I’ve got Senior Bowl and Super Bowl on my mind, but I come to a stop when I see Brian Urlacher highlights:
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) January 29, 2018
Urlacher is one of the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s finalists and could be announced as part of the class of 2018 on the eve of the Super Bowl. It’s a loaded class that includes the other best linebacker of his generation, but there is no argument against inducting both to the Hall on Saturday.
Don’t blow this, voters. This is a slam dunk.
- The rivalry between Urlacher and Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers was friendly, but fierce. Greatness recognizes when it sees it on the other side, so it should have come as no surprise when Rodgers vouched for Urlacher to be in on the first ballot. Former NFL center Kevin Mawae isn’t just co-signing the idea of Urlacher as a first-ballot Hall of Famer, he flat-out said Urlacher was a better middle linebacker than fellow Hall of Fame candidate Ray Lewis. Mawae has the unique perspective of playing center, where it’s imperative to know where a player like Lewis or Urlacher is lined up. Mawae was one of the league’s best centers, appearing in eight Pro Bowls and being named a first-team All-Pro three times. So he should know greatness when he sees it. In the end, I’m starting to find myself feeling better about Urlacher’s odds of first-ballot enshrinement the more I read from players who played against him.
- Hall of Fame writer Dan Pompei takes Larry Mayer of the Chicago Bears’ official website on a behind-the-scenes look at the process that could induct Urlacher into the Hall of Fame. Pompei will present Urlacher’s case in front of the 48-person Selection Committee and it’s a process he is taking quite seriously. Pompei is prepared for everything that will be thrown his way, but Urlacher’s status and list of accomplishments should speak for themselves.
- Jay Glazer’s trips to scoop city never stop do they? On his Instagram page, Glazer shared a video featuring Bears legend Devin Hester. The Greatest Return Man of All Time shared his secret to success from a career that is Hall-of-Fame-worthy in its own right:
The truth FINALLLLLLYYY comes out @devin_anytime_hester_4. He was giving massages to the refs to butter them up before his big TD returns so they wouldn’t call a penalty. Hahaha We can call it MassageGate. NFL Insider work at its best! Thanks @verizon for a fun #probowl morning appearance with the greatest return man in history (who likes to massage the shoulders of old white men haha) #nfl #orlando
- Moving on from the Pro Bowl to the Super Bowl, it’s (almost!) here. Super Bowl Week kicks off today, and for the 10th time in the game’s history, it will feature the New England Patriots. Grumble. It hasn’t all been great for the Patriots, even though it feels that way right now. Over at FanRag Sports, Jon Ledyard highlights the five worst Super Bowl moments in Patriots history, where you’ll see a familiar face crash the party.
- I’m looking forward to a day where the Bears are making MODERN Super Bowl memories. Rick Gosselin has covered the NFL for 45 years and has been in attendance for 34 of the 51 Super Bowls has shared his list of top 50 Super Bowl moments … and the Bears check in with three appearances. Two of the three came courtesy of the team’s Super Bowl XX win, while the third was Devin Hester’s epic game-starting kick return touchdown in 2007. Hester’s return should probably rank higher considering it’s something that had never happened before in Super Bowl history, but the fact that the Bears lost the game despite Hester’s efforts probably is among the reasons it doesn’t rank higher than it does.
- One team is going to hitch its wagons to Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen creating Super Bowl memories down the line, and while the Bears aren’t one of them, they are in a position to deal with a team that picks behind them in the draft if someone falls head-over-heels for a top-tier quarterback prospect.
- Tanner Gentry played with Allen two years ago at Wyoming and with Trubisky this season, so he knows a few things about two of the more highly regarded quarterback prospects of the last two draft classes. Gentry tells Nick Kosmider of the Denver Post says that while he can’t offer Allen much advice, he says his current quarterback and former teammate are two similar players. “They can both make plays with their legs as well as their arm. Mitch is an extremely accurate quarterback, and I think you definitely see a lot of similarities as far as what they can do on the field,” Gentry explained. “You can definitely tell they are first-round talent. But I also think it’s just their leadership and the way they are poised in the huddle and take ownership and command of the offense. That’s a lot alike as well.