Brian Urlacher as he's selected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports

Holmes: Brian Urlacher Goes With Familiarity In Choosing Bob Babich As Hall Of Fame Presenter

In football, position coaches have special relationships with their players.

Laurence Holmes
April 04, 2018 - 10:27 am
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By Laurence W. Holmes--

(670 The Score) After it was announced that Brian Urlacher had chosen his former linebackers coach, Bob Babich, to be his presenter for the Hall of Fame induction in August, I got a lot of questions regarding the choice. Why not Lance Briggs? Why not Lovie Smith?

I’m not going to assume to know how close Urlacher and Babich are on a personal level, but I can offer some insight into this.

Football teams are a bunch of mini-teams inside a larger group. The first split is the offense from the defense, then it divides again along position lines. Locker rooms are usually situated by position group (unless Marc Trestman is coaching). Linebackers have their lockers together. Offensive linemen have their lockers together, etc. The facility itself is split up this way too. Each position group has its own meeting room. After a game, there might be an all-team meeting to discuss what happened, but then players and coaches usually watch film with their position group.

Players spend more time with their position coach and their position group than anyone else on the team. You may remember that last summer, Aaron Rodgers was bit miffed that the Packers fired his quarterback coach. There’s a reason for that. The position coach is usually closest with the players, even more so than the head coach. And if you have success under that coach, players are fiercely loyal to him.

This isn’t to say that Urlacher doesn’t love and respect Smith, but it’s not that weird that he chose Babich, who coached him for nine seasons, from 2004-'12. The position coach is the first point of contact for the player. He's the person facilitating the methods of the head coach's scheme on a micro level. Many times that coach is playing “good cop” to the head coach’s “bad cop.” More than anyone else, the position coach knows what the player is overcoming to get the best performance on the field.

I thought about this during the interview. Babich has dissected every single play that Urlacher has ever made. That’s crazy to think about. Hearing his recall on specific moments was incredible. As a football player, outside of perhaps Briggs, Babich probably knows Urlacher best.

Who better to speak about your career than someone who knows you that well?

Laurence Holmes hosts the Laurence Holmes Show on 670 The Score. Follow him on Twitter @LaurenceWHolmes.