Bears’ Lance Briggs hoping Brian Urlacher will be back next season
BY SEAN JENSEN firstname.lastname@example.org January 31, 2013 10:29PM
Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher (right) has had plenty of help from a deep and talented defensive line. | Phelan M. Ebenhack~AP
Updated: February 1, 2013 11:45AM
NEW ORLEANS — The Bears haven’t tipped their hand on what they’re going to do about Brian Urlacher, but Lance Briggs is hopeful the face of the franchise isn’t going to change.
“I hope he’s back,” Briggs told the Sun-Times on Thursday. “I hope the organization does the right thing and they bring him back.”
During his introductory news conference, Bears coach Marc Trestman was asked about Urlacher. He was complimentary but non-committal.
“I’ve watched the man play for a lot of years. He exemplifies what being a Chicago Bear is all about, and we all know that,” Trestman said. “When I step out of this room, we’ll begin to study, and I’ll talk to Phil [Emery] about where personnel fits on this football team and how it works.”
Added Emery: “The things that are very difficult to replace for Brian, if we were ever to move in a different direction, is the leadership that he has and the knowledge base that he has with our system.”
Free agency begins March 12, and Urlacher told ESPN 1000 he’s hopeful he’ll remain a Bear.
“Chicago is my home,” Urlacher said on the “Waddle & Silvy” show. “Whether I play for the Bears or not, that’s my home. I want to be there and hopefully we can work something out, but if not I’ll go somewhere else.”
Briggs said he’s feeling as good as he has in a while after a season.
“I’m healthy. I’m very healthy,” he said. “Usually, there’s some stronger nicks and bruises, but this year I’m really excited that I have no problems whatsoever.”
Briggs hasn’t met Trestman or new defensive coordinator Mel Tucker. But he’s looking forward to seeing new defensive quality-control coach Chris Harris, who was his teammate.
“I’m excited about that. I can’t wait for the first time he tries to coach me up and I can say, ‘No!’ ” Briggs said. “No, I think it’ll be great.”
The NFL Players Association released a health and safety survey Thursday in which 78 percent of players polled said they didn’t trust their team’s medical staff.
Additionally, only 43 percent of respondents, who represented all 32 teams, rated team training staffs as “good.”