Emery has no regrets over Urlacher situationContinue reading.
Phil Emery says Urlacher improved during the season
That was a topic Tuesday at Halas Hall when general manager Phil Emery addressed the media. And it will remain one for the time being with Emery declining to discuss players’ contract situations.
Urlacher, 34, is a free agent. He missed the final four games with a hamstring injury after needing knee surgery in the preseason.
“I will tell you that any of the contract situations, I’m not going to speak on,” Emery said. “I’ve said it from the very beginning, to me that’s a privacy issue between the player and the team. And those kind of discussions will happen with Brian and his agents and that’s where we’ll leave it.”
Emery, though, did say Urlacher got better during the season. He also knows what the Bears would lose if Urlacher doesn’t remain a Bear.
Urlacher finished his 13th NFL season with 88 tackles, seven tackles for loss, seven pass breakups, two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and a 46-yard interception return for a touchdown. Urlacher told WMVP-AM (1000) that he would like to play again and remain with the Bears.
“Coming back from the injury, there was a time he looked a little rusty,” Emery said. “He admitted that himself in public. There was a time that he got better, that he got his feet back under him. Certainly he showed – like in the Seattle game – that he still has a burst. He chased Russell Wilson up the sideline, and he was the only one to get to him.
“Certainly, he has showed that he has a burst in the center of the field. With our Tampa-2 system, he had to turn and get deep. From my own eyes, I never saw that to be an issue with Brian this year. Him being able to do that. There are times, because of the injury that he had, that early in the situation, his ability to stop, re-gather himself and redirect laterally was not there. But he did get there as the season progressed and just as he was about to turn the corner, he had the injury that ended his season.
“So did he make progress? Yes, he did. The things that are very difficult to replace for Brian and would be to replace for Brian, if we were ever to move in a different direction, is the leadership that he has and the knowledge base that he has with our system.”