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Urlacher Explains Decision To Step Down From Fox Sports

(CBS) Former Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher announced Tuesday morning he's resigning from his role as an NFL analyst at Fox Sports, saying he wants to spend more time with his family and experience retirement in full.

"I really enjoyed working with those guys at Fox Sports 1 out there (in Los Angeles)," Urlacher said in an interview with the Spiegel and Mannelly Show on 670 The Score. "I liked our show, but the travel got to be quite a bit."

"I just wanted to feel retired. That was my main reason for not doing it anymore, and they were cool about it."

Brian Urlacher with Spiegel and Mannelly

Urlacher joked he'll have more time to be the "all-time pitcher" in backyard kickball with his kids. He didn't rule out a return to the media business in the future but did emphasize he wants to take some time off now.

"We want to thank Brian for his effort and contributions since helping us launch the network last August," FOX Sports executive vice president John Entz said in a statement. "While we looked forward to having him as a member of the team this season and beyond, we understand his decision and wish him the best."

Urlacher had been an analyst for Fox Sports since July 2013. Prior to that, he had an iconic 13-year career as the Bears' middle linebacker.

Urlacher also shared his thoughts on Bears cornerback Charles Tillman's season-ending triceps injury, saying it was "tough" personally just for him to see a beloved former teammate go through that. Urlacher also doesn't want the shot of an emotional Tillman shedding tears on the sideline to be how his career ends in Chicago.

"It's just terrible," Urlacher said. "Bad things happen to good people ... It hurts the leadership, it hurts everything.

"I'd say if he still feels like he can play, play. He's going to heal up fine ... a lot of time to think about what he wants to do.

"I'd love to see him finish one more year in Chicago. I just like watching him play. I think he just brings so much to the game."

In another question that lingers around the Bears, Urlacher was asked if he's ready to return to Chicago and be honored at halftime of a Bears game. He responded, "What time of year -- is it going to be cold?" Then he added he periodically keeps in touch with Bears chairman George McCaskey and vice president of communications Scott Hagel, as well as a few Bears players.

"I was not happy with the way it ended, but I've always had a ton of respect for George and the McCaskey family, for the Bears," Urlacher said. "I was not happy with the way it ended ... I wanted to play another year there and I didn't get to.

"But I never lost any respect for George or anyone in that family."

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