JJ Stankevitz and John “Moon” Mullin react to the news that Albert Wilson is expected to sign with the Bears and look at how he could fit in the team’s re-worked receiver corps in 2018.
Excitement for the Bears are at an all-time high, so while March Madness and the NCAA Tournament begin, we still have Bears on the mind. So we've created Chicago Bears Football Madness, pitting players from the three best Bears teams and legends head-to-head. This is the 2018 region.
1. Khalil Mack
4. Eddie Jackson
Mack: Good players are hard to find in the NFL. Great players are even tougher. Elite players? Those guys rarely become available. So when the Oakland Raiders were willing to trade an elite player, Ryan Pace did what he had to do, surrendering two-first round picks and a boatload of cap space in the process. Mack immediately transformed the Bears’ defense from a good unit to a great one, with his mere presence scrambling opposing quarterbacks and coordinators. No player had a bigger impact on the Bears’ 12-4 season from not only a production standpoint, but from a mental one, too. Mack was worth every bit of draft capital and cap space the Bears parted with to acquire him in 2018.
Jackson: The undisputed breakout start of the 2018 Bears, Eddie Jackson is extremely the real deal. PFF had him as their top safety in football all year, and the NFL seemed to agree when he was named All-Pro. He has a knack for finding the end zone, and at one (late) point this last season had as many touchdowns as a BUNCH of Pro Bowl receivers. 8 interceptions, 3 touchdowns, and 94 solo tackles over 30 games is incredible, and Jackson’s set to be a staple of the Bears’ defense for years to come. And you think Landon Collins got paid …
2. Matt Nagy
3. Akiem Hicks
Nagy: From the moment Nagy first addressed his team in early April of last year, his message resonated. It wasn’t just the offense quickly buying into him — it was the defense, too, appreciating his genuine personality and swagger. “Club Dub” became a massive hit, as did him yelling “Boom!” after wins later in the season. Innovative plays like “Willy Wonka” and “Santa’s Sleigh” became almost an expectation near the goal line. Not only did Nagy make the Bears good again, he made them fun, too.
- JJ Stankevitz
Akiem Hicks: Ryan Pace's biggest hit in free agency. Hicks is your #3 seed in a bracket that some might consider the favorite to come out of the region. While he might not have the flare of a Mack or a Nagy ahead of him, his hard nosed and nasty presence anchored arguably the NFL's top defense to the tune of 7.5 sacks, 41 tackles, and 3 forced fumbles. Freezer Left made him the most beloved Bears DL since the Fridge.
- Matt Rooney
Excitement for the Bears are at an all-time high, so while March Madness and the NCAA Tournament begin, we still have Bears on the mind. So we've created Chicago Bears Football Madness, pitting players from the three best Bears teams and legends head-to-head. This is the 2006 region.
1. Brian Urlacher
4. Charles Tillman
Brian Urlacher: As strong a case as any in the field for the number one overall seed. The 2018 Hall of Fame inductee revolutionized the game at middle linebacker and did it playing for a franchise with the richest defensive identity. The eight-time Pro Bowler, five-time All-Pro, 2000 Defensive Rookie of the Year, 2005 AP Defensive Player of the Year and Bears all-time leading tackler is the odds on favorite to be the last man standing at the end of this madness.
- Paul Aspan
Tillman: Peanut! Tillman’s 12-year career with the Bears should probably put him in the Hall of Fame. Even if he ultimately doesn’t get in, the Peanut Punch ain’t exactly a terrible legacy to leave on the league. Even without the Peanut Punch, 36 interceptions, *42* forced fumbles and eight touchdowns is a hell of a career. Ironically enough, 2006 was one of Tillman’s quieter years, but Peanut’s numbers speak for themselves. Just to be even MORE badass, Tillman joined the FBI after retiring and is now an active agent. An FBI Agent!
- Cam Ellis
3. Devin Hester
10. Robbie Gould
Hester: A true game-changer. LITERALLY. Devin Hester was such a good return man that some teams around the NFL chose to just give the Bears the ball at the 40-yard line by kicking it out of bounds rather than give the “Windy City Flyer” an opportunity to take one to the house. And he took it to the house a lot, breaking Deion Sanders’ record for return touchdowns with 20 in his illustrious career. In eight years with the Bears, Hester scored on 13 punt returns, five kick returns and a memorable 108-yard missed field goal return in the Meadowlands.
His career never took off as a defensive back or as a wide receiver, but it didn’t matter, as Hester undoubtedly goes down as the greatest return man in NFL history. Devin Hester...you are ridiculous!
Gould: The fan favorite and Cinderella, Robbie has now knocked out two members of that vaunted 2006 defense: Alex Brown & Lance Briggs. Clearly the current kicking situation is on Bears fans minds, and franchise tag from the 49ers or not, the people want Gould back in Chicago. Whether or not there’s an eventual fairytale ending for Robbie in a Bears uniform, it sure looks like this Cinderella story could go the distance.
- Paul AspanClick here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of the Bears.