Brian Urlacher dropped by CBS Sports Radio on Wednesday to discuss numerous topics, including Cam Newton, Super Bowl 50 and, yes, concussions.
Football-related head injuries have obviously come under the microscope, literally and figuratively, in recent years, but Urlacher, who played 13 years in the NFL, isn’t too concerned about his long-term health.
“I don’t think about it, honestly,” he said on Tiki and Tierney. “I had one major concussion in my career. It was in 2003 or 2004. Football is a violent game. It’s always been violent. It’s always going to be violent. I know they’re trying to put rules in to protect the players – and I think they should – but as long as they play, there’s going to be concussions. You can do as much as you can, but they’re still big guys running into each other so they’re going happen. I guess that’s the chance you take when you play football. I would do it all over again. I know a lot of guys say they wish they hadn’t played football. I bet you they liked it when those checks were coming in. They really liked it then. Now it’s easy to go back and say I wish I’d never played football. But I love football. It taught me a lot of things – not just in the NFL, but as a kid in high school and college. Those were some of the best times in my life.”
Urlacher played in one Super Bowl in his career: Super Bowl XLI, which the Bears lost, 29-17, to Peyton Manning and the the Colts. Looking ahead to Super Bowl 50, Urlacher, an eight-time Pro Bowler, raved about Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly and expects both defenses to play a strong game.
Ultimately, though, the game will likely hinge on the play of Peyton Manning and Cam Newton. Manning, 39, may be the greatest quarterback of all time, but Newton, 26, appears poised to become the best quarterback in the game today – if he isn’t already.
Newton has accounted for 50 touchdowns (38 pass, 12 rush) to just 11 interceptions in 18 games this season. He led Carolina to a 14-0 start and will likely be named MVP.
Urlacher was asked which quarterback he would take going forward: Newton or Andrew Luck.
“I would take Cam with his ability to run,” Urlacher said. “I would take Russell Wilson over Andrew Luck, just because of their ability to run the football. It’s such a hard thing to defend when you’re getting ready for a guy. Your pass rushers got to slow down, and Cam throws the ball great now as well. They got him in good situations, so I would take Cam. He’s tough to defend.”