The next edition of WCG's picks for the Chicago Bears 2000's All-Decade Team is a look at the offensive tackles. If there is a glory position on the offensive line, then left tackle is that position. In recent years, elite left tackles are pulling down salaries on par & exceeding that of receivers & running backs. Here's a look at the Bears best tackles, both left & right, from the previous decade.
1. James "Big Cat" Williams
The Big Cat played for the Bears from 1991 though 2002, all 12 of his seasons in the NFL. He was originally brought in and played as a DT/DE. In 1992 some coach named Mike Ditka moved Williams to the offense, specifically right tackle. From 1994 through 2002, Williams started 143 out of 144 games. For the 2000's decade, Williams started all 48 games at Right Tackle from 2000-2002. He made his 1st and only Pro Bowl in 2001. That season:
In addition to his starting duties, Williams was the "main man" on the Bears' field goal defense unit, blocking or deflecting eight field goal attempts through 2001.
2. John Tait
Tait played 5 seasons in Chicago from 2004 to 2008. The versatile tackle played 3 seasons (05-07) at left tackle and 2 seasons (04 & 08) at right tackle. He started 73 of 80 games while a member of the Bears. Chronic ankle injuries forced Tait to retire after the 2008 season.
3. Fred Miller
Miller played right tackle & started for the Bears from 2005-2007 opposite John Tait. In those 3 seasons, the veteran pickup from Tennessee missed only 2 starts. During those 3 seasons, the Bears featured a strong running game and made the Super Bowl in 2006. There's also this little nugget from Bears' management:
"Fred Miller broke his jaw while getting out of bed in the middle of the night." -Bears organization's first explanation of the injury, later revealed to be caused by the fist of Olin Kreutz.
Other entries in the All-Decade Team - 2000's
Quarterbacks: Rex, Kyle, Miller
Running Backs: Jones, A-Train, Forte
Wide Receivers: Booker, Moose, Berrian
Guards: Brown, Garza, Villarrial, Tucker