Bears quarterback Jay Cutler knows everyone has an opinion. He just thinks… (E. Jason Wambsgans/Chicago…)
Brian Urlacher made headlines this week when, in response to a question about fans and media calling for a coaching change, the Bears linebacker said: "Two of the people I don't care about: fans or media." He went on to say that the criticism from fans and media bothers him "because those people don't know what they're talking about, obviously." He also criticized Bears fans for booing the team at the end of the first half of Sunday's Bears-Packers game.
Many fans responded unfavorably to Urlacher's comments, but does he have a point? RedEye asked several Bears:
Is there anything you wish fans understood about players and what you do?
Tim Jennings, 7th year in NFL
I just wish they understood that we're human. We're not always going to be perfect. We go out there and work just as hard as anybody else, and we feel we have a lot of pressure on us. So when things don't go right, I wish they would understand that we really do this for fun. We've got family and other concerns outside of football. Even though this is our job, they have to understand that the ownership treats us like it's a business. We go out there and work hard, but also when things don't go too well, they can fire you.
Armando Allen, 2nd year
There are so many things I wish they understood about our day-to-day lives that they don't get to see on Sunday, but I just think you would never understand unless you were physically a part of this organization. It's like a family. It's family for us. We see each other every day, and when people outside of us talk bad about us, we are the ones who have to comfort each other and keep this confidence in the locker room.
Jay Cutler, 8th year
Everyone's got an opinion on how things should be done, what's right, what's wrong. At the end of the day, no one knows what plays we're running, no one knows exactly whose fault it is. So it's tough.
Olindo Mare, 16th year
I mean, [fans] get it. I think they get most of it. [They want] a lot of the same thing as what we want: to win. Obviously the only thing the fans don't get to see is the work and the time that guys put into it and the preparation and the schemes, and how difficult things really are. It's not just about running the ball up the middle, you know what I mean?
Patrick Mannelly, 15th year
Just the amount of hard work and dedication that each person in any sports locker room puts towards their profession. It doesn't seem like the hours are long. I don't think they realize the mental stress. You take it home with you like everybody else takes their work home with them. … Each week is just a different type of stress that we deal with. You have to play to the best of your ability every Sunday, for 16 times, and I don't think people realize what it takes on people not only physically but mentally.
Henry Melton, 4th year
That it's just a game. There is passion for sports, but after everything it is just a game. Unless it's your last year of life, we're going to be back next year. I mean, there are many more years of the Chicago Bears. So it's not that serious. Everybody wants to win, but it's not as serious as people want to make it.
Corey Wootton, 3rd year
I think they almost think that we don't care if we lose, or things like that. But we're working our butts off every game trying to get wins out here. It's tough. Every team out there is trying to get wins. Unfortunately we haven't been able to come up with as many wins as we like, but we're always working towards that, and our goal is to try to win every game.
Special contributor Jack M Silverstein covers the Bears for RedEye. Say hey @ReadJack.
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