Cats to a 14-0 season.[2]

College career

Although Urlacher was partial to attending Texas Tech University, his dreams were cut short after the university did not offer him a much needed scholarship. The only two Division I schools that expressed genuine interest in him were the University of New Mexico and New Mexico State. He ultimately chose to attend the University of New Mexico.[3] Urlacher did not get a lot of playing time as a freshman in 1996, as head coach Dennis Franchione's rebuilding plan for the team relied heavily on upperclassmen.[3] He played more as a sophomore when the University of New Mexico finished with a 9-4 and captured the Western Athletic Conference Mountain division title, but eventually lost 41-13 to Colorado State University in the WAC Championship Game. Despite the loss, the Lobos were invited to the Insight Bowl, where they lost to the University of Arizona 20-14.[4]

Following the 1997 season, Franchione left the university to coach for Texas Christian University. Rocky Long, an alumnus of the university and former defensive coordinator for UCLA, helped Urlacher achieve national recognition. Under the tutelage of Long and defensive coordinator Bronco Mendenhall, Urlacher became a “Lobo-Back,” a cross between a linebacker and safety, and garnered much success in Long's 3–3–5 defense.[5][6] He recorded 422 tackles, the third most in the school’s history, three interceptions, eleven forced fumbles and sacks. He was also the team’s return specialist and clutch wide receiver, catching seven passes for six touchdowns.[2] Urlacher also earned several honors during his collegiate career, named an All-American by Sports Network, Walter Camp, Football Writers Association of America, and the Associated Press. Entering the 2000 NFL Draft, Urlacher was considered one of the nation's most talented college prospects.[7]

Professional career

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2000–2004

During the 2000 NFL Draft, Urlacher was selected by the Chicago Bears with the ninth pick in the first round. Early in the season, Urlacher briefly lost his starting position to Rosevelt Colvin.[8] However, an injury to Barry Minter forced Urlacher to fill in as the team’s starting middle linebacker. After a productive performance against the New York Giants, he became an instant hit, recording over 15 tackles in each of his next two games. Not even a minor injury could prevent Urlacher from claiming the 2000 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year Award, along with an invite to his first Pro Bowl. Over the next two years, Urlacher distinguished himself as one of the league's most productive linebackers by recording 313 tackles, fourteen sacks and five interceptions.[9]

Under the leadership of new coach Dick Jauron, the Bears surprised many with their performance during the 2001 NFL season. Urlacher helped lead the Bears to three come-from-behind victories, and two shut-outs. During week fifteen of the 2001 season, a fake field goal allowed Bears' punter Brad Maynard to throw a game winning touchdown pass to Urlacher, giving the Bears the National Football Conference's number two playoff seed.[10] Despite their extremely productive defense, the Bears lost the divisional playoffs to the Philadelphia Eagles. Unfortunately, the Bears’ 2001 winning season would soon be overshadowed by three years of mediocrity. Before the 2004 NFL season, the Bears’ organization fired coach Dick Jauron and then hired Lovie Smith. After starting the season on the lower rungs of the NFC North, Urlacher suffered several injuries that sidelined him for a majority of the season.[11]

2005–present

Urlacher addresses the media in a post-game interview

Despite starting the 2005 NFL season on a disastrous note, the Bears rebounded by winning eight straight games, and eventually clinched a playoff berth against the Green Bay Packers on Christmas. Urlacher played a crucial role in the Bears' playoff berth; he recorded at least ten tackles in six consecutive games, while leading the team with 121 tackles. Additionally, his leadership and seasoned judgment allowed the Bears' defense to allow the fewest points in the league.[12] By the time the season ended, Urlacher and the Bears had boasted the best defense in the entire NFL. Before the regular season’s end, Urlacher was awarded with the NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award, and an invitation to the Pro Bowl. Urlacher, who ranked among the league's top defensive tiers, received more votes than any other defensive player in the NFL.[13] The following week, the Carolina Panthers defeated the Bears with a score of 29-21 in the divisional playoffs.

The Bears started the 2006 season by winning nine out of eleven games. Urlacher had a prodigious performance against the Arizona Cardinals during a week six Monday Night Football game. After trailing the Cardinals by twenty points, Urlacher helped the Bears engineer a late comeback, by stripping the ball from Edgerrin James, which led to a pivotal Bears’ recovery and touchdown. The Bears went on to win, 24-23, while Urlacher recorded eighteen total tackles (ten solo).[14] Later, he went on to overcome a serious sprained toe injury to lead the Bears to a 38-20 victory over the New York Giants, and made an interception in the end-zone the following week to solidify a shutout against the New York Jets.[15] Urlacher and the Bears concluded the season with a 13-3 record, and the NFC’s top playoff seed. Urlacher was selected as the NFC’s starting middle linebacker in the 2007 Pro Bowl, and was named onto the Associated Press’s "2006 All-Pro Team".[16][17] He also finished fourth in the 2006 NFL Defensive Player Award.[18]

Urlacher finished the season with three interceptions and 141 total tackles, which led the National Football Conference and earned Urlacher a selection to his fifth Pro Bowl. He played a pivotal defensive role in the Bears’ post-season victories over the Seattle Seahawks and New Orleans Saints. Ultimately, the Bears won the NFC Championship, but lost to the Indianapolis Colts, 29-17, at Super Bowl XLI.[19] Urlacher opted to defer his Pro Bowl trip due to the earlier toe injury he sustained.[20] The Bears were unable to replicate their success in the 2007 season, and finished last in the NFC North. In the middle of the season, Urlacher admitted that he had been suffering from an arthritic back, but later claimed the ailment was not serious.[21] Nevertheless, he finished the season on a high note, registering five interceptions, five sacks, one fumble recovery, one hundred and twenty-three tackles, and a defensive touchdown.[22] Following the season’s conclusion, Urlacher received minor neck surgery to treat his arthritic back.[23]

Urlacher dislocated his wrist in the 2009 season opener against the Packers. He underwent surgery, and went on to miss the remainder of the season.[24]

Reputation

Following his successful rookie season, Urlacher was able to gain popularity with the fans. Undoubtedly, he is still one of the most popular current Chicago Bears players. On a national level, Urlacher’s jersey sales have rivaled those of other NFL players, such as Brett Favre and Michael Vick.[25] Football fans across the nation have also voted Urlacher into six Pro Bowls.[1] Urlacher's teammates and coaches have also praised his character and athletic ability. In 2007, former teammate Tank Johnson called upon Urlacher to testify during one of his court hearings.[26]

Some skeptics and critics, however, consider Urlacher overrated. Even after winning the NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award for the 2005 season, a 2006 Sports Illustrated poll of 361 NFL players named Urlacher to be the second most overrated player in the league, behind Terrell Owens.[27] Urlacher was unfazed by the poll’s results. During an interview, he said, "Just watch the film. I don’t know what people are saying, but I’m not too worried about it anymore. All I can do is go out there and play hard and try and help my team win, and that’s what I’m going to keep doing."[28].

Personal life

Urlacher has two daughters, Pamela and Riley, with ex-wife Laurie Urlacher and a son, Kennedy, with Tyna Robertson. Urlacher currently lives with his daughters and has visitation rights with his son.[29] His younger brother, Casey, lived with him before beginning a career in the Arena Football League.

In 2002, he appeared on Wheel of Fortune, and won over $47,000 for charity. Urlacher, along with other Chicago Bears players, have sold autographed sports memorabilia to help fund the Special Olympics. Furthermore, Urlacher has been involved with charity work since his days at the University of New Mexico, where he volunteered numerous hours for the Special Olympics and Ronald McDonald House.

In June 2005, Urlacher filed suit to establish paternity of his son Kennedy. Genetic testing was completed and proved that he is Kennedy's father. Kennedy's mother, Tyna Robertson was already well-known to the media, having made unsuccessful claims of sexual assault against famed dancer Michael Flatley and a doctor from Naperville, Illinois.[29] In October 2006, Robertson refused to drive Kennedy to Urlacher’s house in Lake Bluff, Illinois and he took her to court to resolve the dispute. Ultimately, the judge decided it would be best for both Kennedy and his parents if they met at a halfway point between their residences for exchanges.[29] However, custody issues remain ongoing; in November 2008, Robertson filed a court motion accusing Urlacher of confusing Kennedy's gender identity by painting his toenails and putting him in girls' pink pull-up diapers.[30]

Urlacher is also a successful businessman. He is the owner of an auto dealership in New Mexico, and has appeared in several commercials for McDonald's, Domino's Pizza, Comcast, Nike, Campbell's Chunky soup, Old Spice, and Glacéau. He also shared the spotlight with Peyton Manning in a MasterCard commercial at a spa. Nike also aired special commercials about Urlacher's high school career containing clips and commentary of plays he made. However, Urlacher later stated that he feels "uncomfortable" appearing in commercials.[31] He was also the cover athlete and spokesperson for Sega Sports' NFL 2K3. During media day before Super Bowl XLI Urlacher wore a hat promoting Glacéau vitamin water, a non-NFL approved sponsor, for which he was fined $100,000.[32]

Outside football, Urlacher is a die-hard Chicago Cubs fan, and was once invited to sing Take Me Out to the Ball Game during the Seventh-inning stretch, as part of the organization's tradition. He also enjoys watching professional wrestling, and wrestled in a pay-per-view event for the NWA-TNA promotion. The Bears organization discovered this and forced him to stop.[33] He also enjoys golfing in his spare time, and during an episode of AT&T’s Home Turf, Urlacher revealed a room in his mansion containing a plethora of golf paraphernalia. When home, Urlacher revealed that he also enjoys watching the Discovery Channel, National Geographic, and HBO’s Entourage. Urlacher enjoys listening to a wide variety of music, including hip hop, rap, rock, and country music.[34]

References

  1. ^ a b "Brian Urlacher statistics". Pro-football-reference.com. http://www.pro-football-reference.com/players/UrlaBr00.htm. Retrieved 2008-11-08. 
  2. ^ a b c "Roster - Brian Urlacher". chicagobears.com. 2008. http://www.chicagobears.com/team/player79.html. Retrieved 2008-11-02. 
  3. ^ a b c "JockBio: Brian Urlacher". Jockbio.com. http://www.jockbio.com/Bios/Urlacher/Urlacher_bio.html. 
  4. ^ Baron, James (2003-01-21). "Lobo fans crowd bowl game". Daily Lobo. http://media.www.dailylobo.com/media/storage/paper344/news/2003/01/21/Sports/Lobo-Fans.Crowd.Bowl.Game-348067.shtml?norewrite200612071906&sourcedomain=www.dailylobo.com. Retrieved 2008-11-04. 
  5. ^ "Rocky Long". cstv.com. 2008. http://golobos.cstv.com/sports/m-footbl/mtt/long_rocky00.html. Retrieved 2008-11-04. 
  6. ^ Gonzales, Carolyn (2004-08-26). "The Big Hitter". University of New Mexico. http://www.unmalumni.com/mirage/fall2004/bighitter_print.htm. Retrieved 2008-11-04. 
  7. ^ Buchsbaum, Joel (1999-12-29). "Joel Buchsbaum previews the top prospects for the 2000 NFL draft". Pro Football Weekely. http://archive.profootballweekly.com/content/archives/draft_1999/prospects_lb_122799.asp. Retrieved 2008-11-04. 
  8. ^ Stellino, Vito (2002-02). "Meet Urlacher's trusty sidekick - Rising Star: Roosevelt Colvin". Football Digest. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0FCL/is_6_31/ai_81789945. Retrieved 2008-11-04. 
  9. ^ Mills, Roger (2002-12-2002). "High profile -- Brian Urlacher". St. Petersburg Times. http://www.sptimes.com/2002/12/29/Bucs/High_profile____Brian.shtml. Retrieved 2008-11-04. 
  10. ^ Maske, Mark (2001-12-24). "Redskins Fall From Race". Washington Post. http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?pagename=article&node=&contentId=A18019-2001Dec23. Retrieved 2008-11-04. 
  11. ^ "Urlacher injured again". TVNZ (Reuters). 2004-12-23. http://tvnz.co.nz/view/sport_story_skin/465927?format=html. Retrieved 2008-11-04. 
  12. ^ Dewan, John (2005-12-21). "The best defense of all time?". ACTA Sports. http://www.actasports.com/sow.php?id=72. Retrieved 2008-11-04. 
  13. ^ "Six Chicago Bears Named to 2006 Pro Bowl". http://chicago.about.com/od/sportsrecreation/a/122505_Bears.htm. 
  14. ^ Mayer, Larry (2006-10-22). "Lightning strikes twice for Urlacher". chicagobears.com. http://www.chicagobears.com/news/NewsStory.asp?story_id=2561. Retrieved 2008-11-04. 
  15. ^ Bears catch up to Jets' no-huddle offense by Larry Mayer of Chicagobears.com, posted 19 November, 2006.
  16. ^ Mayer, Larry (2006-12-19). "Bears send three special teams players to Pro Bowl". chicagobears.com. http://www.chicagobears.com/news/NewsStory.asp?story_id=2825. Retrieved 2008-11-04. 
  17. ^ "Tomlinson, Taylor and Bailey unanimous All-Pros". http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news;_ylt=AqMbR3et8MEKS6ALAZcsdTlDubYF?slug=ap-nflall-proteam&prov=ap&type=lgns. 
  18. ^ Marvez, Alex (2006-12-16). "Dolphins' Taylor in the running for Defensive Player of the Year". South Florida Sun-Sentinel. http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-28948159_ITM. Retrieved 2008-11-04. 
  19. ^ Wilner, Barry (2007-02-05). "Colts 29, Bears 17". Yahoo! Sports. http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/recap?gid=20070204003. Retrieved 2008-11-04. 
  20. ^ Mayer, Larry (2007-02-06). "Kreutz, Briggs pull out of Pro Bowl with injuries". chicagobears.com. http://www.chicagobears.com/news/NewsStory.asp?story_id=3041. Retrieved 2008-11-04. 
  21. ^ Engel, Mac, Cowboys assistants, Falcons to talk soon (January 2, 2008), Star-Telegram.com, Retrieved on February 9, 2008.
  22. ^ Mayer, Larry, Big plays highlighted productive season for Urlacher (January 27, 2008), chicagobears.com, Retrieved on February 9, 2008.
  23. ^ Associated Press, Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher has minor neck surgery (February 8, 2008), Yahoo! Sports, Retrieved on February 9, 2008.
  24. ^ McClure, Vaughn (2009-09-14). "Brian Urlacher likely out for the season with wrist injury". Chicago Tribune. http://blogs.chicagosports.chicagotribune.com/huddleup/2009/09/brian-urlacher-out-for-the-season-with-wrist-injury.html. Retrieved 2009-09-14. 
  25. ^ Adler, James (2002). "Top 10 NFL Player Jerseys". About.com. http://football.about.com/cs/footballapparel/tp/2002playjersey.htm. Retrieved 2008-11-04. 
  26. ^ CBS Chicago, Tank Johnson Sentenced To 120 Days In Jail Retrieved on March 15, 2007
  27. ^ "Overrated: Terrell Owens, Brian Urlacher ... and Tom Brady?". AOL Sports. 2006-10-31. http://nfl.fanhouse.com/2006/10/31/overrated-terrell-owens-brian-urlacher-and-tom-brady/. Retrieved 2008-11-04. 
  28. ^ Mayer, Larry (2006-10-31). "Adversity not slowing Urlacher's meteoric rise". chicagobears.com. http://www.chicagobears.com/news/NewsStory.asp?story_id=2603. Retrieved 2008-11-04. 
  29. ^ a b c "Decision in Urlacher's child custody battle". ABC7. 2006-10-18. http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=news/local&id=4674077. Retrieved 2008-11-04. 
  30. ^ Dominic, Bonvissuto (2008-11-26). "Bears' Urlacher accused of painting son's toenails". Sports Illustrated. http://www.fannation.com/si_blogs/nfl_tracker/posts/27181-bears-urlacher-accused-of-painting-sons-toenails. Retrieved 2008-11-26. 
  31. ^ "Brian Urlacher "My Say"". JockBio.com. http://www.jockbio.com/Bios/Urlacher/Urlacher_mysay.html. 
  32. ^ "Urlacher fined $100,000 by NFL for wearing hat". ChicagoBears.com. http://www.chicagobears.com/news/NewsStory.asp?story_id=3307. Retrieved 2007-04-19. 
  33. ^ "Brian Urlacher Facts". JockBio. http://www.jockbio.com/Bios/Urlacher/Urlacher_numbers.html. 
  34. ^ Liukin, Nastia (2006). "AT&T's Home Turf". AT&T. http://attblueroom.com/sports/teamusa/mediaplayer.php?cid=182484. Retrieved 2008-11-04. 

External links

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Jevon Kearse
NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year
2000
Succeeded by
Kendrell Bell
Preceded by
Ed Reed
NFL Defensive Player of the Year
2005
Succeeded by
Jason Taylor
Preceded by
Cade McNown
Bears 1st round draft pick
2000
Succeeded by
David Terrell

Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Brian Keith Urlacher (born 1979-05-25) is an American football player for the Chicago Bears. Over his career, Urlacher has earned a myriad accolade for his aggressive playing style and leadership.

Contents

Sourced

  • We watched the film and everybody was saying that he just turned into the Incredible Hulk the last four minutes of the game, just killing people and running over and tackling whoever had the ball.
  • Just watch the film... I don’t know what people are saying, but I’m not too worried about it anymore. All I can do is go out there and play hard and try and help my team win, and that’s what I’m going to keep doing.
  • "We've got a quarterback who comes in off the bench and leads us to a victory, and they boo [Rex Grossman] right out of the gate," Poor guy. Lucky for him he's resilient and he came back and led us to two scoring drives. But man, it's tough."

Dialogues

Nike commercial

Reporter: What do you think of the commercial with LaDainian Tomlinson?
Urlacher: I haven't seen it. What happens?
Reporter: He shreds the Bears defense for a touchdown.
Urlacher: Wow. It must be a video game. Is it a video game?
Reporter: No, it’s not a video game. It's a commercial.
Urlacher: How did he do the last time we played them? Look at the stats. See how he did.

Many Days Later

Tomlinson: I'm pretty sure they are not happy about it. In fact, somebody sent me something that Urlacher said to ask me how many yards I had the last time I played them four years ago. So there you go. That tells me how they feel about it.

Other

Urlacher: You made me look bad.
Brady: You make our whole team look bad.

About Urlacher

Shawne Merriman: On Sunday you don't have to talk no more - you just go out and do it and what you are doing will do the talking for you. That can stop their talk.

Unsourced

  • For some reason, people tend to think that a game consists of three quarters.
    • Urlacher responding to criticism

External links

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