It really is amazing what can happen when a gifted athlete is forced to sit and watch the action around him. Most players usually learn something when an injury costs them a year on the sideline. For Urlacher -- who was lost for the 2009 season after playing a half game in a Week 1 loss to the Green Bay Packers -- the lesson was that it truly hurt to be useless when you're the face of a franchise.
He essentially spent all of last season as a glorified, grumpy cheerleader.
Yet there was one unforeseeable reward from that year: It gave Urlacher more reason than ever to prove what made him great in the first place.