Chicago Brian Urlacher doesn’t have an issue with criticism unless it comes from within the Bears family. Such is the case regarding Hall of Famer Gale Sayers recently questioning quarterback Jay Cutler’s ability, putting coach Lovie Smith on the spot and implying Urlacher was getting too old.
“Let me ask you a question: How many championships did Gale Sayers win?” Urlacher told the Chicago Tribune. “How many playoff games did he win when he played? None. None. None.
“Does it bother me? There are enough people throwing daggers at us right now, why does one of our ex-players have to jump in? There are enough experts talking about us, so why does a Bear, an all-time great, have to jump in? I just don’t like that.”
During a speaking engagement May 4 in Nebraska, Sayers said this:
“Cutler hasn’t done the job. Urlacher, I don’t know how good he’s going to be coming back. ... They need a couple wide receivers, a couple defensive backs. ... If Lovie doesn’t do it this year, I think he’s gone. ...”
Although Bears linebacker Urlacher acknowledges Sayers’ individual accomplishments, he has little respect for those opinions.
“... Does (Sayers) know how to win football games? Does he? No. How are you going to criticize someone else when you haven’t done it yourself? He’s one of our own, so that’s why it’s so frustrating.”
Sayers, who played on a 1-13 Bears team in 1969 and did not reach the postseason in seven seasons, responded to Urlacher’s comments when reached by phone.
“When I am asked a question, I have to answer it,” Sayers said during a break from a business trip in Atlanta.
Hall of Fame linebacker Dick Butkus jumped to the defense of his former teammate.
On Thursday, Butkus responded from his Southern California home: “It’s a real reach to say: ‘What did Gale do?’ Urlacher wasn’t even born yet, what does he know?”