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 100 list of the all time Chicago Bears. It’s a fun way to pass the time and take a stroll down memory lane.
Just 60 days until the season opener, so we’re down to #60 on our Chicago Bears Top 100 list, defensive end Trace Armstrong. Armstrong spent most of his college career with the Arizona State Sun Devils, but had to transfer to Florida to regain his final year of eligibility. The Bears selected the former Gator with the 11th overall selection of the 1989 NFL Draft. The Bears plugged the rookie Armstrong in among veterans Dan Hampton, Richard Dent, William Perry and Steve McMichael as the starting left defensive end and the rookie responded with 5 sacks.
The next season, Armstrong went off for 10 sacks, which was still only good for second on the team behind Richard Dent’s 12 sacks. Armstrong was named the NFC Defensive Player of the Month for a September in which he recorded 25 tackles, 5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles and a fumble recovery. That’s a good career for some recent Bears draft picks, so the arrow appeared to be pointing up.
1991 was not as good for Armstrong, as he only got 1.5 sacks as he slid inside to DT in the nickel defense, which limited his pass rushing opportunities. The emergence of Alonzo Spellman allowed Armstrong to return to DE in 1992, where he was able to get back on track with 6.5 sacks.
1993 was Armstrong’s best with the club. After signing a 3-year, $3 million deal, Armstrong responded with an 11.5 sack season. In 1994, Armstrong had 7.5 sacks as the Bears returned to the playoffs. The Bears traded Armstrong to the Miami Dolphins for a second and third round selection of the 1995 draft. Armstrong went on to play 6 seasons with the Dolphins and record another 56.5 sacks while the Bears selected a couple of
Armstrong is ranked in the Top 5 in sacks for the Bears with 42 in his 6 year career with the Bears.
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.