Charles Tillman was “Very Optimistic” about Brian Urlacher Coming Back

March 21, 2013 – 7:05 am by Brad Gagnon

After 13 years in Chicago, it became official on Wednesday that Brian Urlacher’s time with the Bears has run out. Urlacher was offered an insulting contract by the team before it was announced that he wouldn’t be returning. Now, the future Hall of Famer has to find a new home as the clock approaches midnight on his career.

Charles Tillman joined Laurence Holmes on WSCR in Chicago to discuss the news that Brian Urlacher’s run in Chicago is over, Urlacher’s leadership skills, his value to the team and the city, the difficult task of replacing Urlacher and a potential retirement.

On it being confirmed that Brian Urlacher wouldn’t return to Chicago:

“I’d probably say that it’s a sad day for Bears fans and players and the organization. It’s a business. I think he was a guy who represented the city well for Chicago. He represented himself, the city, the organization. He was a leader, he was a great teammate, great team guy. Love him. Just a sad day. But I’m sure, whatever organization picks him up, I think he’ll go on and make them proud.”

On Urlacher being a leader:

“There were plenty of times where I would do something wrong and he wouldn’t be afraid to straighten you up and get you right. But he knew how to do it. He did it in a loving, brotherly, teammate-type way. … He knew how to motivate guys.”

On if it will be weird having someone else calling signals with Urlacher gone:

“I think it is, because Nick’s [Roach] not there anymore. And when Brian wasn’t in there, it was Nick’s job. So Nick’s in Oakland right now. So I don’t know, man, we’ll see. The white knight is gone.”

On if he was hopeful Urlacher would return:

“Yeah, I was hopeful. I was very optimistic about Brian coming back to this team for another year.”

On replacing Urlacher as a leader:

“Somebody will have to step up. I feel like I take a leadership role for my room. I think [Julius Peppers] takes it for the D-line, and obviously Brian had it in his room and for the whole defense. So other guys will just have to step up and just take that leadership role.”

On the significance of being able to play for one team throughout your entire career:

“The franchise we play for, historically they have a great history. And to be with one team your entire career, like the Chicago Bears, to me that’s an awesome way to go out. You look at Ray Lewis, he played for one team his entire career and look how he went out. Even if they don’t win the Super Bowl, he goes out a Baltimore Raven his entire career. I think that’s special. A lot of guys can’t say that. But he can still go out as a Bear; he can just play for a different team for another two, three years, sign that one-day contract and retire a Bear. So I think he’ll be all right.”

On if he thinks Urlacher could retire now:

“This year? No. I think he’s got some football left in him. I hope he don’t retire. No, I don’t think he’s retiring. I think he’ll do all right by him playing for another team, somebody else. Whatever team lands him, they’re getting a great guy, great team player, great person. He’s gonna represent himself; he’s not going to embarrass anybody. One of those guys you don’t have to worry about. He takes care of himself and his players.”

On if it will be weird to see Urlacher in another uniform:

“Yeah, I don’t think I’m ready for that. But like I said, man, it’s a business, it happens. The more you can realize that this game is a business, the better off you are and the easier it will be to accept the truth. It’s all business. That’s all it is is a business.”

Listen to Charles Tillman on WSCR here

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