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rdinator Rich Bisaccia, who now

Postautor: huangjian123 » 21 sie 2018, 5:49

>The bar was set high for Brian Urlacher when he joined the Chicago Bears as a first-round middle linebacker back in 2000.Few teams are as closely identified with one position as the Bears are at middle linebacker with players like Bill George Baker Mayfield Jersey Browns , Dick Butkus and Mike Singletary personifying the Monsters of the Midway on the way to Hall of Fame careers.Urlacher lived up to that lofty standard and will join that talented trio in Canton when he is inducted into the hall on Saturday.“It wasn’t even on my mind when I played,” Urlacher said after getting voted into the hall on his first try in February. “I didn’t think this would ever be a possibility. So many things have to go right. You have to stay healthy, you have to play well, you’ve got to win some games, do some things. This is the summit of playing football right here.”Urlacher did not make himself available for interviews leading up to inductions.Urlacher was a different type of middle linebacker than his predecessors in Chicago, the perfect piece in the NFL of the 2000s with the speed and coverage skills that allowed him to play safety in college. That helped him match up against running backs and tight ends and roam sideline to sideline.He also had the ability to drop deep into coverage, making him the perfect middle linebacker on coach Lovie Smith’s Tampa 2 defense that Urlacher helped make so stout in Chicago on the way to a Super Bowl appearance following the 2006 season.“I’ve had an opportunity to be around so many great linebackers, but some of them are just made for the position,” Smith said. “Derrick Brooks is made to be a Will linebacker, an outside guy in our system. Brian Urlacher, you can’t draw it up any better. Everybody knew that he looked the part and he played the part.”Smith knew about Urlacher’s physical talents when he arrived as the new coach in Chicago in 2004 after Urlacher had made the Pro Bowl in each of his first four seasons, and was a two-time All-Pro. An early team meeting taught him about Urlacher’s mentality when he told the defense he expected the unit to lead the league in turnovers. Urlacher stayed after and set the tone for those dominant Bears defenses.“He said: ‘Coach, let me get this right. In order for us to lead the league we have to wait for the offense to turn the ball over?'” Smith recalled. “That was the first time I’d looked at it that way. Brian called it a takeaway on the defensive side of the ball. The offense turns the ball over. Defensively, your job is to take the ball away every time. No one bought into us taking the ball away as much as Brian did.”No defense took the ball away more than the Bears in the nine seasons Smith and Urlacher were together, with 292 takeaways. No linebacker other than fellow 2018 Hall of Fame inductee Ray Lewis took the ball away more than Urlacher during his 13-year career: 22 interceptions and 16 fumble recoveries.Urlacher also had 41陆 sacks and finished his career as the Bears’ all-time leading tackler. He won awards as the top defensive rookie in 2000, Defensive Player of the Year in 2005 Youth Michael Gallup Jersey , earned five All-Pro selections, eight Pro Bowl bids and helped the Bears win four division titles.“Brian was the best,” said Packers quarterback and longtime NFC North rival Aaron Rodgers. “He was probably one of the smartest players I ever played against. Just a great feel for the scheme, the game, reading his keys. Just incredibly instinctual player. Great hands. Average elusiveness, I can say that, because I tackled him one time. But one of the best to ever do it at that position in an era where some of the louder guys maybe got the attention 鈥?expecting the middle linebacker to be a loud yeller or rah-rah guy. Brian went about it in a very classy way. Played the game the right way and was an incredible player.”Urlacher was not always destined for greatness. He was lightly recruited out of high school and ended up at New Mexico after Texas Tech didn’t offer him a scholarship.But he thrived with the Lobos and made himself a first-round pick.“I’ve had some great freshmen, but from the minute he arrived, every coach stood up and took notice,” former New Mexico coach Dennis Franchione said. “I remember sometime in the first 10 days of two-a-days, six of the nine assistant coaches came in 鈥?although independently, I didn’t think they talked about it 鈥?they said, ‘Coach, when are you going to play Urlacher.’ And I said, ‘I’m not sure yet.’ They said, ‘I’ll take him at my position.’ I think that was everybody except the quarterback coach Andrew Miller Jersey , the line coach and the receivers coach. That’s how versatile he was. …“He was a heat-seeking missile from the time he arrived on campus. Not only that, he was a really coachable, bright young man. Made other people better. You can just go on and on about him.”AP Sports Writer Andrew Seligman contributed to this report. As soon as Jordy Nelson was released by the Green Bay Packers, the Oakland Raiders put on a full-court press to acquire the former Pro Bowler.

His former position coach and coordinator in Green Bay, Edgar Bennett, and new Raiders coach Jon Gruden immediately called to bring him out for a free-agent visit. Quarterback Derek Carr picked him up at the airport and gave him a tour of the Bay Area.

Then the Raiders offered a two-year deal worth a reported $15 million that persuaded him to cancel his other scheduled visits and sign with Oakland.

”The plan was to make some other trips, but you never know what’s going to happen,” Nelson said Thursday. ”You get to place and you enjoy it and they enjoy it. Obviously, there’s a financial part of that. One thing I didn’t want to do is fly around the country just because. I didn’t want to waste my time or anyone else’s time.”

The Raiders wasted little time Thursday attempting to rebuild under their first-year coach, releasing receiver Michael Crabtree to make room for Nelson; signing safety Marcus Gilchrist, linebacker Tahir Whitehead, running back Doug Martin and fullback Keith Smith; and finalizing deals with blocking tight ends Derek Carrier and Lee Smith that had been agreed to earlier in the week.

But the most high-profile move came at receiver, where Nelson hopes to bounce back from a down season and help Carr and the Raiders get back to the high level they produced at in 2016.

The 32-year-old Nelson struggled last season with 53 catches for 482 yards and six TDs, recording a career-low 9.1 yards per reception as Aaron Rodgers missed more than half the year with injuries.

”I can make plays,” Nelson said. ”I look forward to just getting out, getting in rhythm with Derek and start forming that chemistry with him that I’ve had with Aaron for the last 10 years. Continue to build off that. Just see what happens. Go out there and play my role in this offense. Make the plays that are available.”

Nelson had made the Pro Bowl in 2014 and won AP Comeback Player of the Year in 2016 when he led the league with 14 touchdown catches a year after missing the entire season with a right knee injury.

Nelson had four 1 Jason McCourty Jersey Patriots ,000-yard seasons in Green Bay, including 1,519 yards on 98 catches in 2014. In 136 career games, he has 550 catches for 7,848 yards and 69 TDs.

Crabtree had a $7.7 million cap hit for this season but there is no dead money with his release. The 30-year-old Crabtree had 232 catches for 2,543 yards and 25 touchdowns in three seasons with the Raiders.

The other big moves came on defense where Oakland added two potential starters to fill holes at safety and linebacker.

Whitehead joins the Raiders after spending his first six seasons with Lions. He has 378 tackles, three sacks, two forced fumbles, five fumble recoveries, four interceptions and 18 passes defensed in 93 career games.

Gilchrist has played seven seasons with the Chargers, Jets and Houston. He has 11 interceptions, 33 passes defensed, four sacks, five forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. He will likely step in as a starter alongside Karl Joseph.

Martin, who grew up in nearby Stockton, is a two-time Pro Bowler but averaged just 2.9 yards per carry the past two seasons Customized Miami Dolphins Jerseys , the lowest for any back in the league. That was part of what led to his release by the Buccaneers last month.

He joins a running back room that is currently led by Marshawn Lynch, along with youngsters DeAndre Washington and Jalen Richard.

”I have been the lead back for most of my career, but what enticed me in coming here is the potential for this team,” Martin said. ”We have Gruden coming. The front line and just being home. I was born here. This is my homecoming. Those are the things that enticed me on signing here.”

The 29-year-old Martin rushed for 1,454 yards as a rookie in 2012, including 251 in a win at Oakland. He also ran for 1,402 yards in 2015 but has failed to reach 500 yards in any of his other four seasons as he was hampered by injuries and a suspension for performance-enhancing substances.

Keith Smith gives the Raiders another fullback along with Jamize Olawale. Smith, a converted linebacker, played only sparingly on offense with the Cowboys but was an important part of the special teams under coordinator Rich Bisaccia, who now holds the same job with the Raiders.

Carrier has 36 catches for 327 yards and one TD in 50 games in his career. He caught eight passes for 71 yards last season with the Rams.

Lee Smith joined Oakland originally as a free agent in 2015 and has been a strong run blocker in his three years with the team. He played 35 games, missing most of the 2016 season with a leg injury. He has 26 catches for 175 and one touchdown with the Raiders.



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