Urlacher says he’s ‘excited about the direction’ the Bears are going

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Brian Urlacher will be enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday. | Sun-Times


Former Bears star Brian Urlacher said he’s “excited about the direction” the Bears are going despite their disappointing 3-9 record this season.

While most believe coach John Fox’s time with the Bears is limited — especially after the team’s embarrassing 15-14 loss to the 49ers Sunday, Urlacher might be the only person left rooking for Fox.

“I haven’t been excited about [the Bears] in a couple of years, but I’m excited now,”Urlacher said as a guest on NFL Network’s “Good Morning Football” on Monday. “I just hope they keep coach Fox around long enough to see the fruits of his labor with this defense.”

Part of the reason the retired linebacker is excited for the team’s future is because two rookies have caught his eye.

Urlacher, a first-ballot Hall of Fame candidate, said quarterback Mitch Trubisky and running back Tarik Cohen have a bright future ahead of them.

Urlacher called Cohen “unbelievable” and complimented Cohen’s insane punt return for a touchdown Sunday.

“Every week is something different for him,” he said.

Urlacher’s only critique of the Bears was that the coaching staff needed to loosen up its “locked up” grip on Trubisky.

“Trubisky can run, he can throw, [I] just hope he can stay healthy,” Urlacher said. “They gotta give him some receivers. Healthy receivers.”

Urlacher was the ninth overall pick in 2000, and was named NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year after recording 123 tackles and eight sacks in his first season with the Bears. The eight-time Pro Bowler retired with 41.5 sacks and 22 interceptions in 13 seasons. He helped lead the Bears to four division titles and a berth in Super Bowl XLI.

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