July 30, 2021

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Top dynamic duos in Chicago Bears history

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Wondering about a player, a past game or another issue involving the Bears? Senior writer Larry Mayer answers a variety of questions from fans on ChicagoBears.com.

I enjoyed reading your story about tight ends Jimmy Graham and Cole Kmet and was wondering who are some of your favorite “dynamic duos” in Bears history?
Raymond D.
Hammond, Indiana

There are several that come to mind. But my favorite tandem remains safeties Doug Plank and Gary Fencik, who were known as the “Hit Men” while patrolling the Bears secondary in the 1970s when I was a young, impressionable fan. Some of my other favorite dynamic duos in Bears history were running back Walter Payton and fullback Roland Harper and later Payton and fullback Matt Suhey; defensive linemen Dan Hampton and Steve McMichael; and offensive linemen Tom Thayer and Jay Hilgenberg. Tandems I loved to watch play together more recently were linebackers Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs; and cornerbacks Charles Tillman and Nathan Vasher. One of the most famous dynamic duos in Bears history no doubt was running backs Gale Sayers and Brian Piccolo, whose close friendship on and off the field was chronicled in the classic TV Movie “Brian’s Song.” But that was a little before my time in terms of watching them play together as teammates.

How many Bears players have been named NFL MVP?
Randy G.
Illinois

Since the Associated Press began naming the NFL’s most valuable player in 1957, Hall of Fame running back Walter Payton is the only Bears player to win the award. Payton was honored in 1977 when he led the NFL in all rushing categories with 1,852 yards and 14 touchdowns on 339 carries. The NFL presented the Joe F. Carr Trophy to its MVP from 1938-46. During that span, Bears Hall of Fame quarterback Sid Luckman won the award in 1943 after he led the league in passing with 2,194 yards and 28 touchdowns. The Jim Thorpe Memorial Trophy was presented by the Newspaper Enterprise Association to the NFL MVP from 1955-2008. During that time, Bears end Harlon Hill won the award in 1955 after catching 42 passes for 789 yards and a league-leading nine TDs. Payton won the Thorpe Trophy twice—in 1977 and 1985 when he rushed for 1,551 yards and nine TDs and helped the Bears win their first Super Bowl championship.

I saw that the NFL cancelled its supplemental draft for the second straight year. Has there have been a prominent player selected in the supplemental draft, and have the Bears ever made a pick in it?
Phil W.
Waukegan, Illinois

A total of 46 players have been chosen in the NFL’s supplement draft since it was implemented in 1977. It was created for players whose college eligibility was impacted and did not enter the regular draft. One Hall of Famer has been selected in the supplemental draft—receiver Cris Carter by the Eagles in 1987. Pro Bowlers who have been supplemental picks include quarterback Bernie Kosar (1985 Browns), running back Bobby Humphrey (1989 Broncos), receiver Rob Moore (1990 Jets), tackle Mike Wahle (1998 Packers), nose tackle Jamal Williams (1998 Chargers), linebacker Ahmad Brooks (2006 Bengals) and receiver Josh Gordon (2012 Browns). The only player the Bears have ever picked in the supplemental draft remains fullback Harvey Unga in 2010.

Chalk Talk features fan questions multiple times each week. Email your question to Larry.

https://www.chicagobears.com/news/chalktalk/chalk-talk-who-are-top-tandems-in-bears-history