Following critical comments from Green Bay Packers tight end Jermichael Finley about veteran Brian Urlacher, Chicago Bears linebacker Lance Briggs fired back on Thursday after practice to ESPNChicago.com.
"He's an idiot," Briggs said. "Just suit up and play ball. His comments aren't going to change the outcome of the game. They aren't going to help him or anybody play better."
With the two teams set to hit the field this Sunday in a pivotal Week 15 game, Finley publicly said that Urlacher looked "a little slow out there" to Fox Sports Wisconsin's Paul Imig in an interview earlier in the week, prompting the veteran tight end to suggest the Bears may be better without Urlacher in the fold.
Regardless of whether or not Finley intended to rile up his rivals in advance of one of the biggest games of the year, it's clear that those within Chicago's organization know more than anyone just how valuable Urlacher is on a weekly basis. The future Hall of Fame linebacker was hardly bothered by the criticism after hearing Finley's comments as expected, but he still made sure to point out that Finley may need to look in the mirror before throwing stones.
"If he thinks that, that's fine," Urlacher said. "Just like a couple of years ago, I think, he tore his ACL and the Packers were actually better without him. You know, they won the Super Bowl. I hope we can duplicate that as well because it won't hurt my feelings if we go on and win the Super Bowl without me like they did without him."
With Urlacher unable to take care of his own reputation this weekend, it's hard to imagine that Briggs and the rest of the defense won't take every opportunity to shut Finley down on Sunday. The 25-year-old tight end has only been able to find the end zone twice after scoring eight touchdowns last season, and he should expect another tough day at the office with Bears defenders eager to dish out a few hits.