Urlacher ornery as ever
Q: Are you fired up for this season? Urlacher: Pretty excited. It was a long offseason. After you go 4-12, it definitely is not hard to get excited for the next season. We have everyone healthy again and I am just happy to be back out there running around again. Q: Is it a good challenge to go up against a guy like Niners fullback Fred Beasley? Urlacher: Anytime I get to play a team that runs a lot of leads, it is fun. I'm trying to be more physical this year so we'll see if I get off to the right start or not. We're going to go out there and try to be physical on Sunday. Q: Did you say more physical this year? Urlacher: Yeah. I'm still learning and I think the more I learn and the better technique I have, the more physical I will be able to be with the fullbacks and offensive lineman because I won't be guessing. I'll just be hitting my gap and whoever is in it. Q: Because of your speed, do you feel teams try to run away from you? Urlacher: I really don't pay much attention to it. I feel like it is a little bit of both. There are certain defenses where I am going to be on one side and it seems like the play always go the other way and there are times when it comes at me. I really don't pay attention. I can't really tell a lot about that stuff. I guess last year, they ran right at me because we had nobody in the middle. So, I guess that would be obvious to do that. Q: What makes you think the Bears can turn it around from last year? Urlacher: The main thing is that we are healthy. We are back at Soldier Field. We are confident and we have a new quarterback who is confident. We have different stuff that we can do offensively and we are excited. We are doing a few things different on defense. The main thing is that we have everybody back healthy and we are excited to get back out there. Q: What does Kordell Stewart, your new quarterback, bring to the team? Urlacher: It's the same offense because we have the same coordinator, but there are so many things that he can do different. We can run draws or bootlegs. On third down now, guys just can't come after us because if they come after us, he is going to scramble for 20 or 30 yards. Two-man is pretty much out of the picture for defenses now because he can't turn his back on the quarterback. So, there are so many different things that he can do. The main thing is that he is confident. He is always in a good mood and he is always excited about being out there. He's always saying something to get guys going and that is what I like about him. Q: How does your run defense compare to past years? Urlacher: The main thing is that we are more comfortable in what we are doing now. We are doing a lot of different things up front. We are going to try and get more pressure on the quarterback this year without blitzing. We are just going to try and widen our ends and try to get them up the field. As linebackers, we are going to have to get off blocks and make plays, which we didn't do a year ago. We got blocked and we got stuck. Now, we just have to get off blocks and play like we have been doing all preseason. Q: Do you anticipate more of a passing attack coming from the 49ers this season? Urlacher: My No. 1 thing is stopping the run. As a defense, we pride ourselves on stopping the run. If they have to throw it or want to throw it, that is fine with us. My main goal is to stop the run. If we do that and they have to throw it a bunch, then we have done our job. But, up front, we just want to stop the run and if they do decide to pass it up a little bit, we'll use blitzes and stuff like that. Q: Is it hard to prepare for a team who alternates running backs like 49ers? Urlacher: I don't think so. From my perspective, it doesn't matter who is in the backfield to me. You know what they do. You watch film on them all week and it doesn't matter who is back there. They are both good backs and I don't know how they are going to split time or how they will do that, but we will be prepared for both of them. Q: Are you still the No. 1 jersey being sold? Urlacher: I really don't know anymore. I heard that I think last year and the year before. I'm sure (Michael) Vick or someone has overtaken me now ... all the offensive guys. But, I don't have any at home. My daughter may have one, but I don't really keep track of those things too much. My friends and all them have them, but I don't pay attention to them that much. Q: Is that still an honor? Urlacher: It was definitely neat. As a defensive player, it is an honor because most of this game is built around offense. That is what the league sells, offense. It was definitely an honor for people to be buying my jersey. It was very surprising. Q: Does that put a bulls-eye on you in terms offenses trying to get at you? Urlacher: I don't think so. They have their schemes and we have our schemes. Our defense tries to make it where I get free and I'm sure they have stuff where they can block me. But, I don't think that has anything to do with the way teams are going to try and block me. They are going to watch the film and whoever is playing well, they are going to try and block them. Q: Are you still the Monsters of the Midway, or do you have to earn that again? Urlacher: Well, like I said, we need to earn that. We probably lost that a little bit last year. We didn't play too well. So, we got to get that back and just get back to playing physical football like we did a couple years ago. We have the same guys here pretty much and the same mentality. We just need to get back to the team that we were a couple years agoo.
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