Imagine losing use of a body part most important in doing your daily responsibilites wheter its a job, taking care of family or school. When you are able to return to doing what you do there is always two options: never get back to the same level or make a triuphmant return.
Chicago Bear's middle linebacker Brian Urlacher choose the later.
Urlacher bounced back quickly and is making the impact fans would think the Bears need from him to post a 11-5 regular season record and a first round bye in the playoffs. Missing 15 games in the 2009 season because of a dislocated wrist isn't exactly quck, but if you think of injuries suffered by others and how long they are inactive or the minimum prodction they produce when they return, Urlacher is quick.
Before the season began I was quoted to say, "Urlacher's career is over, he will never be the same player after three consecutive injury prone seasons." Boy, was I ever wrong.
Urlacher's efforts this season have brought him back to the top of the list of feared defensive players in the NFL. Maybe not in the sense of bringing intense pain and agony with bone crushing hits but in terms of halting an offense in its place with tackles for loss and covering the entire middle of the field.
A prideful man always has trouble admitting faults, but in this case, I'll proudly admit Urlacher has proven to me he still has what it takes to be a power house. The NFL must feel the same way with Urlacher's selection to his seventh Pro Bowl.
According to NFL.com, Urlacher is more than deserving of the selection because his 125 combined tackles during the regular season led the Bears and ranked him 11 in the NFL. Not bad for a player who missed the entire 2009 season, which was labeled as career threatening, but only kept him out 15 games.
With that said there are a few elements of Urlacher's game that should be recognized beside what he has done on the field. One aspect of the game I always give him credit for is the human aspect. I've never heard another Bear's player complain about him on or off the field and the team calls it his defense, that's a huge show of respect.
Chicago Breaking Sports' Vaughn McClure interviews with Urlacher and Pro Bowl teammate defensive end Julius Pepers confirm the trust the Bears have in Urlacher and his remaining ability following last year's wrist injury and the neck and back issues he suffered through 2007 and 2008.
I know Pepers is a beast, but I think it is safe to say playing with Urlacher in his system made him this much better.
Urlacher was never my favorite Bear, but after the regular season and hopefully a solid postseason performance, he probably will be because of his dedication to the game and the way he bounced back from being null in void to a dominating force.