The Bears 0f 2006 figured they had a young defense built to make a long playoff run annually.
It took another four years just to get back to the playoffs, which raises a fair question: Is this the chance for the Brian Urlacher-Lance Briggs Bears defense to win a title?
“No, no, I’m 30,” Briggs said Wednesday, “not dead.”
Melissa Isaacson of ESPNChicago.com looks at the issue in depth. While the Bears aren’t that old on the whole, so much of the core of their defense is 29 or older: Briggs, Urlacher, Julius Peppers, defensive tackle Tommie Harris, defensive tackle Anthony Adams, defensive end Israel Idonije, linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa, and cornerback Charles Tillman.
Could Urlacher, Briggs, Peppers, Idonije, and Tillman all put together great years at the same time again? Sure.
Is it particularly likely? Not really. It may not be their last chance, the odds are against them getting a better one.
The Bears know how rare it is that these opportunities come around, even when everyone is young. Briggs called the opportunity “precious.” His coach Lovie Smith agreed.
“If you’re in a position to go and you have a chance, like four teams that have the opportunity to get to the Super Bowl, and win it, you have to assume this is the only time you’re going to get that opportunity,” Smith said.