Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Updated: March 22, 3:42 PM ET
Urlacher touts Brandon Marshall
Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher isn't concerned about how Brandon Marshall is going to fit into the locker room -- in fact, he praised Chicago's acquisition of the receiver -- but Urlacher is a bit worried that Marshall's debut with the Bears might be delayed by a suspension.
Marshall was accused by a woman of punching her in the face in a New York City nightclub on March 11. He denied the accusation through his lawyer and said he doesn't believe he'll be suspended. It's not the first off-field incident involving Marshall, but Urlacher doesn't believe the baggage will be a distraction for the Bears.
"It's not a concern," he said on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000. "The only thing I worry about is him getting suspended. The NFL is pretty harsh on stuff like that. That's one thing I worry about, is him missing time.
"But from what I hear, he's a good teammate. I've met him a couple of times. I hear he's a good teammate. That's all I care about. We don't have issues with guys in our locker room. Everyone fits in pretty well in our locker room, and I don't see it being different with him."
As one of the Bears' leaders, Urlacher said he doesn't think it's necessary to reach out to Marshall before OTAs.
"(Quarterback) Jay (Cutler) knows him better than any of us after playing with him a couple years in Denver," Urlacher said. "I don't need to say anything to the guy. He knows what to do and what not to do. I think he gets into some bad situations sometimes, like we all do, but he knows the difference between right and wrong."
News that the Bears acquired Marshall from the Miami Dolphins for two third-round draft picks reached Urlacher while he was on vacation, and he couldn't believe new general manager Phil Emery was able to pull it off.
"I was at Disney World with the kids for spring break," Urlacher said. "We have a guide and he goes, 'We just got Brandon Marshall.' I said, 'We?' He goes, 'yeah,' because he's from Chicago and loves the Bears. I said, 'you're crazy. Who did they trade, Lance Briggs? Because there's no way.' I was being sarcastic. He said, 'No, two third-round picks,' and I couldn't believe it.
"Good job, Phil Emery. That's a great pick-up for us, I think."
Urlacher believes Marshall will have an impact on both sides of the ball.
"Any time you get a player of his caliber ... we didn't get him for nothing, but we basically got him not giving up much, which is really surprising to me for what we got him for," Urlacher said. "It's exciting. We feel we're pretty close as it is. You get a player like that and it's going to help everybody. Not just our offense, but our defense, staying off the field. And our running game. Matt Forte has to be excited, too.
"It's awesome. I played against him. I know how good he is. We have to gameplan for him. We know how that goes. It's great to finally have a guy like that on our team, on our side, and not have to get ready for him every week. This is a good deal for us."