By Chris Emma–
(670 The Score) There will soon be 29 linebackers inducted in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Of that group, five played for the Chicago Bears.
Brian Urlacher took great pride in that figure in Minneapolis on Saturday night after he was selected on his first ballot to the 2018 class of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
“It’s unreal,” Urlacher said. “It’s a great thing, a great tradition. If you don’t know about the tradition, that says a lot about it right there. I’m happy to carry it on. It’s great to be here in this position right now.”
The group of five Bears linebackers who are Hall of Famers are George Connor, Bill George, Dick Butkus, Mike Singletary and now Urlacher. The induction of Ravens great Ray Lewis in this 2018 class as well brings the total to 29 linebackers in Canton, Ohio.
If Urlacher has his way, there will be six Bears linebackers in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. In looking to the team’s history at linebacker, Urlacher thought of his good friend and longtime teammate Lance Briggs.
“I don’t think it will end with me anytime soon,” Urlacher said, referring to Briggs. “There’s another guy eligible in a couple years that should be up here as well.”
Urlacher and Briggs are synonymous in Chicago after their 10 years together on the Bears defense. Together, they helped restore the defensive identity in which the city and franchise take great pride.
A seven-time Pro Bowl outside linebacker, Briggs finished his career with 936 tackles, 16 interceptions, 16 forced fumbles and five defensive touchdowns. His role was different from that of Urlacher, who often roamed the middle of the field in Lovie Smith’s schemes, but the statistics are comparable.
Pro Football Reference lists Briggs’ career as most similar to Andre Tippett, Bobby Bell and Kevin Greene, each members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Briggs last played in 2014 and is set for eligibility to the Hall of Fame’s 2020 class. For now, he can make plans for the first weekend of August and a trip to Canton to see Urlacher inducted.