The Chicago Bears may not have to worry about playing football in January, but a couple players will get the opportunity to play in February.
Devin Hester destroyed the competition for a spot on the roster in deserving fashion with another dominant year on special teams. Few players demand so much attention on the field to a degree that teams would rather give the Bears the ball at the 40 yard line rather than kick to him. Now if only the Bears offense could make teams hurt for giving them field position. Imagine a Bears offense that could put up points and force teams to kick to Hester, now that would be something.
Lance Briggs gets another ticket to Hawaii with a solid year at linebacker and reminding everyone why he deserves a big contract. He may not get many interceptions or sacks but he is always in the right spot to make a tackle and prevent a big play. His solid tackling skills make him a huge asset on the field for a defense that has shown they have made an art to the diving, arm tackle.
Tommie Harris was selected to his third straight Pro Bowl, although he won’t be making the trip to Honolulu. His bad knee has been limiting him all season, all the more amazing when you consider he has still made contributions to the defense on game day. When he comes back healthy next season he will be a force that opposing offensive lines will have to plan on containing.
Brendon Ayanbadejo earned his trip for special teams player with his 24 special teams tackles. He is also quickly becoming a fan favorite along the same lines as Adrian Peterson with his selfless play. Guys like him are what elevate a team to a higher level of play.
Almost as notable as the 4 players named to the Pro Bowl where a couple key names that didn’t appear on the list. Olin Kreutz had established himself as a sure thing for the starting center spot in Hawaii each year with his tough play, but he will miss out on the trip for the first time in 6 years. I hate to say it but I think his ommission was appropriate the way the Bears offensive line has performed. Kreutz is one of my favorite players on the team, but he didn’t play with the same fire this season.
The constant discussion of Brian Urlacher’s back may have undone his ticket to paradise, even though his numbers don’t reflect much of a slump. With 2 games to go he has 107 tackles, 5 sacks, and 3 interceptions, which makes him 1st in tackles, 3rd in sacks, and 1st in interceptions for the team. Not too shabby for a guy with a bad back.
The 4 selections for the Bears is a good reflection of this season, with only 2 representatives on the defense and none for the offense. Most of the troubles on defense will be fixed with a little time and healing, but the offense needs to find a way to produce Pro Bowl caliber players. You know what, scratch that, how about they just work on finding a way on putting up points when they start every possession from their own 40 yard line and force teams to kick to Hester. That would be a good start.