Monday, August 12, 2013
Rookie LB Greene anxious to shed No. 60
Chicago Bears rookie Khaseem Greene isn't thrilled to be wearing No. 60, an unusual number for a linebacker, but when it comes time to pick a new number once the 53-man roster is set there's one available that he won't even consider.
"I'm not touching 54, no sir," Greene told "Carmen & Jurko" on ESPN Chicago 1000 on Monday, referring to the number worn by retired Bears icon Brian Urlacher.
The Bears, who have retired more numbers (14) than any other franchise in the NFL, announced recently that former coach and tight end Mike Ditka's No. 89 will be the last number retired for the foreseeable future. That means Urlacher's 54 is technically available but likely won't be put back into circulation for several seasons. James Anderson will be the first Bear to wear Mike Singletary's No. 50 since the Hall of Fame linebacker retired in 1992.
A fourth-round choice out of Rutgers in April, Greene said he is looking forward to switching to a number more appropriate for a linebacker, typically in the 50s.
"At first I was pretty upset, I'm not going to lie," Greene said of getting No. 60. "Afterwards it was just like 'I gotta play no matter if I have 60 on or 150. I gotta go out there and play.' The guys are trying to get me to keep it and trying to tell me I look good but I can't keep this."
Greene, who led the Bears with five total tackles in their preseason-opening loss to the Carolina Panthers on Friday, said he has learned a lot in his first NFL camp.
"Being able to get the teaching and the coaching I've gotten has helped me a lot from the first day that we practiced to now I can feel myself growing and feel myself starting to see stuff and react faster," Greene said.