Urlacher always in the middle for the Bears

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Brian Urlacher retired after 13 NFL seasons. He was an eight-time Pro Bowler and the Bears' all-time leading tackler, according to the team.Chicago Bears middle linebacker Brian Urlacher has announced his retirement after 13 NFL seasons. He’s one of four players in NFL history with 40 sacks and 20 interceptions (sacks became an official statistic in 1982).

40 Sacks and 20 Int - NFL History

He was an eight-time Pro Bowler and the all-time leading tackler in Bears history (according to the team).

He’s in the top 10 in franchise history in games played and sacks, and he’s tied for 11th in interceptions.

Urlacher is one of just seven players in NFL history to win the Defensive Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year in his career.

Of the six others, three are in the Hall of Fame and two of the remaining three are still active players.

Hall-of-Famers Mike Singletary (10) and Walter Payton (nine) are the only Bears players with more Pro Bowl selections than Urlacher, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Bears Defense Last Season
With/Without Urlacher

Urlacher’s value showed when he missed the last four games of the season in 2012, the Bears defense struggled.

Over the past four seasons, Chicago allowed a Total QBR of 39.5 with Urlacher on the field and a 60.1 Total QBR with Urlacher off the field.

During Urlacher's tenure with the Bears, which began in 2000, Chicago's defense was in the top five in the NFL in points per game, third-down percentage and takeaways.

Urlacher is part of a long line of elite linebackers the team has produced over the years. Look how he stacks up to some other Hall of Fame Bears linebackers.

Notable Bears Middle Linebackers