We had so much fun doing our Countdown to Kickoff series last season that we decided to do it again. In case you’re new to the series, we’ll do a roster preview as we count down the days until the Chicago Bears September 7th season opener against the Buffalo Bills.
Long before he became the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers, Jim Harbaugh was a highly-touted quarterback at the University of Michigan and the first-round choice of the Chicago Bears in the 1987 NFL Draft. Harbaugh joined the team just barely removed from a Super Bowl Championship and still with starting quarterback Jim McMahon in tow. He struggled through his first few seasons with the Bears before finally becoming the starter in 1990.
Harbaugh’s tenure with the Bears was ultimately a disappointment, as he was unable to return the team to the postseason success it enjoyed with McMahon at the helm. Head coach Mike Ditka’s firing, along with the retirement of Walter Payton, truly marked the end of an era for the franchise that Harbaugh was unfortunately tasked with re-igniting. After his time in Chicago, Harbaugh joined the Indianapolis Colts, where in 1995 he enjoyed the best season of his career and led the team to the AFC Championship game. He has since been named to the Colts’ Ring of Honor.
Now, years removed from his playing days, Harbaugh still represents potential for the Bears. His 49ers team has enjoyed tremendous success over the past few years and is a perennial favorite in the NFC. Built behind an elite-level defense, the 49ers struck gold by drafting quarterback Colin Kaepernick and have surrounded him with weapons on offense. The Bears will need to find a similar formula for success if they ever hope to compete with the likes of Harbaugh and the 49ers, along with the rest of the log-jammed NFC.
Today we celebrate former Bears quarterback Jim Harbaugh, whose No. 4 jersey signifies just four short days until the 2014 season opener. It is also a reminder of the other notable No. 4’s in Bears history, including Steve Fuller, Brad Maynard, Steve Walsh and — most notoriously — Moses Moreno.
Be on the lookout for our Countdown to Kickoff series as we continue to work our way to the season opener on September 7th. We’re 4 days from kickoff. Are you ready???