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Former Bears LB Urlacher earns Hall of Fame honor

New Pro Football Hall of Famer Brian Urlacher discussing strategy with then Bears head coach Lovie Smith.

New Pro Football Hall of Famer Brian Urlacher discussing strategy with then Bears head coach Lovie Smith.

Former Chicago Bears Linebacker Brian Urlacher, who symbolized pro football’s modern player with his speed and range, became the 28th player in franchise history to be elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame Saturday evening. Urlacher was elected in his first year of eligibility and gives the Bears the most players to be enshrined in the Canton, Ohio museum.

Urlacher led the Chicago attack unit during former head coach Lovie Smith’s tenure. Unlike the Hall of Fame Bears Linebackers who preceded him (Bill George, Dick Butkus, and Mike Singletary), Urlacher was cut from a different cloth. Smith’s “Cover-2″ defensive scheme fit Urlacher’s skill set perfectly. Measuring 6-feet-4, 255 pounds with 4.6 40-yard dash speed, he combined rare size, speed, and athletic ability to dominate opponents. His range, coverage skills and playmaking prowess were on display during a 13-year career that included a Defensive Player of the Year award, Defensive Rookie Of The Year, five All-Pro and eight Pro Bowl selections. Chicago won four division championships and made trips to the Super Bowl and NFC Championship game during Urlacher’s era. READ MORE

Nagy builds Bears staff with teachers


As new Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy rounds out his initial coaching staff, a reoccurring theme shines through. Each of the new assistants brought on board have reputations as strong teachers of the game.  With some positional coaches yet to be named, the makeup of the staff demonstrates a blend of experience and youth.

Nagy’s first win was retaining Defensive Coordinator Vic Fangio. Fangio’s decision to remain with the Bears on a three-year contract gives both credibility and continuity to Nagy and the franchise. While there is work to be done on that side of the ball, the defensive unit has improved measurably from what Fangio inherited. He’ll have an opportunity to further develop a young corps that includes Leonard Floyd, Eddie Goldman, Eddie Jackson, and Akiem Hicks, among others. It is hoped that several of Fangio’s defensive assistants, including secondary coach Ed Donatell, return. READ MORE

Bears aggressive in naming Nagy 16th head coach

Nagy (right) learned under long-time NFL coach Andy Reid.

Nagy (right) learned under long-time NFL coach Andy Reid.

The Chicago Bears acted aggressively, and somewhat surprisingly, in targeting and landing former Kansas City Chiefs Offensive Coordinator Matt Nagy as the team’s new head coach. The 39 year-old Nagy comes with limited experience but has mentored under one of the NFL’s most-respected head coaches in Andy Reid. He’ll be formally introduced in a Tuesday press conference at Halas Hall.

Nagy’s meteoric rise up the coaching charts mirrors the Los Angeles Rams hiring of Sean McVay last season, a move that paid immediate dividends with a NFC West title. Whether the Bears can capture lightening in a bottle remains to be seen. Just ten years ago, Nagy was selling real estate in the Philadelphia area after a six-year playing career in the Arena Football League prior to accepting a coaching intern position under Reid with Philadelphia.  He progressed through the Eagles organization and accompanied Reid to Kansas City where he became the Chiefs QB coach and most recently served as the Offensive Coordinator the last two seasons. READ MORE