Briggs happy to have Urlacher back

Lake Forest - While the entire team is happy to have Brian Urlacher back on the field, Lance Briggs may benefit the most from the return of the four-time Pro Bowl middle linebacker.

The third-round pick from a year ago started the first 15 games of his career with Brian Urlacher next to him, but due to a hamstring injury that hasn't been the case the past two games.

Despite posting 21 stops (16 solos) in Urlacher's absence and leading the team in tackles, the 6-foot-1, 238-pounder is not satisfied with his performance.

"I've been missing some tackles and there's been nobody there to cleanup. Usually ‘Lack' is there to cleanup or I'll cleanup for him," Briggs said.

At times, it appeared that Briggs tried to do too much and as a result was out of position to make a tackle, which was the case against the Eagles. Brian Westbrook beat him to the corner on more than one occasion because he took a poor pursuit angle.

Without Urlacher, Briggs also hasn't had as many big plays during the course of a game.

"He's definitely a guy you want to raise your level play wherever he is. When I see him running, busting his butt to the ball and I want to do the same thing," Briggs said of Urlacher. "I want to try to get there before he gets there and if we meet there great. Sometimes I overrun plays or I'll attack plays and miss them, but usually Brian is right there if I miss them then Brian is going to hit them."

One of Briggs' goals coming into the 2004 season was to pace the team in tackles. He has a team-high 41 stops through four games, but doesn't feel he the accomplishment has as much meaning because of Urlacher's absence.

"It's kind of cheated the whole goal, but the key is just to keep producing every week," he said.

The duo needs to produce game changing plays with a young defensive line and a beat up secondary.


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