Former Bears safety Dave Duerson, a member of perhaps the greatest post-merger NFL defense, has passed away at the age of 51.
NBCChicago.com confirmed through the Miami Dade county coroner that Duerson was found dead Thursday night. The cause of death is unknown.
“Our family asks that you please remember Dave as a good, kind, and caring man,” Alicia Duerson, Dave’s ex-wife said.
Duerson won two Super Bowl titles in his 11-year career; he also won a title with the ’93 Giants. The ’85 Bears’ dominant group has two current head coaches in the league (Leslie Frazier, Ron Rivera) and two recent ones (Mike Singletary, Jeff Fisher.)
Duerson’s passing is another sad moment for the group; William “Refrigerator” Perry’s health troubles have also been a concern. Duerson hosted an Internet radio show called “Double Time with Double D” and broadcast his final show Thursday.
We pass along our condolences to the Duerson family at this difficult time.
UPDATE: “Today is a difficult day for all of us who loved Dave,” the Bears said in a statement. “We’ll miss him.”
UPDATE II: “Dave Duerson was a leader,” NFLPA spokesman George Atallah said. “A player advocate. He was an NFLPA rep and exec comittee member. He served as a trustee for the NFLPA on retirement board.”