Stud of the Week: Brian Urlacher

The Bears needed to put on a good performance at home Friday night against the Chargers after last week's disappointment in San Francisco, and reigning Defensive Player of the Year Brian Urlacher started the game with a bang early in the first quarter when he intercepted Philip Rivers and sprinted to paydirt for a touchdown. He earns the Bear Report Stud of the Week award.

There is very little else for Brian Urlacher to accomplish. Now in his seventh season out of New Mexico, the linebacker already has Defensive Rookie of the Year, five Pro Bowl selections, and last season's crowning jewel, Defensive Player of the Year, on his incredible resume. With three tackles to go along with that pick-six that started the game off on the right foot for the Bears Friday night, Urlacher now needs to make room on the mantle for his first Bear Report Stud of the Week award this year. It probably won't be the last.

For the second consecutive preseason game, the first team defense allowed the opponent to move the ball fairly well between the 20's, but they clamped down when they needed to and have not allowed a touchdown to be scored while they were on the field. After doing absolutely no game-planning for the 49ers and looking as plain vanilla as possible last week, defensive coordinator Ron Turner was allowed to have some fun against San Diego, and his unit responded with a solid effort. Urlacher set the tone early by stepping in front of all-world tight end Antonio Gates on a 3rd-and-8 play and putting the Bears ahead 7-0 with 13:29 still left in the first quarter.

Now Rivers did complete 9-of-14 passes for 75 yards, but almost all of his completions came on check-down passes to running backs. Michael Turner, starting at tailback in place of the resting LaDainian Tomlison, ripped off a 45-yard run thanks to some sloppy tackling, but aside from that, he gained 10 yards on five carries. Urlacher & Company will looks to continue their strong play in Week 3 of the preseason at home against Arizona.

JC


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