Monday, December 30, 2013

Chicago Bears

Here are the 1971 Chicago Bears. The Bears just came off a 3rd-place, 6-8 season, and repeated that in 1971. The only bright spot here is that Gale Sayers and Dick Butkus would eventually make the Fall of Fame.

Jack Concannon was the first overall pick (by the Patriots) in the 1964 AFL draft, and the Eagles' 2nd-round pick. The Bears acquired him from the Eagles in 1967 for tight end Mike Ditka. He was the starter for 3 seasons, and shared the job with Bobby Douglass in 1969. After starting 13 games in 1970, he lost the job to Douglass in 1971 due to injury. After 2 seasons on the Cowboys' taxi squad, Jack finished up with the Packers in '74 and Lions in '75.

Bobby Douglass was the Bears' #2 pick in 1969, and was a "running" quarterback, and not too successful as a passer. Except for 1970, he was the starter from 1969 to 1973, and part of 1974. Douglass was traded to the Chargers during the 1975 season, and also played for the Saints ('76-'77) and Packers ('78). Bobby also pitched 4 games for the White Sox' triple-A team in 1979.

The Bears owned the 3rd and 4th picks in the 1965 draft. At #3 they selected Gale Sayers, and selected Dick Butkus at #4. Sayers was the team's starting halfback for the next 5 seasons, and led the NFL in rushing yards in 1966 (1231) and 1969 (1032). He was also 1st-team All-Pro in his first 5 seasons. Sayers returned punts in his rookie season, and returned kicks for his 1st 5 seasons, scoring 6 TDs as a kick returner.

Gale famously injured his knee in the 9th game of the 1968 season, and missed the remaining 5 games. His other knee was injured in 1970, causing him to miss 12 games in 1970 and 12 games in 1971. Sayers retired after the 1972 pre-season, and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1977.

Dick Gordon was drafted by the Bears in the 7th round in 1965, and was their starting split end from 1966-71. He also returned kicks from 1965-69 and was also the punt returner in 1967. In 1966, he had a 94-yard kick return (leading the NFL). In 1970, Gordon also led the NFL in receptions (71) and receiving TDs (13). He made the Pro Bowl as a Bear in '70 and '71, then his career seemed to fall apart, as he spent the next 3 seasons as a sub for the Rams, Packers, and Chargers before retiring.

Cecil Turner was a 5th-round pick in 1968, and played from 1968-73, all with the Bears. He was primarily a kick returner, but was also their starting flanker during his rookie season. In 1970, he returned 4 kicks for touchdowns, and made his only Pro Bowl appearance.

Mac Percival was the Bears' kicker from 1967-72 (and 4 games in 1973). He played with the Cowboys for part 1974, kicking in 3 games.

Ed O'Bradovich played for 10 seasons (1962-71), all with the Bears. He was the starting left defensive end as a rookie, then spent 3 seasons as a backup before regaining the starting post in 1966, which he would hold for the remainder of his career (although moving to right end for his last 3 seasons).

Dick Butkus was drafted in the 1st round in 1965, out of Illinois (the same school that produced Ray Nitschke). He was the team's starting middle linebacker every season, until injuries prematurely ended his career in his 9th season. Butkus made the Pro Bowl in his first 8 seasons, and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1979.

Lee Roy Caffey was drafted by the Eagles in 1963, and was their starting left linebacker as a rookie. He was traded to the Packers before the next season, and manned the right linebacker post for Green Bay from 1964-69, including making All-Pro in '65 and '66. He started for the Bears in 1970, and was a backup in 1971 (Cowboys) and 1972 (Chargers).

Doug Buffone was selected by the Bears in the 1966 draft, and played his entire 14-year career for Chicago. He was the team's starting left linebacker every season but '66, '76 (missed 12 games), and '79.

Also check out the 1967 Bears.