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.
The Bears drafted Bobby Douglass in the 2nd round of the 1969 NFL draft. Douglass was an All-American QB who led Kansas to a 9-2 record and a spot in the Orange Bowl. He was 6’4 and left-handed which were both unusual traits at the time, Douglass was only the 5th left-handed QB in NFL history. The Bears didn’t know what to do with Douglass, the team was terrible and Douglass had such a powerful arm that his receivers struggled to catch his passes and complained about his velocity. Douglass only started 15 games in his first 3 years on the Bears and they went 13-29 over that stretch.
In 1972 the Bears finally figured out that Douglass could run. Douglass only ran for 714 yards in his first three seasons combined, but once they let him loose in ’72 he rushed for 968 yards and 8 TDs. His 968 rushing yards was an NFL single-season record for QBs until 2006 (34 years later) when Michael Vick broke it by 71 yards. Despite Douglass’ success running the football, the Bears were still really bad and finished 4-9-1 for the season.
Over the next few years the Bears were still a struggling football team, but at least they had an exciting QB. Douglass went 13-31-1 overall as the Bears starting QB, but he was a huge improvement over the QBs before him and brought some entertainment back to Bears games. Douglass played way before my time as a Bears fan and probably yours as well, but my grandpa still swears that Douglass is the best Bears QB he’s ever seen so Douglass must have been fun to watch.
In his 7 years with the Bears Douglass threw for 30 TDs, rushed for 2,470 yards and scored 20 rushing TDs. The QB position has been bleak for the Bears over the last 60+ years but Douglass owns a couple Bear records and sounds like he was pretty fun to watch which is enough to earn a place on this list.
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.