Q&A: George McCaskey on Urlacher’s departureContinue reading.
George McCaskey on Brian Urlacher: ‘Brian knows how we feel about him’
In the end, the Bears did reach out to longtime linebacker Brian Urlacher after it was announced that they were parting ways. Team chairman George McCaskey just wanted to wait for the emotions to pass.
“I talked to him. He was very gracious,” McCaskey said Tuesday at Maryville Academy, where the Bears’ Ed Block Courage Award Luncheon was held. “I wanted to wait a little bit because I figured there would be a little emotion.
“But Brian knows how we feel about him. He’s one of the all-time great Bears. He’s continued the outstanding linebacker legacy of the Bears. He’s going to be in the Hall of Fame, and when he is, everyone is going to think of him as a Chicago Bear.”
The Bears have seemingly moved on from Urlacher, signing veterans D.J. Williams and James Anderson to fill out their linebacker corps.
But is there any scenario that may end in Urlacher returning to the Bears?
“That’s up to the market and [general manager Phil Emery] and [coach Marc Trestman],” McCaskey said when asked. “Phil said it’s a process, and we just go through it and see what happens.”
That didn’t exactly sound like a “No” from McCaskey, but he wanted to make it clear that the decision is not up to him.
“Bears fans should be assured that I don’t involve myself in personnel decisions,” McCaskey said.
McCaskey said he didn’t hear any of the really strong comments Urlacher made in the numerous interviews he did after the team’s announcement that a deal could not reached. But McCaskey did say he and his family were “heartbroken” that a deal could not be reached.
“I said going into the process that I’d be heartbroken if he didn’t come back and I am — our whole family is,” McCaskey said. “Brian has been the face of the franchise, an outstanding Bear on and off the field. But we knew it was a possibility going into it that it might be this result, and that’s the way it turned out.”