(WSCR) The Bears’ decision to not bring veteran linebacker Brian Urlacher back understandably upset the team’s fan base.

Urlacher spent 13 seasons with the Bears, putting together a Hall of Fame career and cementing himself as the face of the franchise.

So when the Bears chose to go in a different direction, one former Bears linebacker wasn’t thrilled with the decision.

“I’ll be honest, I was disappointed,” former Bears linebacker and Super Bowl champion Ron Rivera told The Mully and Hanley Show. “I would have loved to have seen Brian, a player of his stature, have that one last good bye. Then again, kind of in Brian fashion, he probably would not have wanted a lot of fanfare. In five more seasons when he gets elected into the Hall of Fame there will be a lot of fanfare and deservedly so.

“I really wish he could have gone out as a Bear and knowing that this was it for him. It’s just too bad, but you know, Brian will be fine, and he’ll go forward, and hopefully my paths will cross with him again.”

Though he said the decision was difficult to swallow, Rivera understands why the Bears did what they did.

“I’m being sentimental. I know the team had to do what was best for them and at the same time I’ve always been a huge Brian Urlacher fan. A lot of people don’t get to know who he is as a person, but if you’re in behind the scenes, and you watched the way he handled his teammates, the way he was so generous with the coaches, and just the people around him that he got to know, I think a lot of people that don’t understand would understand him better.”

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