I decided to do a countdown to the Chicago Bears season opener on September 8th versus the Cincinnati Bengals. Thanks to one of my Twitter followers, I decided to combine the countdown with a roster preview of sorts.
We’re Bill George days away from the start of the Chicago Bears season. Who is Bill George, you ask? If you only know George as some black and white photos, you owe it to yourself to learn a little more about the legendary Bears linebacker, whose #61 was retired.
The Bears drafted George out of Wake Forest in the second round of the 1951 draft. George is thought of as the first ever middle linebacker and in a way, the inventor of the 4-3 defense. He was tired of getting burned when rushing the center, so he started to drop back into coverage, where he could disrupt passes or intercept them. He tallied 18 career interceptions in an era where there wasn’t that much passing.
In addition, he had 19 career fumble recoveries and scored 25 points on PAT’s and field goals in 1954. George was an 8-time All Pro from 1955-1962 and 1963, when he led the Bears to the NFL Championship. In short, he was Butkus and Singletary and Urlacher before their times. If you have a Mount Rushmore of Bears linebackers, he’s first on the list.
We’re 61 days from kickoff. Are you ready???