Yesterday the 113 nominees for the 2015 Pro Football Hall of Fame were released and there are six with ties to the Chicago Bears. Twenty five of those 113 will be selected as semifinalists for the Hall in late November. In January, those 25 will be pared down to 15 finalists.
Here are the six former Bears on the list.
Jay Hilgenberg, Center - Hilgenberg was the best center of his era, being named to seven straight Pro Bowls (1985 - 1991) and twice First Team All Pro . He played in Chicago from 1981 to 1991 and he finished his career with a season in Cleveland, then one in New Orleans.
Jimbo Covert, Tackle - Covert's career was marred by injury and he only made it through eight seasons in the NFL (1983 - 1990), all with the Bears. He was First Team All Pro and a Pro Bowler in 1985 and '86.
Orlando Pace, Tackle - Pace only spent one unforgettable season in Chicago (2009), but he was an excellent left tackle for the St. Louis Rams from 1997 to 2008. He was a seven time Pro Bowler and three time First Team All Pro.
There are 23 offensive linemen on the nominee list.
Steve McMichael, Defensive Tackle - "Mongo" spent 13 of his 15 years in the NFL employed by the Bears. He was drafted by the Patriots in 1980, signed by the Bears in 1981, then ended his career with the Green Bay Packers in 1994. He was twice named First Team All Pro ('85 & '87) and he was a two time Pro Bowler ('86 & '87).
Ted Washington, Defensive Tackle - Washington played for seven different teams in 17 seasons ('91 - '07). He was in Chicago from 2001 to 2002, being named to his 4th and final Pro Bowl in 2001. He was also named First Team All Pro that year.
There are 12 defensive linemen on the nominee list.
Richie Petitbon, Coach - Petitbone was one of the most successful assistant coaches of all time winning three Super Bowl rings as the defensive coordinator with the Washington Redskins from 1981 to 1992. As a player he was named to four Pro Bowls while a member of the Bears (1959 - 1968).
There are 14 coaches on the nominee list.