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July 18, 2002

Brian Urlacher


MODERATOR: This is Brian's first year here, and Brian was at the player meeting last night where we introduced the New York City Firefighters.

Q. Brian, is this your first time in Tahoe. What's your impression and how do you like the course?

BRIAN URLACHER: I'm just happy to be here. It's a great course. I played yesterday; didn't get a chance to play today yet. It's pretty tight. There's a lot of water. I'm happy to be here. I'm kind of starstruck looking at all of these people, but I guess I'm just happy to be here.

Q. Talk about the upcoming season with the realignment of the NFL. How do you think that is going to help the NFL as a whole, and talk about your playoff chances again?

BRIAN URLACHER: I don't really know how it's going to help the NFL. One new team; that's the only reason it's going to help. We lost Tampa, but we still have the toughest division in football: Us, Green Bay, Minnesota and Detroit. It's going to a dogfight every year in our division. I don't think realignment hurt us too much.

Q. Seeing all of the QBs and running backs here, is that making you antsy?

BRIAN URLACHER: No. We're close to camp, but this is golf and a big difference between golf and football. I know all of the QBs are good golfers. In the off-season, all they do is play golf. This don't have to work out.

Q. You guys have four night games this year, three Monday night and a Sunday night. It's a big jump from last year, can you talk about that and what's the big games?

BRIAN URLACHER: Monday night, Saturday I think we have three of them. I think it will be good for our football team to be seen national like that, since it's always nice if you can get prime time television, it's a good chance for our players to be even. A lot of our players, nobody knows about them, so it's a good chance for them to showcase their challenge.

Q. What games are you looking forward to?

BRIAN URLACHER: All of them. (Laughs) It's been a long off-season, I'm tired of working out, doing the same thing every day. So I'm ready to start playing again.

Q. Tell us what you learned losing in the first round of the playoffs last year.

BRIAN URLACHER: We're a young team, obviously. I think the main thing is just experience in big games. We had three big games last year, I thought; two against Green Bay that were first place in the division, the playoff game. We lost all three of them. Main thing is we got a bunch of experience out of that game and now we won't get so uptight. Hopefully, we can play better, in a nutshell.

Q. Do you wish you were going to play Dallas this year, with Emmitt Smith about 590 yards away from breaking the record?

BRIAN URLACHER: Be nice to shut him down, keep him from getting the record. But as a Bear player, you want Walter to have had a record for all time, but we know it's going to get broken. Emmitt is a great player and he deserves it. He's obviously had a long, great career and he deserves it. Good for him.

Q. Do you think playing at Champagne, it will be different for you guys, but will it affect your playing at all?

BRIAN URLACHER: I don't think so. It's 16 road games, we're traveling every weekend. We have a lot of good friends in that part of the state, so we'll go down and play hard every weekend. I don't think it will be that much of a difference for us.

Q. Is it something that guys have talked about?

BRIAN URLACHER: Not really. As players, we don't really care where we play, as long as we have a stadium and we're happy, that's the way I feel. We know we are going to travel every week and you get used to that. We don't really care where we play, to tell you the truth. We'd like to be at Soldier Field, but down the road we'll be fine. We'll still have great fan support and that's the main thing.

Q. You guys have made a lot of off-season moves to improve the team a little bit. Can you just talk about that, the improvements on defense seems to be getting better, Chandler as a backup and Terrell is in his second year?

BRIAN URLACHER: Obviously, we have a bunch of good players coming back and they solidified that, by signing three of our star players and locked them up for a little while, that's good. We had some good backups we added. That's the main thing; you can have injuries through the season, and as long as you have good depth you'll be fine. We have a bunch of good backups.

And I think we did good in the draft, too. We addressed some positions that needed to be addressed, and we did a good job at the draft.

Q. What do you do in Tahoe when you're not over here golfing?

BRIAN URLACHER: Nothing. Hang out at the casino with my wife or go to a movie or something. This is my first time here. We've only been here a few days, but we've been so tired we've just been going to bed. Just go to a movie and do some of the functions they have for the golf tournament.

Q. Are you going to talk to A Train (ph) talking about what it's like going into the so-called "sophomore year"; sometimes there's a letdown that second year?

BRIAN URLACHER: I won't say anything to him. He's a smart guy, and he's older than I am -- I think he is. He's a smart guy. He knows what he's doing out there and I'm sure -- main thing is just keeping the offensive lineman healthy, and especially him as a running back, and as long as we do that we'll have a great year because he's a great running back. He's a good player. He only played really 10 games last year and he had 1,100 yards; so if he plays 16 and has anything close to that, we'll be happy.

Q. Your head was in your hands after the loss against Philadelphia, are you ready for next season, do you get over that?

BRIAN URLACHER: You forget pretty quick. At least that's what I do. We'll play them next year.

Q. Looking forward to that?

BRIAN URLACHER: Clear the bench hopefully if we can win that game. Just looking forward to playing again. The season was over abruptly. We didn't expect to lose that game. We thought we were going to win for sure. We didn't play the way we wanted to and we got whacked, so have to come back and redo it this career.

Q. Is golf taking over basketball as a second love?

BRIAN URLACHER: I haven't played basketball all off-season. It's better; I don't get hurt that way. I love golf, ever since I started playing. It's a fun game.

End of FastScripts....

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