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.
We’ve hit the halfway point in our Top 100 Countdown and with it we get to the tragic tale of one of the Chicago Bears greats, safety Dave Duerson. Double D will probably best be remembered for how he left us, committing suicide by shooting himself in the chest so his brain could be analyzed for CTE, but in this post I’d rather focus on his tremendous accomplishments on the field.
Duerson was selected in the third round of the 1983 NFL Draft out of Notre Dame. Duerson got off to a slow start in his career, not making much of an impact on the stats sheet his first two seasons, but he burst onto the scene in 1985 while Todd Bell held out in a contract dispute. Duerson took advantage during the Bears Super Bowl season, recording two sacks and 5 interceptions on arguably the best defense in league history.
Duerson wasn’t giving up his starting safety spot and went on to add 6 interceptions and 7 sacks in 1986. His 7 sacks by a DB were a record that stood until Adrian Wilson (a new Chicago Bear in 2014) broke in in 2005. Duerson earned second team All Pro designations in 1986 and 1987 while going to four straight Pro Bowls from 1985-88. Duerson was named the NFL Man of the Year (since re-named the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award) in 1987.
In his six seasons with the Bears, Duerson had 16 sacks and 18 interceptions. After leaving the Bears, Duerson went on to win another championship with the New York Giants before spending the last few years of his career with the Arizona Cardinals from 1991 – 1993.
Duerson’s untimely demise, well documented in this May 2011 Men’s Journal article, really brought to the issues of head trauma and CTE to the forefront. Let’s hope that his tragic death can save the lives of future generations of football players.
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.