Brian Urlacher retires after 13 seasons

May 22, 2013

Brian Urlacher wasn’t sure how dominant he could be any longer, so he retired on Wednesday after 13 seasons with the Chicago Bears.

The eight-time Pro Bowler announced his retirement through social media accounts.

“After spending a lot of time this spring thinking about my NFL future, I have made a decision to retire,” Urlacher said in a statement. “Although I could continue playing, I’m not sure I would bring a level of performance or passion that’s up to my standards.”

Urlacher was the face of the Bears, and he ranks among the best middle linebackers to suit up for a franchise with an impressive list that includes Hall of Famers Bill George, Dick Butkus and Mike Singletary. . . .

San Francisco 49ers leading wide receiver Michael Crabtree has had surgery to repair a torn right Achilles’ tendon.

Crabtree had the operation one day after suffering the injury during an organized team activity. “Michael Crabtree underwent surgery to repair his Achilles tendon that he tore yesterday,” Coach Jim Harbaugh said. “Surgery was successful and we do not anticipate it will be season-ending for Michael.”

Harbaugh would not speculate when Crabtree might return to play.

Crabtree, 25, was the team’s 10th overall pick in the 2009 draft out of Texas Tech. He had career highs last season with 85 receptions for 1,105 yards and nine touchdowns for the NFC champion Niners.

USA Today first reported that Crabtree was hurt during Tuesday’s OTA, citing an unidentified source.

This could be a major setback for the two-time defending NFC West champions after Crabtree’s breakout 2012 season. . . .

Mark Sanchez threw three interceptions and Geno Smith talked about having to improve “every single thing.”

This New York Jets’ quarterback competition sure has a long way to go.

The two quarterbacks considered the front-runners for the starting job didn’t exactly impress during the first practice of organized team activities open to the media. Count Coach Rex Ryan among those who wasn’t particularly thrilled at what he saw.

While it’s early in the offseason program and Ryan says both Sanchez and Smith did “good things,” the Jets coach added that it’s “disappointing” to see the veteran turn the ball over. On one interception, Sanchez was picked off by big defensive lineman Damon Harrison.

Smith threw one interception that was tipped, and said he’s trying to “get better.”

Hockey

The Vancouver Canucks fired Coach Alain Vigneault.

The Canucks also fired assistants Rick Bowness and Newell Brown.

Vigneault, the Canucks’ all-time leader in coaching wins, led the club to six Northwest Division titles, two Presidents’ Trophy titles and an appearance in the 2011 Stanley Cup final.

But Vancouver was eliminated in the first round of the playoffs in the past two seasons, including getting swept by the San Jose Sharks this year.

MISC.

In Durham, N.C., Virginia Tech defeated fifth-ranked Virginia, 10-1, in the 2013 ACC Baseball Championship. The Hokies scored six times in the second inning to take a decisive advantage.

Virginia (45-10) is seeded third in the field; Virginia Tech (36-19) is the No. 6 seed.

The Cavaliers will face No. 7 seed Georgia Tech at 11 a.m. Thursday and No. 2 seed Florida State at 11 a.m. Saturday in the pool-play format.

The Cavaliers finished with seven hits and had runners on base in every inning but the eighth.

Virginia Tech starter Joe Mantiply (6-0) pitched seven innings to earn the win. He gave up an earned run, seven hits and four walks while striking out two. . . .

American Sam Querrey reached the quarterfinals of the Nice Open by beating Sergiy Stakhovsky, 7-5, 6-3.

The third-seeded Querrey broke his opponent three times.

Querrey will play French wild-card Edouard Roger-Vasselin, who rallied to defeat Ricardas Berankis, 2-6, 6-4, 6-2.

— From news services

and staff reports

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