My 100 Favorite Chicago Bears of All-Time will have some crossover with the WCG Top 100 Bears Players of All-Time list, but while the WCG list was based on how great the players are or were, my list is 100% subjective. These are my favorite players through my lifetime of being a Bears fan that started a long time ago (in a galaxy far, far away). Some of my favorite players were superstars, some were role players, some were fighting for their roster spot every second of their NFL lives, and some I really don’t have a good reason for other than I was a fan of their play.
I got the idea of listing my 100 Favorite Bears’ players from Aldo Gandia of Bears Barroom, who was listing his 100 Fav Bears on Twitter. How I got started was to just start listing all my Bear favorites off the top of my head and sorting them alphabetically in a Google Doc. Then I went to Pro Football Reference to make sure my old brain wasn’t forgetting any of my favs. Next I started sorting through the list to vet it down to 100, then my last step was the numerical sort.
My number one was easy, as I think he’s the favorite player for a large chunk of the fan-base around my age.
Remember, these are my personal picks, so there may be some unfamiliar names on my list, and you’ll probably see an unusual number of linemen.
One more thing, my 100 is made up of only players that I actually saw play, so while I loved watching Dick Butkus and Gale Sayers on NFL Films, I was never technically a fan of their playing career while cheering on the Bears.
Hope you guys find some names on my list that bring up some fond Bear memories of your own.
My 100 Favorite Chicago Bears of All-Time
100) Brad Maynard - Maynard is arguably the greatest Bears punter of all time, and did you know he went 5 of 7 passing for 2 TDs during his time in Chicago?
99) Doug Flutie - I was a big fan of the USFL, and was excited when the Bears traded for him in 1986. I always thought he could thrive if given a chance to play, but that didn’t happen in Chicago.
98) John Timu - Every time he got on the field he played like his NFL career depended on it.
97) Brian Baschnagel - When I was a wee lad, my stepbrother had a Baschnagel jersey and I had about a gazillion Baschnagel football cards.
96) Brian Cabral - Not gonna lie, I was drawn to him because I thought the name “Cabral” had a badass ring to it, but he was a special teams captain during his time as a Bear.
95) Vince Evans - Evans was the first Bears quarterback I remember seeing. He had a cannon for an arm.
94) Dave Williams - Before I was officially a Bears’ fan, I remember Williams beating the Lions on Thanksgiving with a kickoff return for a TD. Once I was converted to full-fledged Bears’ fan, he was one of the players I remember rooting for.
93) Jordan Mills - He came out of nowhere as a 5th round pick to win the starting right tackle job as a rookie.
92) Eddie Goldman - Casual fans will never realize the importance of a big nose tackle in a 3-4 defense, but Goldman has been so much more than just a 2-gap plugger during his time in Chicago.
91) Emery Moorehead - I was always a fan of the tight end position, and Moorehead was an underappreciated member of the 1985 Bear offense.
90) Kevin Butler - Every Bears’ fan that got to experience the 1985 Bears was a fan of Butt Head.
89) Jim Osborne - If I had a gazillion Baschnagel football cards, I must have had two gazillion Osborne cards.
88) Dave Duerson - Duerson was a third round pick in the legendary 1983 Draft for the Bears. He made 4 straight Pro Bowls from 1985 to 1988.
87) Cap Boso - Anyone that remembers Boso, remembers the sod in his helmet on Monday Night Football.
86) Bryan Robinson - Robinson is best remembered for this quote after blocking a field goal in 1999, just days after the passing of Walter Payton.
“I think Walter Payton actually picked me up a little bit and boosted me up in the air because I can’t jump that high,” Robinson said after the November 7th game. “Walter had a lot to do with it. I know he did.”
85) Dennis McKinnon - McKinnon was the tough wide out that wasn’t afraid to go over the middle for the 85 Bears. The UDFA played six years in Chicago.
84) Henry Waechter - In Super Bowl XX it was Waechter that gave the Bears points 45 and 46 when he sacked Steve Grogan for a safety. I always felt it was the perfect way for Buddy Ryan’s 46-Defense to go out.
83) Jerry Azumah - Zoom was a running back for the University of New Hampshire, but the Bears converted him to corner. He made a Pro Bowl as a kick returner in 2003.
82) Danieal Manning - If the Bears would have just let him settle into one role I think he could have been a really good player.
81) Josh Bellamy - I’ll admit, I wasn’t the biggest Bellamy fan at first, but then he kept busting his ass every year and doing whatever it took to keep his career alive. You have to respect that kind of dedication.
80) Ron Rivera - Chico is another member of the famed ‘85 team, and he finally got his chance to start when one of my other favs moved on as a free agent. I would have loved to have seen him stick around and coach in Chicago a bit longer.
79) Corey Wootton - Wootton injured his knee at Northwestern and fell to the fourth round for the Bears in the 2010 draft. After rehabbing his way back to the team, he recorded his first sack against Brett Favre. It was Favre’s final play of his NFL career.
78) Anthony Thomas - A-Train won the offensive NFL Rookie of the Year in 2001 after a stellar career at the University of Michigan. I was a fan of the rugged running style from Thomas and the next guy on my list.
77) Jordan Howard - Howard made the Pro Bowl as a rookie and in three years he climbed to 7th all-time in rushing yards for the Bears.
76) John Wojciechowski - He crossed the picket line in 1987 and played as a Spare Bear, but that opportunity plus hard work kept him around until 1993.
75) Marty Booker - Booker was the first Pro Bowl wide out I cheered for as a Bears’ fan. He had great hands.
74) Craig “Ironhead” Heyward - Heyward only played one season for the Bears, but he was a legend on Tecmo Super Bowl.
73) Cameron Meredith - I loved the way he competed and worked on his game as a UDFA and I thought he was in line for a big time season before tearing up his knee in the 2017 preseason.
72) Barry Minter - The Bears traded for Minter in 1993, and he played special teams, middle linebacker and outside linebacker before settling in as the starting Mike in 1996. He averaged over 100 tackles from 1997 to 1999, but an injury in 2000 opened the door to #54 to take over.
71) Marcus Robinson - He only had 4 catches as a 4th round rookie in 1998, but he exploded in 1999 with 84 for 1,400 yards.
70) Hunter Hillenmeyer - Whether on special teams, at the Mike or at outside linebacker, all HH did was produce when called on.
69) Bobby Massie - I’m sure I started liking Massie more and more as fans started to (wrongfully) rip his play. He’s a no nonsense mauler and he’s much better than you think he is.
68) Kyle Orton - I’m the guy that wrote an article about how Kyle Orton was the right quarterback to lead the Bears back to the playoffs before the 2009 season. But we all know what happened on April 3, 2009, don’t we?
67) Alonzo Spellman - Big #90 played 6 years with the Bears, but unfortunately he’s more remembered for his off-field issues.
66) Neal Anderson - Replacing a legend is always hard, but Anderson made four straight Pro Bowls (1988-1991) after Sweetness hung them up. Did you know that the Bears played him at fullback in 1987?
65) Shaun Gayle - Another player from the 85 team, but Gayle was a reserve until the late 80s when he finally won a starting job at safety. He then made a Pro Bowl in 1991.
64) Sherrick McManis - McManis is on his second general manager and fourth head coach since being acquired for fullback Tyler Clutts in 2012.
63) Philip Daniels - He started 59 games in four years, and he was a member of the 13-3 2001 team. He was more known for being tough against the run, but he had 23 sacks in Chicago.
62) Alex Brown - My favorite stats for defensive end Alex Brown are his 5 career interceptions and 39 passes defended.
61) Anthony Adams - I never understood why Adams wasn't a full time starter in Chicago. He was able to hold his ground, eat blocks, but then shed them and make tackles. Plus he did this:
60) Keith Traylor - Another big Bears’ nose tackle, and Traylor is best remembered for this.
Did you know that Traylor started his NFL career as a 250 pound middle linebacker?
59) Brad Muster - The big fullback averaged 4.4 yards a carry in Chicago and had 169 receptions.
58) Curtis Conway - Conway is 4th all-time in Bears history with 329 receptions and he was a thousand yard receiver for Erik Kramer’s fantastic 1995 season.
57) Josh McCown - The recently retired McCown was a fan favorite for his play on the field for the Bears, but I respected the intangibles he brought to the franchise.
56) Dennis Gentry - “Pinky” was a running back/returner during the early part of his career, but his ability to play wide receiver kept him around the Bears for eleven years.
55) Greg Olsen - Mike Martz’s refusal to utilize tight ends led to the Bears trading Olsen after four productive years in Chicago. From 2011 to 2018 Olsen caught 472 passes for the Panthers and made three Pro Bowls. Since leaving the Bears following the 2012 season, Martz hasn’t coached in the NFL.
54) Jason McKie - McKie was a punishing lead blocker during his seven year Bears’ career.
53) Matt Forte - Forte was such a smooth football player. As a runner he’s 2nd all-time in Chicago history in rushing yards, but his versatility has him 2nd all-time in receptions too.
52) Jim Flanigan - Eleven sacks from his defensive tackle spot during his first year as a starter made me a fan. Chicago only averaged 6 wins a year during his seven seasons.
51) Leslie Frazier - Frazier was an outstanding cover corner for the 80s Bears, but a knee injury during SBXX ended his career.
50) Robbie Gould - Even though Gould is on record saying getting cut by the Bears helped him get his career back on track, I think he would have figured it out had Chicago stuck with him.
49) Tony Parrish - I was so pissed when the Bears lost Parish to the 49ers in free agency.
48) Chris Zorich - I’ll never forget the callers calling into The Score that wanted Zorich (6’1”, 278 lbs) to move to middle linebacker. He was a classic blue-collar defensive tackle during his five-plus years in Chicago.
47) Roberto Garza - Whether is was at guard or center, Garza always gave his all on the field. From 2006 to 2014 he started all 138 games that he appeared in.
46) Matt Suhey - The fullback for the 1985 Champs is 10th all-time in receptions for the Bears.
45) Donnell Woolford - If the Bears would have had more team success during his 8 years a Bear, I think he would have made more that one Pro Bowl. He was an outstanding all-around corner.
44) Mitchell Trubisky - If Trubisky improves like I expect him to improve, he’ll be in my top 20 in no time.
43) Cody Whitehair - I love the no-nonsense way he goes about his job. I’m predicting a second consecutive Pro Bowl in 2019 for him.
42) Rosevelt Colvin - Another player that pissed me off when he wasn’t re-signed. He had 22 sacks his last two years in Chicago.
41) Desmond Clark - Clark was a classic Y tight end that could be effective as a blocker and receiver. I always thought he was underutilized in Chicago.
40) Erik Kramer - Kramer still has the Bears single season record of 3,838 passing yards and 29 TD passes that was set in 1995. He was only sacked 15 times in 16 games that year for a sack percentage of 2.8.
39) Jay Cutler - Speaking of sack percentage, Jay’s was 7.1 during his time in Chicago. I thought Cutler’s attitude and demeanor was refreshing in an era of canned responses.
38) Tom Thayer - Part of my fondness for Thayer has to do with his outstanding job as the color man on WBBM, and his guest spots on WSCR, but he was a damn good offensive guard too.
37) Matt Slauson - I always appreciated the way Slauson went about his business on the football field, but the way he handled his stuttering and chose to work with kids that have speech impediments made me like him even more.
36) Thomas Jones - Hindsight tells us that the Bears should have just kept feeding Jones the rock in Super Bowl XLI, but to take it back further, hindsight tells us that the Bears never should have picked Cedric Benson in the 2005 Draft. Jones should have retired a Bear.
35) Otis Wilson - Mama’s boy Otis was a good all around football player and his 10.5 sacks in 1985 was second on the team.
34) Lance Briggs - Briggs is often knocked for being a “system” linebacker, but he still had to go out there and produce. I don’t think he gets enough credit for being as cerebral as he was.
33) Eddie Jackson - If Jackson keeps playing at an All-Pro level, I think he’ll climb my all-time favorite list.
32) Chris Harris - The Bears sent Harris to the Panthers for a 5th round pick after the 2006 season and I didn’t agree with it. In 2007 he led the NFL with 8 forced fumbles after learning the Peanut Punch during his two years in Chicago. He was traded back to the Bears in 2010 and he made 2nd Team All Pro.
31) Corey Graham - The Bears never should have went back to Nathan Vasher after Graham filled in for him during the 2008 season. His last year in Chicago (2011) ended with a Pro Bowl appearance for his outstanding special teams work.
30) Tom Waddle - I think every Bears fan that saw him play and knows his story has a fondness for the ultimate underdog, Tommy Waddle.
29) Israel Idonije - No one expected Idonije, an undrafted free agent signed after the Browns cut him in 2003, to go on and play with the Bears until 2012. He not only had a successful career in Chicago, but he was one of the more giving players through his numerous charitable ventures. Plus, he’s a comic book guy.
28) Jay Hilgenberg - With seven straight Pro Bowls, Jay Hilgenberg should be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
27) Adrian Peterson - The “other” Adrian Peterson was a successful special teamer and part time running back with the Bears. He gave 100% effort every time he touched the ball.
26) Gary Fencik - The Hit Man was not only a punishing force on the football field, but he was one of the smartest players to ever lace ‘em up.
25) Patrick Mannelly - The Mann, ‘nuff said.
24) Mike Brown - His back to back walk off touchdowns cemented him as one of my all-time favs.
23) Tarik Cohen - He has that “It Factor” when he’s on the field.
22) Jim McMahon - He was the first anti-establishment player I was aware of and he had swagger at a time when quarterbacks were mostly boring.
21) Raymont Harris - His Bears career was short, but the Ultraback was a do-it-all player during his four years.
20) Khalil Mack - I struggled where to put a guy with only one year in Chicago, but the trade for Mack is one of those ‘I’ll always remember where I was’ moments.
19) Jim Harbaugh - I’ll never forget Harbaugh running down on the kickoff coverage team as a rookie because he needed something to do as the third string QB. He played the game with the same intensity that he coaches with.
18) Mike Singletary - I was a fan of the way Samurai Mike played the game, but when I read his book in the late 80’s he became one of my all-time favorites.
17) Richard Dent - The Sackman is Chicago all-time sack leader.
16) Dan Hampton - Danimal was a Pro Bowler at both defensive end and at defensive tackle.
15) Devin Hester - The single greatest moment in Bears history belongs to Devin Hester. If you were a fan during his heyday, you made sure the TV had your undivided attention when he went back to return a kick or a punt.
14) Mark Bortz - A converted defensive lineman, Bortz was a true mauler.
13) Jimbo Covert - Covert played the same position that I did back in the day and he was the first offensive tackle that I really started to study. If he didn’t injure his back I think he would be in the Hall of Fame.
12) Steve McMichael - Mongo racked up an incredible 92.5 sacks for the Bears from his defensive tackle position, plus he’s a former United States Champion and member of the Four Horsemen.
11) William Perry - The Fridge was such a fun player to root for in 1985. If all you know of him is how he used to line up on offense, then go find some of his highlight clips. Here’s a couple from his Clemson days (here and here).
10) Zach Miller - I love rooting for an underdog story and Miller’s was a great story. He just kept battling through injuries his whole career to play, and he played some damn good football in Chicago.
9) Wilbur Marshall - Marshall was the first Bears player that I really rooted for that left the Bears, and that pissed me off back in 1988.
8) Kyle Long - As a rookie, Long played with a raw tenacity that made me an immediate fan. Plus any offensive lineman that will scrap for his QB is all right in my book.
7) Akiem Hicks - He’s such a likable person off the field, but on the field he’s a terror for offenses to handle.
6) Brian Urlacher - I’m fortunate to have seen Urlacher’s entire career. He was such a great all-around football player.
5) James “Big Cat” Williams - I met Big Cat one time and he made me look small.
4) Charles Tillman - I was talking about how great Peanut was during his entire underrated career in Chicago.
3) Olin Kreutz - Kreutz’s badassery on the football field not only makes him one of my all-time fav Bears, but he’s my wife’s #1 favorite player.
2) Keith Van Horne - My earliest memory of Van Horne was him ripping a defender off of Jim McMahon and shoving him away. I also wore #78 in my youth, and played offensive tackle, so liking and following his career was an easy decision.
1) Walter Payton - Sweetness is the reason I became a Bears’ fan. His excellence on a football field has yet to be matched.