Bears

View from the Moon: Colonel of truth

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View from the Moon: Colonel of truth

Friday, Feb. 4, 2011Posted: 10:00 PM
By John Mullin
CSNChicago.com

The selections for this years Hall of Fame class will be made and announced Saturday and an unofficial prediction is that Richard Dent will finally get some very overdue recognition from the Hall electors and officially join the games elites.

The Colonel doesnt need anyone to plead a case that he made more than eloquently in his career.

An amusing part of the 2010 Bears season was the observation that Julius Peppers sometimes was mistakenly perceived as going less than full-out because he made it look so easy. That was Dent, a so-called bad body who Walter Payton once said would take the wallet out of his back pocket by reaching over his left shoulder, but someone whose grace and fluidity masked excellence at the craft of pass rushing that few in his era and others grasped so completely.

Dent told me once that, yes, of course he had plays with less that max intensity; so did everyone who had half an NFL brain. The point was to know which ones were the ones on which to do that, and at the same time to use those as part of setting up an offensive lineman for future downs.

Dent has 137.5 career sacks and has been eligible for nine years, which means a bunch of disappointments. For one of the dominant players of his era, this Saturday should put an end to that.

As for the others who would comprise my Class of 2011 (and their principle team):

Willie Roaf, tackle, New Orleans Saints
The Bears opted for wideout Curtis Conway in 1993s first round instead. When the Saints scrimmaged in training camps against the Bears, pass rushers against Roaf bordered on the comical.

Dermontti Dawson, center, Pittsburgh Steelers
Olin Kreutz considers him the standard of the era. The best in a tradition of great Pittsburgh middlemen.
Deion Sanders, cornerback, Dallas Cowboys
The ultimate shutdown corner who coordinators and quarterbacks admitted made at least one-quarter of the field off-limits. Nine-time first-team All-Pro.

Charles Haley, defensive end, Dallas Cowboys
Five-time Super Bowl winner with San Francisco and Dallas, two-time NFC defensive player of the year. Overshadowed by an offense built around Troy Aikman, Michael Irvin and Emmitt Smith, Haley was the player Jimmy Johnson went after to put his Cowboys team over the hump, which Haley did.

The toughest calls are Cris Carter and Marshall Faulk. Carters 1,101 receptions are absolutely Hall-worthy, as are Faulks 19,154 career rushing yards. Both belong in the Hall of Fame, the only question being now or next year.

If Dent does not make the cut this time, it will be for one or both of these last two.

John "Moon" Mullin is CSNChicago.com's Bears Insider, and appears regularly on Bears Postgame Live and Chicago Tribune Live. Follow Moon on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Bears information.

Where should Khalil Mack rank among all-time best Bears?

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USA TODAY

Where should Khalil Mack rank among all-time best Bears?

One season was all it took for Khalil Mack to enter the conversation among the all-time best Bears players.

Six forced fumbles, 12.5 sacks, 10 tackles for loss, four pass breakups and one pick six kept him in the Defensive Player of the Year conversation despite an ankle injury.

It’s hard to stack one dominant season against players who maintained excellence over multiple years, but Hall of Fame writers Dan Pompei and Don Pierson did just that in their ranking of the top 100 Bears players of all time.

For Mack’s efforts in 2018, he came in 60th on the list, one spot behind former defensive end Julius Peppers.

Richard Dent is the only player in Bears history to record more than 12.5 sacks in a season, and Mack’s production was tied for the third best year for the franchise since they started recording sacks in 1982.

Peppers hit double-digit sacks twice in his four years in Chicago with three trips to the Pro Bowl, but Pompei and Pierson may have been hesitant to rank Mack too highly given how little time he’s spent at Halas Hall.

The star outside linebacker is not the 60th most talented player in team history, but in terms of best contributions while on the Bears, his lack of tenure could be what keeps him lower on the list.

If he continues at his current rate, he should rise near the top of the rankings after another few seasons.

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Hall of Fame writers rank Jay Cutler behind Brandon Marshall on all-time Bears list

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USA TODAY

Hall of Fame writers rank Jay Cutler behind Brandon Marshall on all-time Bears list

The summer days of the offseason are prime ranking season, and the Bears official website is entering the mix as part of the team’s 100th season celebration.

Hall of Fame writers Dan Pompei and Don Pierson ranked the top 100 players in franchise history for their upcoming centennial scrapbook, and Monday the team released the first 25 names on the list.

The biggest standout was quarterback Jay Cutler, who ranked 85th.

Plenty of Hall of Famers should rank above the Bears’ all-time leading passer, but 84 is quite a few.

It’s hard to compare a modern quarterback to players from previous decades, like 82nd-ranked George Blanda, but Cutler even came in behind the likes of wide receivers Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery, neither of whom spent more than five years in Chicago.

Third-year safety Eddie Jackson also made an appearance at 96 on the list, and beloved former long snapper Patrick Mannelly started off the list at 100.