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With the season finally over, Urlacher now talks about the big deal over his back.

"My back got blown way out of proportion," Urlacher said Monday before leaving Halas Hall. "It's fine. I won't need any surgery.

"If you look at the way I played the last few weeks, obviously it got a little bit better as the season went on. Early on, I didn't make as many plays as I should have. It didn't have anything to do with my back. I just didn't play well. That's all there is to it."

Are the Bears going to overlook the obvious?  There are big changes needed here.

In his season-ending news conference Monday at Halas Hall, Smith announced he wanted every assistant coach on his staff to return and preferred to welcome back every player on the roster if possible too.

"All of the players that could possibly be in that position I would like to have back," Smith said. "I feel like we have a good thing going here."

It is over, but but some can't help but wonder what might have been.


"I don't know how to feel," Harris said. "It's sad to see ... if we would have beaten Minnesota, came on here and then walked into the playoffs like this, we could have been in total control.

"Unfortunately, our season's over."

At least on the field it is. Change is on the horizon, and the players know it. Coach Lovie Smith doesn't anticipate a mass exodus, but new faces are sure to pop up at Halas Hall in 2008 as familiar ones make their way out of town.

"I just hope I'm here," Harris said. "I think they'll make good moves. Whatever they do, I don't have any say. I believe Lovie and Jerry Angelo will make great moves."