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Lovie Smith attends Brian Urlacher’s Pro Football Hall of Fame induction

“I am so very grateful that you not only demanded I be the best player I could be.”

Chicago Bears v Atlanta Falcons Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Lovie Smith’s Saturday started in Champaign, talking to Josh Whitman and coaching at Illinois’ second day of training camp.

And by Saturday night, Smith was mingling and spending the evening at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.

While I’m sure a football guy like Lovie loves going to the Hall of Fame induction ceremonies, he was there this year to celebrate the induction of former Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher.

Urlacher, along with seven others, made up the 2018 class, joining the 300-plus already in the Hall of Fame. The fierce, now-follicled linebacker steadied the Bears’ defense for more than a decade, taking home Defensive Player of the Year honors in 2005 and guiding the Bears to a Super Bowl loss in 2007, with Smith as his coach. He retired as the Bears’ franchise leader in tackles with more than 1,300.

Early in his speech, Urlacher got choked up about his late mother Lavoyda, who raised him and his siblings as a single mother in New Mexico.

After thanking a few of his teammates, Urlacher thanked his old ball coach, Smith, and defensive coordinator Ron Rivera.

“I am so very grateful that you not only demanded I be the best player I could be,” Urlacher said, “but show me how.”

For some of Lovie’s comments on Urlacher, check this out.