Linebacker Dhani Jones an 11-year veteran for the Cincinnati Bengals listed himself at No. 7 last week on NFL Network list of top ten linebackers, but left off seven-time Pro Bowler Brian Urlacher. His answer to why Urlacher was left off the list, Jones replied, “When is the last time Brian Urlacher got off a block?”
Bears LB Nick Roach took Jones’ negative talk about Urlacher to heart.
Here’s what Roach had to say about Jones’ comments and Urlacher’s legacy:
“It’s just funny for somebody to say Urlacher can’t get off a block,” Roach told ESPNChicago.com. “I just have to laugh at things like that because clearly, you’re talking about a multi-time Pro Bowler, who gets talked about in terms of when he is going to make the Hall of Fame, not if. For a player to ask when the last time Urlacher got off a block, to me, that’s just a funny thing to say.
“How can you say he can’t get off a block based on the number of tackles he makes? People who don’t know what they’re looking at might say that, just because teams do have to scheme for Brian, so if a team has a lineman come up and block him and a fullback comes after him, then he might not make a tackle on a certain play. But offenses are preparing for him, in addition to our entire defense, so teams are trying to figure out how they can prevent Brian from making this play. But look at this productivity over all those years.”
“I would have a hard time saying he’s not a Top-10 linebacker just off his résumé alone,” Roach said. “I think it’s hard to leave him off that list whether you really like him or not. His production speaks for itself.
“But Urlacher’s importance to the team and to our defense goes far beyond stats. He is so vital to our defense, that’s way more important to his number of tackles or number of interceptions. Having him out there with us keeps us so revved up, I mean, he’s a great teammate all the way around. Anybody who’s played with him would say that.”
Honestly where does Dhani Jones get off. He has been on three teams in 11 years and has never once been voted to the Pro Bowl. Urlacher has been there seven times.
I know Jones is a media friendly guy, who has been involved in commercials, television shows and other sports, but he isn’t right on this one. Jones is a very good player, but he is nothing like Urlacher.
For Jones to rate himself ahead of Urlacher is a joke. I can understand to a certain degree where he could leave off Urlacher from the list, but for him to put himself over Urlacher is ridiculous.
This will only give Urlacher more motivation heading into the season. Urlacher is a guy who won’t make a big deal out of this, but the media will likely make this a big deal considering the lack of coverage out of the NFL.
Urlacher should just shake it off and focus on what’s ahead of him. This could be Urlacher’s last “real” season in the NFL. By real, I mean a good season because Urlacher is not getting any younger at age 33.
All quotes from ESPNChicago.com
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