Sid Luckman, Jim McMahon, Jay Cutler- 3 quarterbacks in 70 years worth being proud of... and Cutler hasn't even played a game in a Bears uniform yet. There have been a few other QBs in that span to put up a year or two of good numbers, but we all know nothing stuck.
Just for fun, I've pulled some information from bearshistory.com relating to the Bears QB situation since 1979. But for the sake of this NightLink, let's just look at the QBs drafted since McMahon's days in a Bears uniform.
Jim Harbaugh, Michigan: Legend has it that Ditka threatened to quit when he was overruled in the draft room about taking Harbaugh with the 26th pick of the 1987 draft. Harbaugh was vilified at times by Bear fans, but is still the team's all-time leader in attempts, completions and ranks second to Luckman in passing yards. After Harbaugh's seven seasons in Chicago, he signed with Indianapolis where he was voted to the Pro Bowl following the 1995 season. Drafted: 1987 (1) Started in: 1988-1993 Released: 1994----Peter Tom Willis, Florida State: Like all other backup quarterbacks, Willis was a very popular backup to fans: until he played. He got his chance to start in 1992 when a frustrated Ditka benched Harbaugh. Willis played pedestrian at best, throwing eight interceptions and four touchdowns in two starts. Drafted: 1990 (3) Started in: 1992-1993 Released: 1994----Will Furrer, Virginia Tech: Furrer was a strong-armed left-handed quarterback with promise. The promise faded in his only start, Ditka's last game at Dallas. He completed 9 of 25 passes for 89 yards and three interceptions against the Super Bowl-bound Cowboys. Drafted: 1992 (4) Started in: 1992 Released: 1993----Moses Moreno, Colorado State: Stenstrom was so bad that rookie seventh-round pick Moses Moreno started a game in 1998. He injured his knee, ending his career for the Bears. Drafted: 1998 (7) Started in: 1998 Released: 1999----Cade McNown, UCLA: Petulant, arrogant, smarmy, you name a few adjectives to describe the quarterback predicted to be the next Jim McMahon. Declared that he didn't drink, smoke or have premarital sex, but he was indicted for misusing handicapped parking placards. Angered his teammates so much that they reportedly threatened mutiny if he were started over Matthews in the final game of 2000. Had brief stops in Miami and San Francisco but never threw another pass in the NFL following a final completion against Detroit in the 2000 finale. Did pocket close to $20 million on his rookie deal. Drafted: 1999 (1) Started in: 1999-2000 Traded: 2001----Craig Krenzel, Ohio State: Picked in the fifth round in 2004, ended up starting due to the utter misery that was Quinn's play. Became the starter on October 31st and won three games in a row--not bad for a rookie--but was helped immensely by his defense and poor competition. Injured on Thanksgiving at Dallas and was supplanted by Chad Hutichinson. Drafted: 2004 (5) Started in: 2004 Released: 2005----Kyle Orton, Purdue: Pressed into duty when Grossman injured his ankle, and Hutchinson stunk, in the 2005 preseason. Became only the second rookie quarterback since 1970 to win 10 starts, but like Krenzel he was helped greatly by a great defense. Deserves a lot of credit for steadying the ship in 2005 prior to Grossman's return. Orton has also been installed as the third starter of the 2007 season, and has played remarkably well as the fulltime starter in 2008. Drafted: 2005 (4) Started in: 2005, 2007-2008----Rex Grossman, Florida: In 2006, Grossman became the first Chicago Bears quarterback since 1995, and only the third since 1981, to start all 16 games in a season. Alternately celebrated as a potential MVP and vilified as the team's worst problem, he led the 2006 Bears to the Super Bowl. Then generally stunk in that game. Entered the 2007 season with a goal of throwing 30 touchdowns and less than 10 interceptions, Grossman was benched after three games, then returned to start four more before suffering a season-ending knee injury. Final 2007 statistics: 4 touchdowns, 7 interceptions and a 67.1 QB rating. Drafted: 2003 (1) Started in: 2003-2008
Granted this information has not been updated, but we also haven't drafted a QB since Orton. I could provide my own feelings about these guys, but rather will leave it to you to download how you feel. If you get a chance, head over to the QB page I pulled this from, and it will list out other QBs that we either signed as free agents or acquired in trades. Then, revel in your comfort of having the first Pro Bowl QB in 24 years. Have a good weekend!