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Chicago Bears linebacker Lance Briggs said he understands why Brian Urlacher expressed frustration with fans at Soldier Field who booed the home team.
After the Bears lost 21-13 to the Green Bay Packers last Sunday -- their fifth loss in the last six games -- Urlacher said the booing was "unbelievable." The comments drew the ire of many fans and the attention of the national media, but Briggs didn't soften the tone Tuesday during his weekly "The Lance Briggs Show" on Comcast SportsNet Chicago.
"Some people think the way it came off, they might be upset about it," Briggs said. "But I understand where he's coming from.
"I've been here for a long time, too (his entire 10-year career), and I've seen a lot of boos, for a lot of wrong reasons."
Briggs didn't elaborate on what he meant by the "wrong reasons," but he did imply the decision to boo may be based on a lack of understanding.
"Nobody, on any team I've ever been on, gets booed more at home than here in Chicago," he said. "And that's also a point to the passion of Chicago fans. Everyone is passionate, but everyone in Chicago doesn't know how to run a football team and doesn't know how to play on a professional football team. It's our job to do that."
Urlacher was unable to play Sunday because of an injured hamstring. It's possible he'll miss the last two regular-season games, which are both on the road, and considering he'll be a free agent after the season, it's possible he's played his last game for the Bears after playing his entire 13-year career in Chicago.
During his weekly segment on Fox Chicago on Sunday, Urlacher was asked whether he contemplated the possibility that standing on the sideline last Sunday could have been the last time he'd represent the Bears at Soldier Field. When the linebacker answered, he grew increasingly sarcastic when talking about the fans.
"No, I didn't think about that," he said. "Our crowd was pretty good today for the most part. They were loud for a minute there. The boos were really loud, which is always nice. The only team in our division to get booed at home is us. It's unbelievable to me."
Urlacher was asked whether the issue is discussed internally.
"It's not going to change," he said. "If we talk about it, then the media says, 'You're blaming the fans for losing. You're doing this. You're blaming the refs for losing.' We lost that football game. Every football game we play in, we lose, it's nobody's fault but ours, but we're allowed to say what we want."
He also defended coach Lovie Smith against critics in the media and among fans who believe the Bears will need a new coach if they fail to make the playoffs for the fifth time in six years.
"Two of the people I don't care about, fans or the media," Urlacher said. "They can say what they want to about our head coach, about our players. It does bother me because those people don't know what they're talking about, obviously.
"I know there are a bunch of experts in the media, and there are a bunch of smart guys out there who know exactly what they're talking about all the time. But they don't know what they're talking about."
Conversely, quarterback Jay Cutler said he understood the fans' reaction to the team's losing streak. And he also said the team has given the media reason to criticize.
"Frustration sets in," he said during "The Jay Cutler Show" on ESPN 1000. "You're at a point in the season when you're on a little skid. I know Brian's frustrated he can't be out there and help us, and do that. So I think everyone in that locker room is supporting Lovie, and we'll see what happens.
"That's the last of our worries. We have to worry about Arizona."
As far as the fans and media, Cutler said: "I'm jaded by it. I don't understand why we're going to get frustrated with it at this point.
"The fans they have a reason to boo; we're not playing well. You can't blame them. The media, we're giving them a lot of ammo right now -- guys are doing a lot of talking and we're not playing very well. At the end of the day, it falls back on us."