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The date was November 7, 2004, and for the Bears franchise, it was a historic one. The 2-5 Bears went into the Meadowlands on a Sunday afternoon and turned a two-touchdown deficit into a 28-21 win over Kurt Warner and the Giants.
In that context, the linebacking corps of Brian Urlacher (7 tackles), Lance Briggs and Hunter Hillenmeyer (4 tackles each) had a relatively quiet day, yet they were also part of the vision, as this was the beginning of their five-year run as a linebacker trio.
Urlacher has a ton of traits that I would end up looking for throughout our 25 picks, namely skills, speed, heart, versatility and some degree of mean.
Before I get to a breakdown of how I made each decision, here is my kick-ass team that every Bears fan would enjoy watching and rooting for.
OFFENSE Gameplan: Everything starts with our offensive line, with Pro Bowlers at four of five spots, and the right tackle for one of the most bruising Bears lines ever (2001).
We’ve got a power running game with J-Mack and Osmanski, or a speed running game with Scooter Mc Lean and potentially Osmanski in the backfield. One of the NFL’s original jump ball artists in Marcus Robinson (also a collegiate sprinter who set a school record in the 200 meter) with one of the franchise’s greatest possession receivers in Jim Keane, along with arguably the two fastest players in franchise history — Knox and Hester — in the slot.
In 1934, he led the NFL in receiving touchdowns with five. Our positional stipulations were 11 players on offense, 11 on defense, one kicker, one punter, one “bonus” player. The other guy I considered here was Peanut, since he locks up one corner spot and is far and away the best corner in Bears history.
With the exception of Tommie Harris, the entire starting front seven that day started Super Bowl XLI.
Mike Brown and Peanut Tillman missed the game with injuries, but XLI starter Vasher played a huge role in the win.
The only XLI defensive starter who was not yet on the roster was safety Chris Harris, whom we drafted the following season. Two games into this 2018 season, I don’t mind saying: I’ve seen the same.
The offense wasn’t quite there — rookie Craig Krenzel was our starting quarterback, our third of the year following a season-ending injury to Rex Grossman and a perilous run by Jonathan Quinn. In 2016, I wrote a column here called “Building the 2018 Super Bowl champion Chicago Bears.” In that piece, I looked at each position and declared whether or not that person could be our starter for our hypothetical Super Bowl LIII participant.
Hewitt followed its bounding course, picked it up in front of a teammate who watched to protect him from any opponent, and finished his sprint behind the goal line. Hewitt was known in his career as “The Offsides Kid,” so skilled at timing the snap.