Maybe it’s the nostalgia talking, but Bears Hall of Fame defensive end Richard Dent senses something familiar about the current edition of his former team.
“To me, this team looks just like us in ’84, ’85,” Dent said over the weekend in connection with the franchise’s 100th season celebration, via the Associated Press. “We really started to jell, to be the best that we can be. We beat one another, and when you beat one another, no one else can beat you but yourself. That’s what drove us to be the best that we can be.”
These Bears have a long way to go to be the ’85 Bears, especially on defense. But they are amassing the kind of collective talent that could create real headaches when it’s time to try to stop any, some, or all of them.
“You can’t double everybody,” Dent said. “That’s just like us.”
The 1984 Bears went 10-6, and their Super Bowl run ended one step short of the championship game, with a 23-0 loss to the 49ers. That disappointing ending fueled the surge that came the next year, driving the team to take it to the next level.
While the 2019 Bears should aspire to be the 1985 Bears (hell, every team should aspire to be the 1985 Bears), it also will be critical to avoid becoming the 1986, 1987, and/or 1988 Bears. Those teams by all accounts underachieved relative to their talent.
For these Bears, trying to one up the legacy of the ’85 Bears would be a very good problem to have. Their goal, obviously, for the franchise’s 100th season will be to put themselves in that position.