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 Alex Brown, a two-time All-American at Florida, in the 4th round of the 2002 NFL draft. I remember thinking it was a steal and it turned out to be just that. It took Brown most of his rookie season to get acclimated to the NFL game, but he still pitched in with 2.5 sacks over 9 starts. Brown took over as the full-time starter at right defensive end his second year and led the Bears with 5.5 sacks. Over the next three seasons (’04-’06) Brown started every game and totaledn19 sacks, 9 forced fumbles, and 19 pass deflections. In both ’05 and ’06 Brown was selected as a Pro Bowl alternate.
After starting every game for 4 consecutive years, Brown moved to the bench in 2007 to make room for Mark Anderson who was coming off a 12 sack season. Brown had a solid year off the bench with 4.5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles and a team high 5 pass deflections. He consistently outplayed Anderson in ’07 and earned his starting job back before the ’08 season. Brown started every game for two more seasons (’08-’09) and had 6 sacks each year while playing strong defense against the run.
After the ’09 season the Bears signed Julius Peppers to take over the right end position. They attempted to trade Brown, but couldn’t find a match and released him. Brown was signed by the Saints and started every game for them but had a down year with only 2 sacks and retired after the ’10 season. Brown was a warrior for the Bears over his 8 seasons in Chicago providing a solid mix of rushing the passer, stopping the run and batting down passes at the line of scrimmage. He finished his Bears career with 43.5 sacks, 372 tackles, 43 passes defended, 16 forced fumbles and 5 interceptions which is second all-time for a Bears DE behind Richard Dent’s 8.
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.