Bears

Bears All-Decade Team: Brian Urlacher, Akiem Hicks lead LBs, DL

Bears

The Chicago Bears wrapped up their 100th season of football in disappointing fashion, but the 2010s provided Bears fans with some fun moments and personalities to cheer for.

In this nine-part series, we'll name our Bears All-Decade Team.

We've already covered edge defenders and the secondary. Next up: Linebackers and defensive linemen.


Linebacker: Brian Urlacher
2000-12

This is the easiest pick of any Bears All-Decade player. Urlacher's Hall-of-Fame career continued the proud tradition of linebackers in Chicago and vaulted him into rarified air in the city's sports legends.

Urlacher played his entire 13-year career with the Bears which included 180 starts, 1,354 tackles, 41.5 sacks, 22 interceptions and four defensive touchdowns. Simply incredible.

His list of league awards and accolades has few peers. He was the 2000 Defensive Rookie of the Year, the 2005 Defensive Player of the Year, an eight-time Pro-Bowler and four-time First-Team All-Pro.

Few Bears have left the kind of legacy Urlacher did, and few Bears ever will again.


Linebacker: Lance Briggs
2003-14

Briggs was the Robin to Urlacher's Batman during his tenure with the Bears. His career is Hall-of-Fame worthy and if it wasn't for playing in Urlacher's shadow, he would likely be viewed in even higher regard than he is.

Briggs started 170 games for Chicago and ended his career with 1,174 tackles, 16 interceptions, 15 sacks, and six defensive touchdowns. He was selected to seven Pro Bowls and was a First-Team All-Pro in 2005.

Next stop: Canton.

Linebacker: Danny Trevathan
2016-2019

Trevathan was one of Bears GM Ryan Pace's first big free-agent acquisitions in 2016 when he signed a four-year, $28 million contract that offseason. He's been a big part of the turnaround in Chicago and a leader on the Bears' defense during some of its darkest seasons.

 

Trevathan has started 45 games since coming to Chicago and has 327 tackles, six sacks and five interceptions during that span.

His future with the team is in question entering the 2020 offseason, but no matter what the future holds for him, his time as a Bear was a resounding success.

Defensive line: Akiem Hicks
2016-present

Hicks' emergence as one of the NFL's top defensive linemen has been one of the best storylines to follow for Bears fans since he joined the team in 2016 on a two-year bargain contract.

In the four seasons since, he's become Chicago's most dominant front-seven defender and was ranked 39th in the NFL's Top 100 Players entering the 2019 season. He earned his first trip to the Pro Bowl last year.

Hicks has started 53 games for the Bears and has had at least seven or more sacks in each year with the team prior to 2019's injury-shortened campaign. He remains a cornerstone piece in the team's championship aspirations.

Defensive line: Israel Idonije
2004-2012

One of the most underrated Bears of the last decade, Idonije was a model of consistency during his nine seasons in Chicago.

The Bears claimed Idonije off the Browns practice squad in 2003 and eventually worked his way into the starting lineup in 2010. He'd go on to start 47 games between 2010-12 and finished his tenure in Chicago with 28.5 sacks.