Brian Urlacher had a fantastic NFL career. He was a first-round draft pick in 2000, NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year, an eight-time Pro Bowler, a four-time All-Pro, a 2005 NFL Defensive Player of the Year, and he played in a Super Bowl.
Unfortunately for Urlacher, the Bears lost that Super Bowl, 29-17, to Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts in February 2007.
“If I’m going to lose a Super Bowl, I’m glad it was to Peyton Manning,” Urlacher said on CBS Sports Radio’s The DA Show. “It was his first one. I was happy for him. I wanted one. That’s the one thing missing from my career, that Super Bowl. But it’s not an easy thing to get. You just think you’re going to get back every year. You get there and you’re like, ‘Oh, we’re going to be good for a long time.’ It’s not that easy. That’s why it’s amazing what the Patriots do.”
That 2006 Bears were a defense-oriented team that relied on Thomas Jones pounding the ball between the tackles and Devin Hester making plays in the return game.
The weak link on that team, many people say, was quarterback Rex Grossman. In fact, some believe that Grossman is the worst quarterback to ever start a Super Bowl.
“I disagree with that,” Urlacher said. “I don’t know the history of starting quarterbacks in Super Bowls, but he’s not the worst in the Super Bowl era, in my opinion.”
In Super Bowl XLI, Grossman threw a touchdown pass to Muhsin Muhammad in the first quarter to give Chicago a 14-6 lead, but he threw a back-breaking 56-yard pick-six in the fourth quarter. The Bears went from trailing by five to trailing by 12.
“He’d make some dumb throws, but he also made some great throws,” Urlacher said. “I think that’s with any quarterback. But he made some great plays. I think he threw 30 touchdowns that season. He may have had 25 picks, but he threw a lot of touchdowns.”
Grossman threw 23 touchdowns and 20 interceptions in 2006. Both were career-highs.
“But I really liked playing with Rex,” Urlacher said. “He was a fun quarterback. He was a fun guy away from football as well. I enjoyed playing with Rex. He was a good time. He was a great teammate.”