Key points of the failed Marc Trestman era include the team breaking away from some of its most notable stars. And in some cases, on not so pleasant terms. There was camp beef with Lance Briggs. Devin Hester’s departure wasn’t all that smooth. And the breakup with Brian Urlacher wasn’t all that pretty. Hence, it isn’t a coincidence that each Bears head coach who has followed has done their part to extend the olive branch to players from the past.
To that end, Albert Breer (SI.com) reporting that first-year head coach Matt Eberflus has reached out to more than 30 team alumni it is significant. Among the most notable visits came from Charles “Peanut” Tillman, who had some strong messages for Bears rookies. But Tillman wasn’t the only popular retired Bears who was a star in the 2000s to link back up with the team. Hall of Fame linebacker Brian Urlacher told the Pat McAfee Show (podcast link) last week that Eberflus reached out with a phone call and was planning a visit with the team. And it sure sounds like Urlacher is eager to chop it up with the new guy.
“I did speak to the new head coach, Eberflus. I like him. I like his lineage,” Urlacher said. “He comes from that brand of football, which I know they’re gonna play hard as sh– on defense. Which is good.”
Getting the co-sign from a Hall of Fame player who has experience in the system Urlacher was a star in would usually be a good thing. And while Urlacher giving his acceptance certainly isn’t a bad omen, I want to be careful about putting too much stock in the HOFers seal of approval. Remember when Urlacher was a vocal supporter of retaining John Fox in 2017? And that is despite how painfully obvious it was that it was time for the two sides to split up. Urlacher also had praise for the Matt Nagy hire. In fairness, the Nagy hire was a departure from Fox. And for what it’s worth, hiring Nagy paid immediate dividends with a 12-win season, division title, and playoff berth. But we all know how that came to an end.
In closing, I just hope Urlacher giving the thumbs up to the Eberflus hire isn’t a kiss of death. There’s no way he goes 0-for-3, right? … right!?
Ehh, even if Urlacher whiffs again, I can appreciate Eberflus reaching out and connecting with some of this franchise’s legends of the game. You can’t know where you’re going if you don’t know where you’ve been. And while the game changes and evolves with each passing year, your all-time franchise greats remain who they are. So long as they can help you get your message across, I don’t imagine there is too much harm bringing them in.