Share. In 1985, as a key part of Buddy Ryan’s legendary 46 defense, Singletary helped bring home the first and only Lombardi Trophy in Bears history. All are Hall of Famers, and they well deserve it. He ran a 4.59-second forty-yard dash at the NFL Combine in 2000 at a bodyweight of 258 pounds. He had been bothered by … While middle linebacker is one position that’s storied for the Bears, outside linebackers cannot be overlooked. However, Urlacher struggled to perform consistently in his first professional game, and lost his starting position to … His 36 official career sacks rank him in the 10th spot in Bears history. Jan 29, 2021 - Football - Dick Butkus. Visit ESPN to view the Chicago Bears team depth chart for the current season And though he’s been in the DFW Metroplex since the late ‘90s, he keeps abreast of the development in the Chicago sporting scene through ESPN. He left the Bears in 1989 after missing 1988 with injuries, and after one season with the Raiders (in which he only played a single game), he was out of the NFL. ( Log Out /  Featuring some of the greatest NFL linebackers of all time, the best Bears LBs include Brian Urlacher, Dick Butkus, Hunter Hillenmeyer, and Lance Briggs. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Former Chicago Bears middle linebacker Brian Urlacher will take his rightful place in Canton, Ohio as a member of the Hall of Fame class of 2018. If you are a Bears fan, you are a bit spoiled. He started 119 games while earning five All-Pro nominations and making eight straight Pro Bowls. Mack has made two more Pro Bowls and one more All-Pro team since his move to Chicago. LB 1958-59. He was the Defensive Player of the Year in 2005 and reached Super Bowl XLI the year after. It is physically demanding, as those who play the position need the size and strength to take on offensive linemen, as well as the speed to rush the passer and cover backs out of the backfield. The Bears have always had a particularly strong middle linebacker, with the following four considered the cream of the crop: Bill… Then, in 1954, he did something that changed football forever. He made 10 Pro Bowls and seven All-Pro teams in his Hall of Fame career, and the Associated Press named him Defensive Player of the Year twice. and 2000s. Publish date: Sep 23, 2002 The Matchup Bears middle linebacker Brian Urlacher and Falcons quarterback Michael Vick showed off their speed and athleticism in a showdown between two of the league's hottest young stars Butkus was big, mean and tough, and he set the standard for the modern middle linebacker. During his 12-year career he played for Washington, Houston, Arizona and the New York Jets, but he started out with Chicago. By the summer of 2018 he had made his mark as one of the most dangerous edge rushers in the NFL, with three Pro Bowls, two All-Pro nominations, and a Defensive Player of the Year Award to show for it. Dick Jauron, who was then the Bears' head coach, recognized Urlacher's versatility as a middle and outside linebacker, and appointed him as the team's starting strongside linebacker. Dick Butkus, Actor: Gremlins 2: The New Batch. Former Chicago Bears middle linebacker Dick Butkus , who had to quit playing football due to too many injuries and operations on his knees, posing in his shorts with his son. The Bears have linebackers who were icons. ( Log Out /  Brian Urlacher had Lance Briggs. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. He was enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame with the class of 1966. One could make a convincing argument that Mike Singletary was the best Bears linebacker in the history of the franchise. 7. Tap to unmute. In addition to inventing the outside linebacker, the Chicago Bears invented the middle linebacker. Dick Butkus. But George got a rematch before the end of his career and defeated the Giants 14–10 to win the title. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. Growing up in Chicago, Richard Ohlhaber has had for many years the proverbial Bulls and Bears posters in his bedroom wall. Would these guys have been great by themselves? His speed made him the perfect fit for the Bears’ modified Tampa 2 scheme, which requires the middle linebacker to help the safeties in pass coverage by dropping back between their zones. Get premium, high resolution news photos at Getty Images The team has been dubbed Monsters of the Midway due to their defensive dominance through the decades. He never won a championship, made a Pro Bowl, or earned a spot on an All-Pro roster. In 1954, in a game against the Eagles (again a revolution begins in a game against the Eagles), the Bears asked George to drop back on a passes. Coming in at No. © 2021 ABG-SI LLC. For all the Bears’ injuries, backup linebacker Nick Roach proved he’s more than capable of handling the team’s middle linebacker spot. Michael Jordan and Walter Payton are his heroes. Played more games — 186 — than any other Bears linebacker and endured more bad teams than perhaps any Bear … He earned a Super Bowl ring following the 1985 season as a starting outside linebacker in the legendary Bear 46 defense developed by Defensive Coordinator Buddy Ryan. The Bears already had a good linebacking corps with Barry Minter in the middle, Rosevelt Colvin on the strong side and Warrick Holdman at weak. The history of the middle linebacker began in a defensive huddle during the 1954 season. Mike Singletary, 1981-1992 Buffone played through 14 tough seasons in the Windy City, and the Bears only made the playoffs twice during his entire career. He came into the league in 1984 and saw little action as a rookie. All three were members of the ’85 Bears, a team that not only won Chicago’s only Super Bowl but fielded one of the greatest NFL defenses of all time. ( Log Out /  Recent Top. They lost to the Giants in 1956, then beat them in 1963. He was an athletic, reliable linebacker who rarely missed a game. Richard Marvin Butkus (born December 9, 1942) is an American former football player, sports commentator, and actor. Follow. I haven't lost or gained any weight. Now, on paper, the Bears appear to have one of the best inside linebacker corps in the league. legendary Bear 46 defense developed by Defensive Coordinator Buddy Ryan. Much is expected of Smith, and he has a long career ahead of him. Richard J. Butkus, "Dick", was born in Chicago, Illinois, December 9, 1942. Wilson played eight seasons in Chicago and started 91 games. In 59 games, he recorded 16.5 sacks, nine interceptions, and five fumble recoveries. He was both a cerebral student of the game and one of the NFL’s most ferocious hitters. Blessed with physical gifts that he took advantage of, Urlacher helped bring the Bears back to prominence after years of dwelling in the cellar. He earned NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2000, and Defensive Player of the Year in 2005. But this linebacker bod is on point.. #middle linebacker #linebacker #football player #gym selfie #Gay #Gay jock #Amsterdam #Netherlands #Inside linebacker #Leggings #Tights #Spandex #under armour. Singletary is one of the most beloved Bear because of he made up for his lack of size with grit, determination, and intelligence. The Pittsburgh Steelers are second with all-time players in four decades. “I don’t know if there’s a middle linebacker playing at a higher level in the NFL.” That’s quite a statement considering one of the biggest questions surrounding the Bears was whether at Urlacher, at age 32, could approach the form that carried him to six Pro Bowls. Though nominated for the Pro Football Hall of Fame class of 2020, in his first year of eligibility, he didn’t make the final cut. No middle linebacker, including the Ravens' 6-1, 245-pound Ray Lewis, offered the size-speed dimension of the Bears' Brian Urlacher. He graduated from the University of Illinois where he was a two time All- American line backer. All Rights Reserved. He played in 138 games with the Bears over 13 seasons. George’s epiphany effectively altered the 5-2 defense popular in the NFL at the time and turned it into the modern 4-3. And though he’s been in the DFW Metroplex since the late ‘90s, he keeps abreast of the development in the Chicago sporting scene through ESPN. He’s played well over his first two seasons but has yet to live up to the lofty expectations the Bears held for him. The Bears' tradition of great middle linebackers can be researched back to the invention of the position. mycaffeinatedlife. SPORTS ILLUSTRATED is a registered trademark of ABG-SI LLC. By Jacob Infante @jacobinfante24 Feb 23, 2021, 1:00pm CST / new An important part of the Chicago defense, the LB position includes middle or inside linebackers, and outside (strong-side or weak-side) linebackers. 2017 Inside Linebackers: Jonathan Anderson; Jerrell Freeman; Christian Jones; Nick … “Bulldog” Turner was an outstanding offensive lineman, but he served as a formidable linebacker on defense. That means hours of study before every game. You may have noticed something interesting about the players on this list—they come in pairs. ... Today, many regard him as the greatest middle linebacker of all time. Overall value to the Bears organization during their playing time, 10 interceptions for 115 yards, 2 touchdowns, 9 interceptions for 91 yards and 1 touchdown, 1 interception for 27 yards and 1 touchdown, 16 interceptions for 256 yards and 5 touchdowns, 16 interceptions for 156 yards and 1 touchdown, 22 interceptions for 324 yards and 2 touchdowns. The certified dog person meanwhile names Cancun, Mexico, as his favorite travel destination. George is credited by pundits as the first true middle linebacker in the history of the sport. The Raiders drafted Mack with their first-round pick in 2014. They made it to the Super Bowl after the 2006 season but lost to Peyton Manning and a powerful Colts offense. Chicago lost to the Peyton Manning-led Colts on a rain-drenched field at Hard Rock Stadium. See more ideas about football, chicago bears football, bears football. He played professional football as a linebacker for the Chicago Bears of the National Football League (NFL) from 1965 to 1973. This passage focuses on the Bears' tradition of legendary middle linebackers. Many Bears fans hope to see Briggs take his place alongside Urlacher in Canton someday. The ’85 Bears are known today as one of the greatest defenses of all time. Maybe. Watch later. George played on the defensive line as a middle guard early in his career. I think it means that football is a team game, and no one player does it alone. Here are a few criteria I considered for this article: Here are the 10 greatest linebackers in the history of the Bears. Every great middle linebacker had a great outside linebacker lined up beside him. Connor played defensive tackle early in his career but shifted to linebacker for his last two seasons. Their greats span the decades of the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s. Bears Linebackers - YouTube. However, today he holds a place in the Chicago Bears Ring of Honor. 12 is Chuck Howley, who spent just two short years with the Bears. 10 Best Chicago Bears Linebackers of All Time 1. Dick Butkus (1965–1973). But there's no doubt that they were better together. Bears Linebackers. He has to be smart and know what the offense will do before they do it. He made five Pro Bowls and three All-Pro teams during his career. If Mack stays in Chicago, I suspect he will climb several spots higher on this list before he is done. The Bears have always had a particularly strong middle linebacker, with the following four considered the cream of the crop: Michael Jordan’s Bogus Baseball Adventure, City Of Champions: The Most Coveted Titles Won By Chicago Teams, The Godfather’s children: A few more iconic gangster movies, Why you should hire a professional instructor when learning golf, Shawshank and other Stephen King classics that made it to the big screen, Why Cancun should be your next travel destination. George is credited by many as being the first-ever true middle linebacker, creating a legacy that future Bears like Dick Butkus, Mike Singletary and Brian Urlacher would cement in history. He led the team to a national championship in 1963. The defensive line of the Chicago Bears has been manned by a long list of legendary defenders. Brian Urlacher is the latest Bears linebacker to be immortalized in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. They each had incredible supporting casts at outside linebacker. The middle linebacker is the quarterback of the defense, making calls and adjustments before the snap to get his men in the best positions to stop the offense. Flanked by great defensive tackles and a system that played to his strengths, Chicago won their lone Super Bowl in 1985. Brian Urlacher, 2000-2012 Shopping. … But linebackers who are all brawn and no brains don’t make it very far in professional football. Over 12 seasons, Briggs started 170 games and quietly put together one of the best careers of any linebacker in Bears history. Widely regarded as one of the most feared, durable, versatile, and intimidating linebackers of all time, Butkus is a member of the NFL All Decade Team in both the 1960s and 70s. Buffone picked off 24 passes as a Bear, which ranks him eighth in team history for interceptions. The defensive line of the Chicago Bears has been manned by a long list of legendary defenders. Copy link. Dick Butkus is the greatest Bears linebacker of all time. Mike Singletary was probably the smartest of the bunch, and Brian Urlacher was the most athletic. A second-round pick of the Bears in 1981 out of Baylor, Singletary is a native of Houston, Texas. Connor was enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame with the class of 1975. Urlacher and the Bears made it to Super Bowl XLI following the 2006 season, the franchise’s first appearance since the legendary ’85 Bears. Urlacher followed Bears middle linebackers Bill George, Dick Butkus and Mike Singletary, to the Hall of Fame. Butkus was a one-man wrecking machine—one of the most terrifying forces the NFL had ever seen. Singletary was not especially large for a middle linebacker, but he played the position with an intensity few have matched. Mike Singletary (1981–1992). Smith was the Bears’ first-round draft pick back in 2018. Wilson contributed 10.5 sacks that year and made the only Pro Bowl appearance of his career. The Chicago Bears have the most all-time great linebackers. Fortunato and the Bears made it to the NFL Championship game twice. He made four Pro Bowls and four All-Pro teams during his eight-year career while intercepting seven passes and recovering 10 fumbles. ! Bill George, 1952-1965 In 1985, he started 15 games as a key part of arguably the greatest defense in NFL history. He made the Pro Bowl every year from 1954 to 1961 and made seven straight All-Pro rosters from 1955 to 1961. Dick Butkus' tackling style was predicated on intimidating rivals. Mack held out through training camp and the entire 2018 preseason, and the Raiders traded him to the Bears. Dick Butkus, 1965-1973 When the Chicago Bears' middle linebacker made one of his jarring hits, he wanted ball carriers to remember who did it. For 12 seasons, Singletary held his post and anyone who crossed his path paid the price. ( Log Out /  Log in Sign up. He made eight Pro Bowls and four All-Pro teams during his career, and he entered the Pro Football Hall of Fame with the Class of 2018. Growing up in Chicago, Richard Ohlhaber has had for many years the proverbial Bulls and Bears posters in his bedroom wall. Roquan Smith has a ton of potential. Middle linebacker in a 4-3 defense is one of the toughest jobs in football. View all posts by Richard Ohlhaber. During his first two seasons, he started in 26 games, intercepted two passes, and racked up seven sacks. Bears Middle Linebackers Posted on February 25, 2010 by statestreetsports Warning: Song contains offensive grammar (personally I would watch this on mute, as the song is garbage) NSFW!!! The most commonly used defensive alignment in the NFL, the 4-3 defense, was developed thanks to George’s capability on the defensive end. Bill George had Joe Fortunato. Here are a few Bears that made their mark with the team but missed the top 10. He began his career in the era of Gale Sayers and ended it in the era of Walter Payton. Where does Khalil Mack rank on a list of the greatest Bears linebackers of all time? If given a chance to reside anywhere in the world, Richard would pick Italy. However, there is another Monster of the Midway I think was even better. So, how can we tell the great ones from the good ones? The Bears have fielded four of the best middle linebackers in NFL history: Dick Butkus, Bill George, Mike Singletary and Brian Urlacher. Turner made four Pro Bowls and seven All-Pro teams on the way to four NFL Championships. Bill George was a middle guard (teams back then played a standard five-man front). Of the four great Bears middle linebackers, Urlacher was the biggest, strongest and fastest. Only injuries stopped him from putting up even more stellar numbers and collecting more accolades. Butkus was a one-man wrecking machine—one of the most terrifying forces the NFL had ever... 2. He reasoned he could get back into pass coverage more easily if he didn’t have to line up with his hand on the ground and contact the center at the snap. Fortunato played 12 seasons for the Bears at outside linebacker, 11 of them next to Hall-of-Famer Bill George. Singletary was not especially large for a middle linebacker, but he played the position... 3. Though he weighed in at close to 250 pounds and hit like a freight train, he had the speed to range from sideline to sideline, drop back into pass coverage and run down opposing backs. In fact, except for the Steelers, it is hard to think of another team that has seen as many outstanding linebackers as the Bears. With all of that in mind, it is easy to see how great middle linebackers don’t come around often. Michael Jordan and Walter Payton are his heroes. In 1956, the Bears made it to the NFL Championship game only to get drubbed by the New York Giants 47–7. What does that mean? Middle linebackers have to be big, strong, fast and tough as nails. With the end of Brian Urlacher's career looming on the horizon, the 2013 NFL draft has to be a time for the Chicago Bears to look for options to replace him at middle linebacker.. He was not only the best Bears linebacker of all time, but he just may have been the greatest ever to play the position. For the All-Bears Post-Ditka linebacking corps, we’ll play a 4-3, and we’ll start with the most obvious spot: middle linebacker, and Brian Urlacher. For more interesting reads about the Chicago Bears, subscribe to this Richard Ohlhaber blog. In 1957, he permanently changed position and became the first specialist middle linebacker in the history of the NFL. Dick Butkus set the standard at middle linebacker for decades to come, and his blood-and-guts style of play reflected the personality of his team. He spent his entire NFL career with the Bears between 1981 and 1992. Discover more posts about Middle Linebacker. So far, it has worked out great for the Bears. As a Bear, Marshall made two Pro Bowls and one All-Pro roster. The certified dog person meanwhile names Cancun, Mexico, as his favorite travel destination. However, it was difficult to arrange the top four spots for this ranking of the best Bears linebackers. He entered the Pro Football Hall of Fame with the Class of 1979. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. The Bears only lost one game that season and clobbered the Patriots in Super Bowl XX, 46-10. Bill George George, who invented the middle linebacker position when he dropped off the line in 1954, was voted to nine Pro Bowls and was an eight-time All-Pro in 14 seasons with the Bears. A first round draft pick of the Chicago Bears, Dick played for them from 1965-1973, and was named All-Pro linebacker seven times. He was the ultimate intimidator who owned the middle of the field. Bears’ Roquan Smith announces his arrival as elite linebacker — at just 23 Smith leads the NFL in solo tackles and has 12 tackles for loss. If playback doesn't begin shortly, try restarting your device. That's where nose guard Bill George complained to team captain George Connor that the opponent kept throwing over his head when George stepped forward to engage the center. Marshall was one of the best outside linebackers of the ‘80s and ‘90s. Will he live up to the hype? The pair appeared in two Championship games and won one. The team has been dubbed. He stood up. He made seven Pro Bowls and one All-Pro roster while racking up 15 sacks, intercepting 16 passes, and scoring six defensive touchdowns. Info. Mike Singletary had Wilber Marshall and Otis Wilson. Change ). Bears' middle linebacker, Dick Butkus, a fullback in his high school days, tucks away the football and carries for a 6-yard gain after intercepting a pass thrown by Bengals' quarterback Virgil Carter... Get premium, high resolution news photos at Getty Images If given a chance to reside anywhere in the world, Richard would pick Italy. © JAMIE GERMANO/ROCHESTER DEMOCRAT AND CHRONICLE. We already covered how linebackers have to be tough and smart, but that is just the prerequisite for getting a roster spot in the NFL. Next up, we look at a much better-rated unit in the linebackers. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. Today, all four men are enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The Bears could look for one of these 2021 draft prospects to shore up their depth at the inside linebacker position. Dick Butkus had Doug Buffone, who lined up next to him every game for seven consecutive seasons. Butkus was feared more than any other Bear in history, but Bill George was a legend in his own right.
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