Sayers runs over Bears

MIKE RUTSEY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:00 AM ET

Everybody loves a public spat.

In Chicago, where they can't seem to win many football games, da' Bears have a pretty good feud going between Hall of Famer Gale Sayers and former All Pro linebacker Brian Urlacher, who is on the comeback trail from a wrist injury that knocked him out for all but one game of the 2009 season.

Sayers, who speaks his mind and doesn't duck questions, recently did a rip job on his former team in general and Urlacher in particular.

Attempting to get athletes to speak truthfully and frankly is a Herculean task at best and Sayers should be applauded, not knocked for his forthright comments, even though they go against the time-honoured tradition of saying nothing and keeping criticism zipped.

You go Gale.

Following are some edited comments by Sayers: "(QB Jay) Cutler hasn't done the job. Urlacher, I don't know how good he's going to be coming back ... They need a couple wide receivers, a couple defensive backs. ... If Lovie (coach Lovie Smith) doesn't do it this year, I think he's gone''

Here's how the fiery Urlacher responded: "Let me ask you a question: 'How many championships did Gale Sayers win?' '' Urlacher said to the Chicago Tribune. "How many playoff games did he win when he played? None. None. None.

"Does it bother me? There are enough people throwing daggers at us right now, why does one of our ex-players have to jump in? There are enough experts talking (crap) about us, so why does a Bear, an all-time great, have to jump in? I just don't like that.''

To which Sayers replied: "When I am asked a question, I have to answer it. I don't want anybody to think I am afraid to talk about the Bears. Right now, the Bears are hurting. And Urlacher, how old is he anyway (he's 32)? He should know that himself, that he is on the downside of his career.

"If somebody asks me, 'How do you think the Bears are going to do this year?' If I say: 'Oh, they are going to win 14 ball games,' they know the Bears can't win 14 ball games. Why should I lie to the people?"

Why indeed? The truth will set you free.

DR. FEEL GOOD

Just like the so-called sealed list of players found to have used steroids in Major League Baseball, the names of athletes connected to Canada's Dr. Anthony Galea, who is facing a number of charges in the U.S. related to the unlawful distribution of human growth hormone, are dripping out. Washington Redskins receiver Santana Moss is the latest. At the Redskins practice, Moss would not discuss the reports. "I'll talk about football. I don't know about nothing else," Moss said. "I ain't got nothing to do with nothing that ain't about me."

And just how is Redskins management handling the revelation? They're bobbin' and weaving, shucking and jiving.

"We'll let the due process take care of itself," coach Mike Shanahan said. "But I'm not going to answer to every type of question that comes -- some doctor comes to town and supposedly is seeing a player. The NFL is on top of all those things. If there's any validity to it, they will contact me and contact our organization, which they have not done."

And there's this from Redskins senior vice-president Tony Wyllie: "This is an off-the-field matter. I'm going to refer all questions to his agent, Drew Rosenhaus."

Contact the agent? Puh-lease.

AT THE HALF

Can a tiger change it's stripes? A leopard its spots? Can Pacman Jones become a choir boy? The bad boy cornerback hasn't yet said he has found God but he found something better and definitely more forgiving in the Cincinnati Ben-gals and says that he will focus his efforts on being a model citizen in 2010. "I did a lot of soul searching," Jones said of how he spent his time away from the game. "That's why I'm right here talking to you all. I did a lot of soul-searching, I did a lot of corrections, everything. Right now, everything is pretty good -- family-wise, spiritual, mentally. I'm at ease right now, I should say. Of course you change as you grow. I'm 26 years old now. I can't do the same things I was doing at 21 or I'd be dead or in jail."

FOURTH AND INCHES

Speaking of jokes, the underperforming Seahawks are said to be one of the few teams that has some real interest in aging wide receiver Terrell Owens, who is clearly on the downside of his career. The only stat going up for Owens the past couple of seasons is in the number of balls he drops. How Owens, 36, would fit into the Seattle picture is unclear, especially with the Seahawks drafting of the talented Golden Tate in the second round of the draft ... Deep in the heart of Texas, gifted receiver Andre Johnson will be back with the Houston Texans after missing the first three voluntary practices over a contract dispute. Johnson has five years left on an eight-year contract worth $60 million US, one negotiated by his uncle Andre Melton. Who's crying 'Uncle' now? ... The under-sized but seldom over-matched linebacker Zach Thomas retired from the NFL Wednesday. The seven-time Pro Bowler signed a one day contract with the Dolphins before the announcement. ... The Indianapolis Colts got some big pieces back on the field Wednesday. Safety Bob Sanders (biceps) and wide receiver Anthony Gonzalez (knee) returned to practice.

MIKE.RUTSEY@SUNMEDIA.CA


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