Ron Rivera played linebacker on arguably the greatest defense of all-time in the 1985 Bears, so it's safe to say he has a good idea of what an elite defensive player looks like.
Entering the 2021 season, Chase Young is most likely Rivera's best one. The reigning Rookie of the Year and former second overall pick showcased his incredible talent and instincts last season and is expected to make another leap into the Defensive Player of the Year conversation in 2021.
In a one-on-one interview with NBC Sports Washington's Chris Miller, Rivera was asked if Young could have played on that legendary '85 Bears defense.
"Oh yeah, we have several guys that would've fit in very nicely with that group of men," Rivera said. "[Young] really would have."
That Bears team had five Pro Bowlers on the defensive side of the ball, and two on the defensive line alone along with All-Pro -- but not Pro-Bowl -- defensive tackle Steve McMichael.
Richard Dent set the pace rushing the quarterback, tallying 17 sacks and two fumble recoveries in 1985. Young could have potentially lined up on the other side of Dent to create a brutal pass-rushing combination on the edges, but he would've had to replace Pro-Bowler Dan Hampton.
As Rivera noted to Miller, there are players who are great in their era because of the era they played in, and there are players who transcend different time periods. He sees Young as one of those players who could succeed no matter what era of football he'd play in.
[Young's] a guy I think that could, I think he is a guy that this is what the future of football is going to look like," Rivera said. "And we got a few of those guys too, we're very fortunate. We really are to have those kinds of players on this team right now."
Watch Ron Rivera's full interview with Chris Miller on NBC4 Friday night at 8 p.m.