When you think the Chicago Bears you think defense. They’ve had some of the best of all-time. While we have already went over the best quarterbacks in team history, this list looks at the top individual players on defense.
Mike became a starting linebacker for the Chicago Bears in 1981 as a rookie. The middle linebacker was one of the most important pieces in the Bear’s defense. One of the most ferocious, intimidating guys to ever play the game. Singletary was part of the best team in Chicago history in 1985. He played in ten Pro Bowls, All-Pro eight times, and was the heart and soul of the Bear’s defense. The “46” defense invented by Buddy Ryan (Another Bear’s icon). This scheme was perfected in 85′ to lead the Bears to a 15-1 record and allowed Singletary to be unblocked on virtually every play. Mike was named NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 85′ and 88′, elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1995, and to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1998, also being ranked 56 on The Sporting News’ list of 100 Great Football Players.
Dent was drafted eighth round by the Bears in 1983 and surprised everyone with his successful abilities to pass rush effectively with his speed. It allowed the 46 scheme to be put in full stride. Richard is near the top in sacks in league history. He recorded 34.5 sacks during the 1984 and 1985 seasons, and recorded a team-record 17.5 sacks in the previous season. During the historic 1985 season, Richard led the NFL with 17 sacks, while recovering two fumbles and intercepting two passes that played huge roles in part of their success that season. Dent was awarded MVP of Super Bowl XX.
Dick is still to this day considered to be one of the most feared NFL players of all time. Butkus was one of three first-round picks for the Bears in the 1965 NFL Draft. In his rookie season he led the Bears in tackles, forced fumbles, fumble recoveries, interceptions, and regularly led the team in these categories throughout his career. He is a member of the Hall of Fame, was selected to eight Pro Bowls, and voted as All-Pro six times during his career with the Bears. Butkus was one of the hardest hitting players in NFL history, which is why he caused so many fumbles, and remains one of the most feared players of all time.
Before, Butkus came into the league, Doug was also crowned one of the most feared defenders in Chicago Bears history. With the Bears, Atkins was a First Team All-Pro selection in 1958, 1960, 1961, and 1963. In his last eight out of nine seasons with the Bears he was a starter in the Pro Bowl. NFL Network ranked him as number 9 Pass Rusher of All Time. In 1982 Atkins was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the College Football Hall of Fame in 1985.
Brian’s career with the Bears was nothing but spectacular. He spent his whole entire 13-year career playing for the Chicago Bears. In the 2000 NFL Draft, Brian was selected ninth overall. It wasn’t long before he was established as one of the NFL’s most productive defensive players. Racking up seven Pro Bowl appearances, won the Defensive Player of the Year honor in 2005, and the NFL Rookie of the Year honor in 2000. Brian had an outstanding career with the Bears and hopes to get inducted into the Hall of Fame eventually.
You won’t see anyone from this year’s team make the list. That’s probably why everyone expects them to finish below .500. Except for me of course =)