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Urlacher: Tight Nike jerseys mean glory for Peppers

Brian Urlacher doesn't care whether or not the Chicago Bears' new Nike uniforms offer revised sew lines and vibrant color tweaks.

Photo gallery: Nike unveils new uniforms

He isn't paid to be a clothes horse -- he's paid to wreck quarterbacks -- but the Bears linebacker was noticeably hopeful about the tighter jerseys. Less bagginess means -- in theory -- less holding, which Urlacher believes will free up defensive end Julius Peppers for a wild season.

"Julius is going to get 50 sacks next year," Urlacher told NFL Network on Tuesday at the Nike uniform unveiling.

Urlacher was kidding, but Chicago's need for another solid campaign from Peppers isn't a joke. In his second season with the Bears after eight with the Carolina Panthers, Peppers racked up 11 sacks, tied for 11th-best in the NFL and his most since 2008.

Snug jerseys aside, the Bears must continue to surround Peppers with defensive linemen. Some of the Chicago's younger players, tackle Stephen Paea and end Corey Wootton, were serviceable but far from dominant. Israel Idonije is strong against the run, and Henry Melton was second on the team with seven sacks, but for a unit perceived as a strength, it faltered too often. The team's 33 sacks were tied for 19th in the NFL.

Maybe these new jerseys will unleash monsters, but a couple of spot-on draft picks wouldn't hurt.

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