After playing his entire 13-year
Sept. 17, 2000: N.Y.
URLACHER: 13 tackles, first career sack
A safety-turned-linebacker in college, Urlacher's Bears career began with him as a backup outside linebacker. That didn't last long. When starting middle linebacker Barry Minter got hurt in Week 2, Urlacher slid over to the middle in Week 3 and never relinquished the job.
QUOTABLE: "I remember the first [practice] they moved 'Lach to middle linebacker," Olin Kreutz told the Tribune years later. "His first play, I jumped out to try to block him. He ran by me like I wasn't even there."
Oct. 7, 2001: Bears 31, Atlanta 3
URLACHER: 5 tackles, sack, interception, forced fumble, fumble return for TD
Urlacher always played well against
QUOTABLE: "We put in some new stuff [for the Falcsons]," Urlacher said. "It was designed to confuse Chandler, but on Vick it worked even better."
Oct. 16, 2005: Bears 28,
URLACHER: 9 tackles, 2 sacks
Urlacher won the NFL's Defensive Player of the Year award in 2005, once again leading a top-ranked Bears D. Perhaps his best game was against Minnesota in October, when he dragged the 6-foot-4, 264-pound Daunte Culepper to the turf for two huge sacks.
QUOTABLE: "[Defensive Coordinator Ron Rivera] turned us loose today," Urlacher said. "He called a bunch of blitzes—they worked. We flew around and had a good time."
Oct. 16, 2006: Bears 24, Arizona 23
URLACHER: 19 tackles, 2 passes defended, forced fumble
The quintessential Urlacher game, and one of the greatest comebacks in Bears history. Urlacher's heroics – including 19 tackles – prompted a tirade from
@AZCardinals: "You were who we thought you were. Congrats. RT @BUrlacher54: It was an honor to play my entire career for the @ChicagoBears."
QUOTABLE: "First of all, they weren't blocking me. So that was easy," Urlacher said after the game.
Nov. 4, 2012: Bears 51, Tennessee 20
URLACHER: 7 tackles, forced fumble, interception for TD
In his final NFL season, Urlacher was still a top talent at middle linebacker. He was slower, to be sure, but that didn't stop him from playing a marvelous game against the
QUOTABLE: "He said [before the game], 'It would be nice to get a touchdown,'" teammate Charles Tillman said. "I said, 'Hey, call it, man. The tongue has the power of life and death. Call it, say it, speak it, believe it.' He did and he got in the end zone."
Jack M Silverstein is a RedEye special contributor. @readjack