13-year veteran LB Brian Urlacher announced today on Twitter that he was retiring from the game.
The 8-time Pro Bowler will go down in NFL history as one of the very best Chicago Bears of all-time.
We are approaching the NFL Draft and many notable players still haven't signed a contract. Out of all the unsigned free agents, there are three standout players that I have chosen to be the most valuable.
The first of the top free agents is Safety Charles Woodson. Woodson, although nearing the end of his career, can still be a shutdown corner or a very reliable safety. The former Heisman led the league in interceptions in both 2009 and 2011. He is still a great choice for a secondary, and it will be interesting to see who he signs with this offseason.
The second of the standouts is defensive end Dwight Freeney. Freeney is a former Indianapolis Colt and a seven-time pro bowler. Freeney led the NFL in sacks in 2004 and has a total of 107.5 sacks on his career. Although not singed yet, the two teams who are interested in Freeney are the New England Patriots and the Denver Broncos.
The final of the three is linebacker Brian Urlacher. Urlancher, 34, is an eight-time pro bowler and holds the Bears' franchise record for career tackles with 1,353. Urlacher is a great asset on defense, however, he is struggling to find a team. The Bears aren't resigning him and he is running out of other options.
These are just three of the remaining notable unsigned free agents, and there are plenty of others. I suggest keeping a close eye on all the action in the market.
Ahmad Bradshaw (RB): This running back last seen with the New York Giants is still an unsigned free agent. Last season, he had 1,015 yards and 221 attempts. He averaged 72.5 yards a game and 4.6 yards per attempt. He is interested in the Bengals, Broncos, Packers, and Steelers. He has suffered foot injuries, but it looks like he may still play in 2013. He has already met with the Steelers before and is supposed to meet with them one more time before the draft.
Brian Urlacher (LB): This 34-year old linebacker was last seen with the Bears. He is still on the market but has received calls from the Cowboys, Vikings, and the Cardinals. Last season, he had 53 tackles and 15 assisted tackled. He also had one interception that he ran back 46 yards, forced two fumbles, and recovered two as well.
Brandon Lloyd (WR): This wide receiver was last seen with the Patriots. He was cut in the offseason. He chalked up 911 yards with 74 receptions. He averaged 12.3 yards per catch and 56.9 yards per game. It doesn't look like anyone is interested in him though.
Karlos Dansby (LB): This linebacker, last seen with the Dolphins, is still an unsigned free agent. He is interested in the Bengals, but the Ravens are also interested. He had 101 solo tackles and 33 assisted ones. He had one sack for a nine yard loss. He also forced one fumble.
I think the Detroit Lions have the best chance of a last place team to make the playoffs this season.
Here are the reasons why I think they will make the playoffs:
1. They added Reggie Bush, a solid running back, which they didn't have last year, and David Akers, who is a great kicker. These acquisitions can only help them become a better team.
2. They have a great QB in Matthew Stafford, a dynamic WR in Calvin Johnson, and a strong DT in Ndamukong Suh.
3. They have a high pick in this year’s Draft and should get an impactful player.
4. Despite losing some key players this offseason such as Titus Young, Jason Hanson,
Kevin Smith, and Cliff Avril, the Lions are still a young team that should have most of their good players for years to come.
Although it is a great division, the Bears, Packers, and Vikings lost some key players. The Bears lost Brian Urlacher, the Packers lost Greg Jennings and the Vikings lost Percy Harvin. All these players helped their team in many ways. This should help the Lions.
The Lion’s coaching staff is solid and they usually make the right choices. They don’t have an easy schedule, but with the talent that they have, they should be able to win most of their games. The last time Detroit had a losing record, they came back the next year and went to the playoffs. Therefore, don't be surprised if they Lions make it to the playoffs this season.
2012 Record: 10-6
The NFL Free Agency is in full swing, and there are still questions as to where the Chicago Bears’ 8-time pro bowl linebacker Brian Urlacher will end up. Urlacher has recently rejected a one-year, $2 million dollar proposal from the Bears. It was reported that Urlacher was hoping for a one-year contract worth between $3.5 million and $4 million. The limited free agency market for linebackers certainly isn't helping Urlacher either, as there are younger players such as Karlos Dansby and Elvis Dumervil who could possibly be more productive. As for the teams that are interested in Urlacher, it has come down to the Minnesota Vikings and the Dallas Cowboys, which is certainly not what Urlacher was hoping for. Both teams are continuing to lose interest in the 34-year-old, as the Cowboys already have a premier linebacker in Sean Lee, and Minnesota is not willing to spend big money on Urlacher.
This situation definitely does not favor Urlacher, and there are still question marks surrounding the linebacker. Where do you think the he will end up?
If I could build a team made up of players who played from 2000 to 2012, these would be my players:
QB: Peyton Manning - Indianapolis Colts, Denver Broncos
Peyton Manning has been the most dominant quarterback of the decade. While he has only won one Super Bowl, Manning is one of the all-time bests, and looks to have another Super Bowl ring soon.
RB: LaDainian Tomlinson - San Diego Chargers, New York Jets
LaDainian Tomlinson could do it all. Tomlinson had over 160 touchdowns during his career, emerging as an electrifying rusher and a valuable option in the passing game. He holds records for most touchdowns in a season (31), most rushing touchdowns in a season (28), and most points scored in a season (186). Tomlinson even threw 7 touchdown passes.
RB: Adrian Peterson - Minnesota Vikings
Adrian Peterson did the impossible. He bounced back from a serious knee injury to rush for over 2,000 rushing yards and came 6 yards short from the NFL season rushing record. Peterson also led the Vikings to a playoff spot, which seemed highly improbable.
WR: Marvin Harrison - Indianapolis Colts
With Peyton Manning under center, Marvin Harrison proved himself to be one of the greatest wide receivers of all time. Manning hooked up with Harrison many times, and Harrison had 953 receptions, 112 touchdowns, and 12,756 yards during his career with Manning; all three stats are NFL records.
WR: Randy Moss - Minnesota Vikings, Oakland Raiders, New England Patriots, Tennessee Titans, San Francisco 49ers
Randy Moss also established himself as one of the best receivers of all time. Moss played incredible under quarterbacks Daunte Culpepper and Tom Brady, and holds records for most touchdown catches by a rookie (17), most touchdown catches in a season (23), and most seasons with at least 17 touchdown catches (3).
TE: Tony Gonzalez - Kansas City Chiefs, Atlanta Falcons
Tony Gonzalez is arguably the greatest tight end in NFL history. Using his tall frame and sure hands, Gonzalez holds records for most receptions, receiving yards, and touchdowns by a tight end, and has the second most receptions of any player in NFL history.
OT: Jonathan Ogden - Baltimore Ravens
Jonathan Ogden was the first selection by the Baltimore Ravens in the Ravens' inaugural season in 1996, and exceeded expectations. Ogden led the way for running back Jamal Lewis, who rushed for over 2,000 yards in 2003. In 2013, Ogden was voted to the Hall of Fame.
OT: Walter Jones - Seattle Seahawks
Walter Jones has become a big star in Seattle, which is rare for players at his position. The 9-time Pro Bowl selection now has his jersey retired, as well as a holiday in Seattle called Walter Jones day. Jones was a big reason that the Seahawks got to Super Bowl XL.
OG: Alan Faneca - Pittsburgh Steelers, New York Jets, Arizona Cardinals
Alan Faneca paved the way for running backs like Jerome Bettis, Willie Parker, and Thomas Jones. Faneca was voted to the Pro Bowl 9 times, as well as earning a spot on the All-Pro team 9 times.
OG: Steve Hutchinson - Seattle Seahawks, Minnesota Vikings, Tennessee Titans
Steve Hutchinson has played for many great teams, yet still has not won a Super Bowl. The 7 time All Star has proven to be a worthy investment for the Seahawks, Vikings, and Titans, almost never missing a game.
C: Jeff Saturday - Indianapolis Colts, Green Bay Packers
While Peyton Manning received a lot of praise during his career with the Colts, Jeff Saturday was one of the biggest reasons of Manning's success. Saturday got his moment in the 2013 Pro Bowl, when he snapped the ball on the game's final play (which also happened to be Saturday's last play in the NFL) to Peyton Manning, who was on the opposite team.
DE: Michael Strahan - New York Giants
For the 14 years he played, no team wanted to play against Michael Strahan. Over his career, Strahan broke records for most sacks in a season, was a two time NFC Defensive Player of the Year, once received NFL Defensive Player of the Year, and was selected to the Pro Bowl 7 times.
DE: Dwight Freeney - Indianapolis Colts
Dwight Freeney was also a nightmare for opposing quarterbacks. Freeney currently has 107.5 career sacks, which is a record for a Colts player. Freeney was selected for 7 Pro Bowls.
DT: Warren Sapp - Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Oakland Raiders
Warren Sapp is a unique player, from his loud-mouth style to his fierce pursuit skills. Sapp helped lead the Buccaneers to a Super Bowl victory in 2002, and was selected Defensive Player of the Year in 1999. Sapp was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2013.
LB: Ray Lewis - Baltimore Ravens
After starting on the inaugural Ravens team in 1996, Ray Lewis emerged as the face of the Ravens franchise and arguably the best linebacker in NFL history. The emotional leader won the Super Bowl twice with the Ravens, and won the Super Bowl MVP award in Super Bowl XXXV.
LB: Brian Urlacher - Chicago Bears
Brian Urlacher is the leader of the Chicago Bears defense, disrupting opposing offenses and leading the Bears to Super Bowl XLI. Urlacher has gone to the Pro Bowl 8 times and holds the Chicago Bears franchise record for most tackles.
LB: DeMarcus Ware - Dallas Cowboys
When NFL teams play the Dallas Cowboys, adjustments have to be made to contain DeMarcus Ware, the Cowboys' ferocious pass rusher. Ware currently has 111 sacks, and has been in the Pro Bowl for 7 straight years.
LB: James Harrison - Pittsburgh Steelers
James Harrison has become a do-it-all player. In Super Bowl XLIII, Harrison returned an interception 100 yards for a touchdown, and he received Defensive Player of the Year honors in 2008.
CB: Champ Bailey - Washington Redskins, Denver Broncos
Champ Bailey has caused havoc for opposing offenses since he was a rookie. The 12-time Pro Bowler has always done well, becoming the youngest player to have a game with three interceptions.
CB: Ronde Barber - Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Ronde Barber has been in the NFL for a long time, and has an impressive resume. Barber owns a Buccaneers franchise record for most interceptions, and holds the NFL record for most sacks by a cornerback.
S: Ed Reed - Baltimore Ravens
Now with a Super Bowl under his belt, Ed Reed is looking to be the best safety in NFL history. Reed has a knack for making critical interceptions, and once had two 100-yard interception return touchdowns in one game.
S: Troy Polamalu - Pittsburgh Steelers
Troy Polamalu is all over the football field. Whether at the line of scrimmage during a blitz, or dashing to tackle a running back in open field, Polamalu is never far from the football.
K: Adam Vinatieri - New England Patriots, Indianapolis Colts
Adam Vinatieri has made some of the most crucial field goals in NFL history. Vinatieri kicked a 48 yard field goal at the end of Super Bowl XXXVI to help the Patriots upset the Rams, and then kicked game winning field goals in Super Bowls XXXVIII and XXXIX. Vinatieri holds the record for most field goals in the Super Bowl in a career.
P: Shane Lechler- Oakland Raiders
Ever since he was selected very high for his position, Shane Lechler has proven that he could be the best punter ever in the NFL. Lechler was selected for the All-Pro team 9 times, and once kicked an 80 yard punt, the longest in Raiders' history.
Returner: Devin Hester - Chicago Bears
Devin Hester is arguably the best special teams returner to ever play. Hester holds the record for most kick and punt return touchdowns in a career, most punt returns in a career, most non-offensive touchdowns in a season, punt return touchdowns in a season, and kickoff return touchdowns in a game. He also returned the opening kickoff of Super Bowl XLI for a touchdown.
Stadium: Cowboys Stadium
The new Cowboys Stadium, the expensive home of the Dallas Cowboys, is the greatest addition from 2000-2012 to the already impressive list of NFL stadiums. Featuring a retractable roof and a large capacity that caused the complex to be home to Super Bowl XLV in only its second year, Cowboys Stadium is the ultimate stadium for the ultimate team.
NFLRUSH Kid Reporter
Bears LB Brian Urlacher turns 34 today. In 12 years playing for the Chicago Bears, Brian has made 1285 tackles, 41.5 sacks, 21 interceptions and made 8 Pro Bowls. He will be back next season to add to his totals.
Happy Birthday to Brian Urlacher!
|It's hard to know where to start really as everything was amazing.||
On Sunday I went to the international series game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Chicago Bears in London. My first ever NFL game and it was awesome!
It's hard to know where to start really as everything was amazing. On the way in to the game I went to the Tailgate party and got some Colts merchandise from the NFL Shop. The stadium itself was huge and there were 76,981 fans and they were all wearing the colors of all 32 NFL teams. It was very colorful.
The evening got going with the American and the English national anthems and then the game started. Everything was brilliant because I saw all of the things that I see on TV and Madden; from the coin toss, the team mascots, the cheerleaders, the noise of the crowd, the players themselves and even the yellow penalty flags!
It was so cool to actually see the players in person. Brian Urlacher was really impressive and Jay Cutler handing off to Matt Forte and Marion Barber for a TD each was pretty awesome.
For the Buccaneers, Kellen Winslow and Josh freeman were awesome to see in person. They are so tall! I guess you can tell from my list that this was the Bears game, although Tampa did come back really strong in the fourth quarter.
Would I go again? Absolutely!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Rivals Clash This Sunday, 3pm ET on Fox
Packers vs. Bears. Nothing more needs to be said...but we'll say more anyways. These two teams have met 182 times in the past--most in NFL history--but never has so much been on the line. The winner of this game goes to the Super Bowl!
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The Cinderella Seahawks vs. the Bears
The Seahawks beat the Bears in Chicago back in Week 6 of the season but with a lot more on the line this week, can they do it again? Seahawks QB Matt Hasselbeck was stellar in their Wild Card Weekend win with 272 passing yards and 4 TDs and RB Marshawn Lynch tore it up with 131 rushing yards and 1 TD including his epic 67 yard TD run in the 4th quarter.
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This year’s Pro Bowl is going to be awesome! There were so many good candidates this year for quarterback. On the offensive side, the AFC will be led Tom Brady and the NFC by Michael Vick. The AFC was a tough one between Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, and Philip Rivers. It was the same for the NFC. It was tough picking between Michael Vick, Matt Ryan, and Drew Brees. However, on the defensive side, the AFC will be led by Ray Lewis and Troy Polamalu. The defense for the NFC will be led by Brian Urlacher and Charles Woodson. This is going to be a good Pro Bowl.
The Bears Set Major Records
On November 18th the Bears became the first team in NFL history to get to 700 wins! On top of that, Brian Urlacher became the top tackler in Bears history!
The Bears are now at the top of the NFC North (7-3). They even scored their first shutout since 2007, forcing the Dolphins to give up their first shutout at home in 40 years!
Hot Fantasy Pick:
Jay Cutler - QB Bears
Bears Defense Dominate Dolphins in Miami
Brian Urlacher and the swarming Chicago Bears defense allowed only 187 yards and only one third-down conversion Thursday night, winning the game 16-0.
To make matters worse for Miami, their injury list grew when they lost Pro Bowl receiver Brandon Marshall to a hamstring injury and center Cory Procter because of a left knee injury. With third-string quarterback Tyler Thigpen struggling in his first NFL start since 2008, the Dolphins were no match for the thundering Bears defense.
I was quite excited to see the Ravens win last week! I also had my best fantasy week of the season so far (107 points). Today, I'm going to cover what I normally do, plus an added bonus (but you will have to wait to find out what it is!). So, what are we waiting for? Let's get started!
Perhaps the most shocking part of the first three weeks is the 3 undefeated teams. Not the fact tha there are three teams still undefeated, but more so who those teams are.
Team number one: Kansas City Chiefs. Who saw this coming? Everyone thought they would be 0-1 after the San Diego game, and expected the 49ers, who the Chiefs beat in week 3, to be closer to 3-0. With the Chargers stumbling, Kansas City has a good chance to win the division.
Team number two: Chicago Bears. All of Jay Cutler's struggles last year seem to have flown out the back window. He has been playing as well as any other QB lately. Having Brian Urlacher back from a broken wrist last year has helped considerably as well.
Team number three: Pittsburgh Steelers. Few expected them to be here as well. They, in essence, are down to their 4th string QB in Charlie Batch. One note on their undefeated season: IT STOPS HERE!
The Baltimore Ravens are ready to do what they do best: play smashmouth football. They have a stifling defense, and intimidate the heck out of any other team that would have the fortune, or misfortune, to play them. The problem is, the Steelers bring those exact same skills to the table. Many of the players involved say that these two teams have the best rivalry in football. I would have to agree with that. One of my relatives is a HUGE Pittsburgh fan, so I feel the effects of the rivalry firsthand. Ravens vs. Steelers is one of the main topics of our conversations. Anyway, this will be a great game, with the Ravens looking to move up in the division. The key to the game for the Ravens is to stop the run. Peyton Hillis ran for over 140 yards, the most Baltimore has given up to a Brown in one game ever. The second most in a game was former Raven Jamal Lewis with 92 yards in 2007. The ground game is the hallmark of Pittsburgh, so the Ravens have to be able to stop it from the get go. The Ravens have to bring the heat (literally), as the game will be in Pittsburgh.
I think Baltimore will knock off the undefeated Steelers this week. I think the final score will be: Ravens 13 Steelers 12.
And now the bonus you've all been waiting for! I got to meet Ravens safety Haruki Nakamura. For the benefit of my readers here, I got to ask him a few questions. Here they are, in no particular order:
KC: What was your best football moment?
HN: It had to be beating Tennessee (in the divisional round) in 2008. Our team was banged up, but we pulled it off.
Nakamura on Coach John Harbaugh: "He keeps it (practice) consistent; we will work on the same things every week. He does have a temper, but that's who he is.
Nakamura on Ray Lewis: "He's incredible. He could be all about himself, but he respects everyone.
KC: Who is the toughest team to play?
HN: Definitely the Steelers. They make sure all of their players are ready to play us.
Nakamura on food: "My favorite is probably Japanese. I like sushi."
There you have it!
Hey everyone! I'm back with more draft predictions.
First, two big RBs are on the free-agent market now in LaDainian Tomlinson and Brian Westbrook. Anyhow, I have things to talk about regarding the Combine. So, here's my list of. . .
PLAYERS WHO HAVE SOMETHING TO PROVE IN THE COMBINE:
1: Tim Tebow, QB for Florida. While I loved the Super Bowl commercial with him and his mom, that doesn't mean that he's sure to go in the first round. He has a lot to prove, as many teams are skeptical that he will be able to convert to a drop-back style passer like most NFL quarterbacks. With that new throwing motion he has, I think he will have a good showing.
2: Sam Bradford, QB for Oklahoma. He was the Heisman trophy winner in 2008, but after a long 2009 season with the Sooners (he injured his shoulder twice, first in the opening game against BYU and later against the Texas Longhorns, after which he had season-ending surgery) he is slated by many to go to the Redskins at pick number four. However, there is a lot of speculation over his arm, and I wonder if he will be able to withstand 320 pound lineman landing on him with a lot more force then they did in college.
3: Jahvid Best, RB for Cal. After a painful concussion suffered on November 7th against Oregon State, Best is ready to show the world of the NFL what he's got. Sadly for him, he missed a lot of games (including Cal's bowl game) that would have given him a lot of exposure to NFL scouts. The Combine will be important for him.
Now, for more draft analysis!
Pick number six: Seattle Seahawks
Last year's record: 5-11
Analysis: I thought the Seahawks were going to go somewhere last year. However, after a 5-11 season, Seattle finds itself with a golden opportunity to get back in the playoff hunt. They have been waiting for this. With Kurt Warner retiring, the Cardinals may have to take a year for him to get up to speed. Meanwhile, the Seahawks have slowly but surely been building their team up. To compete for a playoff spot, they need. . .
Positions Needed: CB, DL, OL and LB
Pick number seven: Cleveland Browns
Last year's record: 5-11
Analysis: The Browns showed a spark at the end of last year, by winning their last four games. Unfortunately for Cleveland, at this point in time they aren't close to competing in arguably the best division in the NFL (the AFC North). To rebuild, the Browns need to get. . .
Positions Needed: DL, LB, WR and RB
Pick number eight: Oakland Raiders
Last year's record: 5-11
Analysis: The 5-11 record is, in my mind, better that the numbers indicate. 4 out of their 5 wins came against teams with a record over .500, so we know Oakland can beat good teams. Therefore, they need. . .
Positions Needed: S, TE and OL
Pick number nine: Buffalo Bills
Last year's record: 6-10
Analysis: Buffalo needs to pull itself together. I think they could help themselves by picking up one of the big free-agent backs. Brian Westbrook would be a good fit there. That would be a scary backfield with Westbrook and Marshawn Lynch.
Aside from that, the Bills need to get this in the draft. . .
Positions Needed: OL, WR and CB
Last year's record: 7-9
Analysis: This is done assuming Chicago wins the flip. The Bears came into last year with a new QB and a hope that they could make it to the Super Bowl like they did in 2006. Unfortunately for them, it didn't happen. Brian Urlacher broke his wrist and missed the entire season. To get back in the hunt, "Da Bears" need. . .
Positions Needed: OL, CB and TE
Last year's record: 7-9
Analysis: This is done assuming Chicago wins the flip. The Jaguars were bumped out of a playoff spot late in the season (mostly thanks to my Ravens) but, for the most part, played well all year as young back Maurice Jones-Drew came into his own. To land themselves in the playoffs next year, they need. . .
Positions Needed: LB, DL, WR, CB and OL
Well, that's all from me.
Good luck to all the guys at the Combine!
Players: 20 or more
Time: 10-15 minutes
The players stand in two parallel lines facing to the front with about five feet distance between the lines and considerable distance between each two players in a line so that the runners may have space to run between them. The head player of one line is a quarterback and the head player of the opposite line a defender. At a signal, the quarterback starts to run winding in and out from one side to the other of his line until he reaches the bottom when he turns and comes up the opposite line. The quarterback does not need to run between each two players but may skip any number that he wishes and choose his own track. The defender must follow in exactly the same trail and should he make a mistake to go back to the point at which he diverged from the path of the quarterback. If the quarterback succeeds in getting back to the head of the second line without being caught he is considered to have escaped and takes his place at the foot of his own line. Should he be caught by the defender he changes places with the defender going to the foot of the quarterback’s line and the quarterback taking the defender’s original place at the head of his line. The second player in the quarterback’s line who should have moved up to the front to keep the lines even is then quarterback for the next chase.
The NFL All-Decade Team for the 2000s was announced recently. Here's the list of players who made the team:
NFL ALL-DECADE TEAM – 2000s
TIGHT ENDS (2)
RUNNING BACKS (4)
WIDE RECEIVERS (4)
OFFENSIVE TACKLES (4)
HEAD COACHES (2)
DEFENSIVE ENDS (4)
DEFENSIVE TACKLES (4)
PUNT RETURNERS (2)
KICK RETURNERS (2)