Brian Urlacher spent 13 seasons in the NFL with the Bears, and knows football is a violent game. His 9-year-old son currently plays flag football, and when he's old enough — regardless of the NFL's ongoing concussion settlement — the former Bears linebacker said that wouldn't stop him from allowing his son to play tackle football.
"Yeah, for sure," Urlacher said on The Dan Patrick Show on Friday. "By the time he gets old enough to play, it's going to be flag anyway, so he'll be fine with concussions and stuff because he's not going to be able to tackle by the time he's old enough anyway. With the direction it's going, it's just getting less and less physical, so I think by the time he starts playing tackle, there won't be harder collisions so he'll be just fine."
When it comes to violent collisions, Urlacher said there's no way around it. But he also said some of the legal hits are now being flagged based on the impact of them, which doesn't sit well with him.
"Football is [always] going to be a violent sport, that's all there is to it. That's why people love it," Urlacher said. "They want to see touchdowns and big hits. And I get why football is being made the way it is because of safety, but the big hits are fun. The thing that makes me mad about some of the big hits is it happens so fast that the refs just throw the flag right away. ... It looks bad, but it's a legal hit, but the refs are throwing the flag anyway."
As a former linebacker, Urlacher said "of course I'm going to say yes" on whether he believes the NFL is overprotecting its quarterbacks. But he also admits he understands the reasoning behind it.
"Fans want to see points scored and if those guys are standing upright most of the time, those guys are going to be scoring points, so I get that rule as well," Urlacher said. "I don't like it, but I understand it."
As for Urlacher's playing career, the 36-year-old doesn't have any plans to come out of retirement. Unless...
"I won't say 'heck no,' but there's a couple situations I would think about playing," he said. "But it would have to be a really good situation."