Brian Urlacher took another step closer to becoming a first-ballot Hall of Famer:
— Pro Football HOF (@ProFootballHOF) January 3, 2018
The Pro Football Hall of Fame announced its finalists for enshrinement in 2018, which includes Urlacher. The fearsome middle linebacker can join linebacker Mike Singletary (1998), running back Walter Payton (1993), linebacker Dick Butkus (1979), and running back Gale Sayers (1977) as first-ballot inductees who were primarily Bears.
It doesn’t take much to make a case for Urlacher’s induction on his first ballot.
The 2005 NFL Defensive Player of the Year was an eight-time Pro Bowler, four-time First-Team All-Pro, and member of the NFL’s All-Decade Team for the 2000’s who played 182 games over the course of 13 seasons in Chicago. He hauled in 22 interceptions, scored a pair of pick-sixes, and came up with 41.5 sacks.
Urlacher was a ball-hawk, a sure-handed tackler, and effective pass rusher whenever asked en route to becoming the kind of defender who transcended the position. He was an elite defender and a menace to opposing offenses.
Fourteen others will join Urlacher as finalists, but no more than five will get the call to the Hall. Among those already announced and will join Urlacher among finalists are fellow linebacker Ray Lewis, running back Edgerrin James, wide receivers Randy Moss, Terrell Owens, and Isaac Bruce, as well as safety John Lynch.