Mullin's best bears Top three QB's-who ya got
On slow weeknd ,thought coul be a fun debate, who are the top 3 Qb's all time for bears? Obviously luckman is #1... but who after. mullin weighs in.. WHO YA GOT?
Mullin's best bears Top three QB's-
Thursday, May 19, 2011
Posted: 4:07 p.m.
By John Mullin
First in a series looking at the top Bears in the history of the franchise at each position. In this installment, CSNChicago.com Bears Insider John Mullin gets things started with the quarterback position.
With the NFL season on indefinite hold, by virtue of the latest court ruling enabling the owners’ lockout and tepid efforts at mediation, the present isn’t particularly interesting and the future isn’t... well, it just isn’t right now.
So CSNChicago.com’s “View from the Moon” is taking this opportunity to bring unprecedented clarity to the Chicago Bears’ past, with some “present” folded in. Rather than undertake another analysis of the 2011 roster, which necessarily remains in a molten state pending yet-uncertain free agency, training camp and preseason, “View” will establish the franchise depth chart position by position.
Specifically, who are the three greatest Bears of all time at each of the 22 positions, plus special teams?
The obvious place to start: Quarterback.
3. Ed Brown
The falloff at the position after Nos. 1-2 is pretty steep. That would be a franchise problem. But that’s another story.
Brown had the misfortune of playing in the same conference and during primes of Johnny Unitas and Bobby Layne, which didn’t leave a lot of championships lying around. But Brown was a two-time Pro Bowl QB (1955-56) and had the Bears in the 1956 title game that ended badly for the Bears.
Bill Wade and Rudy Bukich had seasons with higher passer ratings. So did Jim Miller and Erik Kramer. But Brown’s career-best 83.1 in ’56 led the NFL, even as he was throwing more INT’s than TD’s, which he did in all but one of his years.
2. Jim McMahon
McMahon was not the passer that Jay Cutler is, or maybe even Ed Brown or Rudy Bukich. But wobbly passes aren’t the point. Winning is, and McMahon did. As I said, if we’re talking about a single game, assuming both are healthy, I think very hard about going with Jimmy Mac (although for every Super Bowl XX for him, there was an ’87 divisional game vs. Washington or ’88 championship game vs. San Francisco for him).
Forget the image and myth. McMahon had a consummate grasp of defenses, something that separates him from even some of the best in the game today, and McMahon was dealing with defenses like Bill Parcells’ in New York and was playing in a decade speckled with teams like the Giants, Redskins, 49ers and Buddy Ryan Eagles (even if they didn’t win beyond a regular season).
McMahon was a quarterback. He may have had an awfully good supporting huddle around him (three of his offensive linemen -- Jimbo Covert, Mark Bortz, Jay Hilgenberg -- were voted to Pro Bowls) but he also made the group better, and that is a tenet of greatness.
1. Sid Luckman
A gimme, with apologies to No. 2 on the list. There is only one Bears quarterback in the Hall of Fame (other than a George Blanda or a Bobby Layne, whose most notable accomplishments came after they left Bears uniforms), and that is Luckman. In an era when the passing offenses were still in their formative years, Luckman threw seven TD passes and for 433 yards in a single game.
But this is a “quarterback” rating, not simply a “passer” rating, and there’s a difference. Runner-up McMahon arguably ranks with Luckman and possibly ahead of him if you were looking at a one-time, winner-take-all pickup game. But this is an award for a body of work and McMahon’s body doesn’t add to his vote total here.
McMahon threw for 300 yards once in his career. The Bears lost that game. Luckman did it three times and the Bears won all three. The Bears won four NFL titles with Luckman to one with McMahon. Luckman rarely spit the bit in a game of magnitude.
Both QB’s were central figures in perhaps the greatest teams of their eras. But Luckman, who also played some defensive back, was good to the point of the Detroit Lions sparking an investigation of Luckman for off-field associations, just trying to get him out of the way.
Bernie Masterson: It was Masterson who Luckman replaced but in the seven seasons under mostly Masterson, the Bears had zero losing seasons, were 13-0 in 1934 (then lost to the Giants in the title game) and 9-1-1 in 1937 (but again lost in the championship game). It was a different game, a different time, but Masterson was a winner.
Cutler: One really bad year, one pretty good one and reaching the NFC Championship game -- not enough to make the cut. And still more passer than quarterback, but with an arrow pointing up.
JimMillerJimHarbaughSteveWalshErikKramerBillWade: A lot of guys respectable with some good years, some bad years, kind of all running together.
Rex Grossman: Hey, you get to a Super Bowl, with as many 100-plus passer ratings that season as Peyton Manning, you come up in the conversation, if only for a moment. (OK, just kidding...).