The Chicago Bears haven't had the best run in the past 25 years. Since the glory of the '80s faded, the Bears have struggled to be competitive year in and year out.
The Lovie Smith era changed that somewhat, while the playoff results didn't come, the team was annually much, much better than in the 1990s. One of the staples of Lovie teams, aside from not the offense, was the special teams.
The Bears have had a wonderful history of special teamers: From George McAfee to Gale Sayers, Dennis McKinnon, Jerry Azumah, Kevin Butler, Brad Maynard and of course, the incomparable Devin Hester.
Day 11: Who is your all time favorite Chicago Bears special teamer?
My favorite though has to be the man, the myth and the mullet himself: Patrick Mannelly. Mannelly is the teams longest-tenured player, appearing in 245 games over 16 seasons. Even more impressive is that Mannelly missed only 11 games over those 16 seasons. Mannelly became a fan favorite because he was an every man, he never played on the offensive line, he just tweeted #MulletHunting and rarely, if ever, messed up a snap on a kick or punt. He was rock solid and steady and that's what made him great.
A close second to Mannelly is Hester, who is, quite simply, the greatest kick returner in NFL history in my opinion. Hester has been doing it for years and he was frankly the single most exciting player from 2006 to 2010 in the league. Watching kick returns was must-see when Hester was on.
And a special recognition to Brad Maynard, who like myself is a Ball State alum. He's also a top-5 Cardinal to ever play in the NFL. Chirp chirp!
So now it's your turn to sound off: who is your all-time favorite Bears special teamer?