Brian Urlacher had one of the more moving speeches during Saturday’s Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremony in Canton. If you missed it the first time around, you can watch it here. And if you want to watch it again, I can’t say I’d blame you.
- The love was overflowing for Urlacher on Saturday. Chairman George McCaskey weighed in, former teammate Charles “Peanut” Tillman also chimed in with some thoughts, and Urlacher himself did what he could to mention everyone in his 19-minute speech (as was his goal).
- It was hard to not get caught up in your feelings during Urlacher’s speech, which was heavy in family related anecdotes (Chicago Tribune). Urlacher’s focus on family during his speech.
- One thing that hit me was when Urlacher was talking about “closure” (Sun-Times). The Hall of Fame linebacker certainly got it on Saturday with his speech, and I believe fans got it, too. Urlacher’s departure from Chicago wasn’t smooth by any stretch of the imagination. Former GM Phil Emery handled it poorly and it left fans bothered, confused, and even jaded. Urlacher didn’t get a going away speech or one of those ceremonial one-day contracts when he stepped away from the game, but I think his Hall of Fame speech really hit the mark.
- David Haugh of the Tribune writes it’s the best 19 minutes Bears fans have seen from Urlacher. Powerful stuff.
- It was read Mark Hatley getting his due from Urlacher, via the Chicago Sun-Times. Hatley was the Bears’ VP of Player Personnel when the Bears’ drafted Urlacher, which took some conviction if you consider Urlacher didn’t play his college ball at a big-name school in a power conference. To have the foresight to see Urlacher’s upside and to have the conviction to make the pick is something else. Hatley passed away in 2004.
- First-year Head Coach Matt Nagy did the right thing and made sure his team watched Urlacher’s speech and came away with a strong message:
"You heard what he said – just compete. He's all about competing."
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) August 5, 2018
- That’s a good looking bust:
— Pro Football Hall of Fame (@ProFootballHOF) August 5, 2018
- Terrell Owens was the most polarizing of the inductees and his absence in Canton was felt. Based on this snapshot of the speech he gave during a ceremony at his alma mater University of Tennessee-Chattanooga, I badly wish Owens would have been in Canton:
Terrell Owens had a pretty solid ending to his Hall of Fame speech, says his induction was for everyone who's ever been bullied, misunderstood or overlooked. Nearly entire crowd was standing by the time he was done. #TerrellOwens #PFHOF18 #Cowboys #Eagles @terrellowens pic.twitter.com/rQf0AxgC34
— John Breech (@johnbreech) August 4, 2018
- OK, I laughed:
— The Checkdown (@thecheckdown) August 4, 2018
- The time will soon come to pivot back to the 2018 Bears full-time, as the team returned to practice on Saturday and again on Sunday. No rest for non-HOFers.
- Yep, that means Sunday Funday:
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) August 5, 2018
- Mark Grote of 670 The Score tweets that cornerback Kyle Fuller is looking sharp in one-on-one drills. Fuller didn’t play in Thursday’s preseason opener, which really shows how far he has come in the last year. It was at this time last year when Fuller was at the bottom of the depth chart and fighting his way into earning a roster spot. Not only did Fuller do it, he played his way into a starting role and into a contract extension. Perhaps someone on the 2018 team will use the Pro Football Hall of Fame Game as a springboard to better things.
- Maybe rookie wideout Javon Wims is that guy?
#Bears rookie WR Javon Wims gets behind CB Kyle Fuller to haul in perfectly thrown pass from Chase Daniel in back of end zone in 7-on-7.
— Bob LeGere (@BobLeGere) August 5, 2018
- The buzz continues to grow around rookie receiver Anthony Miller. Adam Jahns of the Sun-Times continues to be impressed with the second-round pick from Memphis, who continues to shine against the team’s defensive starters. Like Fuller, Miller was held out of action on Thursday and did not play. Clearly, that is a sign of how much the team thinks of where he is on the development curve and how important they believe he will be to the offense.
- Jahns also tweets that rookie offensive lineman James Daniels is back at practice. Daniels has missed time while nursing a shoulder injury.
- If you were hoping for a Roquan Smith update with some good news, I hope you’re seated. Smith is still sitting out as his contract holdout has now surpassed 20 days. Adam Jahns of the Sun-Times believes it’s on Smith to put it to an end. There is no doubting Smith’s skills and athleticism after a decorated career at Georgia, but the leap from the SEC to the NFC North is huge and he still has to earn a starting gig. Smith will have to prove to be the quick learner with high-end intelligence and on-field instincts to match. I’m hesitant to put it on one side or the other to get a deal done, but I will say that both sides need to come together and work toward a finalization of a contract that gets the Bears’ first-round pick on the practice field before this holdout gets really ugly.