Brian Urlacher feels the 49ers’ pain.
The former Bears linebacker knows exactly what San Francisco is going through in preparing for Sunday’s NFC Championship game. How do you stop Aaron Rodgers? After spending his entirecareer in the NFC North with the Chicago Bears, Urlacher was faced with that question nine times over his career, including a playoff game.
“I wish I knew the key to stopping him,” Urlacher told SI.com on Thursday. “You’re not gonna trick him. He’s one of those guys who always knows where to go with the football.”
Urlacher says his Bears teams simply played cover-2 against Rodgers and hoped someone else on the Packers would make a mistake. The former linebacker did intercept Rodgers three times over his career, and recently the Packers QB reminisced about tackling the 250-pound Urlacher after the play. Urlacher says it certainly wasn’t one of the hardest hits he sustained over his career.
“I tried to cut back on him, and he basically caught my shoe-string and I fell” says Urlacher with a laugh. “That was embarrassing to fall down after a hit like that.”
These days the eight-time Pro Bowler spends a good chunk of his time on the golf course and will be playing in the Diamond Resorts LPGA Tournament of Champions this weekend, but come Sunday evening Urlacher will be watching to see if the Niners can slow down Rodgers and the Packers.
“I haven’t seen Aaron under pressure like we saw in Week 12 against the Niners in a long time,” says Urlacher.
“It’s really tough to play the Niners in San Fran because of their D-line. I think Aaron is gonna have his work cut out for him.”