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Brian Urlacher, Indispensable

Front page on ESPN today is about the most indispensable players in the NFL.

Number 4 on the list is Brian Urlacher.

4. Brian Urlacher, MLB, Chicago: As dominant as the Bears' defense has been over the past two seasons, there is no way it would be as threatening without Urlacher in the middle. The Bears lost Pro Bowl defensive tackle Tommie Harris and Pro Bowl safety Mike Brown last season, and Urlacher compensated for those losses with his smarts and athleticism. Just think about what the Bears ask Urlacher to do in their defense. He has to run with tight ends down the middle of the field on passing downs and still be able to attack the line of scrimmage on running plays. How many 6-foot-4, 260-pound linebackers can do that? It says here that the Bears don't want to learn the answer to that.

The full list looks like this:

  1.  Larry Johnson
  2.  Tom Brady
  3.  Peyton Manning
  4.  Brian Urlacher
  5.  Antonio Gate
  6.  Julius Peppers
  7.  Michael Vick
  8.  Walter Jones
  9.  Champ Bailey
  10. Carson Palmer
Firstly, I forgot that their were still people in this world drinking the Vick Kool-Aid.  Next, this guys reason for Ladanian Tomlinson not being on the list is because they have Michael Turner.  Sorry, can't buy that.  Turner is a good back, but he is nowhere near Tomlinson's league.  Team defenses plan for Tomlinson, they devise schemes to try to contain him. Trust me, they aren't sweating Turner.  Turner is a good fix for LT breaks and if he goes down for a game or two, but he is not full term replacement.