Every morning, the fine folks at Sports Radio Interviews sift through the a.m. drive-time chatter to bring you the best interviews with coaches, players, and personalities across the sports landscape. Today: A 4-1 start will mute a lot of criticism.
Brian Urlacher joined ESPN Chicago with Waddle and Silvy to discuss the Chicago Bears being at 4-1 during the bye week, the defense this year being one of the best units he's played on, the progress of his knee injury, not playing differently because of the injury and Jay Cutler facing more scrutiny than other players in the league.
How good do you feel about your team at 4-1 during the bye week?
"I feel good. I think we played well the last couple of weeks - the last three weeks actually, going back to the St. Louis game. We've gotten better every week. We're protecting our quarterback and stopping the run on defense and we are making big plays, so we can still get better obviously. Everyone is going to say we can get better, but we are playing pretty well and just continue to get better every week."
Does this defense this year have the potential to be the best one you've ever played on?
"I've said it all season, the talent on this defense is better than any team I have been on from position to position. The big plays are just unbelievable right now. I don't know how we are doing it and how Charles Tillman and Lance Briggs are doing it, but every week someone makes a big play for us and they just scored a touchdown against St. Louis, but we are getting pressure and it's fun to watch."
How are you feeling physically? How close to 100 percent is that knee feeling like right now?
"I'm getting better. Every week I'm getting better and better and getting more in shape. Just making plays and I'm still taking a lot of false steps and doings thing I normally don't do, but I gotta get better. I know that. I got a long way to go, but the bye week is definitely going to help with the rest and everything, but I did a lot of rehab for the knee, which is good. Every week I feel like I am getting better and better and I hope I can continue on [with] that trend."
Do you have to play differently because of the knee? Do you do anything differently now?
"No. No. I can do everything I used to be able to do, but maybe my mind has to get used to it because I haven't seen all the plays. In training camp you get used to seeing things and reacting. Now I gotta get back into doing that mode again."
Does Jay Cutler face more scrutiny than other players in the league?
"I don't understand it. I do understand it because people perceive him for what he is, which is what I think. So he gets into a fight on the sidelines. So? It happens all the time. People seem to make a bigger deal when Jay Cutler does it. I can't tell you how many times I've gotten into a fight with Bob Babich on the sidelines, yelling and screaming. I'd wish I'd walk away like Jay did because me and Bob Babich end up getting into a screaming matches on the sidelines. It's not necessary and Jay did the right … I don't know if it's the right thing, but he felt it's what he needed to do. He walked away instead of getting into a screaming match."
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