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Former Chicago Bears great Rosey Taylor passes away at 82

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Image from ChicagoBears.com

Roosevelt “Rosey” Taylor, a member of the Chicago Bears 1963 Championship team, passed away on Friday at the age of 82.

Born on the 4th of July in 1937, Taylor grew up in New Orleans, Louisiana before staying in state to play football at Grambling State University where he was coached by the legendary Eddie Robinson. Taylor was a member of the Tigers’ 1960 Southwestern Athletic Conference championship team, and in 2010 he was inducted into the Grambling State University Hall of Fame.

Undrafted by either the NFL or the AFL, the Bears signed Taylor and he played in all 14 games as a rookie, including 5 starts at safety.

His All-Pro 1963 season saw him lead the league with 9 interceptions while helping head coach George Halas to his sixth and final NFL Championship.

Taylor never missed a game during his time in Chicago from 1961 to 1969, but he was traded to the San Francisco 49ers midway through that ‘69 season. He ended his career in Washington in 1972 and overall he played in 166 games while making 152 starts.

The two time Pro Bowler ended his 12-year career with 32 interceptions, with 3 returned for touchdowns, 13 fumble recoveries, with 1 run in for a TD, and he had a touchdown on a blocked field goal where he went in from 60 yards out, and an 11 yard blocked punt return too.

Last year we named Taylor as the 44th best player in Chicago Bears history in our WCG Top 100 Bears players list.

Taylor doesn’t get enough credit as the heart of a dominant secondary in 1963. Undrafted out of Grambling State, Taylor became a starter on the ‘60s Bears teams, notching 23 interceptions, still good for 10th in franchise history and 12 fumble recoveries. He had nine INTs during the ‘63 season and in 1968, he returned a pick 96 yards for a touchdown. That is the second-longest pick six in team history. ~ Sam Householder