Chicago Bears Countdown to Kickoff: 79 Days with Dick Evey

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Chicago Bears / Malcolm Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Today's installment of Chicago Bears Countdown to Kickoff brings us just 79 days away from the start of the 2023 season, and to celebrate, we will be looking at the life and career of the best player in franchise history to don the number 79, defensive lineman Dick Evey.

Dick Evey's path to the Chicago Bears

Originally hailing from State College, Pennsylvania, Dick Evey attended the University of Tennessee, where the 6' 4" 235 lbs athlete played on the school's football and track teams. On the gridiron, Evey was a dominant defensive tackle and even played in the 1964 College All-Star Game following his final season.

Evey, who also set a school shot put record at 50 feet and 2.5 inches, became draft eligible in 1964 and was selected by the Chicago Bears with the 14th overall pick in the NFL Draft, as well as by the Buffalo Bills in the second round of the AFL Draft.

Dick Evey spent six seasons with Chicago Bears

In Evey's first season with the Bears, the defensive lineman played in all 14 games while making 11 starts. After finishing the season with 2.5 sacks, Evey finished seventh in the Defensive Rookie of the Year voting. The following season, Evey started in all 14 of the team's games while proving to be a versatile player across the Bears' defensive line. In his third season, the former Volunteer recorded seven sacks, a mark that would end up as his career high, and an interception.

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Chicago Bears / Malcolm Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

In 1966, Evey's third season, the defensive lineman's production dropped a bit with just 3.5 sacks on the year, but he was once again able to start all 14 games throughout the year. Unfortunately, Evey would be forced to miss some time the following year due to injury, and after being able to start in just nine games, he finished the year with six sacks, his second-highest season total of his career.

By 1968, a healthy Evey once again became a full-time starter throughout all 14 games of the season. Over that span, Evey recorded only two sacks but was able to haul in his second, and final, career interception. In 1969, Evey's last year with the Bears, the Tennessee product managed an impressive 5.5 sacks but was traded at the end of the season to the Los Angeles Rams.

Dick Evey's retirement and life after the Chicago Bears

After a year with the Rams and a subsequent season with the Detroit Lions, Evey retired from the NFL in 1972. He ended his career with 27.5 sacks and two interceptions in eight seasons. Over that span, Evey started in 83 of the 102 games he played in. During his six seasons with the Bears, Evey recorded 26.5 sacks and two interceptions. With his sack total, Evey is the 24th all-time leading sack-getter in Bears history, just 0.5 sacks behind All-Time defensive tackle William Perry.


Following his retirement, Evey worked in real estate and residential construction, and was an active member of his community, even serving in the Army National Guard. Unfortunately, Evey passed away in 2013 due to dementia and primary progressive aphasia. Before his passing, Evey was involved in NFL 88, a foundation set up in 2007 to help former NFL players with dementia, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and ALS help pay for medical treatment.