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Bears' Urlacher vows to be ready for season opener

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  • Bears' Urlacher vows to be ready for season opener

    Aug. 31, 2004 wire reports

    LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Brian Urlacher's pulled hamstring is healed and he's back on the practice field, realizing how much he missed football and vowing to be ready for the season opener.

    "I've never been injured, so I don't know how to react," Urlacher said Tuesday before his second practice session since he was hurt July 28 during the first workout of training camp. "I'm just going to do what they tell me to do and just get ready for Detroit."

    Urlacher won't play in Friday's preseason finale at Cleveland but plans to play for sure in the Sept. 12 season opener against the Lions at Soldier Field.

    "I know that I'll be ready to go against Detroit, and that's all that matters," he added.

    And he promises he won't play tentatively or have concerns about getting injured again.

    "I'm not too worried about it. I'm pretty sure it's healed," the four-time Pro Bowl linebacker said.

    Urlacher has never missed a game in his four-year NFL career. He said he once missed a game when he was a junior in high school after breaking his wrist, but he played the next week.

    He pulled up during a scrimmage less than an hour into the first workout of training camp at Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais. He said he stepped awkwardly while making a play.

    He's been forced to watch and rehab while the Bears defense he leads learns a new system under first-year coach Lovie Smith.

    "I definitely missed it. Just to be able to do what you want to do all the time when you're healthy is a huge thing," he said. "I definitely appreciate being able to play every day. I know that much."

    The addition of pass rusher Adewale Ogunleye at defensive end and the return of Urlacher should give a big lift to a Bears defense that has lost defensive backs Jerry Azumah and R.W. McQuarters for an undetermined amount of time.

    "He makes everyone on the defense better," Bears quarterback Rex Grossman said. "Everybody can do that much more because he can cover so much ground."

    The Associated Press News Service

    Copyright 2004, The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved

Related Topics


  • DJRamFan
    Urlacher injures hamstring; draftees sign
    by DJRamFan
    July 28, 2004 wire reports

    BOURBONNAIS, Ill. -- The Chicago Bears had been on the practice field for less than an hour Wednesday when new coach Lovie Smith saw four-time Pro Bowl linebacker Brian Urlacher crumple to the ground.


    Urlacher stumbled out of a scrimmage drill and fell to the ground with an injury to his right hamstring. Trainers wrapped his leg with an ice pack and took him off the field on a golf cart.

    "He's got a pretty good pull," general manager Jerry Angelo said. "We'll know more tomorrow."

    Urlacher was scheduled to have an MRI Thursday morning, but Angelo and Smith weren't optimistic that he would be able to return soon.

    "Hamstrings, they need rest," Smith said after the 90-minute practice at the team's Olivet Nazarene University training base. "He'll have to sit out, which he won't like. It's going to be weeks, probably."

    The Bears were practicing in shorts and helmets Wednesday and the scrimmage was light contact only. Urlacher went down after colliding with another player.

    Second-year player Hunter Hillenmeyer and rookie Jeremy Cain will get plenty of work with Urlacher out, Smith said. If the injury persists deep into training camp, second-year linebacker Lance Briggs, who started 13 games and had 81 tackles as a rookie, could be shifted into Urlacher's middle linebacker role, the coach said.

    "We've talked about developing our depth at the linebacker position," Smith said. "We're going to have to do it a little quicker than we wanted to."

    Smith acknowledged he was nervous beginning his first training camp as an NFL head coach, but said he was reasonably happy with the first practice.

    "We kind of set a bar, that's what you want to do as much as anything, set the bar," he said. "Tomorrow morning, we'll be in pads and the intensity will pick up quite a bit."

    Quarterback Rex Grossman, expected to be the starter, was among those trying to work out early kinks. He threw several passes at his receivers' feet.

    Seeing Brian Urlacher carted off the field is not how the Bears wanted to start training camp.(AP)
    "It's going to take a little bit of time to get the rhythm of it," he said.

    Off the field, the Bears agreed to terms with their two remaining unsigned rookies, first-round draft pick Tommie Harris and third-round pick Bernard Berrian.

    Harris, who won the Lombardi Trophy at Oklahoma last year as the nation's top interior lineman, agreed to a five-year deal. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

    "He's our first-round pick, he's a big part of what we're going to do this year," Smith said. "We're very excited...
    -07-29-2004, 09:39 AM
  • Nick
    Bears LB Roquan Smith remains only unsigned 2018 NFL Draft pick
    by Nick
    Draft pick Smith's holdout among issues facing Bears
    GENE CHAMBERLAIN | Associated Press
    Monday, August 13, 2018 1:10 am

    BOURBONNAIS, Ill. – It has become a familiar refrain for Chicago Bears coach Matt Nagy. He has often repeated the words “nothing new” over the past 31/2 weeks regarding contract talks with first-round draft pick Roquan Smith.

    Nagy's first training camp with the Bears concluded Sunday, and it remains uncertain when defensive coordinator Vic Fangio can plug the former Georgia linebacker into the lineup.

    That's not the Bears' only problem as they head into a week of practices in Denver before playing the Broncos on Saturday in their third preseason game.

    Asked Sunday if missing all of camp would limit Smith's ability to be defensive field general on opening day, Nagy did not mince words.

    “I think it does,” Nagy said. “You're playing at that position and there are a lot of calls that go on, very similar to a quarterback, there's a lot going on. But I have full confidence in Vic and his staff that when he does get here, they'll get him up to speed and whenever that is, we'll see.

    “But again, that's why we all get paid as coaches is to try to help our players out as much as possible and that's kind of where we're at.”

    Neither the Bears nor Smith's agents have openly discussed the reason for the standoff.

    The Chicago Tribune reported that the sticking point in talks is the Bears' refusal to give up the right to reclaim some of Smith's guaranteed bonus if he is suspended for an on-field rules violation outside the parameters of a football play.

    Smith is the only unsigned player in the 2018 NFL draft class. The Bears haven't had Smith around since their June minicamp.

    “I think he knows that he's to be in shape,” Nagy said. “I think he knows that.”

    The Bears have two veteran inside linebackers on the field: Danny Trevathan and Nick Kwiatkoski.

    Players say they've avoided turning the holdout into a distraction.

    “It's pretty easy,” defensive end Akiem Hicks said. “I mean, we can't make him appear out of nowhere. You play with what you got and go forward.”

    Their other big problem revolves around the offense.

    Quarterback Mitchell Trubisky struggled in the new offense with interceptions in practice, then went 2 for 4 for 4 yards in his first effort against Cincinnati in a 30-27 loss Thursday night.

    “It's not rocket science to know that we need to be better in that,” Nagy said. “It's my job to make sure am I calling the right plays. It's their job to make sure they execute when they get those plays to come in.”

    Wide receiver Allen Robinson and wide receiver Taylor Gabriel did not play Thursday. Also absent was starting running back Jordan Howard.

    Robinson called camp a successful indoctrination to a complicated...
    -08-13-2018, 05:59 AM
  • RamDez
    Bears, Rams scrimmage caps week
    by RamDez
    Bears, Rams scrimmage caps week

    August 7, 2004


    of the Journal Star

    MACOMB - Three days of joint workouts between the St. Louis Rams and Chicago Bears come to a close this morning with a 10:30 a.m. scrimmage at Hanson Field.

    For both teams, the goal of today's scrimmage is to continue the progress that has been made from the first day of practice when camp opened.

    "We want to improve our team. We're not keeping score," Bears coach Lovie Smith said. "We came up here to have some good practices against a good team, and we're getting that type of work done."

    The Rams will use today's scrimmage to work in some of the younger players.

    "We're going to take a look at our inexperienced players," Rams coach Mike Martz said. "We're going to make sure that the younger players get some repetitions."

    Getting closer: It is rare in today's NFL that a team would take a flier on signing an injured player as a free agent while that player is still rehabbing from the injury.

    That's exactly what the Rams did during the offseason in signing defensive tackle Bernard Holsey, who started all 16 games last season for Washington. He had surgery in February to repair his injured quadricep.

    Holsey began working out on Friday and hopes to be able to play by the end of the preseason.

    "It's a little frustrating right now," Holsey said. "The guys are out there sweating, but I can only do a limited number of things."

    What wasn't frustrating was when the Rams called expressing interest even though he was injured.

    "That was amazing," Holsey said. "I wasn't expecting to hear from any teams until August. I appreciate that they called. I'm sure I would have had some more interest, but they called first."

    Said Martz: "He's played at a really I level. I've seen him play and our scouts really liked him."

    Holsey's return comes at a time when the Rams need some more depth after defensive tackle Jimmy Kennedy suffered a broken foot during Thursday's afternoon workout. He is expected to miss three to four months.

    "He just put his foot on the ground, there was no contact or anything," Martz said. "Hopefully we'll get him back halfway through the season."

    Points of emphasis: Officials have been working with the Bears and Rams this week.

    They're going over some of the rule changes, as well as the rules that haven't changed but will be emphasized this season.

    The biggest point this year that will be enforced is not allowing defenders to intentionally contact receivers 5 yards past the line of scrimmage.

    -08-07-2004, 12:58 PM
  • RamDez
    Rams, Bears scrimmage before preseason opener
    by RamDez
    Rams, Bears scrimmage before preseason opener

    Associated Press

    MACOMB, Ill. - After three days of joint practices, the St. Louis Rams outplayed the Chicago Bears during a scrimmage at Western Illinois University's Hanson Field Saturday.

    The Rams unofficially won the scrimmage 12-6, though no score was actually kept during the 90-minute workout.

    Both teams held out several starters. Quarterback Marc Bulger and running back Marshall Faulk did not see action for the Rams while linebacker Brian Urlacher, who is nursing a hamstring injury, and wide receiver Marty Booker and others sat out for the Bears.

    The scrimmage also provided a chance for new Chicago coach Lovie Smith to put his team up against the Rams, where he worked as defensive coordinator before taking the job with the Bears.

    Smith said after the scrimmage, "We know we have a long ways to go. We get a chance to play them again next week with hopes that we'll have a better team on the field playing against them."

    The Bears will visit the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis Thursday to take on the Rams in the preseason opener.

    The Rams went on offense first in the controlled scrimmage as former Bears quarterback Chris Chandler marched the Rams 70 yards in a drive that ended with a one-yard touchdown run by running back Arlen Harris.

    Bears starting quarterback Rex Grossman directed the first three series before backup Jonathan Quinn engineered the last two drives.

    Rams rookie quarterback Jeff Smoker hit Kevin Curtis for a 35-yard touchdown later in the scrimmage.

    Then Quinn guided the Bears to their only score when he connected with Gabe Reid on a 5-yard scoring toss.

    One of the biggest ovations of the morning came when former Western Illinois star Russ Michna took the field for a few plays with the Rams offense.

    Rams coach Mike Martz said Michna had two good passes. "Unfortunately, one of them was dropped. He's a good little player. He's not a camp arm. I'm excited that we have him."

    Michna is in the Rams camp as the fourth quarterback after signing with St. Louis as an undrafted free agent in June. Michna said after playing that he appreciated the crowd's response. "It's great to know that they still appreciate what you did for them."

    Martz said a scrimmage like the one against the Bears can provide a player an opportunity to show he deserves a spot on the roster. "We're not going to eliminate somebody because of what they've done in this scrimmage. What we can do is look a little harder at a guy," he said.

    Notes: Martz said the Rams will not practice Sunday to give his players a break. They will hold a workout Monday afternoon and a meeting Monday night in Macomb. Martz said, "We've had a terrific camp up here and they've worked...
    -08-07-2004, 11:55 PM
  • Nick
    PFT: Lovie's under the microscope
    by Nick

    Our Chitown mole tells us that Bears G.M. Jerry Angelo privately has voiced concerned that the team's rash of hamstring pulls is related directly to efforts by coach Lovie Smith to get players to lose weight over the offseason.

    Players who have fallen victim to hamstring injuries in the first week of camp include Brian Urlacher, Marty Booker, Jamin Elliott, Desmond Clark, Adrian Peterson, Mike Gandy and John Gilmore.

    Perhaps not coincidentally, Smith has canceled the team's Tuesday morning practice.

    Last week, Smith explained his strategy regarding the shrinkage of his team.

    "It's a different philosophy," he said. "We just think everyone should lose weight."

    We're also hearing that running back Anthony Thomas could miss up to six weeks with an abdominal strain. Thomas has been the subject of trade rumors, but it's now extremely unlikely that anything will happen until he's healthy again.
    -08-03-2004, 09:21 PM