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Another year ticks away for Urlacher, Briggs

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- The bitter sting of the 2011 Chicago Bears season seems to have numbed a bit for Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs, the reality likely having set in weeks ago and last Sunday's mathematical elimination from the playoffs more merciful than anything else.

With a combined 21 seasons nearly behind them, the veteran linebackers even had a rare chance for a laugh or two this week, justifiably enjoying news of their 14th and 15th Pro Bowl berths between them.

Briggs especially enjoyed when one reporter asked him Thursday if he thought the Bears got the message that, as promised, he did not allow his public unhappiness over his contract to affect his play and that it may have even enhanced it.

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