Chicago Bears All-Decade Team: 2000s
Thomas Jones, RB
Grossman is joined in the backfield of this all-decade squad by the running back who accompanied him to Super Bowl XLI, Thomas Jones. The thing I loved about Jones is that he always seemed angry, and the gun show he was bringing to the table was consistently impressive. I remember seeing him up close one year at the Bears Family Night at Soldier Field during the preseason; I came away thinking he was the most daunting presence on the team.
Jones joined the Bears as a free agent in 2004 and would stick with them thru the fateful Super Bowl runner-up season but then would be traded to the Jets in 2007, a move made because the team felt comfortable moving forward with Cedric Benson as the featured back. Ugh.
During Jones’ three-year run with the Bears he amassed 3,493 rushing yards and 22 touchdowns while averaging well over four yards per carry. After those three years — the best of his career to that point — Jones would run for 3,833 more yards over the next three with New York, making a trip to the Pro Bowl in 2008. Can Jerry Angelo have a do-over on the whole Thomas Jones/Cedric Benson thing?
The Other Guys…
I definitely had to get some A-Train love in here and for me he comes in just behind Jones as the #2 RB on my all-decade depth chart. In my little corner of the world I’m surrounded by nothing but Michigan and Michigan State fans, so naturally I saw plenty of Anthony Thomas while he was at U of M. I was excited when they drafted him and he came thru as a rookie with 1,183 yards rushing.
Thomas covered 3,332 yards on the ground at a 3.8 YPC clip over his four-year career with the Bears, scoring 22 touchdowns.
Honorable mention goes to the current starter and a guy who will eventually go down as one of the best in Bears history, Matt Forte. He was drafted out of Tulane in 2008 and averaged over 1,000 yards rushing those first two years, but like Jay he’ll have to wait for the next decade’s team.
Remember This Guy?
James Allen, the featured back in 2000 before the A-Train pulled into the station, rushed for 1,120 yards in that first year of the decade. I also bypassed the idea of including a fullback, so my condolences to Jason McKie, Stanley Pritchett and Bryan Johnson.
Next: All-2000s Wide Receivers