NEW YORK -- Brian Urlacher was a roughneck footballer without a flicker of fear.
He was a phenomenal Chicago Bears linebacker who made about 1,300 tackles. He wrestled every manner of man to the ground in his 13 NFL seasons.
No running back's physical style impresses Urlacher more than Marshawn Lynch's.
"He's a gooood running back," Urlacher told me this afternoon at the Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel, the Super Bowl XLVIII media headquarters.
"You know from Buffalo about the Beast Mode he goes into. He catches the football well. He blocks well, and he's tough to bring down. The second effort is huge with him."
Lynch rushed for 1,257 yards and a league-high 12 touchdowns. In the 59 games since the Bills traded him for two draft choices that turned into tackle Chris Hairston and linebacker Tank Carder, Lynch has rushed for 4,624 yards and 41 TDs.
Urclacher marvels at Lynch's ruggedness despite be lighter than typical bruisers.
"There's a lot of physical running backs in the NFL, some big boys, 220, 230 pounds," Urlacher said. "He's only, like, 210, 215.
"But he is the most physical running back in the NFL, the way he breaks tackles and carries guys. Not one guy is going to tackle him. There's three or four guys pretty much every play, bringing him down."
Urlacher shrugged when asked how Lynch is able to do it.
"His strength. He just runs through most tackles," Urlacher said. "His will. He does not go down."