The Chicago Bears released the remainder of their top 100 players in franchise history Thursday, wrapping up the list with players 25-1. One of the more controversial aspects of the rankings was that no defensive starter from the Super Bowl 85 team nor Hall of Fame linebacker Brian Urlacher making the top 10.
It is questionable from a statistical standpoint, but more so from they meant to the franchise from a relevancy standpoint.
The three starters from the 1985 Super Bowl team that ranked in between spots 15 and 10 on the list include linebacker Mike Singletary, defensive lineman Dan Hampton, and defensive end Richard Dent. All three are Hall of Famers as they were regarded as the best players during the 80s and early 90s at their positions.
Singletary is one of the best linebackers of all time and is one of the greatest Chicago linebackers. Hampton was underappreciated for his versatility as he played and started at each defensive line position during his career. Dent, who was drafted in the eighth round of the 1983 NFL Draft, had eight seasons of double-digit sacks with the Bears.
Their impact being apart of the Bears defense of the 80s is what warrants at least one of them deserving to be ranked in the top 10. Chicago’s 46 defense is regarded as one of the best and most violent in league history to this day. Even though they won just one Super Bowl, the 1985 Bears team are even considered more dominating than the 49ers and Redskins dynasties of that decade.
The 46 defense’s value to the franchise is immeasurable as it took the Bears new heights. Before 1984, Chicago struggled to sell out Soldier Field and home games were blacked out on TV because of it. Since the defense’s rise to prominence, the Bears have sold out all their home games from that point on. There was a national demand to see the Bears given their numerous appearances on Monday Night Football.
Another Bear with a questionable ranking was Urlacher who ranked 14th on the list. In 2000, the Bears drafted him at a time when the team didn’t have any standout defensive players. Not since Singletary had the team had a prominent defensive star like they had in Urlacher. He was named Defensive Rookie of the year and made the Pro-Bowl in 2000, as the Bears had a defensive start to build a defense around.
Similar to the 46 defense, Urlacher brought notoriety back to the Bears as he led the team back to the playoffs in 2001 and would lead them to the Super Bowl in 2006. He deserves a top 10 ranking because of his physical attribute also. When Urlacher came into the league, his athleticism was unparalleled as opposing offenses couldn’t and didn’t know how to stop him.
For a franchise that prides itself on great defensive history, especially at the linebacker position, it is questionable on how none of those players were ranked in the top 10. There are no other defensive stars that played for Chicago that are known and respected both locally and nationally than those four players.
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