The Chicago Bears had another player selected to the Hall of Fame a few weeks ago in Brian Urlacher. There are other former Bears that could be worthy of being selected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. We are going to look at four possible candidates who might be in line for the Hall. They just might follow Brian Urlacher’s lead and earn the biggest honor of their football lives, to have their bust in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Photo Courtesty of the Ten Yard Line
The first one we will talk about is Jay Hilgenberg.
Hilgenberg played for the Bears from 1981 to 1991 then spent two years with other teams before retiring. He had only one season where he missed less than ten games and only two where he missed less than 16 (with the Bears). He was a model of consistency and one of the best lineman in Bears’ history.
One thing that often gets forgotten is that he helped anchor a line that helped pave the way for the second greatest running back (statistically) in NFL history, Walter Payton. He was there for much of Payton’s career and helped lead the rusher to his lofty numbers. Just for that Hilgenberg, in fact, the whole offensive line, should be voted into the Hall of Fame. But the guys, despite their workman-like consistency and toughness, haven’t received any consideration for the Hall. They all deserve at least a look, especially Hilgenberg, for that honor.
Another lineman who was part of that great cast that led the way for Walter Payton was tackle Jim “Jimbo” Covert. Covert was with the Bears from 1983 until 1990. During his career, he had just two nine games seasons and three 15 game seasons proving just how tough he was. Covert defined the tackle position and received several honors for his play there. He was part of that great offensive line of the 1980’s and deserves credit for helping pave the way for Payton.
Covert was a stalwart at the offensive tackle position and defined what today’s tackles are supposed to do.
Look for his name to get mentioned in the future as a possible candidate.
Anyone who has been a Bears’ fan for the last ten-plus years knows that Urlacher had someone by his side in almost every game he played helping him out. That player was Lance Briggs. Briggs quietly became one of the NFL’s best linebackers, alongside Urlacher, and he has the stats and accolades to back it up. This seven-time Pro Bowler was also a first-team All-Pro, a second-team All-Pro and was one of the most consistent players on the team. He did his job and did it quietly.
Briggs deserves a lot of credit for doing what he did on defense in Chicago. He helped Urlacher just like Urlacher helped him. Could you say, “if Urlacher made it into the Hall of Fame then Briggs should”? No, but Briggs deserves at least a little bit of consideration and possibly, sometime down the road, he could end up in the Hall of Fame.
Finally, the one sure-fire future Bears’ Hall of Famer who should be considered is all-world return specialist Devin Hester. Now there are those who think that Hester doesn’t deserve the honor because he didn’t touch the ball as often as other Hall of Fame players. However, he had a huge impact on every single game he played. Hester changed the way teams thought about kicking to him, and the opponent’s decisions often gave the Bears great field position. And when he did get the ball, he was electric. He could do so much with it.
The Bears won games because of him.
It’s likely that Hester makes it into the Hall of Fame as the first return specialist in history. There will be a big argument between the voters because they will say that he didn’t touch the ball enough to warrant consideration. But they will not be able to deny his game-changing ability and impact.
Hester will get into the Hall of Fame.
There are two other players who deserve some credit for what they have done in their careers as Chicago Bears.
You have Charles “Peanut” Tillman who was famous for the game-changing turnovers that he created. He was voted to the Pro Bowl twice, was a first-team All-Pro once, won the Brian Piccolo award three times while also winning the Walter Payton Man of the Year honors once. So not only was he a great football player but he was also a good human being.
That might account for something in the eyes of Pro Bowl voters.
Finally, there is a chance that former center Olin Kreutz could see the Hall of Fame someday. This six-time Pro Bowl player had a huge impact on the team when he played for them earning first and second team All-Pro Honors. He was a force to be reckoned with at center and helped anchor a good offensive line for the Bears, for the most part. Kreutz needs to be considered a Hall of Fame player and should make it in sooner rather than later.
Let’s see who the next Chicago Bears’ player is to be elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. With all the talent mentioned, one of these guys, in fact, all these guys, have a shot at earning professional football’s highest honor.