Bears

Aaron Rodgers: Bears' Brian Urlacher had 'super inappropriate' checks vs. the Packers

Aaron Rodgers: Bears' Brian Urlacher had 'super inappropriate' checks vs. the Packers

There’s plenty of history between the Bears and the Green Bay Packers. Aaron Rodgers shared some inappropriate history in the storied rivalry ahead of the team’s meeting on Sunday.

On Wednesday, Rodgers was asked if he had any favorite Bears players, either from the past or one to play against. His answer was Brian Urlacher.

“I have a ton of respect for him,” Rodgers said of Urlacher. “I’ve gotten to know him off the field. Now I like him a lot more now that he’s not sacking me or picking me off. He got me a couple times over the years. I did tackle him one time though. It wasn’t much of a tackle, but he fell, thankfully, on that play. I have a ton of respect for his game and what he accomplished in the league.”

From when Rodgers took over the starting job for the Packers in 2008 until Urlacher retired after the 2012 season, they played nine games, including playoffs, against each other. Rodgers’ Packers won seven of those, but Urlacher did manage three interceptions and had 1.5 sacks of Rodgers.

Rodgers continued his story with something from the 2009 season opener in Green Bay. Urlacher was apparently trying to mess with Rodgers when it came to checking plays.

“Every time I checked, he checked to something,” Rodgers said. “The checks he was saying were super inappropriate. I think it was pre-micing up of the guards where every single word was heard because I promise you, if that had happened today, some of that stuff would have had to get bleeped out, but we had a lot of fun with it.”

The two have golfed together since Urlacher’s retirement and Rodgers brought that game up to Urlacher. That gave him an opportunity to figure out what the deal was.

“We joked about some of those checks,” Rodgers said. “I can still remember some of the crazy stuff he was saying out there and I always wondered was any of that stuff real or were you just effing around? We had some good laughs about that, but he was a lot of fun to play against and a great player.”

Urlacher didn’t have a big individual impact on that game. He had three tackles and one quarterback hit. The Packers won 21-15.

As for if the inappropriate checks were legit, Urlacher claimed he was on to the Packers’ checks.

“He said a lot of them were real,” Rodgers said. “They would come up with it specifically for Packers week. I told him we were dummy checking on him sometimes, but he said that he had a beat on when we were checking and they would come up with specific dirty checks to combat anything we were trying to do.”

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Did Patriots owner Robert Kraft crush Bears' hope for Tom Brady?

Did Patriots owner Robert Kraft crush Bears' hope for Tom Brady?

The Bears are one of the first teams mentioned when speculation about where New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady could play in 2020. The Bears are the most quarterback-needy club that also has a chance to make a Super Bowl run with a player like Brady under center, so it's logical to assume the soon-to-be free agent will at least entertain the idea of playing home games at Soldier Field next year.

Much of what happens with Brady will come down to how the Patriots view the 42-year-old (he'll be 43 at the start of next season). If all things are equal, and New England makes him a fair offer to come back, it's likely Brady would return to the only franchise he's ever played for. And if owner Robert Kraft's recent comments are sincere, it's more than likely that he will.

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Kraft, who was in New York City on Tuesday, was asked by TMZ reporters whether the Patriots will re-sign Brady this offseason. His response? 

"We plan to," Kraft said.

Well, there you have it, right? If the Patriots plan to re-sign Brady, then the Patriots are going to re-sign Brady; assuming, of course, you believe what Kraft is saying in January before New England's decision-makers have had enough time to assess their quarterback situation with, and maybe without, No. 12 under center.

Brady is coming off of one of his worst seasons as a pro, which is saying something considering he's been playing for two decades. His completion percentage was the lowest it's been in six years, his yardage total was the second-lowest in the last 10 years, and his 24 touchdown passes were the fewest he's thrown in a season since 2006. 

It's natural to wonder whether Father Time has finally caught up to him. Maybe, however, his down year was a result of lacking talent at wide receiver and tight end. Regardless of the reason, his 2019 campaign has called into question where he'll be in 2020.

But there are those three words Kraft said — 'we plan to' — that can't be ignored. At the very least, Bears fans can't get their hopes up. The Patriots tend to get what they want, and if they want Brady back in 2020, they'll have him.

Bears showing strong interest in Dayton TE Adam Trautman

Bears showing strong interest in Dayton TE Adam Trautman

Add Dayton tight end Adam Trautman  to the growing list of tight ends the Bears have met with at the 2020 Senior Bowl.

After confirming Purdue's Brycen Hopkins and Vanderbilt's Jared Pinkney spent time with Bears scouts (in the case of Pinkney, nearly 35 minutes), Trautman told NFL.com's Chase Goodbread that Chicago's scouts have expressed a strong interest in his skill set.

"They're interested in me," Trautman said of the Bears. "They tell me they like what they see."

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Trautman had one of the best lines of the week when he said he prefers driving opposing defenders into the ground against their will over scoring touchdowns, and at a well-built 6-foot-5, 251 pounds, he has the perfect physical makeup to project as a guy who will do that on the next level. He needs development in that area of his game (run blocker), but his 'want-to' is half the battle.

Trautman wasn't the best tight end this week, but he was far from the worst. He's been consistent, and for a team like the Bears who are searching for a tight end who can be relied on as a second-level target for whoever is playing quarterback in Matt Nagy's offense, Trautman's consistency will be viewed as a plus.

Trautman had 916 yards and 14 touchdowns for Dayton in 2019. Scouts wanted to see whether he could handle the jump in competition at the Senior Bowl, and he's answered that question with a resounding yes.

He projects as a Day 3 pick with upside to develop into a starting quality tight end.