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.
Next up in our Top 100 Countdown is defensive tackle Jim Flanigan, a Bears player from the tail end of the era I like to call the Dark Ages in Chicago Bears history. The era after Ditka and before Lovie Smith, spanned by Dave Wannstedt and Dick Jauron where Bears football took a major step backward. Flanigan was drafted out of Notre Dame in the third round of the 1994 NFL Draft.
Flanigan didn’t have much of an impact as a rookie, but burst on the scene in his second season with the Bears. He recorded 11 sacks from the defensive tackle position, the highest total of his career. Besides his stellar work at defensive tackle, Flanigan also dabbled on offense. He caught four balls for four touchdowns between 1994 and 1997. Flanigan also has the distinction of catching the first 2-point conversion in team against the Packers on September 1, 1997.
Flanigan won the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award in 2000 and was released before the next season as they transitioned to the “700 pounds of ass” defensive line. He finished his Bears career with 40.5 sacks, good for 8th on the all time list.
Flanigan stayed in the league until 2003, bouncing from the Packers, Eagles and 49ers the last few years of his career.
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.