Dec. 23, 2012; Glendale, AZ, USA; General view of University of Phoenix Stadium as reflected in a Chicago Bears helmet during the first half against the Arizona Cardinals. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Chicago Bears Top 100: #88 - Anthony Thomas

We’re heading into the dog days of the offseason, counting the days until the Chicago Bears 2014 season kicks off.  Thanks to Bear Goggles On contributor and the fine editor of Blackhawk Up Keith Schultz’s suggestion, we’re going to do a Top 1oo list of the all time Chicago Bears.  It’s a fun way to pass the time and take a stroll down memory lane.

anthony thomasThe number 88 ranking in our Chicago Bears Top 100 takes us to running back Anthony Thomas.  Thomas was drafted in the second round of the 2001 draft out of the University of Michigan, where he had set the school’s rushing record (since broken).  The A-Train took the Bears and the NFL by storm in his rookie season.   He led the surprising 2001 Bears to a 13-3 season and a trip to the postseason, rushing for 1183 yards and 7 touchdowns as a rookie.

That was good enough to earn AP and PFWA’s Rookie of the Year honors.  He took a step back with a sophomore slump season before getting another 1000 yard season in 2003.  He finished his Bears career with 3332 rushing yards and 21 rushing touchdowns.  As his performance dwindled, the Bears signed former first round draft pick Thomas Jones, who supplanted Thomas as the starter.  With Jones’ emergence, the Bears decided to get off the A-Train following the 2004 season.

He had a couple of cups of coffee in New Orleans and Dallas in 2005 before settling in as a backup for the Buffalo Bills in 2006 and 2007.   Thomas is currently the special teams coordinator for West Virginia Wesleyan College.

What do you think of the ranking?  Too high?  Too low?  I guess you’ll have to check back to see who finished ahead of him to judge for yourself.  We’ll be counting down a different person each day as we inch our way to the September 7th season opener.

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