All the talk since the Jay Cutler trade and since the end of last season has been about the Bears and their defense. The once proud defense that was on the verge of setting all-time NFL records in points allowed in a season, plummeted to near the bottom of the NFL in nearly every category but run defense.
The once proud leader of that defense linebacker Brian Urlacher has seen his production fall of dramatically and coincidentally or otherwise the defense as a whole has suffered.
During OTAs this season and during the off-season program as a whole there has reportedly been a certain bounce in Urlacher’s step. He has been fully healed and has been able to focus on his strength and conditioning like he hasn’t been able to the last two off-seasons.
Reports are that Urlacher has been like a man possessed this off-season, determined to get back to the level of production we once saw from this proud monster of the midway member. This hasn’t been the spin coming out of Lovie Smith or Jerry Angelo, but rather insider and more honest reports away from the spin room in Halas Hall.
Urlacher has been to this point a full participant in OTA workouts and practices and has looked like a better player as a result. Will he be back to a defensive player of the year candidate? Likely not, but he could play at a very high level for a 10-year veteran.
Today’s development leaves a little bit of a question. As reported on ESPN 1000 this morning Brian Urlacher was no where in sight at Halas Hall today. Not for workouts, not off to the side in street clothes, not working out a possible injury through rehab stretches or even on a bike.
Sure given that OTA workouts are simply voluntary and Urlacher faces no punishment from it, it may not really be news.
However given the recent positives signs coming from Urlacher during OTA workouts it is something of note when the team captain misses a day.
The question would be going forward is it something serious (likely not) or was it just a persona reason.
We won’t know for sure though until next week when Lovie Smith is able to speak to the media again. A partial media blackout is in place currently. That is to say Lovie Smith will not be talking to the media until all the OTAs are completed next week.