Continuing my series looking at the Greatest Bears by Number, we explore the 20s. Last time out we featured a player who also happens to
be a member share a name with a member's handle. This time out I'll explore numbers 20-24, which means we can move on from the QBs and kickers and get into the defensive backs. Also a current member of the Bears makes an appearance on the list for the first time in the series. It's probably pretty obvious who that will be....not mention that he too appears in several usernames around the blog.
I was actually pretty surprised by the number of DBs that ended up taking the slots in the early 20s jersey numbers but I probably shouldn't have been. The '80s and '90s proved we had some very good safeties, but one could argue that our loaded defensive line at the time inflated those numbers but either way Carrier, Woolford and Duerson were some bad dudes patrolling deep for the Bears.
20 - Mark Carrier, FS (1990-96): This one was tough, Mark Carrier had one of the best rookie years ever when he had 10 INTs (half of his career total) in addition to 10 career FFs and 551 tackles in 7 seasons with the team. He also has Defensive ROY, 3 Pro Bowls, his 3 All-Conference and 4 All-NFL team selections. He beats out Jones by a hair. Honorable Mention - Thomas Jones (2004-06)
21 - Donnell Woolford, CB (1989-96) - Woolford played 8 seasons for the Bears and nabbed 32 INTs along with 3 sacks, 3 FFs and 536 tackles. He was a Pro-Bowler following the '93 season.
22 - Dave Duerson, S (1983-89) - A 4-time Pro-Bowler whose life was cut tragically short earlier this year will be remembered for his 18 INTs and 16 sacks. A good player who, unfortunately, became a product of his playing time.
23 - Devin Hester, WR/PR/KR/DB (2006-Present) - The first present Bear to make the list, Hester has re-written the book on kick returning and has even gotten HOF talk. If Bears fans voted he'd be a first-ballot but I like to think he'll get in eventually. His honors are almost too many to list; 3-time Pro-Bowler, 3-time All-Pro, 7 All-NFL honors from various outlets. His records, too, are numberous: All-time leader in KRs, single-season record for KR TDs (He set it twice), most PR yards in a season and he's 3rd all-time for non-offensive TDs. Honorable Mention - Shaun Gayle, DB (1984-94)
24 - Rosey Taylor, S (1961-69) - With 23 career INTs this guy was a staple of the Bears of the '60s. During the Championship 1963 season, Taylor tied for the league lead with 9 INTs. He was a 2-time Pro-Bowler and a one-time First Team All-Pro.
The rest of the series: