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Lance Briggs: as Bears transition, Devin Hester’s departure ‘sucks’
Lance Briggs on Friday lamented the departure of another long-time teammate, Devin Hester, in his first public comments since the end of he season.
Appearing on 87.7/WGWG-FM The Game on Friday, the linebacker said it was hard to see Hester, who the Bears will not re-sign, leave, one year after Brian Urlacher retired.
“It’s sad, man,” he said. “For a guy like me and I know (free-agent-to-be cornerback) Peanut (Tillman) and (former linebacker) Brian (Urlacher) have been here a long time, we’ve seen a lot of guys come and go.
“I think we all know that our time is coming. But it’s sad when it does.
“And I hate to see a guy like Devin, and what he’s meant to this city and to the Bears organization, not brought back. He’s a guy that I’ve become very close with, from the day he got there to over the years, we got closer and closer.
“It’s hard with the bond that you build with all your brothers. It kinda just sucks.”
Briggs said he was trying to stay positive that Tillman, who becomes a free agent Tuesday, would not follow Hester out of town.
“I really truly hope the organization makes the right decision regarding Peanut,” he said. “Peanut, I can’t say enough about what he has meant to the organization, the city and myself. I really can’t imagine playing without him. one of my brothers didn’t get a chance to come back this past year, and now hopefully the other one gets to stay. We’ll see.”
At issue is the Bears’ transition — trying to get younger, Briggs said, “ever since (general manager Phil) Emery came in.”
“I think there was a big push to get younger, and I understand that,” he said. “Players like Peanut and myself were guys that, regardless of our age, we play at a high level, an elite level.”
Asked what position he would draft, Briggs joked that he’d tell management to trade the picks and “bring all my brothers back.”
Briggs agreed with host David Kaplan’s opinion that the Bears’ farewells to Urlacher and Hester — press releases — was not enough to honor them.
“When my time comes, I don’t expect anything more or less than a Tweet saying, ‘We’re parting ways with Lance,’” he said. “It’s not gonna hurt my feelings or anything like that.”
Not that Briggs is pessimistic about next season. While he called the 2013 season “a terrible year for us defensively,” he defended coordinator Mel Tucker.
“I know that whatever comes out of Mel’s mouth is sincere,” he said. “I know that Mel knows what he’s doing. I know that I can sit in a room and break down tape with Mel and know exactly what he means and know exactly what he’s trying to achieve.
“The calls Mel made during the year were the right calls … We just didn’t execute.”