Chicago Bears: Comparing the 1985 defense to 2019 group

Chicago Bears (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Bears, Akiem Hicks
Chicago Bears (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

Akiem Hicks comparison: Steve McMichael

The first thought that will likely cross readers’ minds is that William Perry is a much more similar player to Akiem Hicks than Steve McMichael in reference to their size. However, Perry was not near the caliber player that Hicks is. Steve McMichael was a first-team All Pro in 1985, recording 8 sacks on the season. Hicks posted similar numbers in 2018, recording 7.5 sacks while anchoring the front three for the Bears. Both Hicks and McMichael were also elite run-stoppers, which was crucial in the success of both the 1985 and 2018 seasons.

Hicks was a snub from from the second All Pro team this season, but this is no reflection of what was a stellar season for the interior lineman. Forcing 3 fumbles on the season, he was a major reason why the Bears lead the NFL in takeaways. As one of the top-three players on this defense, Hicks will look to have another great season and embrace his McMicahel-type role doing the dirt work inside.

Eddie Goldman comparison: William Perry

Perhaps the biggest difference between William Perry and Eddie Goldman is the publicity. William Perry was a major celebrity in Chicago, while Goldman is criminally underrated. Perry was a rookie the year the team won the Super Bowl at age 23, while Goldman played his fourth season in 2018 but is still just 24 years of age.

Perry and Goldman are extremely similar players, as both are linemen who specialize in the run stop but can get to the quarterback at a pretty decent rate. Although Perry recorded five sacks in ’85 to Goldman’s 3, Goldman may have the edge over Perry in the run game. Both Perry and Goldman are strong inside presences necessary to keep running backs quiet. Look for Goldman to have more much deserved attention in 2019.

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Bilal Nichols comparison: Dan Hampton

This is the one comparison that the ’85 team blows the ’19 roster out of the water. Although Bilal Nichols is still a 22-year-old with only one professional season under his belt, it is hard to compare the young gun to the Hall of Fame pass rusher in Dan Hampton. Don’t think that Nichols had a poor season by any means in his rookie season, as he recorded 3 sacks and 2 forced fumbles in 14 games.

In those 14 games, he only started 6 times, which makes Bears fans believe he has lots of room for improvement in 2019.  Unless the Bears make any surprise moves before the season (*cough Gerald McCoy), expect Nichols to become the go-to man when putting three players up front. He will more than likely never be as good as all-time-great pass rusher Dan Hampton was, but at 22 years of age, he certainly has time to grow.