LAKE FOREST -- Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher has 21 career interceptions to Lance Briggs’ 15, but it’s Briggs with current bragging rights having returned two for touchdowns over the last two games.
He’ll try for the trifecta Monday night when the Bears host the Lions, so the topic of who has the best hands on defense came up at Halas Hall on Friday.
“I don’t know who has the best hands, but I’m definitely top 3,” Briggs boasted. “I put myself in the top 3.”
Urlacher followed Briggs at the media podium and had a different view.
“I’m No. 1,” Urlacher joked. “I just never get around the ball.”
When informed that Briggs had only put himself in the top 3, Urlacher backed off.
“He says he’s No.3? Which guys did he put in front of him?” Urlacher asked. “I’m putting myself in front of him.”
Moments later Briggs came into the locker room holding his phone as he read his twitter feed about the exchange with Urlacher.
“He (Urlacher) put himself in the top 3? He’s lying. He’s three or four. I’m top 1 or 2,” Briggs declared.
In all seriousness, Briggs expressed Lovie Smith’s obsession with turnovers -- which lead to points -- as the reason the team has been so adept at it over the years. It’s now ingrained in the defenders.
“We have a score chart for our defense,” he said. “And everybody wants to lead that board and break records on that board.”
Just how much has that obsession rubbed off on the players?
“I think I teach my kids how to recover fumbles and stuff like that,” Briggs stated. “Every time they drop a bottle or a sippy cup ... it's getting ridiculous.”
The Bears have already tied a franchise record for a single season with five interceptions returned for touchdowns. Their 13 picks lead the NFL.