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BBAO: Dhani Jones' controversial opinion

6/22/2011

We're Black and Blue All Over:

Dhani Jones is a journeyman NFL linebacker who is promoting a book. Why so many people are worked up about his opinion on the best players at his position is beyond me.

As you know by now, Jones did not include Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher among his top 10 and, in an interview with the NFL Network, asked when Urlacher had last gotten off a block. There is no doubt that Urlacher's best days are behind him, and that taking on offensive linemen isn't his strong suit, but I think anyone who watched the Bears last season know he played at a high level.

Jones' comments spurred a Hot Button debate from our friends at ESPNChicago.com. Jon Greenberg put Urlacher at No. 12 on his list. For what it's worth, ESPN.com ranked Urlacher No. 8 in its offseason positional Power Rankings.

Ultimately, I'm on board with Jeff Dickerson's take: "Here's the easiest way to sum up Brian Urlacher's importance at the linebacker position for the Chicago Bears: When he doesn't play, they lose. The Bears went 0-7 without Urlacher running the defense in 2004, and 7-9 in 2009 when a wrist injury sidelined the middle linebacker for roughly the entire season. The following seasons after those injuries, the Bears won the division (2005, '10), due in large part to the play of a healthy Urlacher."

Continuing around the NFC North:

  • Former Bears running back Garrett Wolfe won't face felony charges as part of an arrest in Miami last month, according to Dickerson.

  • With the rules of free agency becoming more evident, Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com thinks it is very unlikely that left guard Daryn Colledge will return to the Green Bay Packers. Wilde takes a look at the Packers' free-agent class in the context of the expected rules.

  • Former Packers quarterback Lynn Dickey is still popular among older Packers fans, writes Jon Gast of the Green Bay Press-Gazette.

  • Tom Pelissero of 1500ESPN.com: "Barring a surprise change, 17 players who finished last season on the Minnesota Vikings' 53-man roster or injured reserve would become unrestricted whenever the league year begins, with [Sidney] Rice and [Ray] Edwards the highest-profile."

  • The franchise tag that the Vikings put on linebacker Chad Greenway is expected to translate into the new agreement, writes Judd Zulgad of the Star Tribune.

  • Re-signed cornerback Chris Houston, who will be an unrestricted free agent, remains one of the Detroit Lions' top priorities. Tim Twentyman of the Detroit News has more.

  • Lions players believe they have a tight locker room, writes Carlos Monarrez of the Detroit Free Press.