There are a lot of Bears that have something to prove this year.
Devin Hester has to prove he’s a number-one receiver. Jay Cutler has to prove he’s ready to be a leader. Rashied Davis has to prove he can actually catch the ball.
And then there’s Brian Urlacher. Remember when he was one of the most feared defensive players in the league? Well, those days are gone. Injuries have made sure that Urlacher will never again be that dynamo that caused opposing offensive coordinators so many headaches. But that doesn’t mean that Urlacher can’t still be a force on the field.
He’ll just have to do it in a different way.
Urlacher has always had trouble shedding blockers. Hopefully, Lovie Smith will use Urlacher’s speed. He sitll has that. And he can still use that to disrupt passing plays and chase down running backs, if Smith figures out a way to get him away from big, meaty blockers.
If Urlacher has an outstanding season, so will the Bears’ defense. If he struggles again, expect the defense to give up its share of long drives and points this season.