Brian Urlacher took a running start at Gale Sayers when he responded on Wednesday to remarks the Hall of Fame linebacker has made about the team, himself, coach Lovie Smith and Jay Cutler.
Let’s just say it’s unlikely these two giants in the history of the franchise are going to be swapping Christmas cards anytime real soon.
Sayers recently questioned Cutler and suggested Urlacher, who turns 32 next week, is getting old. He also turned up the pressure on Smith, who will be entering his seventh season with the franchise. Urlacher was annoyed to hear criticism coming from a former member of the organization and that set him off.
“Let me ask you a question: 'How many championships did Gale Sayers win?''' Urlacher told Vaughn McClure of the Chicago Tribune. "How many playoff games did he win when he played? None. None. None.
"Does it bother me? There are enough people throwing daggers at us right now, why does one of our ex-players have to jump in? There are enough experts talking (crap) about us, so why does a Bear, an all-time great, have to jump in? I just don't like that.''
Sayers, speaking in his home state of Nebraska earlier this month, said: "Cutler hasn't done the job. Urlacher, I don't know how good he's going to be coming back. … They need a couple wide receivers, a couple defensive backs. … If Lovie doesn't do it this year, I think he's gone. …''
"Does (Sayers) know how to win football games? Does he? No,” Urlacher said. “How are you going to criticize someone else when you haven't done it yourself? He's one of our own, so that's why it's so frustrating.''
Sayers, who played on a 1-13 Bears team in 1969 and did not reach the postseason in seven seasons, responded to Urlacher's comments when reached by phone Wednesday.
Sayers was given a chance for a rebuttal when reached by Fred Mitchell of the Tribiune.
"When I am asked a question, I have to answer it,'' Sayers said. “I don't want anybody to think I am afraid to talk about the Bears. Right now, the Bears are hurting.
"And Urlacher, how old is he anyway? He should know that himself, that he is on the downside of his career.
"If somebody asks me, 'How do you think the Bears are going to do this year?' If I say, 'Oh, they are going to win 14 ballgames,' they know the Bears can't win 14 ballgames. Why should I lie to the people?”
If they really want to ramp this up, maybe they need to get Dick Butkus involved. And Olin Kreutz. But that’s just the troublemaker is us suggesting that.
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