Devin Hester’s departure another bummer for Bears’ Lance Briggs
BY PATRICK FINLEY Staff Reporter March 7, 2014 9:20PM
Chicago Bears linebacker Lance Briggs (55) walks off the field after the Bears' 33-28 loss to the Green Bay Packers in an NFL football game on Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh) ORG XMIT: CXB196
Updated: March 8, 2014 12:06AM
Lance Briggs lamented the departure of another long-time teammate Friday and hoped cornerback Charles Tillman wouldn’t join kick returner Devin Hester in playing on a different team next season.
Speaking publicly for the first time this offseason, the Bears linebacker told WGWG-FM (87.7) it was hard to see Hester not re-signed a year after linebacker Brian Urlacher retired.
‘‘It’s sad, man,’’ Briggs said. ‘‘For a guy like me — and I know Peanut [Tillman] and Brian have been here a long time — we’ve seen a lot of guys come and go. I think we all know our time is coming. But it’s sad when it does. And I hate to see a guy like Devin, and what he’s meant to this city and to the Bears organization, not brought back. . . .
‘‘It’s hard with the bond that you build with all your brothers. It kinda just sucks.’’
Briggs said he can’t imagine playing without Tillman.
‘‘One of my brothers didn’t get a chance to come back this past year, and hopefully the other one gets to stay,’’ he said. ‘‘We’ll see.’’
Briggs has wrestled with a youth movement he said started when general manager Phil Emery arrived. Asked which position he would draft, he half-jokingly said he’d trade the picks and ‘‘bring all my brothers back.’’
He suspects when he and the Bears part, he’ll be treated without sentimentality.
‘‘When my time comes, I don’t expect anything more or less than a tweet saying, ‘We’re parting ways with Lance,’ ” he said. ‘‘It’s not gonna hurt my feelings or anything like that.’’
He sounded excited about improving last season’s dreadful defense, praising the Bears for sticking with a 4-3 base scheme and coordinator Mel Tucker.
‘‘I know that whatever comes out of Mel’s mouth is sincere,’’ he said. ‘‘I know that Mel knows what he’s doing. I know that I can sit in a room and break down tape with Mel and know exactly what he means — and know exactly what he’s trying to achieve.
‘‘The calls made during the year were the right calls . . . We just didn’t execute.’’