Chicago Bears Countdown to Kickoff: 84 Days with Brian Baschnagel

Chicago Bears
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Bob Thomas, Brian Baschnagel, Everson Walls
Chicago Bears / George Gojkovich/GettyImages

Chicago Bears add Brian Baschnagel

After Baschnagel's celebrated collegiate career came to an end, the receiver entered the 1976 NFL Draft, where he was selected by the Chicago Bears as the 66th overall pick during the third round. As a rookie, Baschnagel was moved to defensive back, where he briefly wore the number 47 and was also used as a kick returner and a quasi-gadget player on offense. He finished his first year with 754 kick return yards and 214 scrimmage yards on 14 total touches.

Before the following 1977 season, Baschnagel switched back to wide receiver, allowing him to be a more consistent part of the offense. However, after only playing in 10 of the team's games, the receiver managed only 50 scrimmage yards, despite turning in over 600 yards in the return game. 1978 had a similar outcome, as the receiver recorded 29 offensive yards and over 450 as a returner, but the next season would prove to be a great payoff for the investment in the former Buckeye.

In 1979, Baschnagel became a consistent contributor offensively, starting in 11 of the team's contests while providing over 450 yards and two touchdowns. At this point, Baschnagel was rarely used as a returner and was rather a full-time receiver. The following season, Baschnagel started 15 games at receiver, posting nearly 400 yards and two touchdowns.

Baschnagel's best season came in 1981, his sixth season with the team. A starter in 14 games, he recorded 564 yards and three touchdowns, both of which are season highs for his career. Unfortunately, after the peak of his career, Baschnagel would struggle to stay on the field, starting in 14 games over the next three seasons.

After starting just one game in 1984 where he recorded seven touches on the season, Baschnagel injured his knee during the team's training camp in 1985. He spent the entirety of the season on injury reserve but would remain an active member of the team during his recovery, splitting time as a scout team player and part-time coach. With the team going on to win Super Bowl XX, Baschnagel received a Super Bowl ring for his efforts.