Marc Trestman wants Brian Urlacher to return to the Bears
BY ADAM L. JAHNS firstname.lastname@example.org March 20, 2013 12:00PM
- INSIDE THE BEARS: Breaking news, updates and more
- Tom Zbikowski might be on Bears' radar
- Mike Shanahan likes the Marc Trestman-Jay Cutler combo
- Report: Bears get DE Turk McBride
- Twitter reaction: Fans respond to Brian Urlacher, Bears news
Updated: March 20, 2013 6:28PM
PHOENIX — Bears coach Marc Trestman was clear as can be. He and his coaching staff still see value in veteran linebacker Brian Urlacher and want him to return.
It’s just a matter of getting the right deal for the Bears.
“We evaluated Brian and we think he can help our football team — no doubt about it, we do. “ Trestman said Wednesday during the NFC coaches breakfast during the NFL annual meetings at the Arizona Biltmore.”[But] that’s the coaching side of it. The coaching side is that we’ve made an evaluation and feel good about having Brian back. Not just from a locker-room perspective, but as a player on a football team.
“We’ve established that as a staff and then the rest is the process, the collective process of what is best for the Bears. There is a lot that goes into that. There’s more to it than just the football side. There’s a lot that goes into it. That’s the best interests of the Bears. That’s where we are.
“Things have been written and things have been said. I don’t know how much is true and how much isn’t, but I know that [general manager] Phil [Emery] and [vice president of business administration] Cliff [Stein] are actively working to try and resolve the issue, and I trust that process.”
Trestman said that during his last conversation with Urlacher two weeks ago that he made it clear that he and his staff hoped that he returned with the Bears.
“I had two or three more social discussions with him early on,” Trestman said. “My last discussion with him was to be very specific with him that we hoped it would work out. And that as much as his locker room [presence] is important, we felt collectively as a staff that he could and would be playing for us -- that we wanted him to be here to play for us. I think that he could make our football team better on the field. That’s where we left it.”
Urlacher is an unrestricted free agent, who turns 35 in May and has injury concerns. He may not be able to run like he used to -- Trestman indicated that he may be best utilized on first and second downs -- but he is coming off an effective season in 2012.
According to the Bears’ final statistics, Urlacher finished with 86 total tackles, seven tackles for loss, four quarterback pressures, seven pass breakups, two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and one interception returned for a touchdown.
Trestman stressed that he understands what Urlacher means to the Bears’ locker room, but he focused on evaluating him as a player.
“I think that the first place is on the football field,” Trestman said. “We’ve established on the football field that he can help our team, and the rest of it is great value as well. That’s where we are from that standpoint. But there’s more to it than that. There’s more pieces than just that. ... We’re never going to do anything that’s not in the best interests of the team.”