The Bears trip to Seattle for Sundays game could be an opportunity for Brian Urlacher to catch up with his extended family. While stories of his upbringing in Lovington, N.M., abound, the middle linebacker was born in Pasco, Wash., about a 3 1/2-hour drive from Seattle.
Urlacher participated in a conference call with Seahawks media on Wednesday. A look:
(On this season) Were turning it around a little bit, we played a little better last week. Its not as bad as it seems I guess.
(On how many people are coming to watch him) I really dont know, I havent got that many phone calls. I talked to a couple of my uncles and my cousins, beyond that Im not sure. Sometimes they come out here now and watch us play at Soldier Field so maybe its getting old, I dont know, maybe its too long of a trip.
(On this season so far) We havent played as well, we havent been as consistent, were the same team for the most part, we have lost a couple guys, but its the same team not playing as well.
(On his back) Im good. Im fine, when Sunday rolls around I feel pretty good. Ive talked to my trainers and our staff around here and theres really no way around it. Its just the way it is right now and its really not that bad, I dont understand what the big fuss is about it around here.
(On being the NFC Champions and trying to repeat) I dont know, I know we have a bulls eye on our chest right now, everybody seems to get up and play better for us. Were a good team we should be playing better, we should be more consistent than we are right now, and get back to where we were last year, and luckily for us we do have seven games left and theres still a chance, we have to play a lot better, we can get to the playoffs.
(On the QB situation in Chicago) Yeah, its been a huge topic around here for pretty much my whole career with the revolving door weve had. Now we have two guys that have done a pretty good job for us, whoever plays plays, as a defensive guy we need to go out there and worry about our defense. We have enough to worry about on our side of the ball without worrying about the offense. As a defense we cant worry about that. Like I said, we have enough to worry about with the way were playing on defense and the inconsistencies we have on our side of the ball so were not going to worry about what happens on offense. They pretty much have taken care of their side of the ball all year long. Weve just been focusing on defense. Its hard to win games like that.
(On Devin Hester) Hes amazing, hes the most explosive player in the NFL when he has the balls in hands. He doesnt touch it very often but when he does he makes stuff happen with it. Last week Oakland did a good job of covering him, but you kick it to him enough times hes going to make you pay. Thats all there is to it. Hes unreal, he changes the whole game for us, especially in the kicking game, Im not sure what Seattles going to do this week, but I know Oakland kicked it to him last week. I think Devin (Hester) was setting everybody else up because he didnt have very many big returns last week, I think he wants people to keep giving him opportunities so he was setting them up with that game.
(On if he would kick to Devin Hester) I would kick it out of bounds every time, I would give the team the ball on the 40 or I would kick it out bounds. Its not worth it to have, special teams are huge in this league, if you can get that as a kind of momentum thing, its huge.
(On the Seahawks) Theyre throwing all over the place, I think thats just right now. They havent been able to run it very well, (Mike) Holmgrens not dumb, hes not going to keep trying to pound and not getting and yards, so hes doing what his quarterback does best, and thats throw the ball. They have a lot of good receivers, their offensive line protects well, so why not throw it.
(On the Seahawks run struggles) I dont know, were the same way, weve had a hard time running it too, but havent abandoned it yet, were still trying to do it. Thats just the way it goes, some years you run it good, some years you dont. (LaDainian) Tomlinson had all those years last year and this year he doesnt have as many, thats just the way it goes some years I guess. Im not sure exactly why.
(On preparing for a passing team) Well we got get ready for the pass, thats what that tells me. If they line up in I-backs and try to run it well try to stop it, but if theyre going to throw it I guess we should try and defend the pass.
(On Bobby Engram) Bobby (Engram) is a great player, hes a good guy, good player, he was here, I think, my rookie year, got hurt. I think two weeks ago against Cleveland he had 13 catches, he catches everything, hes shaky, he gets open, he finds the soft spots in the zone, and he beats his man with man coverage. What more do you want from a guy, hes an old guy obviously but he gets the job done.
(On the Bears-Seahawks playoff game last year) We won. Thats all that matters to me. We got over the hump, the first couple years of my career we never won a playoff game at home after the bye, so that was nice to get over that hump.
(On playing the Seahawks again) Its not like a division game, but they were here to play us last year, I think the last time we played them, my fourth year we came up to Seattle and played them. We know them a little bit, its not like a division game, like I said, but we have and idea of what they want to do.
(On preparing for Maurice Morris) Personally, and I think as a defense, we do the same thing every week. We try to stop the run number one, it doesnt matter who the running back is, we have to stop it, thats all there is to it. If the guy wasnt in this league he wouldnt be a good player, guys are here for a reason, whether its (Maurice) Morris or (Shaun) Alexander, theyre here for a reason, so theyre just as good as anybody else.
(On the Bears defense) There hasnt been that much of change except we havent played as well, thats about it. We havent gotten takeaways, thats number one, I think thats the biggest drop off from last year, we have more sacks but the takeaways havent been there. We havent had the picks and the caused fumbles, all that good stuff, so thats the biggest thing, the biggest drop-off. Consistency is a big one, we stopped the run early pretty well, then the couple games there we gave up quite a few rushing yards. Were capable of doing it. Its just a matter of doing it. It doesnt make it tougher but its a little frustrating because, especially me, I havent been as consistent as I want to be nor has our whole defense. You say its easy to fix. Well, then fix it. We just cant do it for some reason.
(On playing without Mike Brown) Mike Browns awesome. I said it this year. Hes the best defensive player Ive ever played with. The guy, shoot, the first game he was out there he had a pick, recovered fumble, he had a couple of great hits, and then he gets hurt. Its tough to replace him but weve had to do it the last few years. I wouldnt say replace him. Weve had guys fill in for him because youre not going to replace a guy like Mike Brown. In my opinion, hes one of a kind. His leadership we miss and especially his play making ability.
(On potential fishing plans) Oh man, not this trip. My little bro was going to go up there and go fishing there on the Columbia but I dont think hes going to make it now because they moved the game. Thank goodness they moved the game up for us. Yeah, Im not a big fan of night games especially when theyre six hours away from Chicago.
(On the Seahawks linebackers) Lofa (Tatupu), (Julian) Peterson, and is it Kevin Bentley now playing? Shoot, theyre good players. You have Peterson getting all the sacks. Lofas as solid as you get in the middle. I know he has a couple Pro Bowls under his belt and I think Kevin (Bentley), probably hasnt had a chance to play as much but hes athletic and he runs to the football so theyre good. I feel like we have the best in the league. I have to say that and I really feel that way. Were the best in the league as a group but theyre pretty good themselves.