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 selected safety Mark Carrier with the 6th overall pick of the 1990 NFL draft. At the time it was unusual for a team to use that high of a draft pick on a safety and there was some criticism of the pick in both the local and national media, but Carrier quickly proved to be worth it. He was selected Defensive Rookie of the Year in 1990 after intercepting 10 passes his rookie season which is still a Bears record. Carrier not only led the team in interceptions, but also tackles with 122 , forced fumbles with 5, and big hits (imo).
Carrier’s rookie year was one of the best seasons ever for a Bears safety and earned him a trip to the Pro Bowl. His stats were never quite as good as his first year, but he did make the Pro Bowl in ’91 and ’93 as well. Carrier played seven seasons for the Bears and started all but 4 games over that stretch despite suffering multiple concussions due to his hard-hitting style. During his time with the Bears Carrier had 20 interceptions, 10 forced fumbles and 675 tackles.
After the 1996 season the Bears asked Carrier to take a pay cut that would have made him the lowest paid defensive back on the team. Carrier refused and signed with the Lions before the ’97 season and started every game for the Lions during his 3 year contract. He played one season in Washington the next year and then retired before the 2001 season. Carrier moved into coaching after his playing career ended and he has coached defensive backs at Arizona St, for the Baltimore Ravens, the New York Jets, and is currently the defensive backs coach for the Cincinnati Bengals.
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.