Locker Room Chat: Brian Urlacher

If any player in the NFL deserves a chance to showcase his skills on the game's biggest stage, it's Brian Urlacher. The All-Pro linebacker will finally get that chance after Sunday's win over New Orleans in the NFC Championship Game. Urlacher addressed the media in the Soldier Field interview room after Sunday's victory, and Bear Report was there to hear what he had to say.

Can you remember the last time an opposing player - Reggie Bush - openly taunted you like that, and what did you think about it?
I think we're going to the Super Bowl.

It didn't bother you?
I didn't see. I mean, I was trying to chase him down from the backside. What did he do? Just point back?

Just pointed.
I'm sure they wish they had won the game instead of pointing at me.

How does it feel that about 95 percent of the national geniuses were saying you guys had no chance and being able to make liars out of them?
We knew what the experts were saying all week long, so it's exciting for us. It doesn't matter what anyone says. We knew what we had to do to win, and we went out and did it. Or offense ran the ball. We stopped the ball. Our special teams covered kicks like they did all year long, and it was a great team win for our franchise.

How much of a momentum swing was the intentional grounding that resulted in the safety?
It was a big play. Right after they got the touchdown, also, and Brad [Maynard] pinned them down there. We got pressure on the first play, and he got rid of it in time. And then the second play, any time we have a chance to score on defense it's big. And then I think we got the ball back, so that was big.

One five-yard penalty, no turnovers, three sacks, three or four fumbles - is that almost close to a perfect game?
We gave up some big plays. On offense, they have good skill players. We gave up some plays, but we never put our heads down. We told ourselves, "Just keep playing hard" every time we went out there, and we did it. We got 11 guys to the football. We got takeaways just like we did all year long and came out on top.

When did you know this was possible? When did you really feel like this team could actually do this?
Training camp. We knew what we had coming back. There was no doubt in any of our minds. We said we wanted to do this all season long. Mini camp, training camp - this was our goal. We haven't completed it yet. We intend to win the game in Miami. We talked about this all season long.

What has Lovie Smith done to make this team a Super Bowl team?
That's all he talks about. He wants to be champs. The guy is amazing. Every game, people find something wrong with our team, something wrong with our defense, our quarterback. We stuck with Rex [Grossman]. We stood behind him all season long just like our team has, but he's a winner. That's what he's done since he's been here. We had a tough first season, but the guy wins. We've taken on his attitude. He never gets too high or too low, always in the middle. He's probably pretty excited right now, but I don't think he ever shows too much emotion, and we don't ever get too far down.

As a former Defensive Player of the Year, what does this mean to you personally?
This overshadows everything. This is why we play the game - to get to the Super Bowl. We want to win it. That's our main goal. This is why we play the game - to go to the Super Bowl.

In the first half, Rex only completed three balls. But then he went 4-for-4 on that touchdown drive after the safety. What kind of vindication was that for him?
It's not about vindication, but we know what he's capable of. We ran the ball really well today. When he has to throw it, he does. Our offensive line gave good protection. A sweet catch on the touchdown [by Bernard Berrian]. Rex has done it all season long. When we asked him to do it, he has. He hasn't had two bad back-to-back games all season long. He's a winner. I don't know what his career record is. I don't care what his stats are. He's a winner.

Do you feel the energy of the city right now?
Our fans are unbelievable. They've been behind us from day one since I've been here. That's all I've seen is support, even when we weren't very good. This is great. I know they're excited about it just like we are. They were all at the stadium when we got up on the podium, so that was great.

You mentioned at the beginning of the week that stopping Deuce McAllister would be tough. Were you surprised today that he was a non-factor?
Yeah. They threw some boots early. That was our No. 1 goal. I think we did a pretty good job of that for the most part. I think when you're down, that kind of dictates what you have to do also. We made some plays in the passing game and kind of took them out of the game.

Can you talk about the game that Ron Rivera called?
He did a good job. We wanted to be aggressive. We talked about that all week long. We thought we could match up their receivers with our corners. We did. Our D-line got a lot of pressure. Our DBs made plays. We dropped a couple passes. I think we should have caught interceptions. We were put in some bad situations by ourselves. They did a good job all game long of covering them.

Have you talked to Mike Brown yet?
Every day.

I mean, today did you say anything to him after the game?
I talked to him all game long. You know how Mike is. He's always talking. This is great. I wish he was out there playing with us. He's the one guy that I wish could be playing with us. Every time he's out of the game, we miss him. He's still telling us how bad we are when we're not playing well. I wish he was out there, but this is great for him also. He's a big part of this team also.

You guys have heard so much about the 1985 Bears and the hold they've had on this city. How nice would it be for you to put that behind you?
We haven't done it yet. We don't want to put it behind us, but this for our franchise is big. They're a big part of this city, and what they did in `85 was huge. We have an opportunity to do that right now. We're excited to have the opportunity, kind of put maybe those guys in the background for a while, give us a chance to celebrate a little bit.

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