We tackled the offense yesterday and it definitely caused some controversy. The defense is even more challenging in certain areas, and in others it’s clear as day. The one phase of the Chicago Bears during the 2010s decade that needed the smallest amount of work was, without a doubt, the defense.
So, who makes the cut?
Defensive Line (Collectively)
There are obviously different positions on the defensive line: defensive tackle, defensive end, outside linebackers play on the line quite often, and even inside linebackers from time to time. With this phase I want to go in tiers and, like every great defense, it all starts up front.
Defensive Tackle – Akiem Hicks
How could we make this list without the big man in the middle? He is so ferociously dominant, standing 6 feet 4 inches and weighing over 350 pounds. The man is the definition of a beast and has the leadership qualities equivalent to Olin Kreutz. In his four seasons with the Bears, he has played all sixteen games except for the 2019-20 season due to injury. In those four years, he’s managed 24 sacks and most notably, 39 tackles for loss. The greatest asset an interior defensive lineman can grant you is the ability to stuff the run, and not many current players do it better than Hicks.
Defensive Tackle – Anthony “Spice” Adams
I know what you’re thinking. I’m only choosing Spice for his incredible dance moves and his hilarious Instagram feed. Well, you’re partially right. His numbers weren’t fantastic, but he was a solid interior lineman and provided a necessary spunk that reminded everyone that this is just a game. His personality helped created rapport and gave everyone a sense of brotherhood, if you will. Most notably, his two forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries in his time with the Bears are his biggest numerical “claim to fame”. However, he’ll be remembered for the quality of his character.
Defensive End – Khalil Mack
He is technically listed as a linebacker and I’m not quite sure why considering he’s lining up at the either end of the defensive line for the majority of snaps. This pick goes without question. Mack is a generational talent. In two years with Chicago, his impact has been immediate. The mindset he brings to the defensive side of the ball, as well as the importance of opposing coordinators having to specifically game-plan for wherever he’s lining up, makes him an absolute must-have. In his first two seasons with Chicago, Mack has 11 forced-fumbles, three fumble-recoveries and 21 sacks. Yeah, I’d say he was worth the price, and we’re only getting started with this tenure here.
Defensive End – Julius Peppers
This list wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t include the man large enough to be an actual bear. Peppers was a 6 feet 7 inches tall, freak athlete and 300-pound monster of the Midway. Every time he blocked a field goal, they said he got his big bear-paw on it and boy, did he have a bear-paw. In his four years with the Bears, Peppers had 37.5 sacks and 47 tackles for loss. He added ten forced fumbles and seven fumble recoveries. Could you imagine him and Mack coming at you at the same time? That is a scary pairing.
Linebacker – Brian Urlacher
Not even a question here. The man was a legend in Chicago, hall of famer, a true leader, and one of the most skilled players to ever play football. The numbers speak for themselves, 22 interceptions and 15 fumble recoveries, but just remember one thing about Urlacher: He is who we thought he was.
Linebacker – Lance Briggs
Just like with Brian Urlacher, this one is another no-brainer. Also, just like Urlacher, Lance played his entire career with the Bears. Briggs had 16 interceptions and 97 tackles for loss. No doubt about it, put him on the team and watch as him, Brian and our next LB tear up the opposing offense.
Linebacker – Danny Trevathan
Capping off our incredible linebackers already mentioned, is a guy whom perfectly embodies resilience and skill. With 235 solo tackles in four years, there is no one else I would rather have next to Briggs and Urlacher. Hopefully his health comes back and he can return to full form next season.
Cornerback – Charles Tillman
I would be hesitant to call myself a Bears fan if I didn’t include Peanut on this list. The man was so incredible, he had a football move named after him. Cornerbacks across the country will forever try to recreate the “Peanut-Punch”. He amassed 36 interceptions, 42 forced fumbles and had nine touchdowns in his years with the Bears, and no one will ever do it the same way that he did.
Cornerback – Kyle Fuller
I was hard-pressed to pass on Fuller. In the opening game against Green Bay in 2018, Fuller had a sure-fire, game-winning interception that he dropped, and subsequently pissed off every Bears fan in the world. He then went on to have a pro-bowl caliber season, and was arguably one of the best CBs in the league. He had seven interceptions last year, 45 solo tackles and has played in all 16 games every year of his professional career.
Safety – Eddie Jackson
In his first three seasons, all with the Bears, “Bojack” has nine interceptions and five total touchdowns. Add in four forced-fumbles, five fumble-recoveries, 143 solo tackles and Eddie is on his way to a no-doubt first-ballot hall of fame induction.
Safety – Major Wright
Last, but surely not least, is Major Wright, a name that gets lost amongst the weeds. People often forget that he was a really solid member of the Bears’ secondary recording nine interceptions, three forced-fumbles and three touchdowns in four seasons. He’s not a household name for most Bears fans, but he was definitely a reliable guy to have covering down-field.
Well Bears fans, that concludes my all-2010s Bears defensive roster. What would you change, would you keep the same players and move them around or would you pick different players altogether? Let us know in the comments and don’t forget to vote in our Twitter polls to let your voice be heard.
Featured Photo: Stephen Morton/AP Photo