The Bears selected Urlacher with the ninth overall pick in the 2000 NFL Draft.Urlacher quickly established himself as one of the NFL's most productive defensive players.
Unfortunately, the Bears’ 2001 winning season would be followed by three years of mediocrity.While his mother worked several jobs to keep her family afloat, Urlacher spent his teenage years playing sports for Lovington High School and training in weight rooms.The training helped Urlacher gain the speed, stamina, and strength he would need to solidify his football career.In the middle of the season, Urlacher admitted that he had been suffering from an arthritic back, but later claimed the ailment was not serious.Urlacher had severely damaged a bone in his wrist that was adjacent to a major nerve.Before the 2004 NFL season, the Bears’ organization fired coach Dick Jauron and then hired Lovie Smith.
After starting the season on the lower rungs of the NFC North, Urlacher suffered several injuries that sidelined him for a majority of the season.
Urlacher further distinguished himself as one of the Bears' most productive playmakers during the 2001 season.
He had one of the best games of his career on October 7, against the Atlanta Falcons.
In 2005, Urlacher won the NFL Defensive Player of the Year after playing for a defensive team that allowed the fewest points per game, and created the most turnovers in the National Football Conference.
Urlacher led the Bears to an 11-5 record, marking their best finish since 2001.
Urlacher was forced to wear a cast on his wrist for 12 weeks and spend a month in therapy to recover from the injury.