BOURBONNAIS, Ill. -- A baseball cap during OTAs and various times during the offseason was not the head-wear the Bears or Urlacher want to see the franchise middle linebacker in and that wont be happening too often during training camp.
Urlacher was recovering from a knee injury suffered in the season-ending win at Minnesota. Now hes healthy, by his and others statements, and clear about what he expects out of 2012:
I really think we can do it this year, Urlacher said in a predictable but still noteworthy bit of goal-setting. There was no subtle hedging, just a straightforward talent assessment from someone who has seen 12 previous Bears teams at this point of the season.
We always say it because its the right thing to say. But I mean, were stacked at every position. Anytime you add Brandon Marshall, Michael Bush, our defense is healthy again which is a big deal for us and then Jay Cutler being back healthy, it is a big deal.
The big deal indeed is defense is healthy because Urlacher was speaking about himself. His left knee was sprained on Jan. 1 and at 34, bodies dont always heal as well as or as fast as when theyre younger.
But the Bears have no reservations with Urlacher and neither does he.
Hes ready to go, coach Lovie Smith said. Were cautious with players when theyre not fit and full-speed ready to go, but once we get them out there, were never trying to take out any of our players in practice.
You have to know how to practice, first off, to try to avoid injuries. I feel like we can do that, and if injuries happen, they just kind of happen. Brian has missed a lot of time, and just like we talk about with Matt Forte, I know hes anxious to get back out there and were anxious to get him out there.