Let's take a look at my latest edition of my series "The Greatest Bears by [Jersey] Number." Today we're looking at the five best players ever to don numbers 10-14. Follow me below and see what's what.
However, one of my favorite things about the Bears is that their history is so vast and the great players they have had goes all the way back to 1919! The advantage to this is that since we can go back to the pre-1960s era when players could generally wear whatever number they wanted, I still can find great linemen, LBs, DBs, etc. who donned numbers less than 20. Brilliant!! I find nothing more fun than players wearing odd numbers like DE Ed Sprinkle wearing number 7 or Sid Luckman wearing 42.
I know many of you have played football, any of you wear a strange number for your position? Tell us about it in the comments!
On to this post now!
10 - Rudy Bukich, QB (1958-59, '62-68) - He was only the full-time starter for two of his 9 season in Chicago but in '65 he led the team to a 9-3 record in the games he started. For his career he was 17-11-2 for the Bears. "Honorable" Mention - Bobby Douglass, QB, (1969-75) - I put honorable in quotes because Douglass was awful as a passer (career 42% completion percentage for the Bears) but he held the record for single-season rushing yards by a QB until Vick broke it.
11 - Jack Concannon, QB (1967-71) - All I can say is I pity any old-timers out there who remember the Bears of the late '60s, especially because it followed the era of dominant Bears of the early '60s but Concannon's stats are awful; 51% completion rate, 31 TDs, 52 INTS and HE STARTED! His first year with the Bears he started 12 games threw 6 TDs and 14 INTs!! Somehow though he managed a 7-4-1 record that year as the starter. Honorable Mention: Joe Maniaci, FB (1938-41)
12 - Erik Kramer, QB (1994-98) It has to be Kramer, right? Kramer put together what is still the best statistical season in franchise history in '95 by throwing for a single-season record of 3,838 yards with 29 TDs, 11 INTs and a 93.5 rating (the highest in team history since the merger)
13 - George Trafton, C (1920-32) - This one is tough because the Bears have two HOF number 13s from the long-ago eras where stats are harder to come by. I put Trafton first because there was a second number given for the other one, Joe Stydahar. Honorable Mention - Joe Stydahar, LT (1936-46)
14 - Chuck Drulis, G/LB (1942, '45-49) - Um, well, 14 hasn't had an embarrassment of riches exactly so this guy it is. Haven really heard of him but he was a Pro-Bowler in '42 and 2nd Team All-Pro in '48.