5 Greatest Defensive Players in Bears History
The Chicago Bears are one of the NFL's most storied franchises, with an overwhelmingly strong reputation in one area. While they've had some great players at many offensive positions, especially running back, the Bears' well-earned reputation is all about defense.
With that in mind, here are the five greatest defensive players in Bears history.
Best Chicago Bears Defensive Players of All Time
5. Mike Singletary (1981-1992)
A key piece of the fabled 1985 Bears defense, Mike Singletary was only at the beginning of his prime in '85. He earned NFL first-team All-Pro honors in six consecutive seasons from 1984 to 1989, then once more in 1991. He was also a two-time NFL defensive player of the year (1985, 1988) and was named to 10 Pro Bowls in 12 pro seasons.
4. Doug Atkins (1955-1966)
A 6-foot-8 monster, Doug Atkins won just one NFL Championships with the Bears (1963), but his greatness was consistent. He was either a first or second-team All-Pro for nearly a decade straight (1957 to 1965), and he was an easy pick for the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1982. The NFL Network also ranked Atkins as the No. 9 pass rusher of all time.
3. Bill George (1952-1965)
Also a member of that '63 championship team, Bill George was named to the Hall of Fame in 1974, and his number 61 has been retired by the Bears. Named to eight straight Pro Bowls and being named All-NFL eight times, George is credited with revolutionizing the middle linebacker position while serving as the defensive signal-caller in Chicago.
2. Brian Urlacher (2000-2012)
The most recent player on the list, Brian Urlacher was made a first-ballot Hall of Famer in 2018. That honor was no surprise after he was named a first-team All-Pro four times and a Pro Bowler eight times in his 13-year career in Chicago. He racked up 1,361 tackles, 90 pass defenses, 22 interceptions, 41.5 sacks and 138 tackles for loss over his legendary career.
1. Dick Butkus (1965-1973)
Dick Butkus may have never won an NFL championship, but that doesn't take away from his greatness. One of the greatest defensive players to ever suit up in the NFL, Butkus was named to both the NFL 1960s and 1970s All-Decade teams, as well as to the NFL 100 all-time team. He played his entire nine-year career in Chicago, only missing out on the Pro Bowl and on All-Pro honors once each.
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Jason Schandl is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Jason Schandl also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Jaymun. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.