Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

10 Dec 2009

Concussion Ends Jeff Ulbrich's Career

49ers linebacker Jeff Ulbrich has decided to retire after suffering a concussion on kickoff duty in October.

Posted by: Bill Barnwell on 10 Dec 2009

13 comments, Last at 17 Dec 2009, 6:57am by poo-ceepher


by Theo :: Thu, 12/10/2009 - 3:27pm

10 years in the NFL is a long time. Especially for a linebacker.
Hope he makes a full recovery.

by bravehoptoad :: Thu, 12/10/2009 - 5:17pm

Yeah. Ulbrich is a mensch. I'm going to miss having him around.

P.S., here's a link to a fuller story: here.

by Mungo (not verified) :: Thu, 12/10/2009 - 5:58pm

Even at his peak, he was never more than a mediocre starting LB. God, I remember in the heady days of the start of the Nolan era, trying hard to imagine him and Derek Smith as being the next dominant inside 3-4 LB pairing to hit the league....one of many disappointments.

But it was hard not to root for him. Just the classic hard worker who played above his talent level. When it became clear that he wasn't a starter any more even when fully fit, he threw himself into the special teams units without a word of complaint, and you just can't ask any more than that from a player. All the best to him in his coaching career.

by C (not verified) :: Mon, 12/14/2009 - 11:21am

I disagree that he was never more than mediocre.

I remember a young Stephen Jackson getting plowed consecutively on a goal line stand by Ulbrich. Jackson is a big back, running with a full head of steam at the 1-2 yard line only to get bricked walled by Ulbrich over and over again. Ulbrich was also running him down the whole game.

I think he was a good, underrated LB. SF has had some good LB's the past few years, better than people on the East coast who don't watch their games realize.

I think retiring is the smart thing. Watching Ted Johnson on 60 minutes was rather sad, as the guy's clearly slow up top. As much as I love football, I love life more and the last thing I want to see is former brain dead linebackers walking around.

by Temo :: Thu, 12/10/2009 - 9:40pm

Eagerly awaiting Hines Ward's opinion of Ulbrich's toughness.

by pouringlizards (not verified) :: Fri, 12/11/2009 - 5:47am

This is the kind of smart decision you hope most NFL players start to make. If more of them did, then googling the phrase 'former nfl player' wouldn't make for such depressing reading.

by bubqr :: Fri, 12/11/2009 - 9:51am

The 3 words the most used in football this year : Favre, Tebow/Jesus, concussion. I'm starting to hate the last one as much as the first 2 (not directed against FO/this XP).

by Temo :: Fri, 12/11/2009 - 12:44pm


by Ben Stuplisberger :: Fri, 12/11/2009 - 5:39pm

Jesus stole my hot rod.

by Jacob Stevens (not verified) :: Fri, 12/11/2009 - 5:46pm

No, he built your hotrod.

by Ben Stuplisberger :: Sat, 12/12/2009 - 9:40am

Thanks for the Ministry/Gibby reference correction... except... I knew that!!!

by Theo :: Fri, 12/11/2009 - 6:26pm

I'm questioning his toughness.

by poo-ceepher (not verified) :: Thu, 12/17/2009 - 6:57am

Theo..... I'd question your relevance, but you're not.