Mike Ditka to Brian Urlacher: 'Move on' from Bears exit


Brian Urlacher raised eyebrows this week when he told NFL.com's Dave Dameshek he'd be "really pissed" if the Chicago Bears win the Super Bowl without him.

We understand where Urlacher's coming from (as does Jay Cutler), but it's also the type of comment that opens the door for justifiable criticism. The Bears' organization made Urlacher a millionaire many times over. He has friends on the team. The fans loved him unconditionally.

Why wouldn't he want that organization and fan base to experience ultimate success?

Ego and competitive spirit play a role, as does publicly stated bad blood with Bears general manager Phil Emery. Mike Ditka, another Bears icon, believes Urlacher should let go of any bitter feelings he has for his former team.

"My advice would be to put it behind you," Ditka told the Chicago Sun-Times on Saturday. "Brian has been such a great player for the Bears and an ambassador for the team. Not many guys get to play 13 years for the same team. Usually, when you change GMs and a new regime comes in, they're going to make tough decisions.

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"Mr. Emery decided that Brian wouldn't be part of the plan," Ditka added. "There's nothing you can do about it. You know, the game of football was very good to Brian, but it owes him nothing now. You just have to move on."

Ditka speaks from a place of experience. The Bears fired him in 1993, ending an 11-year run in which he was named NFL Coach of the Year twice and won one Super Bowl.

Urlacher and the Bears eventually will be in a good place -- it just will take time. For reference, consult the Green Bay Packers-Brett Favre drama.

Follow Dan Hanzus on Twitter @DanHanzus.