Brian Urlacher defends handshake

Updated: November 12, 2012, 1:29 PM ET
ESPNChicago.com

Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher says he doesn't care if fans didn't like him congratulating former teammate and current Houston Texans safety Danieal Manning after Manning intercepted Jay Cutler during Chicago's 13-6 loss on Sunday night.

Manning, who played with Urlacher in Chicago for five seasons, made an immediate impact in his first trip back to Soldier Field, knocking the ball out of Kellen Davis's hands on the Bears' first drive and then intercepting Cutler at the Texans' 6-yard line later in the first quarter.

As Urlacher and the defense came back on the field, cameras showed Urlacher shaking hands with his former teammate.

"That was a nice play. I could give a crap about what people think on the street. Get mad at me all you want, I could give ... I could give a crap about what people say," Urlacher said Monday on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000. "Danieal Manning is a friend of mine, he was a teammate for five or six years, and that's the way it is. He made a catch and was running toward the sideline to say something to Coach, so I walked out there.

"The guy had a good game, he caused a fumble, had a pick. He's my friend. I wish he wouldn't have caught it, but he did, so nice play to you. I don't give a crap about what fans or people say, they can kiss my butt. I don't care."

Urlacher said he views the opposition -- friends included -- as the enemy "between the whistles," but in between plays he's not going to be a "jerk" because he's a "tough guy."

"When the ball is snapped I want to tackle the other guy, the other team is my enemy," Urlacher said. "I don't want any part of being a friend. I'm not going to take it easy on the guy when he catches the football and not try and hit him because he's a friend of mine. It doesn't happen. Take (Panthers tight end) Greg Olsen. If he catches the ball I'm going to try and (tackle him). He knows that, and he's going to try and make me miss. And Greg is a good friend of mine as well.

"When the play is over, it's over. It's not like I have to go out there and be a jerk to him because it's during the game and I'm a tough guy. That's not the way it is. They're my friends. Between the whistles I'm going to try and get them, and when the play is over we'll go back to doing whatever.

"It's just dumb that people think that. 'Why did you help that guy up after you tackled him?' Because I wanted to. What's the big deal? 'Butkus would have never done that.' Well, I'm not Dick Butkus. I'm Brian Urlacher, and sometimes I help people up. Sorry if that (ticks) you off."

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