When Bears Chairman George McCaskey said indirectly on Tuesday that the door was not locked for a return by linebacker Brian Urlacher, it caused a bit of a stir.
So it was worth talking about with Dan Bernstein and Terry Boers on WSCR-AM 670’s “The Boers & Bernstein Show” Tuesday afternoon.
What to make of McCaskey’s comments? My first thought was that McCaskey very well could have issued a warm, fuzzy no-way on Urlacher ever being welcomed back to the fold. He didn’t. In fact, he reached out to No. 54 after the rupture in contract talks, and he also said he hadn’t heard of some of the un-fuzzy sentiments expressed by Urlacher. Whether he had or not, he wasn’t holding anything against the former franchise fixture.
As far as being wary of public utterances, the Score guys do have some considerable experience sorting through remarks for what’s real and what’s not. Dan covered the Bears under Dave Wannstedt while Terry has covered a spectrum of these situations as a beat writer and columnist.
So if the Bears genuinely didn’t want Urlacher back, my first thought is that they don’t put an offer out there with $1 million guaranteed. And they don’t do it when no one else has made an offer in a market where a minimum offer would have been half what the Bears put on the table.
Urlacher wasn’t pleased that the Bears led with their best/only/final offer. But we agreed that the Bears weren’t bidding against anyone, so it would have been surprising if they had upped the offer.
Terry mentioned the Ed Reed situation in Baltimore, where the story is that coach John Harbaugh didn’t want Reed back. The Ravens didn’t contest the deal that the Houston Texans put in front of Reed, and which he took. That is the sort of thing you do when you don’t want someone back. The Bears weren’t faced with an offer higher than theirs.
Take on Trestman?
Since there hasn’t been a lot of public interaction with Marc Trestman, the guys were curious about my take on the Bears new coach. They’ve used the word “weird” for one impression. Not sure about that.
The one first impression I’ve had has been “thorough,” which I conceded may sound bland, but it’s not. Players seriously appreciate coaches who work at max levels trying to help the players get better and be successful.
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A remark that struck me in Trestman’s initial press event was his statement that players will not want for anything in game plans. They will believe in the plans they get each week. That type of thing resonates with players.
And like I told Terry, if we’re talking “weird,” has he been to our press room at Halas Hall lately? Or hey, c’mon by my place sometime.